Performance Day October 27!

Our next studio Performance Day will be Saturday, October 27, from 9:30-10:15 am.  This is a fun, informal session to play for and learn from each other.  Students will bring the pieces they’ve been working on in lessons.  Be prepared to talk about what was tricky, interesting, or especially fun about your piece, and to give encouraging feedback to others!

Performance Announcements

  • Recital is Saturday, June 3, 7pm at Friendship Village!  Please be 10 minutes early for tuning (and remember parking there can be tricky so you may need to build in extra time for that!)  Please dress nicely 🙂  Guests are welcome!
  • Piano rehearsals will be on Tuesday, May 30.  Please see your email for information regarding piano rehearsal times, location, and fees.  Please bring your own piano parts to your lessons, so we can familiarize in the meantime!
  • Any individual lessons during the week of May 29-June 2 will need to be requested and scheduled specifically, as your normal time slots will not be available 🙂
  • I’ll be confirming summer plans with everyone over the next few weeks.
  • Happy practicing! 🙂  Be intentional!

Spring Announcements!

Our annual Spring Recital will be held at Friendship Village in Schaumburg on June 3rd, 7pm.  Mark your calendars and stay tuned for details!

Please let me know your spring break schedules by our March 6-7 lessons.

Please be thinking ahead to auditions!  Schaumburg Youth Orchestra holds theirs throughout May, while Elgin‘s are usually the week after Memorial Day.  Some of you also have school auditions coming up.  If we haven’t planned your repertoire yet, please talk with me about it at our next lesson.

Finally, just a reminder to take advantage of all the fantastic concerts in our area!  You don’t have to go downtown and pay a lot of money to hear a good one (though I highly recommend both the CSO and the Lyric Opera and love attending both when I can!)  We have local orchestras all around.  Elgin hosts its own professional orchestra.  Our youth orchestras put on their own excellent concerts as do our schools.  Get out when you can and enjoy the music!

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!

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!

Summer Lessons!

I’ve held off putting this info up so the recital announcements didn’t get lost,  but I think it’s about time!

Because we have a shortened time this summer,  and the season is so variable anyway, I’m not assuming “regular” lessons for anyone; please contact me when you know what you want to schedule.  I would encourage everybody to try to schedule at least one session for goal-setting, so you have something to work on before the fall even if it’s “just for fun.” 🙂

I plan to teach, as usual, mainly on Mondays at my home and Thursdays at Itasca.  Some Tuesdays,  Wednesdays,  or Saturday mornings may be available for makeups or rescheduling.

My current plan is to teach through Thursday,  July 17 before taking leave.  I will be unavailable on the evening of Monday June 16 (can teach that morning though) and will be taking one week off for family time, from Thursday June 19 to Wednesday June 25.

I’ll be sending out an email in the next couple weeks regarding the maternity leave.  If you have questions about anything else, of course feel free to contact me!

Studio Notes-May 2014

Lots of details today, so we’ll stay short and to the point!

  • For recital:
    • All students should plan to arrive around 6 pm for the 6:30 recital.  Tuning will happen between 6:10 and 6:20 and we’ll use the extra few minutes to get settled and ready to play!
    • Our setting will not be quite as formal as in past years; however, performers should plan to “dress up” to some extent for the special occasion.
    • For the reception, I will be providing chocolate and vanilla ice cream (including dairy-free),drinks, etc.  I’d love for each family to bring your favorite ice cream topping!  (you are welcome to bring more than one  🙂 )
    • Piano rehearsal times will be Thursday May 29 (Itasca) and Monday June 2(Streamwood), with an optional extra practice on Thursday June 5 at my home studio in Streamwood.  Please see your email for tentative individual rehearsal times. Please confirm ASAP if any changes need to be made!!!
    • Like last year, I encourage each student to have “something to say” about their piece–history, challenges, what they enjoyed about it, etc.  If we have not talked about that yet, please remind me in your lesson this week! 🙂
  • Also upcoming:
    • Orchestra audition season–many of you have already talked to me to make sure you are on the right track with your preparations.  If you are planning to audition and have not yet me about it–please let me know so I can help you be sure of your preparation!  If you have not thought about this yet–it may not be too late!  Schaumburg and Elgin youth orchestras are both wonderful opportunities that I encourage for all students.  If you think you might be interested, please follow the links in the sidebar to contact the audition setup people ASAP! Most of the auditions happen between now and first of June.
    • Summer lessons–Please contact me when you know what dates you would like to plan lessons this summer. I hope to continue teaching through the middle or end of July, mostly on our normal Mondays and Thursdays, with alternate options on Wednesday afternoons/Saturday mornings.  I often encourage students to take the week after recital off, though given our short timetable this summer I’m certainly happy to schedule lessons right away for anybody who wants to jump right back in!

Have a great week!

2014 Recital Info!

2014 recital invite

Layug String Studio’s 2014 Concert will take place on

June 7, 2014 6:30 p.m.
Christian Fellowship Church (152 E. Devon Ave, Itasca)
Ice cream reception to follow.

Please feel free to invite guests.  You are welcome to use the graphic above or this link.

Please note:

  • All students should plan to arrive around 6 pm for the 6:30 recital.  Tuning will happen between 6:10 and 6:20 and we’ll use the extra few minutes to get settled and ready to play!
  • Performers should be “dressed up.”
  • Please bring your family’s favorite ice cream topping for the reception!
  • Piano rehearsal times will be Thursday May 29 (Itasca) and Monday June 2(Streamwood), with an optional extra practice on Thursday June 5 in Streamwood. Please see your email for details and individual rehearsal times.

Fall Contests

Here’s a preview of the cards for our two contests this fall!

practice contest card

This year’s practice contest is back to basics–5 days (my standard practice requirement) is a gold star; 4 days is silver; 6 or 7 is “bonus” and students can pick a “fun” color to put on.   Students set their own “time” goals together with me, but those function primarily as a guideline.  Exceptionally great achievement can result in bumping up a level for that week; exceptionally non-achievement may result in bumping down a level.  (Kudos to you all, though, based on everybody’s recent track record I doubt I will be doing very many bump-downs!)

The twist: Instead of a year-end prize, you can win music throughout the school year!   Every 15 silver stars, 12 gold stars, or 10 bonus stars, students can pick a CD out of my “music box” (and yes, I know it’s the digital age, but I haven’t figured out how to legally give away downloads yet! :))  There will be a good mix in there, from symphonic to fiddle to probably some soundtracks or who knows what–we’ll see what I come up with; hopefully something for everyone!

scales contest card

The scale contest is something almost all of the intermediate-level students are working on now. This is a systematic way to work through the 2-octave scales and arpeggios, becoming comfortable in many keys and at a consistent level of scale performance.  It is excellent preparation for the “standard” 3-octave scales that students will use at advancing levels.

For the contest, all the 2-octave scales and their corresponding arpeggios are divided into levels according to difficulty.   Students can win prizes each time they complete a level for either scales OR arpeggios, or variations such as thirds and different forms of minor.  Right now the prize box contains everything from pencils and bookmarks to baseball cards to packets of tea, coffee (decaf!) and hot chocolate–and I’m always looking for fun things to add!