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November 2014

A monthly newsletter to inform

and entertain our friends



Please Welcome Jennifer Griffin – Voice & Piano


  • Born in Schaumburg, Illinois. Have also lived in Greenville, South Carolina and Watertown, Wisconsin.

  • Have one sister that lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin—we are very close

  • Number of years teaching—8

  • Began piano lessons at the age of 7 at Bloomingdale School of Music

  • B.S. in Music Performance from Maranatha Baptist University, M.M. in Voice Performance and Music History from Northern Illinois University

  • Loves performing in operas and musicals, singing at weddings, accompanying…and all things having to do with music!

  • Favorite music: the musicals Wicked and Les Miserables, Kelly Clarkson, Michael Bublé, Josh Groban, Gavin DeGraw, Maroon 5, and Imagine Dragons

  • Hobbies and interests—reading, movie and book review blogging, candle fanatic—works part-time at Yankee Candle, sports-especially the Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks, going to plays, musicals, and operas, counted cross stitching, hanging out in coffee shops

  • Favorite movies—Lord of the Rings trilogy, Inception, The Dark Knight, Harry Potter

  • Favorite books—Harry Potter series, Pride and Prejudice, Hunger Games series, Divergent, Game of Thrones series, Cormoran Strike series

  • Favorite food—pizza, anything with mint or coconut in it, but coffee is probably my main food group


    I believe that anyone can learn to sing or play the piano well. My first main goal is always to encourage the student: to take the talent that is already there and to mold and polish it. My teaching method focuses on classical technique first, then applying those techniques to any style of music that the student wishes to pursue. My second goal is for the student to not look at the music as notes on a page, but to interpret the music as something that can touch others. Music, and especially the music teachers I have had, has made a great difference in my life; and I wish for my students to feel the same. As Nietzsche said: “Without music, life would be a mistake.”   





Over 100 recital videos are now on YouTube! Visit "Sweet Sounds for You" to see you and your friends performing at past recitals! Recital videos are also available on facebook!



Incredible Effects Music Has on Your Brain

♫ Spoken word and the emotional expression in classical music have similar effects on the brain. Music has always had the ability to convey emotions, and many use it in place of words. It is no surprise then, that music follows the same tonal characteristics that our voices do. Therefore, on a subconscious level we are able to distinguish emotions like happiness and sadness from songs, depending on the mode of music.

♫ It helps lower your anxiety and pain levels. A lot of things make people anxious throughout the day. One example would be surgeries, where people are unsure of what is coming and become restless. Even after the surgery, traditional pharmaceutical pain-killers can only do so much. One study shows that playing Bach to patients made them more relaxed, and after the procedure,  playing more Bach helped decrease pain levels.

♫ It can help you avoid blood pressure medications. By lowering your stress and calming you down, classical music has the ability to lower your blood pressure. A comparison was done  between patients who didn’t listen to classical music, those who listened to other forms of music, and those who did listen to classical music. The results showed that those who listened to classical music had lower systolic blood pressure levels of a noticeable amount.

♫ Emotions can be enhanced and aroused by classical music. One study at the Southern Methodist University in 2001 showed that the type of music played had an effect, emotionally, on people as they were asked to remember an experience. Depending on what they were listening to, their topics were influence as was the language they used.

♫ Kiss insomnia goodbye. Studies have shown that classical music helps people fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. The tonal patterns and rhythms put people into a more meditative mode, allowing them to fall asleep.

♫ It alters your brainwaves. Even without paying attention to the music itself, brainwaves altered themselves in children, increasing coherence between different parts of the cerebral cortex. These children also experienced a more relaxed state.

♫ It cultivates your child’s brain development. While it doesn’t guarantee your child will be the next Einstein or Tesla, studies have shown that teaching a child an instrument will help them surpass their peers on tests. It has also been shown to help children cultivate self-control as well as verbal and spatial skills.

♫ Its superpower is reducing crime. Classical music isn’t a superhero, but it does have the ability to reduce crime in cities. Some cities around the world have started playing classical music in high traffic areas, to ensure the most people hear it. It isn’t clear exactly why or how it affects the brain, but crime rates substantially were lowered, especially in areas like the rail systems, creating a cost-effective way of lowering crime rates.

♫ It can soothe the savage beast. Classical music is some of the most calming music you could ever find. Studies show it reduces stress, anxiety, and fights depression by making the brain release dopamine. This may not work on people who absolutely hate classical music, but it will help most people relax.

♫ It can help your baby grow faster. One study showed that classical music helped premature babies grow faster, allowing them a better chance at survival. Researchers don’t know exactly why this happens, but they theorize that the music boosts their immune system and suppresses things like stress that would otherwise inhibit growth. Either way, this method has helped parents bring home their pre-term babies sooner. Definitely a benefit. (courtesy of CMUSE)






We are pleased to send you this monthly issue of our newsletter. It is our way of saying that you are important to us and we truly value your business. Enjoy!
Coming Attractions:

November 16, 2014 General Recital
December 13, 2014 Holiday Recitals
December 14, 2014 Holiday Recitals 


We're Always In the Mood for Referrals!
EmbarassedTell a friend, relative, an  acquaintance....whoever, about us. When they call and tell us you sent them and register for lessons, (don't worry, we ask how they heard about us when they call), you receive a certificate for $20.00. Your certificate may be used for a tuition credit or to purchase lesson materials or boutique items.
Smile  On December 31, 2014, we will raffle off a $100 American Express Gift card for all the referrals from July through December. On July 1, 2015, we will raffle off a $100 American Express Gift card for the referrals from the first half of the new year.


Many thanks for your referrals, new family members joining us, and new students! The studio continues to grow and now many teachers have completely filled schedules! 




Top 5 Reasons to Take Up a Musical Instrument


Share your passion! Playing music is often a great social “glue”, that will allow you to introduce yourself to many like-minded musicians and music fans, sharing incredible experiences whether playing in a band together in some garage or listening to a record with a nice cup of coffee.

Brain train! Music has been an integral part of culture for centuries. Classical music has been shown to have a variety of benefivial effects on people, from putting people in a calmer and more relaxed state, reducing stress, and even improve intelligence. Children who learn how to play a music instrument showcase statistically more developed perceptions and psychophysical capabilities, including improved memory and ability to focus!

Learn more languages! Music is practically a language per se. There seems to be a correlation between learning music and learning a language on a mental stand point. Children who take yp music are actually more likely to become fluent in a second language. With the same premises, music might help children with problems such as autism and dyslexia, because the musical notions might allow their brains to focus on their sound / information processing in different areas, including speech and attention management.

Better coordination! Learning how to play a music instrument has been shown to improve mind-body coordination and it even helps people with psychophysical disabilities find more balance! If you play the piano, for example, your hands will touch and feel the keys, you will think about the pressure you need to apply, you’ll educate yourself to tuning and pitch, you’ll learn the technique and you are developing muscle memory…all of these processes are handled and coordinated by the brain, which in turns, becomes a lot more elastic and flexible.

Fun and creative! Being able to perform your favorite song or writing your own is simply amazing. There are no words to describe the feeling of reward and emotional response! (courtesy of CMUSE)


Walter and Connie Payton Holiday Gift Drive

As we head into this holiday season, we are joining forces again this year with the Walter and Connie Payton Foundation to host a Toy Drive and Veteran Gift Donation Drive.

WCPF partnered with Concord Assisted Living Facility in Northlake, IL to provide a warm, safe place for needy and homeless Veterans to live. Most of the Veterans who move in to this facility do not have any personal items except the clothes on their back. With that said, WCPF is hosting a Veteran Holiday Gift Drive AND Toy Drive.

From November 8 to December 12 we will be collecting:

TToys for children ages newborn to 18 years old

TDonation gift suggestions for Veterans (ages 55 and older) are: gift cards to Walmart and Kohls, hygiene items, socks, PJ pants/shirts, pillows, towels, toilet paper, Kleenex, bar soap, liquid laundry soap and blankets.

TAll items donated must be new and unwrapped


Many of the staff will be wearing Bears attire as we support this great event! Please bring a new and unwrapped item to your lesson and drop it under our Christmas tree in the waiting room. Many thanks for your generosity!





Julia Zalewski - violin with Kathleen Gaiden                    

Stefanie Flores - piano with Heidi Rusch

Alani Rampersad - voice with Jennifer Griffin  

Anne Reay - piano with Heidi Rusch                

Madison Matranga - voice with Jennifer Griffin

Barb Isaacson - piano with Laurel Dubowski                     

Filip Kular - voice with Jennifer Griffin



"Life is a lot like jazz...

it's best when you improvise"

George Gershwin






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