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February 2015

A monthly newsletter to inform

and entertain our friends


Are You Ready for the Stage?

Our Recitals and music contests are coming up, and our students are excited! When you are studying an instrument, it’s very important to have positive performance experiences. You’ll have fun and be motivated to work toward your next performance!

Here are some tips to help you as you prepare!


•Choose your piece early, so you have plenty of time to be familiar with it. Make sure it’s one you enjoy!

•Give yourself extra time to practice during the first few weeks you’re working on your piece.That way, you don’t have to panic as the recital date nears!

•Practice mentally. Think through your song when you are on your lunch break or on the bus, and target the problem spots.

•Focus on rough spots: WHY are they hard?  Create solutions!

•Choose several go-to spots in your piece and practice starting from them in case you lose your place or make a mistake.

•Keep on playing if you make a mistake in practice! Finish the song, THEN go back and fix the problem area.

•Memorize your song, even if you plan to perform with the book.

•Play for your family and friends, so you’re used to an audience. Ask them for feedback so you keep improving!




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!


Classical Music: Essential to the Success of Casinos

Those who enjoy music know that it can have great effects on psychology, and the effects of auditory stimulation are apparently what drives casino operators and slot game developers to employ classical music in their establishments. Classical music finds many uses in today's society, and it's often heard as the background music for casino lounges and hotel lobbies - with Vivaldi's Four Seasons being a clear favorite. Recently however, we've been seeing some operators making the most of this genre.

Background music in video games are a curious thing: when they work well, you hardly notice them, but when a piece is poorly selected, it can ruin the whole experience for the player. This is why many operators pay close attention to the scoring of their games. Some operators have, of course, found an easy way out, opting to create games themed around musical icons so they can use their music in the games instead. Intercasino, which has recently expanded to into German markets, features a Dolly Parton-themed slot game, and Bally Technologies has also launched a game themed around Michael Jackson's music and videos.

So why exactly has classical music found new uses in the casino industry? It has much to do with the studied effects classical music has on the brain. Research has shown that classical music can heighten and arouse emotions, meaning that when it's played at a casino, it can make players feel more excited and anxious to win, and even enhance the emotions that can come from winning a few hands at table games. This entices patrons to play even more games. At the same time, classical music is calming and relaxing, lowering blood pressure and reducing pain and anxiety, so it helps players remain focused and helps them keep their heads level when they lose. Dr. Kevin Labar of Duke University said that classical music has this calming effect because it prompts the brain to release dopamine - a hormone associated with pleasure - and it also inhibits the release of stress hormones. Much as they'd like to have more people playing at their tables, casinos also need to avoid altercations with frustrated gamblers, and classical music has helped ensure that players remain calm.

Most casinos also rely on classical music to help them maintain an air of exclusivity and sophistication. While there are many modern casinos that now pump EDM throughout their gaming floors, other older casinos and those seeking to build a reputation of exclusivity continue to play calming classical music. These are the casinos where you'll often find men and women dressed to the nines engaging in quiet game play. (courtesy of CMUSE.com)





Matthew Tarullo - guitar with Joshua Foutch
Ariana Marchese - voice with Olga Bojovic

Matthew Grinvalds - Piano Fun & Games class
Jake Mackay - Piano Fun & Games class

Emilia Toskovic - Piano Fun & Games class
Jacqueline Alongi - guitar with Lisa Baker

Anderson Nguyen - Piano Fun & Games class
Adriana Magner - piano with Kimberly Davis

Stephanie Bauer - guitar with Lisa Baker
Pattie Vandenack - piano with Audrey Dobbs

Jan Bugaj - voice with Olga Bojovic
Morgan Schoebel - voice with Sharon Monfeli

Ethan Schoebel - guitar with Lisa Baker


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:

March 7, 2015

Duet Recital


May 9, 2015

IMA Contest Prep &

General Recital


Illinois Music Association Contest May 16 & 17, 2015


August 21, 2015

Summer Concert Prairie Center for the Arts


October 17,2015

Halloween 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 July 1, 2015, we will raffle off a $100 American Express Gift card for all the referrals from January through June. On December 30, 2015, we will raffle off a $100 American Express Gift card for the referrals from the last half of the 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! 






The 87th annual Academy Awards will air live beginning at 8:30 p.m. EST from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on ABC on Sunday, February 22.

When the Academy was set up, the cost of a movie ticket was just 25 cents and, the motion picture industry was the 4th largest in the USA.

Although it's technically The Academy Awards, many also just refer to it as The Oscars, named after the award that's given.

HISTORY OF THE STATUE Cedric Gibbons, was MGM's Art Director in 1928. He is the one who designed the statue that's given out. He had sketched a knight standing on a reel of film holding a two-edged sword. However, he used a Mexican actor named Emilio Fernandez (aka "El Indio") as his model. Mr. Fernandez had to flee Mexico in 1920 due to his political activities to overthrow the leader. So, he went to Los Angeles and there he met actress Dolores del Rio, who was Cedric Gibbons wife. Since Mr. Gibbons was the one responsible for coming up with a statue for this event, he asked Emilio Fernandez to pose for The sketch Cedric made became the template for the statute's mold. The award was first printed on a scroll. Then, George Stanley, an artist, made the sculpture's mold (not Cedric Gibbons) based on Emilio's form which was then made into a statue and gold-plated in 1929.

The statue remains the same today as it was back then and no changes have been made to it, except for a pedestal adjustment made in the 1940's. The five holes in the base represent the original five branches: Actors, Directors, Producers, Technicians and Writers. Basically, Oscar is just a hairless, naked man with a sword plunging into a reel of film. (During WWI and WWII, the statue was made out of plaster.) The statue is 13 1/2 inches tall, weighs 8 1/2 pounds and is made of britannium. The outside is gold-plated. In the beginning the statues were not numbered. They started numbering them in 1949, starting with 501.

The origin of the nickname of the statue, Oscar is debatable. Some credit it to Margaret Herrick, the first librarian of the Academy who is said to have named it after her Uncle Oscar Pierce. Others say it was Betty Davis who nicknamed it after her husband (at that time) Harmon Oscar Nelson and yet others claim it was Sidney Skoksky, a columnist who named it Oscar because he got tired of writing, the award or the statue and/or trying to come up with some clever acronym for it.
But, calling it "Oscar" was sort of an inside thing until 1933 when Walt Disney won for his "Three Little Pigs" under Best Short. In his thank-you speech, Walt called it "Oscar" which was the very first time the award had been called that publicly. Whomever began it started something because it's been called Oscar ever since and, it is easier to say than the official title of Academy's Award of Merit. There was an attempt once to call it "The Iron Man" but that never really stuck.

The Oscar design was officially copyrighted on September 2, 1941. For child winners, Shirley Temple and Margaret O'Brien, smaller miniature statutes of Oscar were given to them. Years later, they were given full-size statutes. The mold that Oscar is made out of eventually wore out, so in 1998, the Academy approved a new mold that would give Oscar as stronger chin and chiseled neck.


Only through music can we hear the past,

enjoy the present, and compose

the future. ~ John M. Ortiz, PhD



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