By Pamela Jordan of PurpleTempo.com
Learning a worthwhile skill with potentially life-long benefits (like playing a musical instrument) can take a lot of effort and be a kind of marathon.
How do we actually achieve it?
Given we all have 24 hours in every day and 365 days in every year, how do we decide what to do in that time to take us to our dream?
Some of us don’t decide and perhaps by default prefer to allow life to happen around us and float along.
Whether we do or don’t is everyone’s choice.
What if though, we do decide and purposefully channel ourselves in that direction?
What if we decide to grab life by the collar and declare what we want to experience?
What if we set the intention to fully live, and have what we dream of?
The impact on our quality of life could be quite dramatic.
And, the impact on our children?
There is a school of thought that says children learn what they live.
This makes a lot of sense to me.
If a child lives in a household with parents who are making choices for their lives, setting goals and achieving them, and allowing them to witness the process and harvest of that, what impact might it have on their future?
So now, back to those pesky only 24 hours in every day.
Many of us want to cram far too much into our lives.
I am certainly guilty of that.
The fact is we can’t do everything all at once, no matter how much we might want to.
We have to learn to prioritise.
Declare to myself that I want this more than that.
Allow some things to go undone, untried, untested.
Say no to others and to myself when a possibility presents itself that is not aligned with how I want to experience my life and future.
Accept this offer and reject that offer. Not always easy.
When I do this, although it can be excruciating at the time, the rewards that come from it can be beautiful and bountiful!
development of my character
trust in myself
For kids to navigate the ‘marathon’ they need to learn how to prioritise and stay on track.
They will be distracted by many many things along the way, just like us.
It takes time and practise to learn, and it takes a lot of effort by parents.
And it is well worth the effort.
Motivation for the child comes through witnessing the rewards gained by their parents and friends, then having the internal experience of “I WANT THAT”. Then they will be on board with the effort. Once they experience the self-respect that comes with achieving what they want (begin with smaller easier things to achieve) they will become more and more hooked on the process. It will make their life much more exciting ultimately. At least that has been my experience.
Yes some people have levels of passion and purpose and directness of vision that they are able to do this without training it seems. Other people need to work on it.
Which kind are you? Is your child the same?
How might your child be taught to prioritise appropriate to their character and abilities?
I wonder what the best version of you and your child might be?
If there is something substantial to achieve to make your life come alive, then mastering the art of a priority becomes essential.
Pamela Jordon is a graduate of Qld Conservatorium of Music in Brisbane and is an experienced Teacher Mentor with a demonstrated history of working in the music industry. She is skilled in Coaching, Classroom Management, Piano, Flute, Workshop Facilitation, and Pedagogy.
For more stories by Pamela Jordan www.PurpleTempo.com.au/blog
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.