Tag Archives: annapolis piano student

Summer Lessons begin


Annaliese plays the harpsichord for the first time!


Anju begins lessons this summer and gets a jump start on the fall!


Delaney and Annaliese went to the movies. Piano buddys are the BEST!!

Award- Winning Students

IMG_7610Here at HiltonMusic Studio award- winning students are plentiful. Our 2014-2015 academic year comes to a close on Friday and my students have been busy all year. You see, its not just about taking piano lessons around here, its about receiving a music education, sharing the gifts and talents we’ve been given with others, setting goals and working toward achieving them, learning a good work ethic, and an understanding that working hard will produce fantastic results. These are life-lessons that will benefit my students in all areas of their life.

I am so proud that I have such wonderful, conscientious students, (and parents), and my adult students who understand the value of music education and what it means to share their gifts and talents in and around our community. My students set their goals in September and work continually to achieve those goals. This Friday night my students will be giving their final performance of the school year and will receive the awards they’ve been working on all year.

For your enjoyment, here are the “numbers”…

…of my 22 school-aged students,

18 earned Practice Ribbons (those who came in week after week ALL YEAR and rocked their assignments!): Isabelle, Quintin, Josie, Addison, Caroline, Annabelle, Molly, Cole, Claire, Colleen, Sarah, Delaney, Olivia, Aaron, April, Emily, Annaliese, Juliette

16 earned PIANOlympic Medal (and the number of technical challenges each student completed)– Quintin 16, Addison 24, Zoey 16, Caroline 24, Annabelle 30, Sarah 20, Molly 31, Claire 10, Emily 30, Abby 24, Delaney 31, Olivia 10, Joseph 32, Grace 19, April 30, Annaliese 36

15 earned Listening Awards (those who accumulated listening points for studying classical composers and listening to their pieces): Quintin, Addison, Zoey, Abby, Olivia, Molly, Grace, Emily, Annaliese, Joseph, April, Delaney, Claire, Caroline, Annabelle

11 became One Minute Club Members (those who can play 4 octaves of random flashcards in under 60 seconds; actual seconds are given after each name): Grace 53, Annaliese 48, Abby 48, Quintin 47, Addison 42, Sarah 39, Caroline 39, Molly 39, Delaney 29, Claire 27, Annabelle 24

9 were named Student of the Month Winners (those who went above and beyond the call of duty for their piano lessons): April- September, Delaney- October, Abby- November, Zoey- December, Colleen- January, Annabelle- February, Annaliese- March, Molly- April, Caroline- May

6 became Key Club Members (those who can play scales, triads, and intervals in 26 different keys)– April, Molly, Addison, Olivia, Grace, Quintin

 6 were Community Volunteers-(those who gave their time and talents on piano)

  • 3- For the Anne Arundel Music Teacher’s Association’s Music at the Movies event at Annapolis Mall: Delaney, Annabelle, Caroline
  • 4- For the patients of the Hospice of Chesapeake Critical Care Unit in Edgewater: Annabelle, Caroline, Colleen, Kitty
  • 2- for Elementary School Talent Shows and other concerts– Zoey, Caroline

4 worked as professional accompanists at various schools for chorus concerts, Anne Arundel County events, and other events: Colleen, Annabelle, Delaney, Caroline

4 shared their talent in Performing Arts with the community at large in theater and dance: Caroline, Emily, Abby, Olivia

 3 earned the highest award in my studio, the Distinguished Music Achievement Trophy (those who took 2 years to complete an enormous number of requirements for this trophy): Delaney, Caroline, Annabelle

3 earned the Music Teacher’s National Association 2-year Music Study Certificate (awarded every 2 years): April, Jospeh, Olivia, Grace

1 earned the Music Teacher’s National Association 4-year Music Study Certificate (awarded every 2 years): Addison

1 earned Music Teacher’s National Association 6-year Music Study Certificate (awarded every 2 years): Annabelle

1 earned the Mozart Award Trophy (for taking the school-year to complete a large number of musical requirements for this trophy)- Claire

1 earned the Sight Reading Trophy (for successfully sight reading the equivalent of 20 books): Addison

1 Was accepted into Interlochen (an internationally renowned Music School in Michigan for a 7- week intensive study in piano)- Colleen

Student of the Month- May


Congratulations Caroline!

Congratulations to Caroline, my May 2015 Student of the Month. Caroline is on her 5th year of lessons with me- and my how time flies!

Caroline has been working hard all year and has made such tremendous progress!  This month she is not only performing “Katherine” by Stephen Chatman for our Awards Recital this Friday, but she will be doing her first accompaniment piece for the Jones Elementary 5th graders as they sing “Katy” for their graduation and head off to middle school.

Caroline will have her picture on the Studio Wall of Fame and receive a $10 Music & Arts gift card to buy some fun music to play at home or anything else she wants.


Here is Caroline starting lessons in with me in 2010.

Want to be student of the Month? Here is what you have to do:

Have a lesson rating of 5 for each week of the month.
Have perfect attendance for the month.
Have an encouraging spirit toward other students.
Have a positive attitude in lessons and look ahead in your piano materials.

Severna Park Middle Chorus Concert


Colleen waits her turn to accompany.


Annabelle waits her turn to accompany.


Annabelle is the accompanist for the Pop Choir. They took first place in the Anne Arundel County Festival Chorus. Likely due to her fabulous playing? Of course!


6th grade chorus


Annabelle and Colleen received a round of applause from the audience and the choir!


Great job, ladies!!

UpSide Down Week

It’s UPSIDE DOWN WEEK and all of my students are having fun tackling their assignment completely upside down! 

When my students come in for their lesson the first thing notice is Pandora playing CHRISTMAS MUSIC….

Once they sit down, they write the following musical symbols upside down:

  • Repeat Sing
  • Flat Sign
  • Treble Clef
  • Quarter Rest (not so easy….)

Then they complete a note-reading worksheet where they not only write their name on it upside down, but they turn the whole page upside down, turn the bass clef into the treble clef and the other way around. Then they write the correct letter…upside down, of course.

Flashcards come next- they are presented upside down but the student plays the actual note on the piano.

Lesson assignment pieces are played upside down for an upside down sticker.

Our theme song this week is the “Upside Down” Song.


If buttercups buzz’d after the bee,

If boats were on land, churches on sea,

If ponies rode men and if grass ate the cows,

and cats should be chased into holes by the mouse;

If the mammas sold their babies to others for half a crown,

If summer were spring and the other way around, 

Then all the world would be upside down.



Olivia decided the best way to read the sign was upside down!


Cole is doing his flashcards upside down.


April plays her lesson book assignment upside down!


Lesson book cost $8.95. Look on Zoey’s face when I let her know she’s playing this song upside down…..priceless.


Josie breezed through her upside down flashcards–Great Job!!


Quintin sight-read the “upside Down Song”.

Severna Park Middle School


Annabelle rehearses with the Severna Park Middle School chorus. This is Annabelle’s 2nd chorus concert. She accompanied for Belvedere Elementary in 2014.


Annabelle plays “Set Down Servant” for the chorus while I turn her pages.


Colleen prepares to accompany for the Severna Park Middle School chorus. In rehearsal she accompanied the chorus in “Peter Piper”.

Belvedere Spring Chorus Concert


Colleen prepares to play at the student assembly.


The students are ready!



The parents arrived for a 7pm performance.



Great job, Colleen!!


Music in our Community

During the past few months we have been taking our gifts out into the community by playing for others and sharing our music. Hospice of Chesapeake is one place we enjoy playing music for the staff, families, and patients. Music therapy is a wonderful way to assist those in a manner that adds beauty to their world. My students and I hope to continue playing there in the fall when they open their new facility in Severna Park.

mandrin garden art 8-08 007

Thank you to everyone who has contributed so far!

  • Colleen
  • Annabelle
  • Caroline
  • Claire
  • Kitty

Caroline plays at Hospice


Annabelle plays at Hospice


Colleen plays at Hospice

Baroque Teahouse- Photos


Tricia made all of our beautiful centerpieces. WOW!


The tables looked wonderful.


The food was fabulous- just ask April…..


…and Sarah!


Everyone enjoyed the harpsichord performances by my students and by our guest perfomer, Ellen Winner.


Colleen’s family told me how much they enjoyed the event.


Even the boys enjoyed themselves.


What a great setting for some (non-electronic) quality family-time!


April closed her finger in the car door–OUCH! But she still was excited to perform (with a right-hand-stand-in).


It was a wonderful event!

I want to thank all the parents who helped me so much in putting this event together!! We are already looking forward to next year.

Here’s a special shout-out to some special people who worked very hard behind-the-scenes. Without them, I don’t know how our event would run so seamlessly!

IMG_8484 IMG_8553 IMG_8548 IMG_8482 IMG_8487

Baroque Teahouse

My students are proud to present a wonderful event scheduled for this Saturday (photos will follow). They are all very excited to perform Baroque pieces on the harpsichord for everyone attending our annual afternoon high tea called the “Baroque Teahouse”.

Here is the program and information on the instrument:

Baroque Teahouse programBaroque Teahouse program-1

Baroque Teahouse program

March Student of the Month


Congratulations to Annaliese, my March Student of the Month. Annaliese is working on her first year of lessons with me. Although she has previous piano experience, she felt that she was ready to get serious and (in her words) “learn more in the next six months, that she had in the past few years”.

Annaliese has been really focused these past few months and has made tremendous progress. For working hard and actually achieving that goal, she has earned recognition as “Student of the Month”.

Annaliese will have her picture on the Studio Wall of Fame and receive a $10 Music & Arts gift card to buy some fun music to play at home or anything else she wants.

I am so proud of her and the work and effort she has put into her lessons. In just a few short weeks, she will starting her first book of classical piano literature. Hip hip, Hurray!

Want to be student of the Month? Here is what you have to do:

Have a lesson rating of 5 for each week of the month.
Have perfect attendance for the month.
Have an encouraging spirit toward other students.
Have a positive attitude in lessons and look ahead in your piano materials.

Many Congratulations Colleen!!


Severna Park High School Junior, Colleen Saunders has recently been accepted into Interlochen’s High School Division Summer Arts Camp for piano. Interlochen Center for the Arts is located in northwest Michigan and is internationally recognized for working with some of the best musicians in the world.

Colleen will spend 6 weeks this summer studying piano performance with distinguished piano faculty from various universities across the US that include Peabody Conservatory, the Eastman School of Music, and the Universities of Michigan and Texas.

Colleen auditioned for her position at Interlochen earlier this year with two memorized pieces- Frederic Chopin’s “Revolutionary” Etude Op. 10 No. 12 and Edvard Grieg’s Lyric Piece “Wedding Day at Troldhaugen” Op. 65 No. 6.

Colleen has been studying piano with me for the past 7 years and plays a very active role in the community by sharing her music with others. She was instrumental in bringing a music program to the St. Margaret’s Church Vacation Bible School program held at St. Phillip’s in Annapolis last summer. She taught several groups of children during the week and performed on piano and organ accompanying the 70+ children enrolled in their finale production. She was chosen as the keyboardist for the past two Severna Park High School Musical Theater productions “In the Heights” in 2013 and “Grease” in 2014. She currently practices music therapy at the Hospice of Chesapeake Critical Care Unit by performing for patients and she regularly accompanies the 4th & 5th grade chorus at Belvedere Elementary.

Next month Colleen will be performing various Baroque-era pieces on harpsichord at St. Margaret’s Church in Annapolis at the “Baroque Teahouse” on Saturday April 11. She is currently working on material for her Senior Piano Recital in 2016. Colleen plans to major in Music Therapy in college.


Game Week! Last Day


Leave your books at home…It’s GAME WEEK!


Cole and I played the Pumpkin Patch Game.


Abby was very glad to be winning the Cat & Mouse Game


Emily and I played the Fly Swatter game.


Annaliese and I played Crazy Keys- she won!


Juliette and I played the Ice Cream Cone Game.


Game Week! Day Four


Leave your books at home…It’s GAME WEEK!



Claire and I played “Something’s Missing”


Molly and I played “Paddle Scales” – she won!


Aaron and I played “Piano Steps & Skips”. He beat me TWICE!!


Game Week! Day Three


Leave your books at home….it’s GAME WEEK!


April and I played Leaping Ladybugs. She beat me by a longshot!


Olivia and I played Whole Step/Half Step Sprint.


Delaney and I played the Scale Shaker Game. (Juggling 3 scales at once isn’t so easy!)


Unbelievable…..Joseph and I played Crazy Keys and we TIED!! That NEVER happens!!

Game Week! Day Two


Leave your books at home….it’s GAME WEEK!



Sarah and I played a Key Signature and Scale Degree game.


Caroline and I played Rhythm Pizza


Annabelle and I played the Scale Shaker Game. (She beat me!)


Game Week! Day One


Leave your books at home….it GAME WEEK 2015!



Isabelle and I played a game with skipping and stepping snowmen!


Quintin and I played an ear training game to see if he can distinguish major from minor using just his ears. He did a great job!


Josie and I played some fun games on the iPad.


Addison and I played a game to see who could complete the Circle of Fifths first. I won by one key!


Addison and I also played everyone’s FAVORITE game, the Cat and Mouse game. But we played using snowmen and candy canes….I think Jasmine wanted us to use the cat and mouse instead!! Addison beat me by a LONG SHOT!!


January Student of the Month

Congrats Colleen!

Congrats Colleen!

Congratulations to Colleen, January Student of the Month. Colleen has been working amazingly hard all year!

Recently, she was the accompanist for the 4th and 5th grade Chorus at Belvedere Elementary and she has been working tirelessly on her audition material for Interlochen’s International 6-week Summer Piano Program. I am so proud of her and the work and effort she puts into all of her performances.

Colleen is now ready to begin her pieces for the Baroque Teahouse at Reynold’s Tavern, the June Awards Recital, and her final solo Senior Recital next year! WOW!

Colleen is a Junior at Severna Park High School and is working on her 7th year in piano lessons with me. When Colleen isn’t playing piano she likes to…..no, Colleen is always playing piano!! 🙂

Colleen will have her photo on the wall of fame for the rest of the year and she will also receive a $10 Music & Arts gift card to spend on fun music or anything else she wants.

Want to be student of the Month? Here is what you have to do:

Have a lesson rating of 5 for each week of the month.
Have perfect attendance for the month.
Have an encouraging spirit toward other students.
Have a positive attitude in lessons and look ahead in your piano materials.

The Emperor’s Birthday Suit


My student Abby did a wonderful job in this Children’s Theater of Annapolis production yesterday!


Congratulations, Abby!


It was a pleasure to see her in so many roles!