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  • Important Dates at a Glance
  • What students are up to at Studio 88
  • Auditions for "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" with C.A.C.
  • Piano for Sale (Mine!) - Price dropped
  • October and November Birthdays
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Important Dates at a Glance

October 8 | Group Class Week
November 19 | Group Class Week
December 8 | Parlor City Christmas Performance at the Library (11:00-11:45) [Optional participation]
View the Studio 88 Access Folder

What We're Up To

It has been a great start to the 2018-2019 school year at Studio 88. Students are doing all kinds of things like preparing for talent shows, playing on their church worship team, providing background music for church events, and more. I can't tell you how it exciting it is to begin to see students using their life-long skills at the piano in real-life situations.

One new thing we are working on studio-wide is developing our harmonization skills. The most foundational skill anyone can learn in how to hear music (and play by ear) is to hear the movement of bass tones/harmony. That is the absolute foundation of all music and is exactly what Bach used to teach all his students! In his day though it was called "figured bass." From that point, students can play any song and improvise or "fill" accompaniments. 

Our harmonization studies are a two-fold activity. Each week students have a song to harmonize using either two chords or four chords. Simple folk tunes are the best delivery since they are short and simple melodically. You may hear your student singing songs like "Clementine," or "Itsy Bity Spider," or "Lavender's Blue" while they play chords.

Harmonizing tunes means they're not playing the melody on the piano but they have to sing the song on a neutral syllable while they play chords to accompany themselves. (Singing without words is intentional as words tend to turn the focus away from the sound and we want to focus on musical sound, not words.)

The other activity is we are working on is developing a base of tonal patterns. Music is patterns. These patterns are foundational to being able to explore the entire range of the piano and to play songs in ANY KEY. Ask your student! Many of them now are required to play every pattern (and the songs they harmonize) in all 12 major or all 12 minor keys!

The difficulty level of the keys assigned or patterns given will vary depending on where they are in their piano skills but the foundational assignment is the same for all students.

We started this activity this Summer and many students are already showing strong growth of their audiation (hearing music with understanding), as well as their natural instinct for distinguishing between the chord choices.

Once students are comfortable harmonizing a song, I will often join in and play along with them, improvising rhythms so they can hear the possibility of what it means to fill out those chords. 

This has been lots of fun! I love making music with your students!


Piano for Sale - Price Dropped

I am selling the acoustic spinnet piano that I learned off as a child! If you know anyone who may be looking for a piano, please feel free to pass along the information.

Details about the piano along with several photos are available in the Studio 88 Access Folder here. Please feel free to share the link.
11 Elle Gunkel
03 Anna "Kat" Tanner 

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Studio 88, LLC · 2660 N 100 E · Bluffton, IN 46714 · USA

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