NWE Music Studio Director
By: Renee Bordner
NWE Music Studio Director
There is a saying that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb!. Last March came in like a lamb and went out like a lion! Let's hope that for this March, it goes out like a lamb. Spring will be in the air, the days will be longer, we will have the luck of the Irish and flowers will be blooming soon. Our students will be preparing for ABRSM theory exams, Piano Guild auditions, and our first ever Note-worthypalooza! We have also added some workshops to help our students and parents to assist them in preparing for these events. We are looking forward to warmer weather so we can have additional outdoor in person lessons. Our instructors will also continue to host Free Family Fun Night Concerts on Thursdays. We appreciate you and your support during this past year and we are looking forward to brighter days ahead.
By: Renee Bordner
NWE Music Studio Director
I hope this finds you succeeding in your 2021 New Year Resolutions. If you did not make any resolutions or if you need to start over, NOW is the time! You still have the rest of the year to make it your own.
It was this time last year that we started to hear mutterings about a new rapidly spreading and deadly virus. At that time, we did not know that this virus was going to change our world and day to day living. As we approach the one year anniversary of the pandemic restrictions placed upon us, I want to take a moment to thank all of you. I always knew that our Note-worthy Experiences Music Studio was special and different. Supportive and encouraging have been how I have described our students and parents for fourteen years. Team players have been how I always described our instructors. Throughout this year, our students, parents and instructors have locked arms and reunited to support each other and bring more music into the world. The support of our students who have been isolated due to remote academic learning, hybrid learning, limited extracurricular activities, and remote careers has been incredible. The support of our instructors who have not been able to perform has been amazing. Together we are all stronger blasting through the beginning of 2021.
In 2021, we have many exciting new year resolutions too! Our resolutions include continuing many of our events with online twists and some new ones also! Please check the newsletters often as we have a major outdoor event planned that is not like anything we have ever done before. We expect all of our students to participate in a day of music and celebrations in a covid safe environment.
As always, please feel free to reach out to me at any time with your questions and concerns about our lessons and events.
By: Renee Bordner
NWE Music Studio Director
I like many have been ready to wrap up 2020 for quite some time. 2020 has been a year for the record books for everyone! I am looking forward to a fresh start and new year resolutions for 2021. But first, we have a full weekend of seven holiday recitals and seven awards ceremonies planned! We will watch, listen and celebrate 155 of our students' successes of the year! This will be our first time hosting online recitals, this will be the first time we have had seven recitals in one weekend, and this will be our first time with 155 performers! While I prefer in person events, I am really excited about keeping a tradition alive in a new way! We will have photos up on our social media after, so please take the time to check them all out.
In 2020 our students, instructors and our studio did have many successes! Some successes included students learning to play their first note while some students won music competitions and auditions! My phone and computer were busy with excited parents and teachers sharing the latest news with me. Our instructors also kept my phone and computer busy with news about babies, engagements, graduations and exciting life milestones. We captured photos and videos of many of these and posted them on our social media pages. I have found myself going through these voice messages, texts, emails and social media posts on some of our longer tough pandemic days. We truly did have a successful year in the midst of all that surrounded us. I know that at the end of this year we are all stronger.
I do hope that you and your family take a break from the daily busy routine and enjoy time with those who are important to you this holiday season even if it is over a video chat. Thank you for your support of NWE during 2020. We look forward to continuing to work with you and your family in 2021.
By: Renee Bordner
NWE Studio Music Director
Even though Thanksgiving is later this month, I want to take the time to celebrate and be grateful now. I am thankful everyday for the countless blessings in our Note-worthy Experiences family. 2020 has taught all of us many lessons in life. The one lesson that I have focused on most is finding those silver linings in the midst of the pandemic. I am grateful for the continued support of our students and instructors.
I know that online lessons have not been easy. I know that lessons with masks on our faces and speciality masks on our instruments are tough. I know that none of our instructors have been performing. I know that some of the venues that some of our instructors perform at regularly are simply gone. At the same time, I know that our students are more resilient and able to adapt to changes within nanoseconds. I know that our instructors can create lesson plans for almost any situation imaginable. I know that we are all more technologically savvy. However what strikes me the most is that each and every one of us are demonstrating to each other real life examples of unity and perseverance. These lessons in perseverance are lessons that will be with each of us for the rest of our lives. Thank you for allowing all of us at Note-worthy Experiences to learn these lessons and grow together as a musical community.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday season with your family and friends.
We look forward to celebrating the end of 2020 with all of you at our Annual Winter Holiday Recitals.
By: Renee Bordner
NWE Music Studio Director
Hello Note-worthy Experiences Music Studio!
Autumn is my absolute favorite time of the year as I love the excitement of the back to school season, college football, and pumpkin spice everything. However, this autumn is presenting itself with some new twists and turns for absolutely everyone.
I truly appreciate all of you being incredibly patient as we navigate our fall schedules for in person, online and hybrid lessons. A huge shout out to those of you who have opted for outdoor lessons and have been flexible due to heat advisories and thunderstorms!
Our team put together many on line free family fun nights and group workshops for our NWE community this spring and summer. For this fall, we will focus on consistent one-on-one lessons, our outdoor performance, practice club, outdoor band rehearsals and preparing for Winter Holiday Recitals. I will be hosting a free online workshop for parents who want to help their students with consistent practice routines. I appreciate all of the feedback from parents and students that consistent weekly lessons have been helpful to have a somewhat "normal" routine in the midst of this global pandemic.
During this pandemic, I have been incredibly impressed by everyone's support of our students. In addition I have been blown away by the support of our instructors, all of whom are also performers who are not performing regularly during this crisis.
I have been blessed to bring additional team members to our team, thank you for welcoming them.
Please continue to reach out to me with any questions or concerns at any time. I am here for our students and I can only help with a challenge when I am aware. Please continue to send photos of videos of our students and instructors in action.
Enjoy the autumn and stay healthy!
Join us on Facebook Live for these upcoming virtual concerts with some of our excellent instructors! Tune in at 7:00 PM on the following Thursday evenings to enjoy some virtually live music!
We know that many people are struggling during this time, including artists, so we are encouraging anyone would like to donate to do so at https://donorbox.org/boston-music-maker-covid-19-relief-fund or a musical charity of the donor's choice. Thank you!
Born in Hong Kong, Johnny Mok started his cello studies at the age of five, and continued in the US in 2001. He earned his Bachelor of Music at the University of Alabama with Carlton McCreery, and Master of Music degree at The Boston Conservatory with Andrew Mark. Mok has played with the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, Charleston Symphony Orchestra Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra, Cape Symphony, Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra and the New Mexico Philharmonic. He is currently an active performer and teacher in the Boston area.
Daniel Dickson was born in Los Angeles, where he spent his early childhood. At the turn of the century, he moved with his family to Washington State, where his parents built a house and immediately started him in private piano lessons. After two years of studies, he began private cello lessons as well, and began playing in a string quartet comprised of all siblings. The quartet, (named the Dickson String Quartet) made a successful name for themselves all across the country, and in 2009, they received a quartet fellowship to study under the Arianna String Quartet at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. During his undergraduate years, Daniel participated in masterclasses for some of the most prestigious musicians of this generation. The following year, 2010, the Dickson String quartet was honored during the 223rd session of Congress, commemorating their excellence in music, and their influence in the community. After graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2013, Daniel taught in the Missouri public school system for a year before applying for graduate programs. In 2014, he was accepted in Boston University’s Master of Music degree. After finishing his first year, he was also accepted into the Master of Music degree as a pianist and studied under Gila Goldstein beginning in the fall of 2015. In the spring of 2016 Daniel graduated with his Master's degree in cello and piano. Currently, he is working on his Doctorate of Musical Arts.
Leonardo Ciampa is the founding director of the Arts MetroWest and Honorary Music Director of the Basilica di Sant’Ubaldo in Gubbio, Italy. As an organ recitalist, Ciampa has made a dozen European tours encompassing Italy, Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. He is particularly admired in Italy, where he has played in numerous international festivals. As a composer, Ciampa’s compositions have been performed in prestigious venues such as Sanders Theatre (Harvard), Kresge Auditorium (MIT), Mechanics Hall (Worcester), and the Mormon Tabernacle (Salt Lake City); at cathedrals in Vienna, Boston, Altenberg, Brandenberg, Tortona and Biella, and at basilicas in Rome, Turin, Loreto, Rieti and Gubbio. His compositions include Suite Siciliana, Op. 145 (for two violins, piano and orchestra), commissioned by the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston to open their 25th anniversary season at Harvard's Sanders Theatre; The Annunciation, Op. 203 (cantata for chorus, soloists, and strings); the Kresge Organ Symphony, commissioned by MIT and premiered in Kresge Auditorium; a piano quintet (premiered by the Lavazza Chamber Ensemble); and Missa Pamphyliana, premiered at the Basilica di Sant’Ubaldo in Gubbio by the Cantores Beati Ubaldi (Renzo Menichetti, conductor).
On Sunday, March 24th, eight student musicians competed for a $250 scholarship at Note-worthy Experiences. Five of the musicians take lessons outside of Note-worthy Experiences.
Students performed on a variety of instruments including flute, trumpet, bassoon, cello and piano. Each student performed four pieces live in front of our panel of three judges. Our 2019 Live & Final Round of Judges were Daniel Beilman, Noah Dresser, and Matt Savage.
Prior to this final round, thirty students submitted two recorded pieces for our panel of judges to review. Our 2019 Recorded Round judges were Francois-Paul Aiche, Chris Oh, Maria Price and Renee Bordner.
Our 2019 Winner was Miss Ariel who performed on her flute.
If you are interested in hearing the finalists and winner perform, please join us for our Honors & Senior Recital on May 11th at 5 pm. Please contact email@example.com for details and tickets.
By Renee Bordner
Piano Guild Auditions are something that we offer our piano students each spring. Each year, I am asked by students, parents and even some teachers many questions about it. I am always happy to answer any and all questions as I want students to make an informed decision about participating.
There is a fair amount of information available on the website and a great deal of information available in the Guild Syllabus. However, I am going to attempt to sum up this information for students, parents and instructors here.
I have prepared students for Piano Guild for many years in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. In Massachusetts, I was the Co-Chair of the Concord Center for a period of time before creating a Sudbury Chapter in 2017. The Center Chairperson is responsible for securing the location of the auditions. I have elected to host the auditions at our studio in my home. This also means that instructors from outside of our studio are also welcome to bring their students to our audition center which does occur each year.
Students of all ages and stages may participate in the auditions. The student may register to play one to twenty pieces for the Judge. A student must register in advance with an instructor who is a Guild Member who submits the payment and registration card to Headquarters. Once the Guild Fee is submitted to Headquarters, it is non refundable. If a student wishes to change the skill level or number of pieces he or she is playing, there is a $10 fee to receive an updated certificate / report card. Headquarters will assign the dates and times that each instructor is allotted to have students perform for the Judge. The teacher is then responsible for communicating with the students and parents about the assigned dates and times. The scheduling department at Headquarters assigns the Judge to adjudicate at a center. The same judge cannot return to a center for three years.
According to the syllabus and website,
"The Piano Guild, as we are called (a division of the American College of Musicians), was founded in 1929 by Dr. Irl Allison. Since that time, the Guild has grown to more than 850 audition centers where thousands of students enroll annually in our international auditions, which are held throughout the U.S. and abroad.
Our primary function is to establish definite goals and awards--in noncompetitive auditions--for students of all levels, from the earliest beginner to the gifted prodigy. With the exception of our "special" programs, teachers have the flexibility to choose all repertoire for student auditions. Students are judged on individual merit, by a well-qualified music professional, in the areas of accuracy, continuity, phrasing, pedaling, dynamics, rhythm, tempo, tone, interpretation, style, and technique. Our purpose is to encourage growth and enjoyment through the study of piano."
"Students are adjudicated by an international panel of judges and receive report cards, certificates, and fraternity pins. Programs are diversified to meet the needs of both students and teachers. Programs are flexible and include repertoire as well as technical goals (musicianship phases)."
Guild offers students the opportunity to perform in front of one judge versus a large audience and or a panel of judges in a large university like setting. Each student receives a score and comment card full of constructive feedback. The scores are not posted or public. Students can compete with him or herself year after year to improve the score, increase the level of difficulty of pieces and or the number of pieces performed. This a format for students and instructors to set measurable and attainable goals each year. I often explain this to parents and child care givers by equating this to a third party audit. It is a platform for students to receive constructive feedback to help the student to improve. It is a great stepping stone for students who wish to explore other graded systems, competitions and festivals. Guild welcomes both the students who study piano for recreation and leisure as well as the students who intend to major or minor in music.
This year, I will be conducting a Piano Guild Prep workshop for our students. Details will be in our monthly newsletters. This workshop is designed for both students who are new to the Guild process and to students who are seasoned members.
I would be honored to answer any additional questions about Piano Guild, if I do not know the answer, I will find the answer for you. Best wishes in your musical adventures.
Renee Bordner is the owner of Note-worthy Experiences Music Studio and became a member of the Piano Guild Hall of Fame in 2019.
By Rachel Stroia
Note-worthy Experiences has announced its second annual Scholarship competition. The competition is open to all MetroWest students ages 9-17, all instruments. The competition will consist of two rounds, the first will be a recorded round in which the student will submit two pieces of contrasting style. The second round will be live performances by four students selected by a panel of judges, based on the submitted recordings. The prize for the winner is a $250 cash prize.
Last year’s winner was Catie Siedel, a piano student of Dr. Daniel Dickson. Catie was also featured in GetLocalMA magazine shortly after winning the competition. Read more about her here. She was one of four finalists to perform in front of panel of Note-worthy judges of various backgrounds. The four finalists performed a variety of pieces of all styles from Bach Preludes to Beach Buggy Boogie by Martha Mier.
The competition is an excellent opportunity for students not only to prepare a piece for a formal performance, but also to receive a variety of feedback on their progress. A teacher’s feedback is incredibly valuable to a student, and receiving feedback from others is just as valuable to the teacher and the student.
Please see the flyer below for more information on the competition: