Recital info:

Layug String Studio Recital
Saturday, June 6, 7 pm
Assembly Hall at Friendship Village

Please arrive by 6:45 for tuning and final prep. Please remember your music! :)  Also remember that parking is sometimes difficult, so please allow extra time as needed!

Piano rehearsals will be on Wednesday,  June 3 from 9 to noon,  and Thursday June 4 from 4 to 7:30. Rehearsals will be at Mrs. Um’s office in Schaumburg Christian School (same location as my old office). Extra rehearsals may be arranged directly with Mrs. Um as needed.
Please remember to bring your check for Mrs. Um to the piano rehearsal, as well as any outstanding recital fees.

Finally,  please let me know what you are planning for summer lessons,  so we can make any schedule adjustments accordingly!  I will be taking off the week after recital,  but otherwise do not have any specific times off planned.

Thanks!  Looking forward to it!

Spring Studio Notes

Here’s what’s coming up as we move to recital!

April 21: Not an official studio event,  but three of our musicians are playing their first trio gig at Friendship Village’s art show!  It’s from 6 – 8pm and open to the public,  so it would be great to go support them!

April 27 – May 1: no lessons as I will be gone.

May 4: New studio rates begin. Details were in your email;  please let me know if you have any questions. 

May 25: Memorial Day–will probably to reschedule Monday’s lessons to later in the week if possible. This will be the last week of our practice contest and we’ll make sure to add up points for music awards.

Week of June 1: recital rehearsals with piano.  Schedule and payment details tbd but I am thinking of consolidating to one official practice day, with the option to schedule a second independently….open to thoughts on this!

June 6, 7 pm: Studio recital at Friendship Village! :)

Week of June 8: Summer lessons begin.

One other thing to be aware of is recital audition season. Elgin and Schaumburg youth orchestras both hold their auditions near the end of the school year; check the websites (linked on the sidebar) for exact dates.  Those who participate in this can tell you it’s a really great learning experience,  and I think fun too!  I’ve been to concerts for both and they do a really nice job.  In short–I really encourage each student to consider participating,  and I am happy to help you prepare for the auditions. Most of the time the recital repertoire can easily serve for audition material as well.


February Studio Notes

Our 2015 recital date is set! We will be playing at Friendship Village on Saturday,  June 6 at 7pm. We will be starting to choose pieces toward the end of March/early April.

Please let me know when your spring break is,  if you are planning to take any time off lessons in March. I will be teaching across the spring break season,  though it’s possible I’ll be taking a week of vacation in late April.

I feel like I’ve had less chance to communicate with some of you parents this year and would love to touch base over the next few weeks.  Please let me know if there is a preferred day/time to give you a call–my easiest times are mid-afternoon or late evening when my babies are sleeping.  Overall I’ve been very pleased with progress, so no worries.  :)

Have a great week! 
Mrs. Layug

Studio Notes-Winter 2015

Hi all–just a couple quick things.

  • I am tentatively planning our recital date to be Friday night, June 5.  I will be setting up the venue soon, so please let me know if for any reason that date does NOT work for you.  Also, I would love your opinions on which you prefer–a more formal venue (a la Friendship Village) or a more relaxed venue that we can do a reception (like last year).  It’ll depend what’s available, of course, but I’d love to know what you guys value as I set it up.
  • Many of the students are accumulating a lot of Music Points from their practice :)  Just a reminder, if you want to redeem Music Points, please let me know in the lesson so we can count off how many you have, and then please email me if you don’t mind so I remember to send you the credit!  Often when I go home it’s into the bedtime whirlwind and I try to get back to my teaching notes in a timely fashion, but sometimes I forget…as some of you know…so please do not ever feel bad reminding me  :)
  • Related to that, there is now a Music Picks page up on the sidebar with a ton of ideas for great music you can choose with your points.  You are not limited to what’s there but there is a ton of good stuff there if you need any ideas!

Thanks so much–a wonderful weekend to you all!

Practice Contest 2014: Practice Notebook and Music Prizes

Something that’s been on my mind for a while is helping our students better learn to organize and track their practice.  We’ve already got a “Smart Practicing studio–I am so impressed by the way our students have grown into using their practice very well and coming up with great ideas to get the job done.  But especially in the past year, as many students are starting to work on multiple pieces or multiple fronts of technique, I thought it might be a good time to try…

The Practice Notebook!

notebook cover

(Although I am apparently part of the tech generation, I cannot for my life figure out how to get this right side up…)

There are ready-made practice notebooks on the market, but we’re going to use one that I’ve designed especially for our studio and will be providing to each student when we start up next week.  The notebook has two pages set aside for each week: one for lesson assignments and goal-setting, one for practice recording.

(view practice notebook pages)

The way the contest works is this: In the lesson, we write down our assignments basically as usual, except that I could use the “day” grid to pencil in suggestions for helping the student plan their practice week.  The student has a space at the bottom of the assignment page to think about and set their own specific goals for the week.  Then, the student needs to WRITE DOWN every day they practice.

It can be super-simple: just writing down the basics of what you did (scale, technique, pieces) and the time and leave it at that.  Or, you can use the space to journal a little more specifically–what worked, what didn’t, what needs more review the next day, etc.  The more detailed you are, the more helpful it will be; but start by just recording something, each day you practice.

Then, every day of recorded practice becomes 10 Music Points.  These Music Points can be redeemed for a Music Prize, which basically means that instead of physical CD’s, Mrs. Layug is finally catching up to the virtual world and offering digital music prizes!  :)   (At this point that looks like Amazon gift cards which *ahem* you are on your honor to use for music  :)  If I ever figure out how to do it with Itunes that will be available too!)

So, in summary:

-Write down your practice

-Every day of practice is worth 10 music points (10c)

-When you want to redeem it let me know, and I will check off the days counted and send you an online gift card to use FOR MUSIC

-Since I’d love for you to get music that will both be really fun and grow you as a musician–as opposed to just whoever’s big on the radio at the moment–I will also have a great big list up with lots of fun recommendations, with links.  I’ve got ideas for a little bit of everything on it, I just have to type it up.  Eventually. Soon, I hope.  :)

Music Ordering

As I noted in the studio emails, there is a change in the music ordering policy for this year:  Generally, please plan on purchasing your own music directly rather than ordering through me.

There are a few reasons for the change-

  1. When I had 40-60 students, I was making an order every month or so, so it made sense to combine orders.  Now, it’s more on an as-needed basis which is just as easy for you to do (and price-shop, if you want) than for me to do for you.
  2. The music then goes straight to you so you don’t have to wait for it, and I don’t have to worry about forgetting it, or bugging you to pay me back!
  3. It’s really good experience for older students to start doing this for themselves, and having “ownership” of their music.

So, where should you order from?  There are any number of places, but I usually get my music from

  • SHAR (
  • Amazon
  • The local music store!
  • (free scores for music in the public domain)

Of course, if you have any trouble finding your music, I’m always glad to help!

We’re Back!

Well, not just yet.  September 29 will be the first date for our fall lessons and I’m excited to see you all!  I hope everyone has had a fabulous summer and is ready to get back to new music and practice goals!

Over this month, I’ll be putting up info for this year’s contests–some familiar, some new and improved  :)  I’m planning:

  • A scale contest, with a new element added for those who are in 3-octave scales
  • A similar practice contest to last year, but with an emphasis on ercording and organizing your practice–and if I can figure out how to make it work, digital music prizes! :)
  • A listening “contest”–not sure if this will really be a contest, but more of an extra/enrichment opportunity through the website

I am hoping to make the website more interactive this year, with things like listening links, practice tips, and links to any articles that I think are worth your time. I’d really like this to be a helpful and fun resource for the students and parents both and welcome your feedback on making it better.  So, stay tuned (literally!) and see you in a month! :)