(Complete details about each of these events can be found by scrolling down this page.  If dates change, memos will be sent to that effect.)

In-lesson performances are the last lesson of each month

Parent visits to lessons are welcome anytime, specially invited last lesson of each month

JAMTA Duet Concert is only in odd number years

JAMTA Ensemble Recital is October 29, 2017. University of St. Francis at 2 pm

AIM Audition fees are due in your lesson the week of December 4, 2017

Christmas Recital is Monday, December 18, 2017 at the University of St. Francis at 6:30 pm.

2018 Guild Audition fee due at the first lesson in January, 2018

Auditions for February JAMTA Recital are in either of your 1st two lessons in Jan., 2018

AIM (Achievement in Music) is a Saturday, in January 2018  at Joliet Junior College

Participants are students preparing to major in music, as advised by the instructor.

2018 JAMTA Recital is Sunday, February 25, 2018 at the University of St. Francis at 2 pm.

AIM (Achievement in Music) is a Saturday in April, 2018 at Joliet Junior College.

Participants:         AIM Levels II and higher. For students who have previously participated.

Final Selection Date for Spring Recital Pieces is in late April

Johansen-Werner Music Studio Recital is Sunday, May 21, 2017 at the University of St. Francis                                       at  2 p.m.

ICF (Iowa Composers Forum) Composition Competition                                    June 1, 2017   scores are due to me

Performance for winners:  TBA, winter or spring of 2018

Summer Lesson Registration begins May 15, 2017

Fall Lesson Registration begins May 15, 2017

Guild Auditions June 2, 2017

Summer Lesson Schedule begins June 13, 2017



  • Attire:   for performers is dressy.  Girls should wear dresses and boys are required to wear ties (suits and dress shoes are encouraged, but not required). Dresses or skirts for girls should be knee-length or longer. No bare midriffs, please. High school performers are encouraged to be formal – long dresses and suits are appropriate. No flip-flops; dress shoes preferred.
  • Pieces to be performed include contest pieces, your best lesson pieces, or a Christmas piece in December. Due to the number of performers, quantities of solos may be limited. The pieces will be selected at your lesson four to six weeks prior to each recital. They must be memorized with excellent counting, a steady tempo, lovely dynamics, and nice phrasing.
  • Warm-ups:  A brief warm-up time is allowed prior to the recital. Specific times are printed for each recital (see below). I ask that audience members remain outside of the auditorium until the warm-ups are completed. All warm-ups must be completed by ten minutes prior to the start of the recital. At that time audience members may enter the auditorium.
  • Audience: Please invite everyone you know to attend! Grandparents, aunts, uncles, neighbors, other lovers of music …. all are welcome.
  • Photo:  Gather onstage at the end of the recital for a group photo.
  • Help is needed to make the recital a success ….
  • Ushers: Student volunteers will usher. You will help direct people to the auditorium when your warm-up is over. Distribute recital programs ten minutes before the recital begins.
  • Refreshments: Students are asked to provide finger food … decide how much to bring based on the number of people you think you will have attend. Any kind of cookie, bar, veggie or other finger food, purchased or homemade, is fine. Please take home any leftover cookies! Our household cannot consume cookies and stay trim, so please take leftovers home with you! Non-sweets are welcomed … Ms. Johansen-Werner cannot eat any sugar.
  • Refreshment Coordinator: I could use one or two parents to organize the refreshment table.   People assisting with refreshments should arrive 40 minutes prior to the performance time.  These people will be able to attend the entire recital.
  • Recording performances: I am aware that some of you wish to record your student performing. This can be possible under the following circumstances.
    • 1.  No recording during the recital please.  It is distracting.
    • 2.   No photos during the recital, please.
    • 3.  AFTER the recital, we have the use of the auditorium for an additional hour. You may make a recording of your student performing on the stage. Please take turns and be very quiet when someone else is recording.
    • 4.  Any piece may be recorded for a personal archive recording. No copies may be made of that recording.
    • Pieces composed BEFORE 1923 are in public domain and may be recorded AND you can make copies of those recordings to give to relatives or post online.
    • Pieces composed AFTER 1923 are covered by copyright and MAY NOT be distributed or posted online. I give you permission to record the Christmas duets that I wrote. If you need me to return to the auditorium to make a recording, just let me know.
    • Please respect both the letter and the spirit of the copyright law. Thank you very much.
  • Recitals are major events in each student’s life and we seek to do everything possible to make them a grand experience.


  • Date: Usually a  Monday in December. See Calendar for exact date.
  • Warm-up times: will be assigned
  • Recital begins: 6:30 p.m.
  • Location: University of St. Francis (USF) Auditorium, 500 Wilcox St., Joliet
  • Entries: Students will be limited to two pieces per student OR a maximum of five minutes unless additional time is available in the recital.
  • Participants:  All students
  • NOTE:  Students with Monday lessons that begin at 4:30 or earlier WILL have lessons on this day.  These lessons will be held in the auditorium at USF. Lessons later in the day will be rescheduled.


  • Date: Usually third or fourth Sunday in February. See Calendar for exact date.
  • Warm-up times: Auditorium opens at 1 p.m.
  • Specific warm-up times are not assigned.
  • Recital begins: 2:00 p.m.
  • Location: University of St. Francis (USF) Auditorium, 500 Wilcox St., Joliet
  • Performers: 5 students from my studio (plus students from throughout Joliet)
  • Audience: All students should attend this recital.
  • Students performing in the JAMTA (Joliet Area Music Teacher’s Association) Recital come from the studios of member teachers of the Joliet Area Music Teachers Association (JAMTA), of which I am a member.  Each teacher is only allowed to enter five students in this recital.
  • Because there is a limit on the number of participants, we will hold auditions in January to select the students from this studio who will perform. This audition occurs during the student’s lesson in either of the first two lessons in January prior to the JAMTA recital. The piece you wish to perform (there is a limit of one) must be performed in that lesson from memory, to the best of your ability.  Knowing this music at that time will allow you to improve the musical performance so it will be outstanding at the JAMTA Recital.  All students in grades K through 12 may audition to participate in this recital. Both voice and piano students are allowed to participate. FYI – this studio has the only voice students involved in JAMTA.  Singers are strongly encouraged to participate.
  • Pieces performed in the JAMTA recital will be used in AIM auditions, the Spring Studio Recital, Contest, and the Guild auditions. It is excellent practice to perform certain pieces more than once and I am delighted that we have an opportunity to do this.
  • All students, whether they audition for this recital or not, are expected to attend the recital.  This is an excellent opportunity to hear good students from throughout Joliet perform and is a required event for members of this music studio. It also lets you hear piano pieces that you may wish to perform someday. I encourage you to attend this event as a family. It helps your student to grow in the arts when everyone in the family takes an interest in music!
  • There is a small recital fee this year, probably $3 per student. This should be paid separately from the tuition check, payable to the teacher as I have to give one check to JAMTA.


  • All students will perform in the recital, usually on the third Sunday in May (times below).
  • Location: University of St. Francis (USF) Auditorium
    • 500 Wilcox St., Joliet
  • Recital Date:  Usually third Sunday in May at 2 p.m.  (See the calendar.)
  • Times: Sunday
  • Rehearsals: 1:00 to 1:50 pm
  • Recital begins at:2:00 p.m.
  • Participants: All students

Ideas to Prepare for Recital and Guild PERFORMANCES…

  • Students should perform at home for family members as much as possible prior to the recital. Turn this into a family recital. Have the student walk to the piano correctly. Applaud when he or she gets to the piano and bows. Give perfect silence while listening … do not correct mistakes, do not frown …. just be supportive. When the performer is done, give them thunderous applause.  (Applaud for a bad performance too …. ask me about my horror story!)
  • Please remember that very few people perform flawlessly. Mistakes are a natural part of performing (how many baseball players bat 1000?). Good performances are those where the performers don’t let the mistakes show and keep their piece sounding musical. Please help your students learn how to define success in performance by applauding them for the many correct notes they play and the terrific music they make.
  • This does not mean that we practice mistakes on purpose, though. It is important to practice with as few mistakes as possible to give the best chance for a secure performance. Good performing is a balancing act of musicianship, correct notes, lovely phrasing, and covering those wrong notes that probably will appear.
  • Students are being taught to go forward on a piece when the memory fails them …. if they cannot remember where they are, they should either start over or go to the next section or next line of music. Encourage them in this.
  • A proven way to settle nerves when performing is to breathe slowly and deeply. This process increases the flow of oxygen throughout the body, and slows the flow of adrenaline. Help your performer to practice breathing slowly before they perform for you. And remind them of that again just before the recital.
  • Concentrate on performing musically. Help your performers understand that they are playing not just for themselves …. they are playing to entertain other people who love music. Their playing may make someone feel better, make someone happy who was sad, give someone energy. When we remember that our music is about other people too, I think it makes it easier and more fun to perform. If we make good music, a wrong note or two will barely be noticed.
  • Recital Etiquette
    • General etiquette for audience members:
    • Turn off all pagers and cell phones.
    • Do not enter or leave the auditorium while someone is performing. Wait until they complete their entire set of pieces before entering or leaving. You should only leave the auditorium at intermission or the end. However, for emergencies (very young children needing the bathroom, for instance) leave as discreetly as possible and in-between performances.
    • Applaud when performers enter the stage. Applaud at the end of each piece (unless there is a piece which has more than one movement, in which case you wait until the end of the entire piece – there are few multiple movement pieces in our recitals).
    • No photos during the performance. There will be time after the performance to take pictures of the students as a group and as individuals.
    • Pay attention to all performers. This is considered common courtesy. In addition, students may hear pieces they want to perform in the future, and will improve their own musicianship by listening to the performances of other people. Students will learn to appreciate music by following the example of the adults they respect.
    • Many parents enjoy listening to the students develop through the years, hearing other students perform pieces once played by your own children (or yourself), and encouraging all students.
  • Etiquette for performers:
    • Singers should not bring water bottles on the stage. If you need them in the auditorium, please be discreet.
    • Listen to all other performers.  (They listen to you!) Do not bring games to play or books to read during the performances.
    • Do not talk when someone is performing. This can cause the performer to forget what they are doing and keeps other people from hearing the music.
    • Stay for the entire recital. No exceptions. Afterward please come to the stage for pictures.
    • When you walk onto the stage, walk to the piano bench, turn to face the audience, and bow.
    • If you have more than one piece, do a “seated bow” after each selection. After the last piece of your group of pieces, stand and bow. Your bow is how you say “thank you” to the audience for listening to you and applauding. Smile when you bow!
    • Do not wear hats, caps, etc. when performing. No bare midriffs or clothing that is too revealing.
    • Dresses for women and older girls should be below the knee. Young girls may wear dresses above the knee.
    • Read all of the etiquette for audience members (above) – when you are not playing, you are part of the audience.
  • Entering Original Compositions in Recitals
    • Students who are composing may have their pieces performed in recital providing they meet the following criteria:
    • music must be written on music manuscript paper, using accepted music notation rules (such as use of clef signs, notes written properly, stem directions correct, use of meter signatures and proper counting).
    • music must be completed a minimum of two weeks prior to the recital
    • if performers other than Ms. Johansen-Werner are used, the composition student will be required to provide suitable musicians and will reimburse those musicians an appropriate remuneration.
    • Students do not perform their own compositions. They are seated in the audience as composers and will be acknowledged for a bow (staying at their seats) at the end of the performance.

MTNA COMPOSITION COMPETITION                               September 10 deadline (Music Teacher’s National Association.  Go to www.mtna.org/scc.htm for more information.)

  • Categories: Elementary:  Age 5 to 10 as of January 1 upcoming. Entry fee of $50
  • Junior: Age 11-14 as of January 1 upcoming. Entry fee of $70
  • Senior: Age 15-18 as of January 1 upcoming. Entry fee of $100
  • Young Artist: Age 19-26 as of January 1 upcoming. Entry fee of $100
  • Entrant Information:
    • A student may enter the competitions in only one state.
    • Competition financial obligations are the responsibility of the entrant.
    • If there is only one entrant in a State-level category, there will be NO State Competition (but the entry moves to the Division or National level).
  • Submission Requirements:
    • A student may submit only one entry.
    • The performance time must not exceed ten minutes.
    • A composition that includes a copyrighted text must be accompanied by a written statement from the copyright holder giving permission to use the text.  If the text is in the public domain, a statement signed by the student and teacher indicating this fact must accompany the entry.
    • A fully realized score, completely notated by the composer, is required.  The manuscript must be in the composer’s handwriting or in the form of a computer printout produced by the composer.
    • Measures of the composition must be numbered, preferably at the beginning of each system.
    • All materials must be labeled only with the name of the composition and the category (Elementary, Junior, Senior, Young Artist).  Names of student or teacher must not appear on the score.
    • No change may be made to the manuscript once it has been submitted with the application.
    • Any composition that does not meet the Submission Requirements will be disqualified.
  • Performance Requirements:
    • The composition of each national composition competition winner will be performed at the next MTNA National Conference in Denver, Colorado. National winners must be present at the performance to receive their award and must provide their own musicians.
    • Winning compositions must be performed at the national conference on the instruments for which the composition was written.
    • Teachers may perform a student’s composition at any level (i.e. I can perform at the conference for you if I attend).
    • For compositions using large ensembles (6 or more performers), use of a videotaped performance at the national conference is permitted.
  • Competition Rules:
    • Performance parts are required for performances at the state, division, and national concerts, but do not need to be submitted with the original application materials.
    • A copy of the score of each national winner will be kept by MTNA.
    • MTNA is not responsible for lost or damaged manuscripts of parts (i.e. be sure to keep a copy).
    • A composition may be in any style for any medium.
    • Entrants must have prepared the composition with the teacher listed on the application.
    • A national first-place winner may not participate in the same competition category again.
  • A word from your teacher ….
    • Students interested in entering any composition competition need to begin months in advance of the deadline to notate their piece. Notating your own composition takes time and a number of rewrites. The process is time consuming but highly rewarding for those interested in the process. Feel free to ask me questions if you are interested. The MTNA fee is very high and I suggest other avenues for getting evaluations for compositions.

THE INTERNATIONAL PIANO COMPOSITION CONTEST                        (National Guild of Piano Teachers)                   November 15 postmark deadline

  • Solo piano compositions constitute the main entries, but compositions for piano and another instrument, piano and voice, and piano duets and duos are accepted when enrolled in the “special” classification.
  • Each contestant receives:
    • A certificate of composition/report card evaluating the composition.
    • A composer NFSM fraternity pin.
    • PIANO GUILD NOTES (magazine) publishes a list of all winners in the International Composition Contest (summer) Issue.
  • A total of 18 cash prizes including 5 NGPT Awards are given for the best compositions showing the most originality, imagination and skill. If ties are declared in any category, the designated award may be shared by two winners. Judges have the prerogative to not declare a winner in a category should compositions not meet “winning” standards. A list of monetary prizes in found in The Guild Syllabus (which your teacher has).
  • Student rules:
    • Each student may submit more than one composition, but must pay the required fee per piece.
    • Fees are due to the teacher one week prior to the national entry date. Fees are due to the teacher by November 7.
    • Students may submit original manuscripts (in their own handwriting) OR clean, clear Xerox copies.
    • Computer-generated manuscripts are acceptable ONLY in categories PA through PD, Collegiate, Young Artist, and Teacher classifications.  Students in ALL other categories may submit computer-generated manuscripts but MUST ALSO send a handwritten copy of the manuscript.
    • Any forms and compositional techniques may be used in any level.
    • Compositions in theme and variation form count as one piece.
    • When composing pieces in suite, sonatina, or sonata form, each movement counts as one piece and is therefore a separate enrollment.
    • Compositions for piano duet, piano duo, piano and voice, and piano and one other instrument are acceptable, but must be enrolled in the “Special Category” classification.
    • If a composition entered is a song, words must be accompanied by a written, signed permission from the author (unless published before 1890).
    • Measures must be numbered with “forms” and “themes” clearly labeled on each composition.  Indicate modal compositions.
    • There is a minimum and maximum number of measures required at each ability level. These levels are listed in The Guild Syllabus. Discuss this with your instructor.
    • Only the student’s name should appear on each page of the manuscript (no address). The teacher’s name should not appear.
    • Entry fees vary by ability level. Fees range from $12.50 (8 to 24 measures) through $29.50 (6 or more pages).
  • Two comments from your teacher ….
    • Students interested in entering any composition competition need to begin months in advance of the deadline to notate their piece. Notating your own composition takes time and a number of rewrites. The process is time consuming but highly rewarding for those interested in the process.  Feel free to ask me questions if you are interested.
    • The Guild competition is expensive. They are more critical of hand notation than I am, to a degree that potentially limits creativity. Their evaluation form does provide some excellent concepts and is helpful to use in your composition process.


  • Entry Deadline: completed scores due to me by June 1, 2017
  • Performance date:   The performance, at a location to be determined, is in Iowa. First and second place winners receive a public performance of their piece. Winners MUST attend the recital for their piece to be performed. The rules for this competition change each year. If interested please talk with me and/or check with the website of the Iowa Composers Forum.
  • Who may enter: The Student Composers Competition of the Iowa Composers Federation is open to students whose teachers are members of this organization. Awards are $50 savings bonds to the top student winner in each category according to the grade the student will complete in the summer of the year entered.
  • The grade categories and my requirements for entering each category are:
    • fifth grade and below:
      • a) must use meter signatures (may be mixed);
      • b)  minimum of 16 measures;
      • c) must use a simple form (AB; ABA or similar)
    • 6th-8th grades:
      • minimum of 48 measures;
      • must include a chart describing the form;
      • must use one or more compositional techniques (sequence, expansion, repetition, augmentation, or diminution – I will teach you!).
      • A piece of this scope will take 6 to 12 months to compose.
    • 9th-12th grades and college division:
      • same requirements as grades 6-8 with longer length. Finale score required.
  • Certificates will be awarded to the top winner or winners in each category, as designated by the judges. Students selected for cash or certificate awards will be invited to hear or perform their works on a concert during the Iowa Composers Forum Annual Festival of New Music in either the fall or spring of the year, usually a Saturday in a city in Iowa. For instrumental ensemble and choral works, ICF tries to arrange a performance, but may not be able to do so in all cases. The ICF reserves the right to declare no winners in a category if the judges determine there are no entries of sufficient quality.
  • Entries are now due in June, but this can change any time. Entries must include a written score of one or more works (sometimes two works are required to make one entry) with all marks of the student’s identity removed except his or her grade level completed in the current year. One entry per student may be submitted. In addition to the composition, the student must write a short biography, brief program notes, information about the composition including accurate timing, instrumentation, and date written. Ms. Johansen-Werner can help with the completion of this material. Entries must be ready for Ms. Johansen-Werner four weeks prior to the entry date so we can complete the editing process. There is currently no fee. The composition must be submitted by the teacher.
  • Students interested in entering a composition contest must begin work nine months in advance. Ms. Johansen-Werner will not allow any manuscripts to be submitted for contests if she does not believe they are adequately prepared.
    • FALL 2015
      • Rachel Bieker, Second place in ICF High School Division
      • Thomas Kodron, Second Place in ICF College Division
    • FALL 2011 Tess Spesia, First Place in ICF Elementary Division
    • FALL 2010 Meg Spesia, First Place in ICF HS Division
    • FALL 2009
      • Meg Spesia, First Place in ICF Middle School Division
      • Danielle Orihuela, First Place in ICF HS Division
    • FALL 2008
      • Meg Spesia, First Place in ICF Elementary Division
      • Danielle Orihuela, First Place in ICF HS Division
    •  SPRING 2007 Danielle Orihuela, First Place in ICF Junior Division
    • SPRING 2006
      • Nate Dahlberg, First Place in ICF Elementary Division
      • Danielle Orihuela, Third Place in ICF Junior Division

PIANOFEST (Monster Concert!)

  • (PianoFests are held only in even numbered years, usually in November.) 
  • The Kankakee Valley Music Teachers Association and King Music invite our piano students to participate in a piano ensemble concert at 1:30 p.m. usually on the first Sunday in November in even years. This is at Northfield Mall in Bradley, Illinois. Students and teachers join together at multiple pianos to play duets at four levels (easy to difficult). Participating in this event takes commitment because of the distance and rehearsals involved. But playing in a large ensemble is tremendous fun. The students will have a ball and parents should enjoy hearing them play.
  • The fee for participants is $18 for the first student in a family and $15 for additional students.
  • There are four different ability groups, including a group for beginning students. Each group has four to six pieces and students may learn and perform as many pieces as they wish. Many participating students will be learning four pieces. Participating students must learn all music in advance.  Students who take summer lessons will have time to learn more pieces. Students who begin learning this music in late August may be limited to one piece. Memory is NOT required.   Students who do not plan to take lessons all summer but want to learn more than one duet for the PianoFest may register for two to four “Duet lessons” in the summer.
  • All of these duets must be entered as pairs of students. Therefore it is helpful for me to assign pieces to students if I know as early in the season as possible who intends to participate.
  • Students will be expected to purchase the music for their duets. King Music  (815-935-1115) stocks these pieces and I encourage you to order from them by mail. Specific metronome tempos are assigned for each piece. Duets MUST be learned with the metronome. If you do not have a metronome for daily use, do not enter PianoFest. Please number all measures in your music, using pencil (never, ever use pen in your music).
  • Students are required to attend one of the PianoFest rehearsals. I will most likely attend rehearsal two. The rehearsal will be brief – each piece gets played once, maybe twice. When your pieces are complete in the rehearsal, you may leave. Therefore, be prepared to drive to Bradley, wait until your piece is ready to rehearse, spend only 10 minutes rehearsing, and then leave.
  • Students will audition for me in their lesson the third week in September to be registered to participate in PianoFest. Duets at this time must be played at an even tempo with the metronome.  They do not need to be at the final tempo. But counting and notes must be in excellent control and playing must stay with the metronome. Payment will be due to me at that time also.
  • Registration fee due    September 15
  • Rehearsal One at King Music (afternoon times) usually last Saturday in October
    • Group 1: 1:00 p.m.
    • Group 2: 1:45 p.m.
    • Group 3: 2:45 p.m.
    • Group 4: 3:30 p.m.
  • Rehearsal Two at King Music (morning times) usually the day before the performance
    • Group 1: 9:15 a.m.
    • Group 2: 10:00 a.m.
    • Group 3: 11:00 a.m.
    • Group 4: 11:45 a.m.
  • Performance is at Northfield Mall in Bradley;
    • 1:30 p.m.
    • usually Second Sunday in November


  • Most high school and many middle schools participate in school music contests, either contests sponsored by the Illinois High School Music Association or contests the school sponsors itself.  Some elementary schools also participate in such contests. All voice and piano students (voice students in particular) are encouraged to participate in these contests.
  • Because I have students in so many schools it is impossible for me to know what each school is doing. Therefore, I ask you to be responsible to talk with your music teacher in the fall to learn what your school is doing. Please learn of all rules governing the contests. If you wish, get the e-mail address of your school music teacher and I will contact them to learn more about the contest at your school. If you work with me, I will help you to prepare for these contests. Most contests take place in February or March, but registration for them occurs before Christmas, so please check on information early!

AIM (Achievement in Music) held in January and April (See calendar for dates)

  • Select piano students will be eligible to participate in the AIM Auditions which are held at Joliet Junior College on a Saturday.  These auditions involve a variety of playing skills, including scales, transposing, improvisation, sight-reading, music theory, and performance. The entry fee for AIM is usually $15.00 per performance date. AIM Auditions are held twice a year and many students will be able to enter both times to progress through a succession of music levels. There are different requirements for each date of auditions.
  • At the Saturday date in January the AIM participants will include all students entered in levels IA, IB, IC, and levels III and higher. Students entered in levels IA, IB, and IC are generally students playing in the first book of their lesson series. These students will perform scale patterns, simple sight-reading, simple ear training, locate notes on the keyboard, and perform two pieces. All of these materials will be prepared in their lessons and practice times.
  • The students playing in levels III and higher will perform scale patterns, chord progressions, triads in inversions, arpeggios, sight-reading, transposing, harmonizations, ear training, and a written test. Preparation for this material will start immediately because there is so much to learn!  Students who participate in this event become well-rounded musicians who are versatile in their piano performances. Note that students at level III and higher will NOT play any prepared pieces on the January date.
  • Students in levels III and higher return to AIM auditions on a Saturday in April to play two to four prepared pieces. The number of pieces performed is prescribed by the level in which the student enters. These same pieces will also be used as the audition for the JAMTA Recital, in the Spring Studio Recital, and in the Guild Auditions.
  • Students in level II (generally comparable to book 2 in lesson series) do NOT participate in January. These students participate in April when they perform scale patterns, sight-reading, ear training, a written music knowledge test, and perform two pieces.
  • The judges for the AIM auditions are area teachers who volunteer their time to judge. Teachers are not allowed to judge their own students. Participants receive a judge’s evaluation, a certificate, and a pin.
  • Voice students cannot participate in Joliet since there are not any other voice teachers available to judge. Voice students are strongly encouraged to participate in School Contests.
  • Any student who wishes to enter AIM level IV or higher is required to take 45 minute lessons each week to properly prepare for the audition. Students who play at that level but do not wish to enter AIM may take half hour lessons.

GUILD AUDITIONS in June                              application fee due in early January

  • All piano students prepare for Guild Auditions. These auditions are sponsored by the National Guild of Piano Teachers. The auditions are held at the University of St. Francis early in June. I am very excited to have our students performing in this event. I am especially pleased that a number of them will be entering their own improvisations … we are among a rare few in the area who do this and I know that the judge is going to LOVE hearing the pieces that our students improvise.  (Students entering in the earliest category, EA, may not enter improvisations.)
  • Students are strongly encouraged to participate in the Guild Auditions. Each entrant registers in advance for the auditions. Playing times are available during early June on announced dates, from 9:00 a.m. through 5 or 6 p.m. For most students school is finished and I try to have all entries on Thursday or Friday. Each student is assigned a playing time that runs from 20 to 40 minutes. The Guild Auditions run on time. Students will play at their assigned time and leave as soon as they are done performing. I will mail our studio application in January to give us the optimal opportunity to request Thursday or Friday audition times. Since I must be present for the auditions, it is best to have all of my students perform on the same day.
  • The performers will be adjudicated (judged) on all aspects of their piano performance.  Students may enter as few as one entry or as many as 20 entries. Most students enroll with ten (10) entries. A set of scales may be entered as one of your entries. Other entries include triads, arpeggios, ear training, transposing, sight-reading, and improvisation, plus numerous pieces. There is a charge for participation, based on the number of entries and the level of ability. Students receive a hand lettered certificate for their participation along with a detailed report card evaluating their performance, and a pin. Students also receive special recognition for 5, 10, or more years of successful participation. Advanced students may be eligible to earn recognition plaques and/or their names may be published in the national magazine of The National Guild of Piano Teachers.
  • Music chosen for use at the Guild Auditions is carefully selected to be at an appropriate ability level for your performer. Pieces are selected with the aid of guidelines that include specific suggestions for pieces at each ability level. Students who are new to this studio will be encouraged to enter at a level just below their maximum performance ability. This will allow time for the mastering of scales, triads, and other technical work that is an integral part of the Guild entry.
  • During the last week of November I will send specific information regarding your student’s participation in the Guild Auditions, including the amount of the entry fee for each student. Please read the recommendation for their entry and get the entry fee to me no later than your first lesson in January in a check payable to me since I must send one check to NGPT for all of my students.  Please pay the Guild fee in a separate check from lesson tuition. If you know that you will need a particular day or time in June, please let me know at this time and I will do my best to honor it.  If you can be flexible with your time, that will be helpful. I am listing fees for last year below to give new studio members an idea of what the entry fees will likely be. I have not yet received a copy of the new fees.
  • Each actual piece of music (not scales, etc.) played in the Guild Auditions may also be eligible for use in the Spring Recital. Due to time constraints, students might not be able to perform all of their Guild pieces in the Recital. These same pieces may also be used for the AIM auditions.
  • If you have any questions or concerns, please consult with me.
  • Entry Fee Levels follow. Fees range from $22.50 to $39.00. Current fee levels may be found at: http://pianoguild.com/page/nztn/Student_Enrollment_B.html  The entry fee pays for a professional judge who is trained to work with students of all ages, plus the certificate and pin.
    • Pledge Level 2 entries
    • Local Level 2 or 3 entries
    • District Level 4 to 6 entries
    • State Level 7 to 9 entries
    • National Level 10 to 14 entries
    • International Level 15 to 20 entries
    • Catherine Patti EA-National (1 year)
    • Christina Keoborakot EA-District
    • Canela Leon EB-National (2 year)
    • Gabrielle Tran EB-National (2 year)
    • Christian Manabat EC-National (3 year)
    • Taylor Marshall ED-State
    • Lynn Gonzalez EE-Hobbyist (3 year)
    • Freida Sullivan IA-Hobbyist (3 year)
    • Nathan Manabat IB-National (5 year)
    • Olivia Adamic IB-Hobbyist (8 year)
    • Caitlin Arquines IB-Local (4 year)
    • Anthony McDonald IC-National (9 year)
    • Elena Paliakas IC-National (1 year)
    • Freda Hogan ID-National (3 year)
    • Josh Beck ID-State (1 year)
    • Josh Beck Level VIII
    • Anthony McDonald Level IV


  • Registration for summer lessons can begin any time on or after May 15. In May I will announce my summer teaching hours. Summer lessons are open to anyone who wishes to study, but they are not required. Please consider carefully whether summer study will be good for you or your student.
  • The attendance policy for the summer allows for as many vacation weeks as you need, as long as you inform me at least one full week in advance of absences.


  • Registration for fall lessons begins the day after Memorial Day. I will hold specific times for returning students if I receive a nonrefundable deposit equal to two weeks lessons. I will hold specific times for new students when I receive a nonrefundable deposit equal to five weeks of lessons. All deposits will be applied to the fall lesson tuition.