Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas

We had a nice Christmas at home this year.  The dogs were excited about opening gifts...mostly liking the paper and tearing it apart.  We had Christmas music playing softly in the background as we read the Christmas story from Luke 2 and then we each opened our gifts, took pictures, and ate.  The rest of the day was spent relaxing.

Cindy's Piano Studio is now on a two-week break. I'm hoping that I'll come back to teaching with new ideas and more fun with technology.  The website is just about done.  I just need to get all the videos uploaded.

A duet recital is in the works as well as an animal music party at the Audubon in Jamestown.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Sohmer & Co. Baby Grand for sale

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

At this time of year, I have people asking about pianos for sale so I wanted to make you aware of this one that is available through my piano tuner.

He is asking $3,000 plus appropriate sales tax for the piano and matching bench. This includes delivery, one free tuning, and a one year warranty.

The baby grand piano model is a Sohmer #69129 Mfg. 1927 5'4" Mahogany cabinet Cupid Model With matching bench. Sohmer is an old piano company that manufactured pianos into the 1970s. Although not a Steinway, it is considered among the better American pianos.

The piano is in very good original condition. It has not had much use over the years. Soundboard and pin block are very good for excellent tuning stability and sound projection. Keytops are ivory in excellent condition. Action is in very good condition. (Which means the keys respond easily to the fingers) Finish is fair to good. Some checking and minor blemishes but no major defects.

My piano tuner purchased this piano from the estate of a woman whose parents had purchased it for her as a young woman. She played occasionally. He had serviced the piano over the years. He cleaned the entire piano inside and out and touched up the cabinet. He also resurfaced the hammers and completely regulated the action (which means that the inside mechanical parts work the way they are supposed to with no sticky keys). The piano has had two tunings and the hammers have been voiced (means it has a nice sound). Given a healthy environment (not too humid or dry), it should have excellent tuning stability.

If you are interested in looking at this, please let me know.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Piano Lessons Equals Better Grades

I love it when students learn the benefits of piano lessons for themselves.  At her first lesson of the year I asked a student what her goals were for piano this year.  Her statement was something like "keep taking lessons".  She said that when she was taking lessons previously with another teacher, she got all "As" in school.  She stopped lessons for a year and got mostly Bs.  When she started lessons with me, she got all As again.  She proved what I've known for 29 years...piano players are better smarter!

I don't have to quote all the research that has been done on the benefits of piano study.  I just have to teach and let the students discover for themselves.

As I think of my other students, I realize that they are great learners too and they go on to college for further learning. 

Yea! for piano

Friday, November 2, 2012

Alexander Schimpf

I just attended an awesome concert by German pianist, Alexander Schimpf.  He started with Bach's French Suite No. 5 in G major, BWV 816, Debussy's Images II and L'isle joyeuse.  After the intermission, he played Beethoven's Pathetique Sonata and ended with Liszt's Ballade No. 2 in b minor. 

From the first notes I knew that it was going to be a special concert.  His technique in voicing the Bach was beautiful.  The bass notes were there but the melody was just beautifully more than the accompaniment.  The Debussy was fun as he brought out the story of each of the three pieces.  I especially enjoyed the Poissons d'or as it reminded me of a Tom and Jerry cartoon.

The "Moonlight Sonata" was played just as I would have expected it to be.  Beautiful and dynamic.

The Listz was awesome to watch.  It always amazes me when the hands are going so fast they are a blurr.

A beautiful concert to listen to and watch. 

I was able to talk with him afterwards for a few minutes at the reception and he was very personable and humble.

An amazing night with some new friends.

Here's his website:

Saturday, October 13, 2012

New piano, New teacher, New adventures

Here it is!  My new Kawai K-3 Professional model studio piano.  We are so excited to be able to play on this new piano.  What a joy to hear the beautiful sounds that come from it.  No sticking keys and it's in tune!

Cindy's Piano Studio in Bemus Point is excelling.

Not only do we have a new piano but we also have a new teacher. Brianna Lopez has joined the teaching team providing private and group lessons during the times I'm not available.  Brianna has taught for ten years and was trained by Helga Hulse.

We are looking forward to doing a Christmas recital together at Bemus Point United Methodist church on December 1st.  We will be taking a free-will donation for St. Susan's Center.

Good things are happening at Cindy's Piano Studio in Bemus Point!

Check out Cindy's Piano Studio online at

Friday, April 27, 2012

Do you like taking piano lessons?

I like asking my students if they like taking piano lessons and why.  I recently asked the older beginners class of three girls aged 9-12.  They said because the class is fun. They like being in a group of friends. They like the songs we are learning. And one said that it helps her to play video games and learn typing. 

Fun answers and made me feel like I was doing something worthwhile!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Piano Playing Makes You Smarter?

I was reading a book by Dr. Caroline Leaf called The Gift Within in which she mentions that there are seven ways that we all process thoughts.  We all go through all seven ways but in a different order, which is probably why no two people think alike.  One of the processes is musical.  She listed ways to increase our thought life in each of the seven ways.  One of the ways of increasing musical thoughts is to take music lessons. 

So if you want to be smarter, take piano lessons!  I really do have smart students.  They are learning to think logically which helps with math and spacially, which helps with science. 

Come see me at and let's talk about how to make you smarter too.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Intermission at Cindy's Piano Studio, Bemus Point, NY

Today I looked up the word vacation in Webster's.  I had to give a 60 second talk about my business this morning and was searching for something to talk about!  I've been on vacation from piano teaching for the last week and a half and so my thoughts went to that as my subject.

Vacation, besides meaning taking a break from the usual routine, means intermission.  I related my vacation to an intermission at a concert.  The musicians take a break from the stage so that it can be refreshed or new musicians added.  My intermission, though not a physical one as we didn't go anywhere, was a mental one.  I took a break from thinking about my students, planning for my students, and teaching my students. Now I can return next week with a fresh stage for new teaching ideas for each of my piano students at my Lakewood, NY and Bemus Point, NY locations in Chautauqua County.

Fresh ideas and attitudes means more enjoyment for me in teaching and my students in learning piano.

I hope my students have also taken an intermission and are ready to return to the stage with great attitudes and enthusiasm for practicing and playing piano.

Cindy's Piano Studio, making music at the piano using currrent technology

Friday, March 9, 2012

Rhythm Contest

Prize:  $25 Erie Zoo Gift Certificate

Dates of Contest:  March 15 – May 31

Prize given on May 31st at end of lesson

How to Win Points:                                                   

1 point for every day you practice 10 minutes (or more).            

1 point for having assigned theory book pages complete            

1 point for writing letter names and dynamics on weekly rhythm sheet

1 point for clapping and counting each line on weekly rhythm sheet correctly 

1 point for playing each line correctly using your letter names and dynamics

Check studio wall posters for scores.

Waking Up Sleeping Beauty

Sarah, an adult piano student, before playing Sleeping Beauty Waltz informed me that Sleeping Beauty woke up a couple of times this week during her practice.  My students are just toooo funny!

Rewards of Piano Teaching

Piano teaching can be so fun and rewarding a lot of the time.  This week an adult student before playing Persian Market said, "This was fun. I enjoyed doing this one."  I love those comments.  I feel like I'm achieving my goal of making music at the piano fun and enjoyable for my students.  I feel it should be a time to express themselves in music.  What a joy!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

February Contest Winner

Congratulations to Carling on winning the recent piano contest at Cindy's Piano Studio in Bemus Point, NY.  Carling came in first place with 77 points.  She was closely followed by Jack with 74 points.  Carling won points for practice time, being prepared, and playing ability. 

So what's underneath the Green frog in the bottom of the bag that was worth $25?....Valentine's candy of course!  Carling shared some of her winnings with her friends and from what she said ... her Dad may have had some of it too!

Congratulations, Carling!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Singing for a Steady Beat

An adult student said to me yesterday that she had to sing so that she could get a steady beat.  She knew the song so it was fairly easy for her to accomplish. 

I love it when my students teach themselves!  She learned a valuable lesson that day.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

February Contest for Young Beginners Class

February is evaluation month for the Young Beginners Class so I'm having a contest to help the students do their best and have fun too.  This cute bag of goodies, worth $25, will be the prize. I wonder who will win it?

February 2012 Contest

Prize:  Red Bag of goodies worth $25
Dates of Contest:  Feb 2, 9, 16
Prize given on February 16th at end of lesson

How to Win Practice Points:                                                             Total Possible Points

1 point for every day you practice 10 minutes (or more).                       7 possible points
1 point for having all your books in class                                                  1 possible point
1 point for paying attention through the whole class                               1 possible point
1 point for not playing or talking while I’m explaining                               1 possible point

1 point for every piece played with correct finger numbers
1 point for every piece played with correct notes the first time  
1 point for every piece played with correct rhythm the first time
1 point for every piece played up to speed with orchestra

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Black Eighth Note Handmade Pillow

Amazing! My student here made this eighth note pillow for me.  He stitched it by hand this weekend!  Just for me!!  It is proudly sitting on a chair in my music room for all to see.  He had to make something for his home ec class and decided to do a pillow for me.  Now that is just enough to make me cry! :) I love it!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Piano Dust

Does the inside of your piano look like this?!  Mine did until my technician came dusted it when he was resurfacing the hammers.  The hammers are on the bottom in the picture; you can see where it hits the strings and has made deep indentations into the felt of the hammers. 

Here he is removing a hammer so he can fix it.  He had to use a special type of screwdriver to catch the screw so it wouldn't fall into the piano and be lost.

He then shaved all the hammers to make the piano sound better and so that the hammers didn't stick into the strings.
Here you can see the tool he used to shave the hammers.  It looks like a big metal file.  Don't use it on your fingernails though or you won't have any left!

He did a great job and now the piano is ready to go into some blessed piano students home.  It is for sale for $600.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Mozart Piano Co. Upright Piano

My piano in the Bemus Point studio has been fixed.  The technician came and revoiced all the hammers so now it sounds nice.  The piano is by Mozart Piano Co. out of Toronto.  They don't exist anymore.  In fact this piano is dated in the 1920's.  It still has the original ivory keys.  I had to reglue one of them but it's still the original. Now I'm thinking about selling it for $600.  It was very heavy to move and required four guys.  It would make a nice piano for a student who is really interested in piano lessons.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Detective Cindy

One of my adult students said to me today, "You're like a detective!"  She is so right.  Teaching piano is like following the clues that the students leave to the way they think and process information.  Each student is different and needs to be taught the way they understand.  When teaching, I use my method and when that doesn't work I have to pull out the magnifying glass to find the problem and then try other paths for that student. I love researching other ways to teach and seeing the results, or not, from them.

Detective Cindy to the Piano Rescue!