Melody’s Story

903, 2015

How to Pick Good Music Schools

By |March 9, 2015|Expectations, Melody's Story, Music School|

It’s easy to find a list of good music schools. According to FindTheBest.com, the top ten are

But what makes a music school a top school? Are the “best” music schools in the United States necessarily good music schools for you?
How Rankings Are Done
FindTheBest.com’s rankings are “calculated by looking at representation of alumni in ten major orchestras, 2013 Grammy Awards recipients, and 2013 Monterey Jazz Festival participants.” Though this can be helpful if these are your goals, it does not consider many other aspects of what makes a good music program.

Other college ranking services calculate music school rankings using other […]

712, 2014

The Story of My Piano

By |December 7, 2014|Melody's Story, Piano—the instrument|

“I wish I could make that into a grand piano for you,” said the lady from church after complimenting my performance on a digital piano. Little did she know that comment would play a major role in leading me to my grand piano . . .

It was Christmas Eve. I was a junior in high school and had just finished playing “We Three Kings” at my church’s Christmas Eve service. You know that painful performance on a digital piano with a squeaky pedal connected to a sound system? It was one of those. At the time, I had been practicing […]

911, 2014

Work Ethic: The Impact of Another Culture on My Music Education

By |November 9, 2014|Expectations, Melody's Story, Practicing, Work Ethic|

My mom grew up in a charismatic Christian family in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She moved to the United States to marry my dad, who grew up in a Mennonite family in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania. This interesting combination created a unique family culture. I grew up in Ithaca, New York. I was affected by the American culture around me, my mom’s Argentinian culture, and most of all our faith in Jesus. My mom and dad, but my mom especially, instilled in their kids the priority of work, teaching diligence and responsibility. I am so thankful!

When I started piano lessons, my teacher told […]

2610, 2014

Practice or Talent: Which is More Important?

By |October 26, 2014|Melody's Story, Practicing, Talent|

What My Teaching Experience Shows

When considering the study of music, a question often comes up. How important is natural talent? I have had the opportunity of teaching some incredibly talented kids. One thing I’ve learned from my teaching experience is that the diligent students who sometimes struggle and don’t seem to have much natural ability pretty quickly pass the talented students who are less disciplined about their practice. When it comes to becoming an excellent musician, practice far outweighs talent.

What My Personal Experience Shows

I wouldn’t call myself someone with much natural ability. I love music, and I work hard. That’s […]

1210, 2014

5 Skills to Develop Before Music School

By |October 12, 2014|Melody's Story, Music School, Practicing, Teaching, Work Ethic|

I’ve been blessed with incredible piano teachers that have prepared me wonderfully for music school. But music is such a huge field, and there’s only so much you can cover in 30 minutes or even 1 hour per week. Teachers must prioritize and decide how to best use the small amounts of time they have. I’ve faced this challenge weekly for years, and still haven’t figured it out. Obviously, as private instrument teachers, the main goal is to teach performance of the instrument. We want to work on pieces with our students. Most piano teachers also find it incredibly important […]

2809, 2014

The Power of Encouragement

By |September 28, 2014|Melody's Story, Teaching|

One of the most memorable characteristics of my second piano teacher was her encouraging spirit. She was so sweet and kind. Something special that has stuck with me from the one year of lessons with her was her hugs. Not all teachers feel comfortable connecting with their students in this way, but it meant a lot for me at the time.

Since her encouragement had such a positive impact on me, I have striven to have the same affirmative attitude in my teaching. There are three main benefits to purposefully complimenting the promising aspects of a performance and presenting our criticisms […]

2608, 2014

What I’ve Learned From Being Surrounded By the Best

By |August 26, 2014|Expectations, Melody's Story, Music School|

I applied to three music schools. Ithaca College was the hardest to get in to—one of the reasons I chose to attend. I feel like I don’t quite fit in there because I’m surrounded by such outstanding musicians every day. Sometimes I wonder why I’m in music school since I’m so terrible, but I have to remind myself that I’m surrounded by the best. It’s amazing how strange I feel when someone from outside the music school, even someone I would consider a good musician, comments on my skill as a pianist. Really? Oh yeah, I guess around most “normal” […]

2608, 2014

Welcome

By |August 26, 2014|Melody's Story|

Welcome! I’m glad you found my website. I’m eighteen years old and live in Ithaca, NY. I’m a sophomore music major at Ithaca College and teach piano privately. This website is dedicated to my piano studio and music resources, and in this blog I hope to present my unique perspective on learning and teaching music and maybe a bit of my story. I am a young, developing artist, and don’t have much experience on my side, but I believe that being a student and teacher at the same time might allow me to offer something new and insightful that could […]