Saturday, December 7, 2013

Harper's Creative Art Work

Paper Staff Creation
Harper's mom was sitting in the kitchen talking with her sister-in-law when Harper called her in to see what she had made. A staff from paper she cut out along with notes! Her mom says, thanks for making music so fun for the girls.  Wow! This is just cool!  What a creative activity to come up with all by herself.  I'm looking forward to what she'll do in the days to come.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Mallory's Piano Doll

Mallory's Piano Doll!

I love it when students are so excited about piano that they have to have a doll with piano music.  This one has letter names instead of music notes because she doesn't know how to read music yet.  But if she keeps coming to piano lessons with Mallory and practicing with her at home, she will quickly learn.  Maybe the next piano book she brings will have have some music notes for you to read!

What a "doll"!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Piano for Mrs. Robison

I love, love, love it when students are enjoying piano so much they have to express it in drawing.  Here is the most recent picture that Eliza A. drew for me.  I think it's awesome!

Thank you, Eliza A.!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Candy Corn Challenge Champs!

The Candy Corn Challenge is complete!

During the last two weeks of October students were challenged to reassemble candy corn with the correct letter name, place on the staff, and place on the keyboard.

The students with the fastest times by level were:

Primer Level:  Trey DeMink
Level 1: Harper Dawes
Level 2: Isac Pirrello

Congratulations Students!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Welcome Fall

Welcome Fall!

It's getting chilly outside and so I thought it was time to decorate the studio a little.  Just a few orange and green and rust colored decorations to make it feel more festive and welcoming.

It will be just right for our Fall Festival Recital this Saturday.  Eight families will be represented in the recital.

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Candy Corn Challenge

The Candy Corn Challenge!

Isac is hurrying to complete the candy corn challenge.  Students are competing this week and next to see who is fastest at putting together the candy corn.  They have to match the letter name on the keyboard and on the staff.

Last week was fun and also interesting to see who needs help still.  Isac did very well by the way.

The winners will get candy corn the first week in November after everyone has had a second chance.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Piano Student Saying "hi"

I love it when I see a piano student in a store.  They usually come up to me to say hi.  Lizzy saw me in Sam's Club last night and said she had to come and say "hi" because she thought it was fun!  It was!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Last Post Regarding National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy

Fourth Day of the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy

We started our day with a session by Randy Faber and Piano Adventures.  He was so gracious to have a picture taken with us.  He was an awesome presenter and very inspiring.  We learned how to engage our students and about pattern recognition.

At 9:00, Julie attended the PEDx3 recital and sessions while Cindy went .... shopping!  Julie really enjoyed Jarrod Radnich's presentation. Check out YouTube recording of Pirates of the Caribbean.

The afternoon held more workshops for both of us.  Cindy attended Melody Bober's 12 Strategies for Successful Recitals and a Publisher's Showcase by Novus Via Music Group - Christopher Norton's music, and then had Pizza Hut for dinner.  

Julie tried to get more signatures on her program and ended up four short.  In the evening she attended the honorary dinner for Marvin Blickenstaff and the evening concert with Hando Nahkur.

The last day of the conference Julie attended the Alfred Music showcase while Cindy packed the car with her stuff.  We both attended the Keynote Address: Piano study for the next generation.  Generation Z is going to be an interesting one to teach piano to!

After the teaching demonstration Cindy attended Wendy Stevens workshop on Stress-free business practices (excellent) while Julie shopped and packed her stuff in the car.

We decided to skip the afternoon sessions and start home as the last session wasn’t going to be over until 3:30 and we didn’t want to get home at 2a.m. 

We arrived home around 10:30p.m. tired but excited about what we had learned and ready to share with all our piano teaching friends.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

3rd Day on the Road

Thursday started at 8a.m. with Publisher Showcases.  Julie attended Yellow Cat Music Publishing.  The presenter lives in Saudi Arabia and gave out colorful bookmarks.  The presentation was about incentives for practicing.  She uses color-coded notes which she feels helps with reading problems. You can see more at her website:  and Cindy attended Hal Leonard's presentation regarding their newest publications.

After an interesting keynote address by Alan Walker regarding Listz, the Man as Ambassador, we attended workshops.

Cindy attended The Dynamics of Group Teaching and learned how to interact with students during a group lesson.  Julie attended The Top 40 Intermediate Pieces with Jane Magrath.  She said it was wonderful and she will present to APT.

Julie visited the exhibits in the morning and had a long conversation with Keith Snell and Gayle Kowalchyk.  She got some autographs from Keith and Christos Tsitsaros as well as getting her program signed by 18 out of 33 exhibitors.  She's hoping to win a prize of a basket full of piano teaching goodies.

Cindy visited the exhibits after lunch and then fell on the bed exhausted after all that shopping; however, she is not deterred from shopping some more tomorrow. Cindy has not gotten any signatures and needs to get on the ball!

In the afternoon, Julie attended a workshop on students with disabilities and Cindy got to watch a live streaming event as it was being set up and asked a lot of questions.  She now has the ability to live stream our recitals!  After a teaching demonstration by Cathy Lysinger, which was very informative, we attended another publishers' showcase.

Julie went to FJH with Keith Olson and Cindy attended The Royal Conservatory Music presentation on how to prepare for assessments.

We then searched for a restaurant  and ended up at Scarletti's, an excellent Italian restaurant in Downer's Grove.  The excitement of the evening was the seven trains that went by us and blew their very loud horns.

Pre-Conference Day at NCKP

So we made it to our conference hotel, the Westin, in Lombard around noon.  We checked-in and got our program for the week; which Cindy eagerly poured over to see just what sessions she wanted to attend while Julie walked across the parking lot to get some things at Target.

The sessions started at 2p.m. and went until 9:30.  Needlesstosay, we were both tired by the end of the day.  Cindy attended the technology seminars, of course!  Julie attended some piano teaching seminars.

TGIF was our choice for dinner.  lol.  I caught Julie with her mouth open!  The food was delicious and they got it out to us very quickly so we made it back to the hotel for our 8p.m. sessions.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Candlewood Suite in Illinois

National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy
July 24 - 28, 2013


Julie and I left at 8a.m. this morning from Jamestown and arrived in Aurora, IL around 7p.m.  After checking into the Candlewood Suites, we had dinner at Panara Bread and are now relaxing and warming up in our nice suite.

We had a few traffic issues before and after Chicago but nothing that isn't to be expected in a big city.  I drove the first 3 hours and then Julie took over.  She is a great driver.

The Candlewood Suites is a very nice place even if it is in the middle of a soy bean field!

We are both excited about our learning this week and looking forward to sharing with you each day.  Stay tuned here for more updates.

Monday, July 1, 2013

The 3 B's of Practice

Boring, Beneficial, Better

In helping a student today, we came up with the 3 "Bs" of practice.  Because practice is repetition, it can be boring.   Each repetition should have a different focus such as:  correct notes one time, correct rhythm one time, dynamics, pedaling, keeping a steady beat, etc.  By focusing on one thing in short sections the repetitions maybe not so boring.  For children using 10 M&Ms or pennies helps focus on how many times have been accomplished.  If they play it correctly, they can eat the M&M; if not, they have to do an extra time. If we use repetition correctly by focusing on a different part of what we are working on it will be beneficial because playing of that short section will get progressively better.

So the three "Bs" of are that practice doesn't have to be boring, but repetition is beneficial in that it helps playing get better.

Do I need to repeat this post 10 times? lol

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Ten Years Is A Long Time With One Student...I'm So Blessed To Have Had Her In My Studio!

She has grown up and is now going across the world to other adventures.  Dominique Del Calzo was my first piano student after moving to Lakewood.  She has become a friend, almost like a daughter.  I'm so glad God put her in my life ten years ago.

I asked Dominique to write a testimonial for me. (See below.) I cried when I read it.  We never know how we are affecting other people's lives...unless they tell us.

"Ten years is a long time, and spending a decade stretching your fingers to reach an octave, tapping your foot to keep rhythm, or straining your ears to hear one note may not seem like fun to you; but for me, it has been a blast!

When I was about seven years old, my mother approached Mrs. Robison hoping that she would take me on as a piano student. I wasn't athletic due to my health, and in our community if you didn't do sports, you basically did nothing. Our opportunities were limited. Fortunately Mrs. Robison had just moved to the area. At my mother's request she opened her home to me to teach me.  I eagerly began my lessons and have been learning how to play ever since.

Mrs. Robison's lessons were phenomenal. She was patient and caring. She taught me not just scales, dynamics, chords, and sight reading, but also how to appreciate God and His many blessings. You will find her music theory work even helps in every day school. And with electronics a staple in her lessons, she kept me entertained even as a restless middle schooler. Her methods, though they may seem crazy at first, really work! Everything she has incorporated into her work has helped my musical abilities, as well as my heart to grow.

In a just a few short hours I will be walking across Maple Grove Junior-Senior High School's stage to receive my high school diploma. But, before I do that, I have to say goodbye to piano lessons with Mrs. Robison. Today, June 21, 2013 is my last day as her student and the half hour I will spend with her will be a bittersweet one indeed. If anyone is looking to take piano lessons, I would not even think twice before recommending her. She is the best teacher I have ever had, and for that I am so grateful.

I would like to thank her for her prayers. I would like to thank her for my 18th birthday and graduation gift. I would like to thank her for making Christmas music the highlight of my winter season. I would like to thank her for teaching me to teach myself. I would like to thank her for listening to all the crazy music I listen to and allowing me to play it. I would like to thank her for teaching me history and embracing the future.

Most of all, I would like to thank her for being there through it all.  Mrs. Robison, you truly are an inspiration and great role model for all students. Thank you for what you have given me in these ten years we have had together. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank YOU!


Dominique Del Calzo
Student 2003 - 2013"

Here is a video snippet of her last lesson pieces (less than a minute)
I'm sad to see her go; but excited for what the future holds for this special young lady.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Bald Eagle Thanks Students For Their Help at Audubon Benefit Recital

Bald Eagle Thanks Students For Their Help

Students of Cindy’s Piano Studio, Bemus Point and Lakewood locations, recently held a benefit recital at Jamestown’s Audubon Center.  Attendees brought their lawn chairs and blankets and enjoyed animal themed music in front of the ponds.  Because the Audubon is an educational organization, Mrs. Robison had the children research interesting facts about the animal represented in their piece.
The program started with Luke Lindeman playing More Fireflies and ended with Stuart Rinehart playing The Steeplechase. Other participating students were:  Ava Crist, Harper and Eliza Dawes, Fletcher, Porter, and Trey DeMink, Stephanie Derkovitz, Jordan Feinen, Jack Lingenfelter, Carling Lockwood, Mallory Lohnes, Makala Nelsen, James, Simon, and Isac Pirrello, Desiree Putt, Sarah and Lizzy Quadt, Oliver Rinehart, Sydney Segrue, and Lillian and Gloria Marsh, Coco Seagren. Mrs. Brianna Lopez, teacher, and Mrs. Cindy Robison, Owner/Teacher also accompanied some duets with the students.

Jeff from the Audubon gave a short talk about what they do at the Audubon and how we can help. Just as we finished the music and were taking pictures, the bald eagle flew overhead. We felt it was his way of saying thank you for helping us.

Cindy’s Piano Studio raised $207 in donations so the education can continue.  If you would like to help, you may contact Jamestown Audubon Society at (716) 569-2345 or visit their website at

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Piano Recital at Jamestown Audubon Happening This Saturday

Cindy's Piano Studio received some press regarding our Saturday benefit recital at the Audubon.  Here's the link:

Piano Recital Fundraiser To Be Held At Audubon

June 9, 2013
The Post-Journal
On Saturday, the Jamestown Audubon Center and Sanctuary backyard will come alive with the sound of music when Cindy's Piano Studio teams up with Audubon for an outdoor recital fundraiser.
Beginning at 2 p.m., the students will perform with the ponds as a backdrop and the birds as an accompaniment. All the pieces of music will have an animal theme.
It was Cindy's Piano Studio's looking for ways to help our community that others may not think of that gave rise to this idea.

Article Photos

Perhaps a yellow warbler will sing along with Cindy’s Piano Studio’s recital that will be held in the backyard at the Audubon Center & Sanctuary on Saturday.
"Music is such an important part of our daily lives, and some of the 'songs' of nature are the most beautiful sounds around," said Cindy Robison, owner of Cindy's Piano Studio. "As I was walking around our neighborhood, I heard two birds singing back and forth to each other, and another animal had a rhythmic sound to its call. I went home and composed a little song based on their 'music.'"
The recital is open to the public, and audience members must bring their own lawn chairs or blankets. Admission is a donation; reservations are not required. All donations will benefit Audubon and its educational programs. In the event of rain, the location will change. For more information, call 569-2345.
The Audubon Center & Sanctuary is at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown and Warren.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Piano iPhone Challenge

Piano iPhone Challenge

Cindy’s Piano Studio students recently participated in a Piano iPhone Challenge.  What is a Piano iPhone Challenge?  Students had to work for one month to earn as many of the eight available APPS as they could.  Some APPS were accomplished during the month at the lessons and some were done during weekly home practice sessions.  The eight APPs were:
1.      Practice nine days in a row – tough one but a few students did accomplish this one.
2.      Compose a short piece
3.      Hold a mini recital at home
4.      Memorize two pieces
5.      Complete four theory assignments
6.      Sightread four pieces – that means they play a piece correctly the first time.
7.      Ear Training – The teacher plays two examples on the piano and they chose which was played.
8.      Complete three pieces from their lesson book

Of the nine participating students, Ava Crist and Sarah Quadt received all eight APPs.  Carling Lockwood received seven.  The other participating students were: MB, April and Lily Gustafson, Aaron and Courtney Jung, and Jack Lingenfelter.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Recital Invitation

Never in 30 years of teaching have I had a student do such a beautiful invitation.  Mallory is participating in her first recital and wanted a special invitation for her family and friends.  I love it!  Great job, Mallory.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Piano Phone Challenge

Students are starting to get APPS on their piano phones now. It's fun to see them get colorful. Only one week left until a winner is declared.  APPS have been given for 9 days in a row of practice. I thought that would be the last one to go up but it was one of the first. Family mini recitals, memory, and composition are some of the other APPs given this week. I wonder who the winner will be?

Friday, May 3, 2013

Piano Phone Challenge Has Begun

Piano Phone Challenge started this week.

Nine of Cindy's Piano Studio students will earn eight apps for home practice, performance, memory, ear training, sight reading, book work, composing, and theory.  This month long challenge was created by Teach Piano Today.  They are soooo creative.  All I had to do was download the PDF files, print and laminate.

Students are still not sure exactly what this means for them; however, they will find out in the coming weeks as the apps start appearing on their phones.  The student or students with the most apps will have their picture in the paper with an article about the challenge.

Stay tuned for their progress updates....

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Student Comment: I love piano because it sounds pretty!

I had to take a picture of this yesterday.  It was on the front of Mallory's piano assignment notebook.  She drew this picture in school and then told me about it at her lesson.

She says, "I love piano because it sounds pretty."  I agree with her.  I think Mallory and I will be making lots of pretty sounds at the piano through the years!

Piano lessons in Chautauqua County sound be exciting and fun and relevant to today's students.  So far, Mallory thinks they are.  I hope I can continue to keep her interest.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Piano Tuned Yea!

Getting Kawai piano tuned today for the first time since it moved in.  It desperately needs it and I have a sticky key and wobbling keys.  How can this be!  It's a Kawai.  They aren't supposed to have problems like this.  I guess I've been spoiled with my grand at home.  Ah well, it'll be fixed today in time for next week's recital.

I would put a picture here but blogger won't let me upload any pictures today! UGH~

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cindy’s Piano Studio Recital Raises Money For Soup Kitchen

Got some press this week regarding our recent Christmas recital benefiting St. Susan's Center.

Cindy’s Piano Studio Recital Raises Money For Soup Kitchen

January 21, 2013
The Post-Journal
BEMUS POINT - Students of Cindy's Piano Studio, Bemus Point and Lakewood locations, recently held a recital at Bemus Point United Methodist Church to benefit St. Susan's Center.
Students played their favorite Christmas carols for family and friends. The program started with a duet by Brianna Lopez, piano teacher, and Cindy Robison, piano teacher/owner. There were many solo piano pieces played as well as duets. One parent played guitar while her son played piano; and another performance featured a friend of a student joining in to sing, accompanied by the piano student. The program closed with another duet by Lopez and Robison.
Participating students were: Lizzy Quadt, Morgan Tarbrake, Eliza Dawes, Sabrina Hallberg, Makala Nelsen, Andrew Scarem and his mother, Candy Scarem, Stuart Rinehart, Gloria Marsh, Lillian Marsh, Sarah Quadt, Aaron Jung, Harper Dawes, Carling Lockwood, Coco Seagren, Allison Bohall, Oliver Rinehart, Lily Gustafson, Hannah Tarbrake, Courtney Jung and singer Madigan Howard, Ava Crist and Dominique Delcalzo.

Article Photos

Pictured are students at Cindy’s Piano Studio, whose combined recital helped raise money for the St. Susan Center.
Mrs. Robison gave a short talk regarding St. Susan Center and the need for donations this year. It costs $2.50 to provide one meal for each person who comes into the center. In 2011 they served an average of 235 meals a day. Cindy's Piano Studio helped to feed 50 of those people for one day. St. Susan Center is not subsidized by federal or state agencies. For more information on the center, call 664-2253.