Continuing Education For Students
Our Continuing Education Program (CE) offers an array of activities for both PLIYH teachers and families. The goal of the CE program is to provide ongoing support and encouragement so that we can do our best teaching, and so that students can do their best learning.
CE PROGRAMS FOR STUDENTS
In addition to our weekly lessons, we offer the following:
Individual & Group Teacher Recitals
Young Performers Awards (YPA)
Concert Series Auditions for our Honors Recital
Parent-Teacher Conferences during Site Visits
Skype Piano and Guitar Lessons
Nominate your Teacher for Teacher of the Month!
Teacher of the Month Nomination Form
Each of our teachers is required to host at least one student recital per year and many choose to host two recitals annually. The recitals are free of charge for families and guests. We encourage all students to participate since recitals are a wonderful way to show progress, to aim for a goal, and to share music. Prior to scheduling, teachers will survey parents about possible dates to ensure participation.
During recitals, each student generally performs one or two songs. Voice students can use accompaniment tracks or teachers will provide an accompanist for the event. In some instances, microphones are provided but we cannot guarantee they will always be available.
The choice as to whether students will perform their music memorized is at the discretion of their teacher. PLIYH teachers do a wonderful job preparing students for recitals and giving them chances to practice what will happen at the recital including performing their songs at home.
ADJUDICATIVE EVENTS AND EXAMS
Currently Piano Lessons In Your Home has two adjudicative events available for students. They are the Young Performers Awards (YPA) and The Concert Series. During both of these events, a student will play for an evaluator or judge.
The events differ in the following ways: YPA is a motivating event open to students of all ages and abilities, and is used as a way to measure growth and progress. YPA includes our optional Scale Olympics and Theory Skill-A-Thon events.
The Concert Series is our school’s Honors Recital and is a competitive event for intermediate to advance level musicians.
In both YPA and the Concert Series, students have the opportunity to perform in a recital when they demonstrate a high level of proficiency and preparedness.
The Young Performers Awards program is designed to encourage musicians of all ages and abilities to continue their studies and it also rewards them for their efforts. YPA enables Piano, Guitar and Vocal students to participate in a free student-friendly evaluation in a one-on-one environment with Master Teacher, Christie Chiles Twillie, or a PLIYH Instructor. Each student will be evaluated and receive ribbons for the music they perform.
The color of ribbon earned for each song corresponds with a number of points the student earned for their performance. The highest point ribbon is the blue ribbon. Students who receive a blue ribbon will perform on the Blue Ribbon Recital with other students. This recital is a mixed level performance that may include very beginner to advanced level players and singers. Students have the opportunity to accumulate points from year to year and work toward higher level awards for consistently demonstrating growth and proficiency during their performance evaluations.
In addition to YPA Evaluations, there are two other events that help students achieve and display musical proficiency. These events include: the Scale Olympics and the Theory Skill-A-Thon.
Scale Olympics is a way for piano and guitar students to demonstrate technical mastery within a key. Sets of skills are assigned by levels 1-7. The skill set becomes more difficult for each level. In their evaluation, students are asked to play their skill set by memory before performing their evaluation song(s). Students are not required to participate in Scale Olympics; however, students participating in Scale Olympics must present at least one evaluation song. Scale Olympics packets can be obtained from your teacher or your Regional Director. Please note that teachers must choose which Scale Olympics Level a student should participate in. Passing the Level 4 Skill Set is a pre-requisite before moving onto Levels 5-7.
We recommend preparing at least two months in advance for the Scale Olympics.
Theory Competitive Exam
The Theory Skill-A-Thon has three levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Students who register for the Theory-Skill-A-Thon will take the test on the Saturday schedule for YPA Events. Usually the exams are given at noon. All students planning to take the theory exam must be present at this time since the tests are administered simultaneously to all participants. The test is completed within 30 minutes. At that time the exams will be scored and the students with the highest scores will be awarded trophies for demonstrating the highest level of skill. Students and Parents are asked to wait while the exams are graded. Generally it takes approximately 20 minutes to complete the grading process. The tests for each level change from year to year. It is therefore possible for a student to take the same level test multiple years in a row if they are not prepared to move on to the higher level. Please consult with your teacher as their perspective on which exam to take is very important.
The Theory Skill-A-Thon Study guides must be obtained from your teacher or the PLIYH Office. We do not recommend taking an exam without having seen the study guide.
Concert Series Audition FormsConcert Series Video Audition Form
Since 1997, PLIYH students have enjoyed the opportunity to perform with professional musicians in our Honors Recital, which is the Concert Series. Instructors and advanced students are allotted up to 8 minutes of performance time. All styles of music are welcome, including collaborative performances.
Intermediate to advanced students must qualify for Concert Series via audition. Beginner and Late Beginner students are not eligible to audition. Auditions are closed to the public. Only the student, and the instructor (if present) and a parent can be present during the process. Please remember that, as with any audition situation, every student is not selected.
Master Classes are a great first step to Concert Series auditions and if a student isn’t selected they should be encouraged to try again. Concert Series selection occurs when the student’s audition score falls within the appropriate range. The cutoff score is not predetermined. The scores of each student are put in order, and a break in the points is identified which is what determines who will play on the program.
Students must present (2) selections at the audition. Each student has 5 minutes of performance time. Advanced students can request an 8 minute time slot. Please do so in advance. Students planning collaborative performances must have all performers present at the audition. To schedule a Concert Series Audition, contact your local PLIYH office. Bring a copy of your music, your completed score sheets, and your bio to the audition. Instructors do not have to be present, but their verbal consent to audition is required. Concert Series auditions are generally the Tuesday through Thursday prior to the concert. The list of students who are selected is emailed to teachers and families on the Friday prior to the concert. Follow-up phone calls are also made to ensure messages are received. Each student who auditions must be sure that they are available on the concert day. No shows and last minute cancellations after the list is published can result in future disqualification from the process since scores determine who is selected. A performer dropping out could alter who ultimately would have been selected.
At the Tampa and Chicago Concert Series, score cards are used to determine the best performers in their age group category. Students are scored twice in this instance. The first score comes from their audition. Students are judged again on Concert Series day. The age group winners are determined by the student who has the highest combined audition and performance day scores. Trophies are presented to each age group winner. Level of repertoire does not impact who can be an age group winner. This aspect of the competition measures who can best maintain their composure when playing in front of an audience.
Master Class Registration
Master Classes are available during the Artistic Director Site Visits to each city. Piano Master Classes are usually given by Christie Chiles Twillie, while guest artists are obtained for the Voice and Guitar Master Classes. The Master Class setting presents a great performance opportunity for students, provides observation opportunities for teachers, and encourages teachers and students to become more motivated. Beginning to advanced students are welcomed to participate if they are adequately prepared to receive instruction with an audience present and are familiar enough with their music to make on-the-spot adjustments.
The minimum requirements for students performing in a Master Class are: 1) the student must be 7 years old; 2) They must have studied their instrument for at least one year. Each student has 20-25 minutes of one-on-one time depending on the length of the repertoire and the number of Master Class participants. Two selections can be presented unless students are more advanced and their piece exceeds four pages in length. Memorization is preferred, but not required. A copy of the score must be present at the Master Class. The Master Class participation fee is $20 for students and “free” for PLIYH instructors, observers and performers. Checks should be made payable to Piano Lessons In Your Home. Please write “Master Class” in the memo section. Master Class registration forms are available in the Site Visit Packets that families and teachers receive. Students must receive their instructor’s verbal permission to participate. Master Class time slots are assigned after registration is complete with the local office.
EXAMS, COMPETITIONS, AUDITIONS
Our school has a variety of students who study with us, and while some want to simply enjoy recreational playing and singing, others are very serious and are interested in pursuing higher level music events and a possible music career. For families who want a more rigorous experience, please know that many of our teachers take students to accredited exam events and competitions. Among those that are familiar to us are the ABRSM Royal School Exams, Achievement in Music Exams (AIM), National Federation of Music Club Festivals, Solo & Ensemble, MTNA State and Regional Competitions, etc. In regard to auditions, we can easily help your student prepare the high school and college entrance auditions, scholarship auditions, and auditions for musical theatre productions. When you enroll in lessons, please speak with your Regional Director about your interest in these types of opportunities. We will gladly match you with an instructor who will help prepare your students for these events.
PARENT & TEACHER CONSULTATIONS
PLIYH Regional Directors and the National Artistic Director are always available for consultations. Questions about regular lessons and teacher matches should first be directed to your local office. More in-depth questions regarding curriculum, learning styles, lesson structure, performances and special events for students can be sent to our National Artistic Director. Your local Regional Director will always assist in communicating your questions and concerns in a timely manner. Additionally, one-on-one appointments can be scheduled during our bi-annual Site Visits.
Our Skype Guitar program is very unique because we can tailor fit the lessons to the student. Skype lessons are available to guitar students who are at least 10 years old. Although we would prefer previous lesson experience, in this instance it is not required. We do teach very beginners.
More experience players can truly benefit from our Skype Guitar program because they can focus on a specific style. Our guitar staff are experts in their field and really help students to get that sound and performance level they ultimately want when they play guitar.
Here is a listing of the Skype Guitar Styles that are available:
Jazz, Funk, and Reggae (Guitar and Bass)
Folk Styles, Blues, and Classic Rock (Guitar, Banjo, Ukulele, Dobro, Pedal Steel Guitar)
Rock, Metal, Punk and Country Guitar
Every Skype Guitar Lesson Is recorded and a copy is sent to the student to use during weekly practice.
For more information and to register for these styles, click on our SKYPE Link.
Also, Skype PIANO lessons are coming soon for students ages 10 and older who have taken at least one year of lessons. Please submit your information if you are interested in Skype piano lessons.
Piano Lessons In Your Home is a year round school, and therefore does not focus on semester or quarter schedules. The majority of our students take lessons through the summer months. Families and teachers who require flexibility during summer months can speak with their local Regional Director about shorter summer sessions, Skype Lessons and substitute teachers. Since we believe in the importance of remaining consistent with lessons, we have developed these flexible options.
We are often asked if our school has studios were students can travel for lessons. Although we do have studios at our office locations, it is possible for us to establish a studio at your local community center, religious institution, or at a school. Remote location studios are a program we established many years ago, and we are always happy to provide groups and communities with access to lessons at their location. For more information and for pricing, please contact your local office.