RMCMA and Traverso Studios Fall 2009 Newsletter

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            Welcome back everyone!  I am very excited about the fall semester and all the opportunities students will have for performance and workshops.  Here are some more detailed descriptions of events that will take place this fall or early next spring and some changes that are new this year.  I will also post reminders and upcoming events on the dry-erase board in studio 8.  You can check the board as you come in or as you are packing-up.  If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call me at (303) 718-6901- studio cell or (303) 655-1645- home phone or e-mail me at Jblue81@yahoo.com.  Also please check out the www.Traversostudios.com webpage for an on-line event calendar, new picture gallery, newsletter postings and more!  Students, please give this newsletter to your parent or guardian to read.  Have them sign the last page and return it to me at group lesson on Mon. Sept. 21st at 5pm in Grimes hall so that I know the info was received.

Thanks and have fun!



Group Lessons

The group lesson is an opportunity for all the students at the RMCMA Traverso Studios to become acquainted and share performances, ideas and musical experiences.  It is also an excellent opportunity for parents to actively participate in their student’s musical education.  These lessons will be designed to include all students and available parents, regardless of level of musical experience, in activities and discussions that will work on rhythmic fundamentals, flute mechanics and stage presence.  Group lessons will begin with general flute related topics such as breathing, rhythm or scales.  The middle part of the lesson will be a repertoire class.  Students will have an opportunity to play pieces together and read flute ensemble music.  The last portion of the lesson will be a master-class format where students will be selected to perform for the studio and will receive helpful suggestions for improving their next performance. 

I will not expect anyone to perform a piece for our first group lesson since we have only had three short lessons together since the end of summer.  Instead, we will do some group warm-ups and breathing exercise, review circle of 5ths scales for older students and spend the majority of the class time reading flute choir pieces and choose some that we might be able to perform as part of the RMCMA student performathon.  If time remains, I would like to introduce some rhythm activities; this may also be the focus of future group classes.


Ayold Kjos Winning Rhythms

            I am adding a new book to the required repertoire this year.  I have already ordered it for all students.  The cost is 5 dollars and can be paid for when I distribute the books (hopefully by group lesson on the 21st of Sept.).  I have had several teachers recommend this rhythm work book and had an opportunity to use it in my Suzuki teacher training workshop this summer.  I think it will make an excellent supplement to all students’ studies and will provide us with some beneficial and fun group activities.


RMCMA Student Performathon

            The Student performathon raises money each year for tuition assistance and instrument acquisition.  It is the one completely student supported fundraiser for the RMCMA.  Information packets and sign-up sheets will be available soon, maybe even by group lesson on the 21st

            Students will sign-up to perform during a specific time slot during the event.  Relatives and family friends pledge donations in exchange for their student’s performance.  Students can present solos or fun duets and the mood is much less than serious!  Students are also invited to perform in costume and the hall will be decorated.  Last year a mini carnival was set-up next door to the performance space for younger siblings.  I had two students perform in last year’s event (they also had pictures placed in the main stairway and in the RMCMA newsletter). I may ask them to briefly share their experiences at group lesson.  This year, I thought it might be fun to put together a small flute choir and request about a 20 minute slot so that we can all play together.  We can work out details at group lesson on Sept. 21st.  Students may still play a solo if they wish, but they are not required to.


Euterpean Society Performances at the Inglenook Retirement Center

            The music club I belong to performs regularly at the Inglenook Retirement home in Brighton, CO.  The performances are very enthusiastically received and appreciated and it is an excellent environment to tryout a new piece or polish an old one for a future contest or recital.  Students are welcomed to perform, although the concerts usually take place at 2pm on Tuesdays or Thursdays.  It is especially nice to play in the summer programs.


Colorado Flute Association Student Competition and Fall Master class

            The Colorado Flute Association will be hosting another student competition on Saturday Nov. 7th.  Students usually play two pieces for a panel of one or two judges, a required piece and a piece of the student’s choice.  Let me know right away if you are interested in participating and we’ll get going on the repertoire.  The event will also feature the prominent orchestral soloist Marianne Gedigian in master classes and workshops later in the day and sponsor booths featuring music, instruments and accessories.  I have had several students participate in previous years and I’m sure they would be happy to share their experiences with you at group lesson.  To participate in CFA events you must be a member of the Colorado flute association.  You can access both membership forms and competition registration forms from the CFA website: www.coloradofluteassociation.org.  Since I am a CFA member teacher, my students may join at the $10 studio level.  I am finishing my 3 and a half year term as the CFA membership coordinator.  If you wish to join before November, I can accept your membership fee and form directly.  In November you will need to send the form to another person and I will have that information for you.


December Student Recital

            I have reserved the 4:30pm time slot in the RMCMA main hall for our studio recital on December 12th.  Please let me know immediately if you have a conflict as recital times are being claimed rapidly.  All students will be required to perform a solo or duet or larger ensemble.  I recommend that students wishing to participate in Federation or other Spring competitions perform at least one solo piece from the required repertoire.  The recital is meant to be a fun and encouraging experience!  Enjoy performing and encouraging your fellow students!  A “cookie potluck” will follow the event.  Please bring your favorite treat to share with the group.  Cider, coffee, cups, utensils, plates and napkins will be provided.


Suzuki Association of Colorado Winter Workshop

            The Suzuki Association of Colorado Winter Workshop will take place on January 30th, 9am- 4pm at Wellshire Presbyterian Church  2999 S. Colorado Boulevard;  Denver, CO 80222 .  I am very excited about this year’s guest speaker and workshop leader Michiko Yurko, creator of the fabulous “music mind games” theory games, some of which we will utilize in group lessons.  Ms. Yurko will offer both student workshops and parent/teacher workshops that will be of benefit to all instruments.  In addition, new instrument representatives to the SAC board will be in charge of coordinating and providing instrument specific workshops to students and parents.  I think this event promises to be highly beneficial and fun for everyone involved.  Students must attend the event with an adult.  Family memberships in the Suzuki Association of Colorado are available and will earn a discount on event registration, but I don’t think students will need to join in order to participate.  There are also early registration discounts available.  More information will be available in the SAC Newsletter in November and I will make copies for all interested students and families.


Federation of Music Clubs- Metro Denver North Regional Festival

            This year’s federation event will take place at the Maranatha Christian Center, 7180 Oak Street in Arvada, Colorado, 80004, in February.  I will know the exact date and registration deadlines by the end of September.  I required participation in the event for all student’s last year, this year  I am only very strongly recommending it!  It is a great experience and not as scarry as it may seem.  Students need to let me know very soon (registration will be in Dec.) if they would like to participate so that we can start preparing.  Below is a description of the Federation of Music Clubs and the festival events.  For more information you can visit the new and improved Colorado Federation of Music Clubs Website at cfmc-music.org.  I also have a few hard copy brochures.  We can also discuss the event at a private lesson or at group.  I may have a few of last year’s participants share their experience at group.

            The National Federation of Music Clubs is an organization dedicated to acknowledging dedication in music and promoting music education.  I belong to both the Colorado Federation of Music Clubs and the regional Metro Denver North chapter.  The regional clubs put together festivals every spring that allow students to participate in solo and ensemble, theory, sight playing and other events.  Students earn points and certificates for each event they participate in.  When a student accumulates 15 points in any event, they receive a trophy.  High school students with a history of federation events are also eligible for a number of scholarships and other awards.

            Students who participate in the solo event will perform a required piece at their skill level and a second piece of their choice for a very supportive and kind “judge.”  Students are not competing against other students in their level, but are playing for ratings and constructive comments and feedback.  Students who receive a superior rating are invited (but not required) to participate in the State event in April.  The state event is competitive, students compete for the title and trophy of “top performer” in their skill level.  Students attending festival should participate in the solo (or an ensemble) event in addition to any other event.

            Students participating in the theory event will take a short, written theory test at their skill level.  Practice tests are available online.  We may all take some together as a group activity later in the fall.  We can devote a portion of lessons to theory and preparing for the event for interested students.  Activities on the test are similar to skills students acquire from the Musicianship/theory courses at the RMCMA.  Students do not have to sign-up for the same level in theory and the solo event.  Students may choose an easier level of theory the first time they participate in the event.  Students may also repeat levels from year to year (though not for points toward a trophy).

            Students participating in the sight playing event will be given two minutes to study a piece about 2 levels below their solo event skill level and then asked to play the piece for a judge.  I try to make sight reading a portion of most private and some group classes, so this event is an easy way to make points!

            Students can also enter the duet event or, the entire studio can enter the flute choir event.

            I will know more about fees and registration after the planning meeting in late Sept.  Last year’s fees were $12 for the solo event, $10 for the other events.  I believe that students in the duet, ensemble or flute choir event share the cost of the entry.


Other Opportunities available at RMCMA

            Guest Artist Concert Series- The RMCMA brings in a variety of excellent musical groups for very low ticket prices.  Often these fabulous concerts are performed for only a few attendees!  Help show your support for touring artists and this amazing program.  $5 student tickets or sometimes free admission.


            Musicianship Courses-  For students considering a music major or minor in college or for any student who wants to gain a better understanding of music theory and maybe compose their own music, these theory classes are very exciting.  Check out descriptions at the rmcma.org site or in the bulletin and look for Spring offerings.


            Chamber/ Jazz Ensembles- Have a friend who plays another instrument and you want to work together?  Sign up for ensemble coaching.  Interested in learning jazz flute?  We can get you started in lessons and also have you sign-up for the beginning jazz ensemble.