Tag Archives: Roland digital pianos

Summer Piano Camps at Gist Piano Academy!

During the past year, we opened the Gist Piano Academy (GPA) in Lexington and  we have had the pleasure of seeing many students come in every day for piano lessons. It’s been great to see so many kids and adults learning about piano and music!

While summer is the time to start to kick back and relax, it’s also the time to experience and learn all sorts of new things that you maybe don’t have the opportunity to do during the school year!

At GPA, we will be offering four different classes for both beginning and experienced piano students at the beginning of this summer. Taught by GPA instructor, Dr. Victoria Tsangari, students will have the opportunity to learn everything from playing their first notes on the piano to composing and premiering their first composition.

Before joining the faculty at Gist Piano Academy, Dr. Tsangari taught at the University of Iowa.

Dr. Tsangari teaches this student to play his first song on the piano!

Dr. Tsangari teaches this student to play his first song on the piano!

and served as Visiting Assistant Professor of Piano and Theory at Kentucky State University, where she taught studio and group piano, music theory and aural skills. In addition, she has 14 years of experience teaching private piano lessons to children and adults in the US and in Europe. Dr. Tsangari’s goals are to help students develop their technique and musicianship to their full potential, to help them grow as independent musicians and to fuel their love for music so they continue to play and to support music throughout their lives.

Piano Camp is for students who have studied piano for at least one year with an instructor. Piano Camp will strengthen students’ musical skills and renew their excitement for music making through fun activities and games. Activities will include duet and ensemble performance using a Roland keyboard lab, music theory, improvisation, ear training, sight-reading, and music history. The class will culminate in a recital at Gist Piano Center.

Piano Camp for Beginners is for anyone interested in learning the piano. Now’s your chance! This two-week class provides students who have not studied music previously with an introduction to making music at the piano. Students get their first taste of solo and ensemble playing using our Roland keyboard lab, and learn about music notation, music theory, ear training, and improvisation through fun activities and games. At the end of the beginning piano camp, students will make their piano debut during a performance at Gist!

Composition and Improvisation for Piano is another opportunity for those who have already studied piano for a year to enhance their musical skills by composing and learning to improvise! The first week in this two-week course will unlock students’ creativity with improvisation games, the introduction of various pedagogical tools, and guided composition sketches. The second week will be devoted to developing one or more compositions from start to finish, from inspiration to publication and premiere!

Sight Reading for piano students who want to improve their sight-reading ability and have fun doing it! Sight-reading is one of the most important skills for developing musicians to acquire. Not only it can help them learn their music faster, it can eventually lead to musical independence and improved overall musicianship.

Sound like fun to you? Download the  Summer Piano Camps information form here.  Contact Gist at (859) 854-2492 or email me at hhamilton@gistpianocenter.com for more details. Hurry! Space is limited and the deadline to register is May 18th!

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Kevin Olson comes to Kentucky!

Join Dr. Olson in a teacher training session. Get the results that you and your students want!

During the summer months, we at Gist have the pleasure of welcoming teachers into our store for various workshops on teaching and music. On August 2nd and 3rd, we are excited to welcome Dr. Kevin Olson, from the FJH Music Company to our Lexington and Louisville locations.

An active teacher, pianist, composer, and clinician, Dr. Olson maintains a large piano studio and is on the piano faculty at Utah State University and directs the Utah State Youth Conservatory for pre-college students. Throughout his career, he has written more than 100 books and solos for piano students. All of these works have been inspired to meet the needs of his own students.

During the workshop, Dr. Olson makes “it a priority that my workshops are fun, educational, and I hope that teachers will leave energized with new and creative ideas and materials for their studios.”
Throughout the workshop, Dr. Olson will focus on a variety of topics and introduce a variety teaching techniques, books, and songs.

 

Some of the topics to be covered include –
– The needs of the beginning student, from children through adults.
– Introducing the brand new series, co-authored by Dr. Olson and his wife, Piano Made Fun for the Young, which integrates singing and movement while introducing the piano.
– Demonstrating some teaching approaches from the Succeeding at the Piano series by Helen Marlais, and introducing Grade 3 of this series.
– The Perfect Start, which supplements the students’ piano studies “by reinforcing note reading in a clear, systematic, slower-paced way.”
– Making students solid sight readers. Dr. Olson will introduce the newest addition to The Sight Reading & Rhythm Every Day series, Starter Book A.
– Improvisation and composition skills. “We’ll discuss the process of motivation in the piano studio, and how finding the right piece can keep a student’ interest high, while not sacrificing lasting artistic development.”

Join Dr. Olson this August, in Kentucky!
Gist Piano Center – Lexington, August 2, 2012 at 9:30am
Gist Piano Center – Louisville, August 3, 2012 at 9:30am

Dr. Olson’s workshop are free and each attendee will receive free music from FJH music, special in-store discounts, and a light lunch so they can spend time asking questions and getting to know Dr. Olson. To RSVP, visit www.gistpianocenter.com/clinics.

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Teaching Special Needs Students on Roland Digital Pianos

Roland RM-700 Digital Piano

The Roland RM-700

I have often said that people think there’s “nothing new under the sun” in the piano business.  We’re dealing with an instrument that is over 300 years old and has changed relatively little.  Most teachers, technicians and private owners have chosen their favorite brands years ago, firmly plugged their fingers into their ears and begun to hum loud enough to drown out any new information that might contradict their traditional view of the piano world.  For those of us who work with current piano information on a daily basis, this is extremely frustrating.

One of the biggest challenges I face as a piano expert is finding others in my community who understand the value of modern piano tools.  It’s not easy to find someone who will ask their students to play along with a CD, record a MIDI file or – gasp – practice their scales with a drum rhythm instead of a metronome.  However, I occasionally have the fortune of encountering one of these enlightened souls and I want to share her relatively unique story with you. Continue reading

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Shower Karaoke with Roland

Center Cancel on Roland Pianos

Turn your favorite CDs into karaoke CDs!

Come on. Admit it. There’s no shame in it. Lot’s of people do it. In fact, I do it myself. Some mornings when I get up and step into the shower, I can’t help myself. I grab my shampoo bottle, turn up the radio and start belting out “Friday” or “You Can’t Touch This” – whatever comes to my (admittedly groggy) mind. Hi. My name is James and I’m a Shower Singer. …and so are you.

Lots of us get up every morning, sneak into the bathroom, crank the radio, and sing to our hearts’ content. …and, though we hide our efforts from the “discerning” ears of friends and family, we take some comfort in the fact that – though he doesn’t know it – we can hear our next door neighbor doing the very same thing.

Well, fellow Shower Singers, the future is here! Introducing the all new HP-305 digital pianos from Roland.

Designed to reproduce the natural, expressive feel of a grand piano (right down to the characteristic “click” feel and the old-school “ivory feel” keys), the new Roland HP305 is so authentic you’ll forget you’re playing a digital instrument! …but, though it has a breath-taking SuperNATURAL piano sound (based on the Steinway 9′ concert grand), 3-track recorder, metronome, and iconic front leg cabinet design, the HP-305’s real appeal is for – yes, you guessed it – the Shower Singers!

Connect your iPod, USB flash drive, or USB CD drive to this piano and you can take pre-recorded songs (even your favorite CDs!), cut out the vocals, and sing your favorite music with CD accompaniment! You can even change keys! You’re shower can’t do that!

So, fellow Shower Singers, it’s time for us to step out of the shower, dry ourselves off, (put some clothes on!), and sing ‘till our hearts’ content with the all-new HP-305 pianos from Roland.

Stop in for a demo and I might even sing for you – just don’t tell anyone!


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“Ask James” – Group Piano Lab

This time of year, I get a number of bid requests from local schools for digital piano labs. Teaching class piano has been a part of college curriculum for many years, but these days more and more of these bid requests are coming from secondary and even elementary schools. The actual bid proposal takes awhile to customize and explain (since we custom-fit digital piano labs for any size room or budget), but I thought you might enjoy a look at the possibilities…

Enjoy this brief video showing what one school in Texas did with their Roland digital piano lab and how it’s changed class piano forever…

-James

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