Back To School Book Of Note Reading Boosters

Some students will be getting this new book the first lesson this fall.  With The Back To School Book Of Note Reading Boosters, you and your students have a jam-packed resource that can be used at home for extra practice or during lessons for off-the-bench activities.

Inside your students will discover back-to-school-themed mazes, color-it mystery pictures, word searches, pattern play, dot-to-dot journeys, tic tac toe, and board games; all designed to reinforce note reading in C position.

In addition, the book includes a build-your-own note printing solo, a mix and match sight reading solo, and a make-a-motive composing solo.

This year, show students just how fun note reading can be with The Back To School Book Of Note Reading Boosters.


School Year Piano Lessons

Hello everyone!

I hope you are all having an enjoyable summer and that it has been filled with adventures and memory-making.

Wow! What a summer I have had so far! Aside from a ‘little bit’ of relaxing, I’ve also been doing some travel, reading, learning and planning, as I prepare for another exciting year of piano lessons.

A lot of information was given to you in June. I know it was a busy time for everyone so this email is to touch base with you about August Fall Start-Up in the hopes that it arrives when you have a moment to write some things on your calendar.

  1. When do lessons start? Set a reminder and mark your calendar: our fall term of lessons will begin on August 28 – no lessons the first week of school. However, Fairfax County has a holiday on Labor Day, September 4.  If you normally have Monday lessons and want a lesson that first week of September, there is some time available on Wednesday.  Please let me know.

    For ease of scheduling, I’m keeping the same days/lesson times as last year.  If you need to make a change, please let me know as soon as possible.
  2. What do your children need? Having your books and notebook ready for the first day of lessons will ensure an efficient start – so please remember to bring them!  A bit of review might be in order.  If you have an iPad, please bring that, too.
  3. Is your piano dusty? Summer is full of family fun and this might mean that your children may not have been practicing as much as they do during the school year. This is understandable.  I can promise, however, that your children will be even more excited about returning to lessons if they feel prepared and ready to learn. Setting up a practice schedule for the weeks leading up to the return of lessons is a great idea. Plan for at least 15 minutes of practice a day during the rest of the summer and, if possible, schedule it in the morning before the day’s activities begin.

In addition to the regular fun we have at the studio, I have been planning some new and exciting ways for your children to enjoy the piano and become even better musicians. Here are just a few things your children can look forward to:

  • New tween and teen piano games! Yes, even the older students in the studio will get off the bench for some hands-on, game-based learning
  • New music! I’ve been busy collecting a lot of repertoire during the summer months and am so excited to share the new music with your children this year.
  • Student Portal: This year I am requiring all students under 17 to log their practice time in our Student Portal.  If you’ve forgotten, there’s more info here.
  • The Music Experience: This is for any child from 3rd to 6th grade – they don’t need to be a student at the O’Connor Music Studio.

    The Music Experience is a weekly 45 minute session for third through sixth grade children. Children can perform, read, compose, and experience music, no prior music knowledge necessary.

    Cost is $25 for the first child and $15 for additional family members.  POC: Jane McKee and Mary O’Connor. (that’s me!)

    Miss Jane has a BME in Music Education and has taught music and directed choirs for all ages. She sings, rings bells, plays piano and flute, and plays autoharp in the Pender Praise Band.

    Miss Jane is presently a teacher for FCPS schools.  She is looking forward to meeting you in our Music Experience!

    Miss Mary has a BA in Music Education and has taught piano lessons for many years as well as directed handbell/chime choirs for children. She plays piano, sings, rings handbells, and plays in a recorder quartet. She has sung bass in a woman’s Barbershop Chorus.

    Miss Mary is currently a private piano teacher and she’s very excited to meet you in our Music Experience!

    Practice sessions will be held in the Pender choir room and sanctuary.

    Register your child here or use the QR code below:

I can’t wait to reconnect with you soon and I look forward to hearing about your summer fun.



TONIGHT! Pender Rocks the Block


Pender Rocks the Block

Friday, September 14, 6 – 9 p.m. Rain or Shine

Pender UMC: 12401 Alder Woods Drive, Fairfax, VA

Cost: Admission is Free but for some of the food, there will be a cost.

Pender Church is rocking the block again! We’re having another block party for our neighbors, and you’re invited for food, games, and live entertainment.

Fun for the whole family includes:

Food available for purchase from local food trucks, plus cupcakes and ice cream!

“Minute to Win It” games

Moon bounce

Face painting

Balloon sculpting

Cake Walk

Games for kids, teens and adults

Live music

Parking will be available in parts of the Pender UMC parking lot, and at Christ Presbyterian Church just down Alder Woods Drive.

Piano Explorer ~ October 2015



Each month, young students will receive a copy of Piano Explorer magazine.  It is available to adults, on request.

Included are

Composer biographies
• Music history
• Instruments
• Theory, practice tips, composing ideas
• Beginner’s Corner
• Music Corner (featuring student compositions)

Colorful pictures, timelines, and maps capture students’ attention. At the end of each magazine is a quiz to test students’ comprehension of the material. Games, puzzles, riddles, and student contributions round out the magazine and keep things fun.

Additional Features: Check out our website for additional material. The student page includes links to music mentioned in the issue, additional quizzes, and other interesting information.

The October issue includes information about

  • Franz Schubert
  • Practice tips
  • Dynamics
  • Voice
  • E Major
  • Antonio Salieri

Please note that students will have assignments from each issue.