Author Archives: Corey Sevett

Original Duet Composition winner

Layout 1I’m please to announce that I am the winner of the 2013-14 Minnesota Music Teachers Association Original Duet Composition Contest. My duet “Frolic–a duet in C” was selected in the Junior A level and will be performed at the MMTA Honors Concert in June 2014.


2013-14 has started off great!

After two months of lessons this school year, I am happy to report that lessons are going very well. I currently have seven new students who are brand new to the piano, and it’s been exciting to watch them grow and learn. Reading music is a whole new language of symbols and meanings, and every person reacts differently to the complex task of reacting with their bodies and brains to this new language. Parents should be assured that every students learns differently and at a different pace. They all hit roadblocks that take a little time to climb over, but they all will get over the top and move on to new challenges. I hope all the students are having a good time learning and exploring music. It’s a joy like few others in life.

I am continuing to challenge my returning students. They are figuring out how to fit daily practicing into their schedule. I know that every new grade means more homework and new activities, and that all parents are helping the kids understand how important practicing is to their musical and personal development. Lessons don’t yield much results if students don’t practice at home.

I will continue to work on communicating to each student my expectations for their work at home. I have discovered that while I write down in their notebook what I want each student to work on, some students don’t look at the notebook very often. If you feel that the notebook doesn’t work for your child or you, or that the information is incomplete or confusing, please let me know so I can make a change. Some teachers have their students write in the book, but I have found that this takes time away from other things in the lesson, and I don’t want to give up that time.

Speaking of time, I am grateful to those parents who agreed to increase lessons to 45 minutes. For me, it is making a huge difference. The extra time is allowing me to cover everything more thoroughly, and in some cases include more things in the lesson, such as ear training and composition. I am more relaxed in lessons, without feeling like I have to rush to get to everything. Again, it is different with each student, but with everyone the extra time is being used constructively.

At the November 17 recital, my goal is for each student to demonstrate their skill and artistic abilities at the piano. I try to keep the experience as relaxed as possible while still giving them an important musical experience. Playing for others, and the hard work necessary to achieve a high a level of excellence in their recital performance are worthwhile experiences. This year two adults will be playing pieces by Chopin—myself and an adult student who really enjoys performing for others. I look forward to seeing you there!


Summer Lessons

Some parents have asked about the effectiveness of lessons during the summer, when there can be two, three or even four weeks between lessons. My first response is that four weeks between lessons must be better than 12 weeks!

If students don’t take any lessons over the summer, they usually aren’t playing the piano over the summer, and that means their skills diminish and they start the next year behind where they ended the previous year. Even if they are practicing a little, they don’t get the direction and support that lessons provide.

Students can progress if they practice regularly and have at least 6 lessons during the summer months. While summer can be a busy time, it is without homework and the other demands on time that school places on kids. It is possible to carve out 15-30 minutes several times a week for practicing.

And remember, learning discipline is part of what learning a musical instrument is all about. If parents just let go of practicing over the summer, they’re losing the opportunity to teach their children the lesson that regular hard work is what’s necessary to learn, to improve, and to achieve their goals.

One positive about the summer is that kids might realize that reduced practicing and fewer lessons results in much slower progress.

I am looking forward to seeing all my returning students in the fall, as well as several new students!

2013 Spring piano recital

The Spring piano recital for my students will be on Sunday, April 21, 2013 at 2 p.m. Grace University Lutheran Church will once again host us. Treats afterward! Please put this on your calendar.