Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Syracuse Symphony Orchestra

I attended the Jamestown Concert Association's presentation of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra. It was very good. I enjoyed the music and Santa's reading of The Night Before Christmas with music background was great. Margaret Carlson's voice is awesome. Not sure I would like a steady diet of her, but she sings very well. I left before the sing-along so I could get out before the traffic jam. I went alone this time as we were leaving on a long trip the next morning and I didn't want to be out late bringing students home. It was a very enjoyable evening.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Alexander Ghindin Concert

I just returned from a concert sponsored by Jamestown Concert Association held at the Jamestown High School. Alexander Ghindin played Schubert's Six Moments Musicaux, Op. 94 and two pieces by Chopin. The acoustics were great and he played wonderfully. My students were impressed and said the time went really fast. I hope it inspires them to practice this week.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Baseball Clef

During her lesson, I was quizing Rachel on what the names of the clefs were. She called the bass clef the "baseball" clef. I like that. I think I'll rename it.

APT Recital at Loyalton Thanks

I received this yummy thank you from two of my students after the recital. I wonder how my student know that I love chocolate?


I decided not to use YouTube after talking with a parent about how much junk is on YouTube that is easy for students to accidentally see. I also don't want to cause my students any problems from people who might want to hurt them. So, I'm sticking with my website for performances.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


During lessons today, I was quizzing a student on her flashcards when we came to Bagatelle. She defined it as a short, uninvolved bag! It was supposed to be a short, uninvolved instrumental piece. It was a laugh-out-loud moment during the lesson. I love these kids!!

APT Recital at Loyalton

Twelve of my students played at Loyalton Assisted Living in Lakewood on Saturday, October 25th. They all played well. My video camera battery died right when I had to play with Morgan, so I missed her and part of Luke's pieces.

The students who played: Rachel, Kendall, Kendra, Sydney, Makala, Luke, Isac, Alice, Taylor, Mike and Olivia, and Morgan. For six of them it was their first time. I'm proud of all of them.

You can see their performances at if you have a user name and password from one of the students.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Georgia Guitar Quartet

Makala and I attended the Georgia Guitar Quartet concert last night sponsored by the Jamestown Concert Association. It was at 8 p.m. at St. Luke's Church in Jamestown. We sat towards the back with Makala on the aisle so she could see better. The program was great!

They played with awesome dynamics and fun sound affects. They were always looking at each other for direction so the group interaction was fun to watch. We liked Scarlatti's, The Cat's Fugue. He wrote it after his cat jumped on his harpsicord and walked on the keys. Scarlatti wrote down the keys he played and transposed, turned upside down, and stretched out the simple theme.

They played two pieces that they commissioned, both were unusual. Wheels was full of circular themes. Just about the time my eyes glazed over, the music changed. We thought it would be good music for a suspense movie. I even heard a fist fight and gun shots. They said that each of the four parts were like spokes in a wheel; if one part got off, the wheel becomes an oval. Makala's eyes lit up when they played the Suite for Four Guitars. Her feet were dancing. It was like something you've heard and yet like nothing you've heard.

Their rendition of Linus and Lucy was interesting. That's all I'll say about that. Two Repaired Movements had a lot of tribal sounds and was percussive. Fun to listen to and watch. The last piece, The Road to Lisdoonvarna, an Irish Traditional song, made me think of leprocans dancing on a road. After the program, we went downstairs for refreshments and Makala got her program signed by all four guitarists. It was a fun evening.

You can see their website at

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

APT Recital

Students are preparing for the Association of Piano Teachers recital at Loyalton on October 25th. I have 12 students playing. This is Rachel, Isac, Taylor, Morgan, Mike, and Olivia's first recital. Kendall, Kendra, Sydney, Makala, Luke, and Alice have all played in recitals before. Seven of the students are playing duets. Alice is playing with her mom. This should be a fun time for them and the residents. The piano is a keyboard, Yamaha I think. The music rack is low so I hope I remember to bring something to hold the back of the music upright. There are only three of my students not playing at this recital. I had thought of having another recital for those who weren't playing; I may still do that. The next blog post should have pictures of the recital and maybe video if I can figure out how to do that!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Man, I'm Good!

At Taylor and Morgan's lesson on Thursday, we had just been learning Carmen's Tune and Morgan blurted out "Man, I'm good!" after a successful playing. She was right, but it sure made me laugh out loud! What a joy these two are.

Monday, September 15, 2008

First Day of Teaching

Today was the first day back at piano teaching for the year. It went well. I need to make shorter lesson plans so I don't feel pressured to cover so much each lesson. I'm looking forward to teaching each of the students some new music for a fall recital. I'm hoping most of them will play in the APT recital on October 25th.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Getting Ready for the year

Piano lessons are starting next week and I'm just about ready. I've done my planning for the week and assignment sheets are printed. Next is updating the website. I want to make some changes like giving each student their own page instead of having them all together on one. I will be giving the students music with a fall theme for an October 25th recital at Loyalton. I'm looking forward to this year with my students. I hope they are looking forward to coming back.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

New Year Starting

I'm finally done with scheduling lessons for 14 students. What a chore! I'm teaching four days instead of three but I only have three lessons on each day. They will still be long days as I don't finish until 6p.m. This week starts the planning for the year's recitals and music and directions for each student and deciding where I want to take Cindy's Piano Studio in technology.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Adventures in Music Listening - Old West

Howdy Pardner!

We had a grand time this morning in the Old West. After discussing what life might have been like a hundred years ago, we learned how to do a line dance.

After all, cowboys wouldn't dance cheek to cheek! The younger kids just did a walk, but the older kids learned to grapevine.

After having a little amuzement, we spun them around blindfolded to see if they could pin the sheriff with their badge. There were a lot of laughs as the sheriff was poked everywhere but his badge.

In the Old West they had to watch out for "rattlers". So we practiced jumping rattlesnakes trying not to get bit. Of course, I had to practice too.
After a full day of dancing and watching out for rattlers and catching dogies, it was time to sit by the campfire and sing songs like: Home, home on the Range, I've Been Working on the Railroad, Do Your Ears Hang Low, and playing BINGO with our kazoo. The full day made us soooo hungry that we really enjoyed our smores and sassparilla or cactus juice before leaving for greener pastures.

Be sure to check out the slideshow of pictures of all the countries at the top right of this blog.

Thank you to all who attended and to those who made this month of traveling possible. NYSCA and Buffalo Council of the Arts, Rotary Club, Quality Markets, The Shoops, The Dennerleins, anonymous donors and most of all the Lakewood Memorial Library personnel!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Taylor and Morgan

I finally got Taylor and Morgan's first piano recital video on the website. I tried to do it on YouTube but it was too big. You can check it out under Students/Student Performance tab if you have the user name and password (which you only get if you are a family member or friend of the students).

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I received this note from Taylor on the last day of lessons and it made my day....

"Dear Mrs. Robbison, I'm so glad your my piano teacher. Your the Best!!!! Nobody could EVER replase you." (I didn't correct her spelling.) She drew a big smiley and signed it "Sincerely, Taylor"


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Adventures in Music Listening - Mexico

Hola! We traveled to Mexico today. The children brought in their handmade or purchased maracas and they each received a maraca pen. Mary brought in some jewelry, castanets, sombrero, and ponchos from Mexico.

I started out with a siesta ...

and I definitely needed one after a full day of playing freeze dance

and moving to the mexican music

and coloring chili peppers or sombreros while I read The Giant's Secret. You can read it here:

We actually had some balls go into Mexico City in the Mexico Toss game.

The children are all having fun in these sessions and so am I. Some of them are using their passwords in conversations, like saying "Jambo" instead of hello to friends. They get so excited about it that they pester their parents saying, "has she called with the password yet?". They tell their friends at YCare, "I'm going to Russia (or whatever country we are visiting) tonight." And then go back and tell them what they did in the country. They have discussions at the dinner table about what they've learned. Some homeschooling moms are using this as a teaching experience by asking questions after the sessions to reinforce what was learned that day. Some of the children even say they wish it was longer. That is one request I don't think I have energy for!
Next week is the last week. Stay tuned...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Adventures in Music Listening - Russia

We had a great time learning about Russia on Tuesday. My friend, Karen, and Mary, the Librarian, let us borrow their items from Russia for display.

The children learned part of the Troika dance. That was a lot of fun, especially with the five-year olds who were still wondering what a Troika was.

They listened to a story about Ivan and his frog bride while they colored their sleighs. We played Caraway, Caraway with the Flight of the Bumblebee as our time keeper. That was the hit of the day.

The children are very excited about the classes and seem to be enjoying the snacks from the countries too. We had crackers and cheese for Russia as I couldn't find any dark bread. Their password for the day was "paca" which means "goodbye".

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Adventures in Music Listening - Africa

The first session of the series Adventures in Music Listening was today at the Lakewood Memorial Library. There were 14 five to seven year olds in the first class, 10 eight to ten year olds in the second class, 3 in each of the evening classes. They had to tell me their password, which was "Jambo". Jambo means "hello" in Swahili. We listened to African music, looked at pictures of animals and houses. We had a wonderful display of things from Africa, thanks to the Shoops. We met them on Saturday at the Breakfast Club and they offered to let me use their things from their trip. There was a dress and top, kitchen items, a pencil drawing of a mom and baby that was awesome, an inlaid wooden tray. Mary, the library director, also brought in things from when she lived in Africa and she sang them a song about mom working in the kitchen. We either colored or played talking drums. I think the best part was the lion and impala game. They seemed to have a lot of fun. I know I did.

Playing with African toys.

Coloring talking drums.
Getting a snack of bananas and walnuts.
Waiting for snack.
Looking at pictures of the colorful houses.
More coloring pictures.
Learning about talking drums.
Learning Jambo Bwama
Thanks to Shoops for all the wonderful items on display.