Monthly Archives: July 2010

Lexington Chocolate Party

Check out this fantastic video of our friends in Lexington as they enjoy some free chocolate, a student talent show, music by The Beth Mankel Group and the unveiling of Roland’s new SuperNATURAL digital piano line.  Thanks to everyone who helped make this event a huge success!


Everything’s Great at [Studio] 88

Recently I decided to take a visit to Lexington PIE Teacher, Beth Mankel’s, music academy – Studio 88.  As I pulled up, I noticed Beth’s Harley Davidson parked outside and knew that I was in for a unique visit.

Beth’s mother greeted me at the door with her trademark smile and guided me past the law offices and upstairs to the studio.  I walked in and gasped at the vibrantly colored walls and modern decorations all around me.  The school looked like the perfect melding of a lessons facility and a modern art gallery.  There were comfortable chairs everywhere, big windows and a smattering of tasteful decorations in every room.  I thought of my old piano lesson days when I would walk into my teacher’s house and focus on nothing but the smell her 9 cats, and smiled enviously.  I would have loved to take piano lessons in such a beautiful place.

With a warm smile and a quick hug, Beth walked out and greeted me.  She showed me around the school and introduced me to some of her students.  We quickly toured her guitar lessons and voice lessons studios, and then made our way into her famous Roland piano lab.  I’d heard about this legendary “state-of-the-art” piano lessons facility from James and I have to say that he might have undersold it a bit.  Designed to perfectly accommodate up to four students at a time (each with his or her own Roland digital piano), the room reminded me of the college-level piano training classes I had to take back at my university.  It was truly amazing.  The walls were covered with music posters, inspirational quotes and – at the front – a whiteboard with a message from one of Beth’s students that read, “Mrs. Beth, you ROCK!”

Beth explained that group piano lessons at Studio 88 are powered by student motivation.  Peer dynamics and enthusiasm make progress in a group setting more rapid while dramatically reducing student attrition.  Classes are offered to children, teens, and adults in groups of four of the same age and/or level.  Beth takes the time to teach students proper playing technique using fun songs and her own experiences as a professional musician to drive their interest.  It’s no wonder that her students often make music a lifetime skill!

As my tour concluded, Beth and I discussed her band’s upcoming performance at Gist Piano Center Lexington’s Chocolate Party and Grand Opening Celebration.  The Beth Mankel Group will perform from 2:30pm – 3:30pm at Gist and you won’t want to miss it.  Here are a couple of sample clips from The Beth Mankel Group:

Put Your Record On    |    Chasing Pavement    |    Love Song

If you’re in Lexington, you owe it to yourself to visit Studio 88.  The music is great.  The teachers are friendly.  …and the facility is amazing.  Truly, everything is great at Studio 88!

Stay tuned for my next blog entry as I take a stroll over the visit my friends at The Music Institute of Lexington.


James and Barrett Visit Old Kentucky Chocolates

Old Kentucky ChocolatesEver eager to serve and protect our Kentuckiana clients, Barrett and I once again hit the road to do some field research for the upcoming Lexington Chocolate Party and Grand Opening Celebration.  This time, our travels took us to a Lexington landmark:  Old Kentucky Chocolates.

For over 46 years, Old Kentucky Chocolates has been located deep in the heart of the Bluegrass State.  They are best known for their Bourbon Chocolates™ (a Bourbon fondant center with chopped pecans inside), Bourbon Cherries™ and Bourbon Truffles™ – all made with 100 proof Jim Beam Bourbon.  …but since the chocolate party is a family affair, we decided to check out some of Old Kentucky Chocolates’s other celebrated confections.

We walked in to a sea of delicious goodies – all lovingly wrapped and packaged in elegant, attractive boxes or baskets.  The ladies that greeted us were warm and friendly – eager to show us how proud they were of their handmade treats.  One in particular, Kitty, took us directly to the free samples area, where we tried some chocolate-covered potato chips (yum!), creamy candies and the most amazing chocolate-covered grapes I have ever tasted.  It was Heavenly.

Eventually, Barrett ordered a Chocolate Thoroughbred™ (a patty of soft caramel over pecans and covered in chocolate) and I ordered a peanut butter bar and a Kentucky Derby Mint™.  We even broke down and picked up some white-chocolate biscuits for our puppies. Old Kentucky Chocolates

The treats were amazing (In fact, we’re both still craving those chocolate-covered grapes.), but the service was even more so.  …but don’t take our word for it.  Take a kitchen tour and see for yourself.  Just remember to call ahead and let them know you’re coming.

With service every bit as sweet as the goodies they sell, Old Kentucky Chocolates should definitely be on your radar.  Check them out.  …and sample some of their delicious candies at our Lexington Chocolate Party and Grand Opening Celebration.  We’ll see you there!