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Studio Masterclass : February 24 2024

Monday, February 26, 2024 | Student Awards and Honors

On Saturday February 24, 2024, we hosted longtime area master teacher Dr. Yoshinori Hosaka for a "mini" master class in our studio. Congratulations to the students who stepped up and performed in this challenging environment! 


Leah (Prelude in f minor, WTC 2, J.S. Bach)

Jacob (Sonatina in F Major [#2], Beethoven)

Priya (Sonata in c minor, Pescetti)

James (In the Evening, Hoffman)

Aruni (The Prophetic Bird [from Forest Scenes], Schumann)

Kavya (Dr. Gradus ad Parnassum, Debussy)

Bach-Baroque 2024

Monday, February 19, 2024 | Student Awards and Honors

Congratulations to Ethan Chen and Ryan Chen who earned the top rating of Superior at Bach/Baroque Festival, an annual event sponsored by Northern Virginia Music Teachers Association. Students presented two Baroque-era (1600-1750) pieces from memory in recital format. 


Gabriel Chavaria also received Superior rating at this event and was selected for the additional award of Honors for his fine performances. 

Current Openings

Monday, February 19, 2024 | News

BRIGHT STARTS GROUP CLASS OPENINGS 

LEVEL 1 CLASSES We expect new Level 1 (age 5.5 to 8) classes to begin in September 2024. We take registrations for these starting June 1, 2024. 

LEVEL 2 & 3 CLASSES It's too late in the school year to move into an in-progress class, but we do expect space for transfer students into our Level 2 and Level 3 classes next fall. For a student age 6 to 10 who is not loving their current individual lesson placement, our unique group program could be a great fit for you! Contact us now if interested; we take registrations starting June 1 2024. 

INDIVIDUAL LESSON OPENINGS We've got lots of openings most weekdays at/before 4:00 PM. In these early slots, we have multiple days and teachers to choose from.  

AGES/LEVELS We teach all ages and levels! Adult lessons? Yes, we do that! 

IN-PERSON LESSONS In most cases, we are teaching in-person in our beautiful Falls Church studio! A few students may choose remote lessons or a mix of remote and in-person instruction. 

IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO BEGIN LESSONS... For your convenience, we try to summarize current openings here. But the best way to find out about openings is to just get in touch, now! Regardless of what today's openings are...we always want to hear from interested students/parents in the community. Sometimes, we have flexibility which goes beyond what we can post here. Contact us! We'd love to hear from you. 

RCM Honors 2023-24

Monday, January 22, 2024 | Student Awards and Honors

Congratulations to those students earning Honors-level scores in RCM Exams during the 2023-24 school year. Unlike most events, the RCM assessment requires students to demonstrate a range of pieces and skills meant to gauge mastery at each level. Learn more at rcmusic.com.


♪ Adele Vassilopolous ♪ First Class Honors with Distinction at Level Prep B (January 2024)


♪ Sarah Hellman ♪ First Class Honors with Distinction at Level 4 (December 2023)


♪Anastasia Vassilopolous ♪ First Class Honors with Distinction at Level 3 (December 2023)


♪ Helena Horowitz ♪ First Class Honors with Distinction at Level 5 Theory (December 2023)


♪ Helena Horowitz ♪ First Class Honors with Distinction at Level 6 (November 2023)


♪ Noa Herzog ♪ First Class Honors with Distinction at Level 4 (November 2023)

Summer MUSIC Camps for Ages 13 and Under: Yes You Can!

Monday, January 22, 2024 | Practicing and General Education

About this post...

In the short article which follows, I describe what led me to seek sleep-away music camps for students age 13 and under. Following that, I have listed and linked five recommended summer camps. This list was developed from my own research and from personal recommendations. This article is not ad-supported and there is no sponsored content.


Each year in January...

I have recommended sleep-away summer camps and festivals to some of our advancing teens. Only very rarely has anyone taken my advice and actually attended a program. It’s OK, I don’t take it personally! Plus, there are good reasons why students and parents haven’t often chosen to pursue this opportunity: the tuition expense; the need to travel away from home; schedule conflicts; competing interests. And I never push very hard—I mention and recommend the possibility, but I rarely follow up with persistence.

This led me to this thought: If our older and advancing students may have pre-formed ideas and competing interests and obligations which keep them from considering summer music programs, maybe there are some younger students out there who might be interested!?

I undertook a search for quality programs suitable to our many capable (but not necessarily elite) younger students (age 13 and under). I looked for camps that were non-competitive or minimally competitive in both entrance process and camp environment…but that were also real music camps—which to me means that the programs offer individual music lessons from qualified adult teachers and supervised practice on quality instruments. After a pretty thorough search, I was surprised to find only a handful of such programs that are open to younger piano students. (I only looked for camps in the eastern U.S.)

These sleep-away camps aren’t just for future professional musicians and they’re not just for advancing students. They are suitable for any kid who loves music and is interested in an immersive experience. They also offer all of the traditional summer camp essentials like outdoor recreation and evening programs. 


Recommended music camps accessible to students age 13 and under

SONATA/SONATINA (sonatina.com) Bennington, Vermont.

Unusual piano-focused in-town program. Four one-week sessions which may be combined.


ENCORE/CODA (encore-coda.com) Sweden, Maine

Traditional summer music camp in a lake-side setting. Most instruments and voice including musical theater. Two three-week sessions which may be combined plus a shorter two-week option for ages 8 to 10.


NEW ENGLAND MUSIC CAMP (snowpond.org/nemc) Sidney, Maine

Traditional summer music camp in a lake-side setting. Most instruments and voice. One four-week session. Also offers an "intensive" two-week session for high-school aged students.  


INTERLOCHEN CENTER FOR THE ARTS (interlochen.org) Interlochen, Michigan

Traditional summer music camp in a lake-side setting. Two-week sessions plus other programs for advanced/elite students and many other disciplines.


POINT COUNTERPOINT (pointcp.com) Leicester, Vermont

Chamber-music focused program for strings and piano. A more focused and slightly more intense program than the others on this list. Traditional music camp experience in a rural setting with lake access. One one-week session in August for ages 12 and under plus multiple sessions for advancing older students in June and July.


WALDEN SCHOOL (waldenschool.org) Dublin, New Hampshire

One five-week session plus a shorter three-week option for ages 13 and under. Creativity and composition-focused program.


To parents and camp directors

If you know of good programs in the United States, let me know about them! I’ll look into any recommended programs and consider adding them to the list.


For older students age 13+

This post focuses on programs that are suitable for younger students age 8 to 12. If you are age 13+, all of these programs are worthy of consideration, but you also have many more options! There are even camps for adult amateur pianists!


Day camps

The biggest competition the above programs have isn't from one another. It's from local day camps, and the many other activities that compete for our attention each summer. The experience you can get in a residential (sleep-away) setting is unmistakably different from what you can get in a day camp. But if you can't consider living away from home for one reason or another, you might consider a local music day camp instead. 


Develop your identity as a musician

Independent music study is, in some ways, a countercultural endeavor! Practicing alone and attending individual music lessons can make it feel like you have no team, and that your accomplishments don't matter. A good music camp may offer you the opportunity not only to develop your skill at the piano, but to become part of a community of like-minded students


Summer in our little studio

We sometimes dream of running our own piano day camp at the Studio…but not this year! But we’ll be open and here for you all summer, every summer, with easy flexible scheduling and no minimum requirements or monthly tuition. We post general details to the Summer Programs page of our website each year in early spring with full details and all schedules posted by May 1.

2023 Winter Mini-Recital

Monday, December 18, 2023 | News

What has 95 students and an enormous quantity of donuts? It's our Winter Mini-Recital, which we held on Saturday December 16th 2023 at Cherrydale United Methodist Church in Arlington. We enjoyed a total of 147 well-prepared, thoughtful performances from students age 5 to adult. And also some teacher performances and general merriment. 


Our next all-studio recital event is planned for early June 2024.  

2023 Winter Break

Sunday, November 26, 2023 | News

We will be closed for Winter Break Tuesday December 19th through and including Monday January 1.  We will be open as usual on December 17th and 18th. 


On December 16th, we will host our annual mini-Recital. Some lessons will go on as scheduled, but others may be rescheduled or canceled. Please check in with your teacher about lessons on this date. 

VMTA Fall Festival 2023

Wednesday, November 22, 2023 | Student Awards and Honors

Congratulations to those students who earned the highest rating of Superior at Fall Festival, sponsored by Virginia Music Teachers Association. For this event, students presented two pieces, one in "contemporary" style and the other in "historic" style. They received comments and feedback from two judges. Earning the top rating were:


Gabriel Chavaria

Ryan Chen

Kaitlin Nguyen

Leah Weber

Thanksgiving Break

Monday, November 13, 2023 | News

The Studio will be closed for Thanksgiving Break Wednesday November 22 thru Saturday November 25. We will be open on Monday/Tuesday November 20-21 and also on Sunday November 26. 

Halloween 2023

Monday, October 23, 2023 | News

The Studio will be closed on Tuesday, October 31, 2023. We re-open on our usual school-year schedule on Wednesday, November 1. 

Aphrodite Mitsopoulou in Recital

Monday, October 16, 2023 | News

Join us at the Studio on Sunday October 29 at 2:00 PM for a short recital featuring our own Aphrodite Mitsopoulou! 


Works to be performed include Schumann's Forest Scenes and Beethoven's 32 Variations in c minor.


Suitable for ages 10+ ♪ FREE ♪ Students, parents, and guests are welcome ♪ About one hour ♪ Sign up using the online Calendar or email Mr. Horowitz 

Coronavirus Operating Status

Monday, August 21, 2023 | News

IN-PERSON LESSONS We are deeply committed to in-person instruction. If you want to attend lessons in-person, yes you can! If you are a new or prospective student, just contact us to make an appointment. We can meet you in-person at the Studio for your FREE interview and/or for your lessons. The Studio remains open by appointment only, so please contact us before visiting. 

REMOTE LESSONS While the Studio is open for in-person lessons and most students are choosing to attend in-person, we are able to switch your lesson to remote-status whenever it is necessary (48 hours notice, please). We also are continuing to teach remotely for those few students who prefer or require that option.

MASKS We have transitioned to a mostly-flexible mask policy. As of August 2022, masks are optional. Individual teachers retain the right to request that any student wear a mask in the individual lesson. Your teacher will wear a mask in the individual lesson if this is your preference. 

GUESTS/WAITING ROOM We have a large and comfortable waiting room and practice nook and it's open and available for your comfort! You may also choose to bring a reasonable number of guests (i.e. a friend or your siblings) with you.  

WORKSHOP CLASSES Workshop classes are meeting in-person. We also continue to offer a limited number of remote workshops.  

Student Honors: RCM Exams 2022-23

Thursday, July 13, 2023 | Student Awards and Honors

Several students have earned honors in this rigorous but non-competitive event! Unlike most festivals and contest, students need to do more than play one or two pieces, but also to demonstrate a broad base of skill at each level. Learn more about it via rcmusic.com


♪ Pelin Sarac ♪ First Class Honors at Level 9 (June 2023) WOW!

♪ Alex Xu ♪ First Class Honors at Level 10 (May 2023) WOW!


♪ Helena Horowitz ♪ First Class Honors with Distinction at Level 5 (May 2023)

♪ Keshavan Nair ♪ First Class Honors at Level 3 (May 2023)

♪ Gizem Onerci ♪ First Class Honors at Level 2 (May 2023)

♪ Liam Horgan ♪ First Class Honors at Level 3 (May 2023)

♪ Ethan Williams ♪ First Class Honors at Level 2 (May 2023)

♪ Kavya Thyagarajan ♪ First Class Honors with Distinction at Level 5 (April 2023)

♪ Mateo Mulato ♪ First Class Honors at Level 2 (April 2023)

♪ James Yao ♪ First Class Honors at Level 7 (April 2023)

♪ Sakura Sasaki ♪ First Class Honors at Level 2 (March 2023)

♪ Owen Horgan ♪ First Class Honors at Level 1 (February 2023)

♪ Noa Herzog ♪ First Class Honors with Distinction at Level 3 (January 2023)

♪ Alex Lin ♪ First Class Honors at Level 2 (December 2022)

♪ Ben Beloe ♪ First Class Honors with Distinction at Level 4 (December 2022)

♪ Sarah Hellman ♪ First Class Honors with Distinction at Level 3 (December 2022)

♪ Sakura Sasaki ♪ First Class Honors with Distinction at Level 1 (November 2022)

♪ Adrian Jeon ♪ First Class Honors with Distinction at Level 1 (October 2022)

♪ Mateo Mulato  ♪ First Class Honors at Level 1 (September 2022)

♪ Jamison Cheng ♪ First Class Honors with Distinction at Level 1 (September 2022)

♪ Kaitlin Nguyen ♪ First Class Honors at Level 4 (October 2022)

♪ Aruni Veluri ♪ First Class Honors with Distinction at Level 7 (September 2022)

All-Studio Recital: June 10 2023

Thursday, May 25, 2023 | News

Join us for our all-Studio recital on Saturday June 10 2023 at Cherrydale United Methodist Church in Arlington (3701 Lorcom Lane). 


Guests of all kinds are welcome! This includes your friends, grandparents, etc., but also all of our non-performing students and families. Come on out and see what you could be doing next year! A festive sweets reception will follow each group. 


SCHEDULE OF PERFORMANCES


9:30 AM ♪ Younger 

11:00 AM ♪ Middle 

12:30 PM ♪ Middle

2:00 PM ♪ Younger

3:30 PM ♪ Older (teens & adults)


Participating students have already signed up and been notified of their performance times. If you signed up to perform, you should have already received this information. 


Participating students must play their recital piece(s) at a rehearsal, which are on June 3rd and 4th. Sign up using the online Calendar. 


Participating students will receive additional information on small details (appropriate dress, reception help, etc.) at or after the rehearsals.


Everyone will be able to see who is playing and at what times in the online Calendar (will be updated on June 6).

2023 Sonata Festival

Sunday, May 21, 2023 | Student Awards and Honors

Congratulations to our students who participated in Sonata Festivals this spring!


Aruni Veluri and Caeli McIntosh earned the top rating of Superior at Springfield Music Club Sonatina/Sonata Festival. 


Michael Nguyễn and Leah Weber earned the top rating of Superior at Northern Virginia Music Teachers Association Sonata Festival. In addition, Michael received the designation of Honors and performed in the Sonata Festival Honors Recital at George Mason University. 

Memorial Day Break 2023

Thursday, May 18, 2023 | News

We will be closed for Memorial Day break from Friday May 26 through and including Monday May 29. We re-open on our old school year schedule Tuesday May 30 and remain open every day until the end of the term on June 18. 

Studio Masterclass : April 20 2023

Monday, May 1, 2023 | Student Awards and Honors

On April 30 2023 we hosted a Master Class at the studio featuring local legend and longtime independent teacher Nancy Breth. Congratulations to the fine students who stepped up to perform! 


Leah (Sonatina, Kabalevksy) 

Helena (Invention in E Major, Bach)

Karthik (The Spruce, Sibelius)

Eliana (Nocturne in E-flat major, Chopin)

Alex (Ritual Fire Dance, de Falla)

2023 Studio Honors Recital

Monday, April 17, 2023 | News

Our Studio Honors Recital was held Sunday April 16 at 1:30 PM at the Woman's Club of Arlington. We enjoyed performances from 21 faithful intermediate+ level students of all ages as our teacher Wendy Yun Chen.  

Spring Break 2023

Tuesday, March 21, 2023 | News

The Studio will be closed for Spring Break Monday April 3 through Sunday April 9. We will be OPEN as usual April 1 and 2, and from April 10 onward.

NFMC Festival 2023

Monday, March 13, 2023 | Student Awards and Honors

On March 10 and 11, 2023, many of our students participate in NFMC Festival, hosted locally by Springfield Music Club. In this nationally sponsored, locally run event, students play two pieces from memory for comments and a rating. The event is non-competitive and accessible to a wide range of students/levels. The following students earned the top rating of Superior:

Samiya Bhuvanagiri ♪ Graham Halvaksz ♪ Sarah Hellman ♪Noa Herzog ♪ Owen Horgan ♪ Liam Horgan ♪ Helena Horowitz ♪ Ryo Lee ♪ Caeli McIntosh ♪ Keshavan Nair ♪ Kaitlin Nguyen ♪ Gizem Onerci ♪ Priya Perakam ♪ Ryan Qi ♪ Eliana Rougle ♪ Pelin Sarac ♪ Sakura Sasaki ♪ Lucia Severino ♪ Anne Severino ♪ Anastasia Vassilopolous ♪ Aruni Veluri ♪ Ethan Williams. In addition, Karthik Thyagarajan received the top rating of "Superior" on both his solo pieces and his concerto, the first movement of Mendelssohn's piano concerto in g minor.