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.

February Notes

It’s been a quiet winter for studio announcements, but there has been a lot of great music going on!  Kudos to you all for the practice contest and scale contest successes, as well as for a lot of great music and technique accomplished!  I have been so pleased with what you all have prepared; I seriously considered setting up a last-minute winter recital, but unfortunately the timing did not come together.  However, I think almost everybody has gotten a big performance piece ready in the last couple months, and I would really encourage you to find someplace to share it, whether it’s with family and friends, over the phone to your grandma, or whatever!  Can’t wait to see what you all will have ready by recital time!

Coming up:

  • I am starting to plan our spring recital.  I am thinking of doing early June this year (though late May is still a possibility) due to some scheduling constraints on my part, and maybe doing things a little differently in a fun way!  As usual, I value your feedback on dates that would or would not work well for you.   I would hope to have our date set in stone by the end of March so you all can plan.
  • Please let me know when you will be off for Spring Break, if you plan to be gone at all.  It will help me to know this as soon as possible, as I may also plan a couple days away if there’s a time when most of you are gone.
  • If anybody is needing strings, I saw a sale advertised on SHAR this morning.  I did not get in to see how much of a sale, but thought that might be helpful to pass on.  Also, I have a few students who have been trying other brands such as Overture and Vision, that are a little cheaper, with good results, so don’t feel that you’re bound to the Dominants, which seem to go up in price every year!  (Just don’t buy Red Label, ok? For my ears’ sake?   Thanks! 🙂 )

Also, I’m going to be trying to update weekly, and considering doing some articles on topics that would be helpful to the studio in general.  The one I have in mind right now is on “Organizing Your Practice Time.”  I’d love input from both students and parents if there are things you think would be helpful to address in this way!

Have a great weekend!

Mrs. Layug

Easy Music Markings

Recently I’ve started using a set of very simple music markings in my practice–they’re pretty basic, but I thought I would share! I’ve always marked practice spots, and encouraged students to mark their own, with a start or a circle or a bracket, but this is an easy way to be a little more specific.

Mark your music with:

  • R=Rhythm
  • N=figure out Notes
  • I=Intonation
  • B=Bowings
  • A=Articulation (accents, staccatos, etc.)
  • T=hmmm…I was using it to mean Tone, but thinking about it, I think it might be more useful as reminder for Technique awareness.  What do you think might be a good substitute for Tone?  S=Sound?  D=Deep Bow?  I would love your thoughts!

Apologies, by the way, to any blog followers who got the link for lasagna this morning!  I posted to the wrong blog!  If anybody does want my lasagna recipe though, you are welcome to head over to the correct link here!


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!