Maya loves playing piano and to sing along with the music with her sister. Ms. Tingting has been great in keeping her enthusiasm up and helping her focus on the techniques. She is always looking forward to her piano class with Ms. Tingting. She practices new song every week to play to her teacher and loves playing piano duets. Thank you very much to Orpheus Academy for connecting her with Ms. Tingting & your excellent curriculum.
I would like to nominate Maya for student of the month. Maya started her first piano lesson several months ago. She loves music and she has shown great enthusiasm since the first time I met her. Not only does she come to every lesson fully prepared, she always exceeds my expectations by exploring new songs on her own. She is very attentive during the lesson, and she enjoys every little thing we do. Recently, Maya earned her first bracelet by demonstrating professional posture and great technique. I am very proud of all her hard work, and I can't wait to see how much more Maya can accomplish in her musical journey!
- Ms. Tingting
Desmond loves how music can make you feel better whether you’re happy or sad. He also enjoys the challenge of learning new songs to play.
Desmond just really loves playing music, especially on the violin. He plays songs like they're stuffed up his sleeves, from memory too! He has completed all his milestones for the Musical Journey-level 1 and aced his MJ test. He's a student that is truly enthusiastic about music and the violin and has a drive from learning new songs. He is currently planning a home recital, a Friendship Concert duet with his brother, and he is my pick for October's Student of The Month.
- Mr. Xavier
Elijah performed a collection of folk songs and free stroke works for his album project! The recordings are very musical and performed with great accuracy. Keep up the great work!
Eliana worked very hard all summer long to write her own compositions and created a wonderful book out of them! Congratulations on "The Music Galaxy" Eliana!
I love music so much because I have always loved listening to music. I can’t wait to be able to play and sing music at the same time.
Dean has been a joy since his very first lesson and his enthusiasm for piano and music in general has continued to grow since then! Dean recently completed his Musical Journey project for level 1 and is now moving through even more complicated repertoire after less than a year of lessons! He always comes prepared for his lessons, listens attentively and is so eager to share his music with others; I'm very proud of all his hard work and can't wait to continue seeing his musical growth!
- Ms. Gloria
I love playing the acoustic piano because it is easier to play legato. It sounds really beautiful. I always play at the guitar center to share my music so people can listen to me play what I have learned.
Vanessa has been studying piano since Fall of 2019. I enjoy working with her every week! Not only does she accomplish her practice goals every week, but she also learns additional songs on her own. Vanessa completed the Musical Journey levels 1 and 2 and is preparing for her level 3 final project this semester. She also loves to play duets with her Mom and they performed in one of the friendship concerts. I know that music will continue to be a big part of Vanessa's life!
- Ms. Wendy
I love making music, especially playing duets with Dr. Jae-Eun or my older brother, or making up my own songs.
Levi started his first piano lesson a year ago. The entire first semester his lessons were virtual only. Although virtual learning can be a lot more challenging for younger students, Levi managed everything very well. He has shown huge passion about his piano lessons, he performed in Theo’s practice a thon and participated in fundraising with his brother Micah, who is also studying piano with me. Also Levi did his first duet performance with Micah in the Spring 2022 Friendship Concert. He passed Musical Journey Level 1 Test and finished his first in person Home concert June 25 and achieved his first Trophy. He performed 7 songs with one original composition, Moon day groove.
Levi loves music and he is always eager to learn more and try new things. Can’t wait to see his next Musical Journey.
- Ms. Jae-Eun
Congratulations to Alexander on completing his Level 3 Musical Journey book project! His book features a collection of handwritten folk songs and one original guitar piece, "Hesitating." Good work, Alexander!
Britten worked very hard to make beautiful recordings of 10 different pieces for his Musical Journey Level 2 project. Bravo, Britten!
Watch on YouTube
1. “Pop! Pop! Popcorn!,” by Faber
2. “Floating Balloon,” by Faber
3. “Roses Are Red,” by Nancy Faber
4. “Mouse on the Trampoline,” by Faber
5. “Li’l Liza Jane,” Traditional
6. “The Clock Shop,” by Faber
7. “I’m A Fine Musician,” Traditional
8. “Peter, Peter,” Traditional
9. “Rah Rah Cheer!,” by Faber
10. “Forest Dance,” by Faber
Playing piano is one of my favorite things because it is fun! Playing music makes me happy, excited and relaxed. I love learning different songs, creating my own beats, and playing together with my favorite teacher Ms. Yujung.
- Zoey C.
I am happy to nominate Zoey for the Student of the Month. We’ve been working together for about a year and she’s exceeded my expectations since day one. Zoey is such a passionate student who is not only following my instructions and ideas but putting her own ideas to her music. She does not hesitate to use her imagination when we are interpreting the pieces. It’s my joy to see her bright eyes when we are discussing what this music is trying to say and how we can make it interesting.
I also appreciate her courage to perform in the performance classes even though she has a little bit of stage fright. She never gives up and works harder. She is going to give a home concert this summer and I believe she will overcome her weakness and perform beautifully. I am so proud of Zoey!
I’m so grateful that Ms. Megan chose me as the student of the month. I always enjoyed all my classes and I want to learn more about music and singing.
- Mahathi S.
I would like to nominate Mahathi for student of the month. Mahathi comes to each lesson with a positive attitude! She really enjoys working on long-form songs and songs with dancing and games. What I have found most compelling about Mahathi, though, is her curiosity. She asks many questions and really wants to understand music at a deep level. Thank you Mahathi for your curiosity and enthusiasm for music.
- Ms. Megan
I love music because it is fun and it makes me feel calm. Also, big pieces are very fun to achieve and conquer. Last but not least, Mr. Gordon is very nice and gives me awesome pieces to play.
Aarush is industrious and serious about his musical skills. He has picked out his own big musical challenges, set to them, and conquered them. He has attained a very good grasp of the workings of music and, after just a few short years, is playing impressive literature.
- Mr. Gordon
The Musical Journey, our 8-level motivational system focused on goal setting and creative expression, has just been completed for the very first time! Lukas E, an Orpheus piano student, recently finished his final project and earned his Level 8 trophy along with a $1,000 check to celebrate the achievement!
The Musical Journey is the only system of its kind that not only emphasizes each student's skills, but also their creativity. All Orpheus students are encouraged to participate in it, as it helps to create focused practice along with a great sense of accomplishment. Dr. Klondike Steadman sat down with Lukas to speak about his experience with the Musical Journey, his final project, and his time at Orpheus Academy.
Klondike: Lukas it's so great to have you here!
For all of you out there, I'm Klondike Steadman, I'm one of the owners and directors here, and we have the unique opportunity to celebrate Lukas, our first student completing all eight levels of the Musical Journey!
You know, I remember you when you were just four years old, you started lessons—you were just reminding me—in this very room. Now how old are you?
Lukas: I'm 17 now.
Klondike: 17! Wow! So, 13 years of lessons and it's been quite a ride. I can remember you in recitals where your feet wouldn't even touch the floor, and now you've gone through all of our programs.
Klondike: Tell me a little bit how music lessons have impacted you as a person over the years.
Lukas: They've provided just a really, really great opportunity for me to challenge myself mentally. So, coming here after school once a week or practicing at home every single day was just a really nice respite from sort of the academic side of school, and allowed me to express creativity in other ways that I really enjoyed.
Klondike: That's wonderful!
Klondike: You mention it's a respite, how did it help you during the pandemic? During the first year of lockdown?
Lukas: What was interesting was for a solid part of that first year I was in Japan, so I didn't actually get to play the piano for about a year. And so when I came back I sort of had to start over again, and that was hard especially without lessons at the beginning, but the more I practiced the more I realized that it was an amazing way to escape and sort of be in my own little bubble and sort of enjoy it for what it was.
Klondike: Well thanks so much for sharing that, I didn't actually know that you were in Japan during that year!
"Coming here after school once a week or practicing at home every single day was just a really nice respite from sort of the academic side of school, and allowed me to express creativity in other ways that I really enjoyed."
Klondike: Can you tell us about your experience with the Musical Journey? You've done all of these amazing projects, how did the Musical Journey impact your learning?
Lukas: Interestingly one of my favorite parts of the Musical Journey was the musicianship portion of the test. The harmonics, the rhythms, and the scales. And I feel like practicing that portion with teachers really helped all of the pieces that I would then play. So I think it was really interesting to see how the integral parts of music really express themselves in the Musical Journey and how that helped me become a better pianist.
Klondike: That's so interesting that you say that, because so many kids and parents don't understand that connection: how being a great musician, understanding how music actually works, helps you learn pieces. It seems like it would go without saying, but I think most people think it's all about putting your fingers in the right place.
Klondike: Well how does it feel having completed Level 8 of the Musical Journey?
Lukas: It feels really good! It's a little bit sad because I really enjoyed the whole "journey" portion of it, but I think it presents a new opportunity as well, where now I don't have to focus so much on the testing portions of it but more I can just apply what I've learned through the Musical Journey to new pieces that I can play. And I can find more difficult pieces and maybe spend more time on that, so I'm excited for what it will bring.
Klondike: Yeah, exactly. And I hope all the skills that you've learned along the way will make that a lot easier.
"It was really interesting to see how the integral parts of music really express themselves in the Musical Journey and how that helped me become a better pianist."
Klondike: So Lukas, for your Level 8 project, you made a website that will help you promote yourself professionally as a pianist. Can you tell me a little bit about that process?
Lukas: So at first, one of the more difficult parts about it was figuring out what sort of writing element I was going to incorporate into the website. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that really I could expand a lot on that and provide not only background about my personal self, but also about myself as a musician, or other interests I had, or what I hope to do with my musicianship in the future.
And so thinking about all that, I then decided to add a couple clips of myself playing the piano as sort of an example. I had just finished learning a Chopin Prelude that I really wanted to include on my website. And I tried maybe 10 or 15 times to record an accurate or nice version of this prelude, and struggled to each time. And so I finally ended up using one that— I got home from school and I decided, "You know what, I'm going to record it once and I'm going to be happy with it and that's what I'm going to put on there." And I did and it was, in my opinion, the best time I've ever played it, so I was really glad to have done that.
Klondike: You know, you touch on having to try and try and try again. I don't think a lot of people out there realize that that's a reason that we have these projects. Because any time you record yourself, you're going to notice the things that you didn't like about your playing, and there's literally no better way to get better at anything than to watch yourself struggling, and then focus on the thing that you're having trouble with and then try it again and try it again.
Well I think it's awesome that you made this website. There's so many people who need music in their lives, and having that website up there is going to help you connect with them in really wonderful ways.
Klondike: Do you have any favorite memories of Orpheus that you wanted to share?
Lukas: A couple of my favorites were, first of all— every day that I came to Ms. Christine's lessons after school, I would sit outside and wait for my sister Adeline to finish her lessons. And during that time there was a very nice gentleman just across the hall in that room over there, who was practicing—I don't remember with what teacher—but he would play a piece and I would hear it and really enjoy it. And every Thursday I guess it was, he would come out and ask for one person to come sit in on 10 minutes of his lesson or so. And so for maybe three or four months I would come and listen to him play and improve on that piece every single week, and it was really, really impressive. And that stuck with me a lot.
Klondike: I never knew that! I'll have to look at the schedule and see who was taking lessons at the same time as you back then. But I think that kind of gets at our community vision. The reason that Wendy, my wife, and I started this business was that we've always felt like teaching out of your home— students don't get to hear other students. And when they can hear other people they get inspired by that. That's really great.
Klondike: Do you have any advice to other people who are going through the Musical Journey, about how they can get the most out of it?
Lukas: So I would say, don't just look to getting to the very end of it. Even though it seems like a long journey, appreciate all of the individual steps and everything that you learn through it because that's really what will help you become a better musician.
Klondike: Well I definitely am so excited to be presenting you with the Level 8 trophy and a $1,000 check to help with your studies as you project into the future. I know that this is going to be true for you because I know how much you love music, but hopefully this is just the start of a new musical journey for you to take music out into the world.
Lukas: Thank you very much.
Klondike: So here's the Level 8 trophy and a $1,000 check!
Lukas: Thank you!
Klondike: Thank you Lukas.
Klondike: And to everybody else out there, I just hope that you will invest yourself the way Lukas has in building your skills, doing amazing projects, transforming the world, and bringing joy to everybody through your music. Thank you so much to everybody participating in this Musical Journey!
I love music because music is fun and I like to try new songs.
- Bodhi M.
I can’t keep up with Bodhi these days with how fast he has been learning songs. He’s been having so much fun in our lessons and wants to learn every song he can’t get his hands on. I’m really proud of him for the energy he brings to learning violin and I’m impressed with the length of songs he can learn for his age. Bodhi is young but he’s not afraid of a challenge, he’ll ask me weekly for songs above his level and we’ll try them out not getting discouraged along the way. Even though he’s always hungry for new music he really cares that he learns his songs well and goes back and plays his old favorites. I’m very excited to nominate Bodhi for student of the month and to celebrate the progress he’s been making lately in our lessons.
- Mr. Ernesto
Music has been such an important part of my life. It helps me let go of any worries I have, and it makes me feel at peace with myself. I hope that I will always be able to say that for the rest of my life!
- Krishna H.
Krishna has a passion and enthusiasm for music that is infectious! He puts the same focused energy into his singing that he does into everything else he pursues (from his honors courses, to swim team, to Latin competitions), and as a result, he has cultivated a really disciplined approach to practicing. In our lessons, he is thoughtful and nuanced in his self-evaluations, and he takes great initiative to research and pick out new repertoire that he is excited about. As a performer, Krishna puts himself fully out there and isn't afraid to try new things or show vulnerability in his acting & singing. His openness to feedback and sense of humor make lessons fruitful and so fun! Thank you for sharing your voice with the Orpheus community!
- Ms. Chelsea
It has been a pleasure working with Lux this past year, and her hard work has paid off with this great video concert project!
Watch on YouTube
"I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" by John Rox
"Following the Leader" from "Peter Pan" - Music by Oliver Wallace, Lyrics by Winston Hibler and Ted Sears
"Do You Want to Build a Snowman" from "Frozen" - Music and Lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
"Be Kind to Your Parents" from "Fanny" - Music and Lyrics by Harold Rome