July 2018 Student of the Month - Mia Grace Daigle

Congratulations to the California Conservatory of Music's July 2018 Student of the Month, Mia Grace Daigle! Mia Grace studies with Teacher Wenfei (Judy) at CCM's Santa Clara location. Mia is only six years old and already knows the importance of practice which shows each week when she shows up prepared for her lesson. Don't forget to check out the parent spotlight interview below as well! Keep up the hard work and we look forward to hearing Mia Grace in the fall recitals!

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Student of the Month - Mia Grace Daigle

Q: What is your name?
A: Mia Grace Daigle
Q: How old are you?
A: 6 years old
Q: Who is your teacher?
A: Ms. Judy
Q: What advice would you give to a violin student just starting out?
A: I would tell them to practice.
Q: What piece are you looking forward to playing someday?
A: Someday I want to play May Song.
Q: What is your favorite thing about playing the violin?
A: My favorite thing about playing the violin is being able to play songs and practicing at home.
 

Q: What is your favorite food?
A: Indian Food
Q: Do you have a pet?
A: No
Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?
A: Teacher, doctor, artist or marine biologist 

Parent Spotlight - Claudia & Mark Daigle

Q: Regarding the violin, what are you most proud of your child accomplishing? 
A: Seeing Mia Grace develop a love for music & appreciation for the commitment it takes to learn to play an instrument.
Q: What advice would you give a new parent starting in the program? 
A: Try to balance having fun with pushing children to take their classes seriously.  It takes time for some children (especially younger kids) to develop the ability to focus during lessons.  Stick with it & enjoy every moment.    
Q: Why did you decide to give your child a musical upbringing?
A: For us, exposing our children to different activities is a way to provide balance & structure to their lives, along with having fun (they are kids at the end of the day).  The kids have grown to love academics, athletics and the arts.  Most importantly, we believe that introducing music to our kids is a lifelong gift.

June 2018 Student of the Month - Aeshaan Singhal

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Congratulations to CCM's June 2018 Student of the Month Aeshaan Singhal. Aeshaan has been studying guitar now for four years at CCM's Santa Clara location with teacher Alexandra. Aeshaan is not only a great student, but he also uses his talents to help others. For the past few years, he has put on fundraiser concerts to raise money for the Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital. The latest fundraiser was held in May at Santana Row in San Jose. Thanks to Aeshaan's hard work, he has now raised nearly $5,000! Check out Aeshaan's interview and don't miss the parent parent spotlight below.

Student of the Month - Aeshaan Singhal

Q: What is your name?
A: Aeshaan Singhal
Q: How old are you?
A: 9 years old

Q: How long have you been studying guitar?
A: Four Years
Q: Who is your teacher?
A: Ms.Alexandra
Q: What advice would you give to a guitar student just starting out?
A: Start with notes, then phrasing.
Q: What is your favorite food?
A: Orange Chicken!
Q: What would you like to be when you grow up?
A: Kid’s Dentist
Q: What piece or pieces do you look forward to playing someday?
A: Lesson for Two Lutes
Q: What is your favorite thing about playing guitar?
A: I like the slurs
Q: What is your proudest musical moment?
A: When I completed Twinkle
Q: Please tell us a bit about your recent fundraiser for the Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital. 
A: It was fun, for a good cause, and all the were mind blowing acts
Q: What do you find fun about your lessons?
A: I find the trying to find the notes without any help.
Q: How much do you practice?
A: 30 minutes a day.

Parent Spotlight: Garima Agarwal

Q: Regarding guitar, what are you most proud of your child accomplishing?
A: The biggest accomplishment is Aeshaan’s regular practice.
Q: What advice would you give a new parent starting in the program? 
A: Try not to take a break.
Q: Why did you decide to give your child a musical upbringing? 
A: I think having music is one’s life helps with psychological development and really grounds a person.
Q: Do you have a favorite Suzuki guitar piece?
A: Yes, Meadow Minuet.
Q: Have you noticed more confidence in your child since beginning guitar?
A: Yes the guitar recitals and the opportunities to play in front of large crowds has helped increase his confidence and we also noticed more pride and joy.
Q: How has music impacted Aeshaan's life?
A: It has given him more focus and helped him learn if he works hard he can achieve anything.

May 2018 Student of the Month - Sirius Khan

Congratulations to CCM's May 2018 Student of the Month, Sirius Khan. Sirius has been a student at CCM since the beginning of 2018 and has already grown leaps and bounds as a musician. He practices hard every day and in April performed on his first recital playing a duo with his teacher, Stephanie. Sirius takes cello lessons at CCM's Santa Clara location. Keep up the hard work, and we can't wait to hear you again at the next recital!

Sirius preparing for the recital

Sirius preparing for the recital

Student of the Month - Sirius Khan

Q: What is your name?
A: Sirius, like the star. 
Q: How old are you?
A: 5
Q: Who is your teacher?
A: Ms. Stephanie
Q: What advice would you give to a cello student just starting out?
A: To do your best.
Q: What is your favorite thing about playing the cello?
A: Being able to play my favorite songs. Looking forward to play cello wars, Canon in D, Polar Express, and rock music with my cello someday. 

Q: What is your favorite food?
A: Pasta
Q: Do you have a pet?
A: No
Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?
A: Builder. Policeman. Scientist. Astronaut. Doctor. 

Parent Spotlight - Itrat and Maria Khan

Q: Regarding cello, what are you most proud of your child accomplishing? 
A: Learning so much in such a short period of time. He only started in February. 
Q: What advice would you give a new parent starting in the program? 
A: Practice makes perfect. At least 15minutes a day of practice is so important. 
Q: Why did you decide to give your child a musical upbringing?
A: We believe music is a great medium for expressing your feelings and emotions. It’s also a great brain enhancement tool. 

April 2018 Student of the Month - Owen Botkin

Congratulations to CCM's April 2018 Student of the Month Owin Botkin. Owen takes guitar lessons with Robert Miller at our Santa Clara location. Owen uses his guitar skills to bring joy to other people's lives by frequently performing in the community as you will read below. Keep up the great work Owen!

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Q: What is your name?
A: Owen Botkin
Q: How old are you?
A: 13
Q: In what city do you live?
A: San Jose
Q: How long have you been studying guitar?
A: 7 and a half years
Q: Who is your teacher?
A: Robert Miller
 

Q: What advice would you give to a guitar student just starting out?
A: Practice in a constant loop, because when you get out of practicing it’s a lot harder
Q: What piece or pieces do you look forward to playing someday?
A: The last piece in Book 9
Q: What is your favorite thing about playing guitar?
A: You’re playing a piece that someone else has written but you get to put your own spin on it. You get to express something. Also, it’s fun.
Q: What is your favorite food?
A: Pasta or waffles. I don’t know which one.
Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?
A: Something in the tech industry, like something computer science related
Q: What is your proudest musical moment?
A: The first song I ever played on the guitar
Q: Please tell us a little bit about the current project performing in retirement homes.
A: I go around to retirement homes and for 20 minutes or so I play classical guitar pieces for the residents. Sometimes a few people are there; sometimes there are about up to 30 people in the audience. I play pieces from Book 6 and 7. I introduce myself and each piece that I play. I hope that by playing music for residents that I’ve made someone’s day better.

Student of the Month March 2018 - Alessandra Atalik

Congratulations to CCM's March 2018 Student of the Month, Alessandra Atalik. Alessandra takes piano lessons with Teacher Orlia at the California Conservatory of Music's Redwood City location. Alessandra is a hard-working student who is committed to practicing her assignments and frequently prepares something extra to bring to the lesson each week. Alessandra is now working hard for the CCM recital on March 25th. Don't forget to also check out the parent spotlight below!

Alessandra practicing piano for her music lesson.

Alessandra practicing piano for her music lesson.

Q: What is your name?
A: Alessandra Atalik
Q: How old are you?
A: I'm turning 8 on May 1st
Q: Who is your teacher?
A: Teacher Orlia
Q: What advice would you give to a piano student just starting out?
A: You have to go to class every week, and you have to keep practicing outside of class. you also should pick an instrument you love to play.
Q: What piece are you looking forward to playing someday?
A: Any piano based song from the LaLa Land soundtrack
Q: What is your favorite thing about playing the piano?
A: I love to learn to play
Q: What is your favorite food?
A: Pasta
Q: Do you have a pet?
A: none :(
Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?
A: A movie star

Parent Spotlight - Cristina Atalik

Q: Regarding piano, what are you most proud of your child accomplishing?
A: Alessandra has been able to pick up the piano rather quickly, and I've been very impressed with the initiative she has demonstrated in learning to play on her own, after class, always practicing, and pushing herself to learn more than just what she learns in class.
Q: What advice would you give a new parent starting in the program?
A: Timing is critical, knowing when your child is ready to learn and appreciate what he/she is learning. This will help the child in developing a passion for music and the instrument they are learning.
Q: Why did you decide to give your child a musical upbringing?
A: We value music greatly (I love to sing in the Church Choir, my husband plays drums), and we wanted to make sure that Alessandra has the opportunity to experience the joys and sounds of music.


Student of the Month February 2018 - Iva Marina Buich

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Congratulations to the California Conservatory of Music's February 2018 Student of the Month Iva Marina Buich. Iva's hard work and dedication in lessons and home practice showed when she recently performed in the CCM student recital. We look forward to hearing Iva play again at the next recital! Below is our interview with Iva where she gives great advice to students just starting out. Iva takes piano lessons with Teacher Glenda at our Santa Clara location. 

Student of the Month Interview

Q: What is your name?
A: My name is Iva Marina Buich
Q: How old are you?
A: I am 12 years old.
Q: How long have you been studying piano?
A: I have been playing piano for about 5 years.
Q: Who is your teacher?
A: My piano teacher is Ms. Glenda, who I like as my teacher very much.
Q: What advice would you give to a piano student just starting out?
A:  My advice to students who are starting out is to take it slow and do not give up!!!!!
Q: What piece or pieces do you look forward to playing someday?
A: Pieces that I am excited to play in the future is The Minute Waltz by Frédéric Chopin, Nocturne op. 9 No. 2. Ballad Pour Adeline, and many more.
Q: What is your favorite thing about playing piano?
A: Playing piano makes me happy, relax.
Q: What is your favorite food?
A: My favorite food are lobster tails.
Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?
A: When I grow up I want to be a vet, because besides piano I love animals!!
Q: What is your proudest musical moment?
A: My most proud musical moment was when I came across a piano at Vasona Park a few years ago. I started playing Amazing Grace and I saw a crowd clapping.

Student of the Month January 2018 Ajit Jain

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We are excited to bring in the New Year with our first 2018 student of the month, Ajit Jain! Ajit studies with Teach Alexandra at CCM's Santa Clara location. Ajit and his parents have been a part of CCM for over 3 years. In addition to his weekly private lessons, Ajit is also part of the group class that we offer for guitar students. 

Student of the Month - Ajit Jain

What is your name? Ajit Jain
How old are you? Just turned 8
How long have you been studying guitar? Since I was 4 years and 9 months old. 
Who is your teacher? Teacher Alexandra
 

What advice would you give to a guitar student just starting out?  Learn to arch your wrist and keep your thumb in front in your playing hand when you're younger so that playing is easier when you get older.
What piece are you looking forward to playing?  Malagueña and Packington's Pound
What is your favorite thing about playing guitar?  My favorite thing about playing the guitar is attending the recitals because it's fun watching the other kids. 
What is your favorite food?  Mac and Cheese
What are some of your hobbies outside of guitar? I love to play flag football and my favorite position to play is wide receiver. I also like to play basketball and baseball and I'm learning ice hockey. 
What do you want to be when you grow up?  An NFL Football Player.
What is your proudest guitar moment?  Performing Corrente by Paganini at the most recent CCM Recital in October 2017. 

Parent Spotlight Ajit Jain & Purvi Mody

Regarding guitar, what are you most proud of your child accomplishing? 
Ajit's greatest challenges with the guitar have been arching his wrist and allowing his thumb to remain ahead of his playing fingers (right hand). In the past few months his persistence with the arch and thumb have finally begun to take shape and although he still needs reminding he has come a long way. There have been some tough days in this regard so we are very proud of how far he has come. We are also really proud to see how Ajit has matured through guitar. When he started, he was a very shy child. Through guitar, he has become more confident, willing to talk to adults and authority figures and perform in public. He was nervous about performing in front of his friends at school this year, but then actually really loved the attention and answering the great questions his friends asked him. A proud moment indeed.
 

What advice would you give a new parent starting at CCM? 
You must be fully committed to guitar at CCM which means practicing every day, and attending every lesson and group class. In the early days of our son's guitar experience with CCM, we did not take the guitar with us when we travelled. We would notice that he would regress somewhat and forget some material. Even now when he goes back to an older song that he no longer practices daily it takes him time to pick it up again. So consistent and regular daily practice is critical and we would recommend that the same parent commits to being the mentor for the guitar student. Like with any other activity, there will be ups and downs. With young children, those highs and lows feel even more pronounced. Give it at least one year if you are serious. Be patient with your child. A love of music takes time to develop.

Why did you decide to give your child a musical upbringing?
Both of us took part in musical education as children but wish we had been more committed. Our son was naturally inclined towards music and we wanted to expose him to instruments early on. Ajit's dad played the guitar for about six years as a child so it felt natural that our son do guitar since his dad could spend the necessary time. When our son was four the Suzuki method was the only learning philosophy that took kids interested in learning the guitar at such a young age. We believe that learning music is critical to creativity, critical thinking, and developing patience in young kids.

What is your favorite piece Suzuki guitar piece so far?

Ajit is still in the process of refining Waltz in Book 2. We like it most because it has pushed Ajit hard to learn new techniques and improve his hand technique (both left and right) and we can see the pride he is filled with when he improves or succeeds with something new related to this piece. Corrente is tied for first as it is his mom's favourite. 

Music is Medicine for the Body, Mind, and Soul at Any Age

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Music has been said to be medicine to the soul. Though many throughout the ages would probably agree, it is now during the modern age where scientific data is preeminent that this sentiment is proved to be true. Taking music lessons and learning to play an instrument has benefits that go beyond delighting the ears of the listeners.

Physical Benefits

Music is a physical activity no matter if you are singing, playing a wind or string instrument, or percussion. All involve breathwork, muscle coordination, and endurance.

Deeper Breathing

Singing and playing many instruments require the player to breathe deeply so that they can sustain their breath. When we begin to breathe more deeply while we play and throughout our day, our lungs and respiratory system are strengthened .

Immune Response

Playing an instrument and making music has been shown to stimulate our immune system’s response, allowing us to better fight viruses and other harmful free radicals.  

Stress Relief

We all deal with an exceeding amount of stress—even many young kids are stressed due to over commitment. The concentration and physicality of making music are actually an effective means of stress relief.

Fine Hearing

Playing a musical instrument and learning to sing all require a trained ear. Such attention to the nuances of a note created takes time and allows the musician to generally have better hearing especially in noisy environments when it is necessary to listen to a specific voice.

Exercise

Playing an instrument, singing, and making music all require a certain amount of physicality. Whether it be breathing or moving your arm to play a specific note, music increases one’s coordination, endurance, breath capacity, and their posture.

Mental Benefits

Music is powerful and influential, increasing the health of the body and the abilities of the mind.

Mental Performance

Music requires the engagement of every part of your brain. This mental activity is powerful enough to help patients recover from a stroke and to slow the effects of dementia.

Coordination

Coordination isn’t just an aspect of our physical bodies, but also our minds. Playing a musical instrument will increase one’s hand-eye coordination and can be that catalyst for the healthy development of motor skills.

Time Management

Making time for practicing our instrument can be difficult no matter what age. However, learning how to prioritize tasks, such as practicing one’s instrument, can help anyone learn the art of time management.

Reading Skills

Reading music, especially at fast tempos, can increase your capacity to process and absorb information as well as make mental connections. This increased mental ability is due to the new physical connections being developed between synapses in the brain.

Listening Skills

As mentioned above, taking music lessons and learning to play an instrument or sing requires listening skills that allow the player to hear the differences between notes, chords, and more. Playing or singing music may increase your ability to focus and listen to conversations, lectures, and more.

Concentration

Practice time and generally playing an instrument requires concentration. As you flex and work your concentration “muscle” you will be able to better concentrate while playing, while in class, and during everyday life.

Mathematics

Music can actually help one with their math skills. Recognizing patterns in music allows the player to better recognize patterns. Additionally, learning the division of notes can actually help increase one’s math skills.

 

Emotional Benefits

Music affects us deeply. It can change the way we feel, even bringing us to tears or lightening our mood. Playing an instrument, singing, and creating music can have a profound effect on our emotional health.

Self Expression

Creating our own music or interpreting someone else's piece is an opportunity for self-expression. Expressing oneself through music can have powerful effects on our emotions including creating positive effects on depression, anxiety, and self-esteem.

Therapy

Playing music can eliminate stress and aid with insomnia and depression. Not only is playing music a great way to distract your mind from the stresses of the day, but it can also be a means of release and soothing that are necessary for our well-being and happiness.

Achievement

Playing a piece well and learning an instrument is an achievement and no matter what age you are, it can give you satisfaction and a self-esteem boost—both of which can create positive momentum to reach other goals and achieve in all areas of life.  

New Friends

Music can be a solitary art, but often through band, orchestra, choir, or other musical groups, we can experience the enjoyment and power of music with others our own age giving us a sense of community, connection, and the chance of making lasting friendships.

Are you or your child interested in learning how to play an instrument or sing and live in the Santa Clara or Redwood City area? The California Conservatory offers music lessons to students of all ages including guitar lessons, violin lessons, vocal lessons, piano lessons, music theory courses, and more. Learn more about The California Conservatory and the lessons we offer on our website.

December 2017 Student of the Month

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Congratulations to CCM's December 2017 Student of the Month Arjun Apte. Arjun's enthusiasm for music shows each week when he walks in for his lesson with a huge smile excited to learn. Arjun's hard work and dedication to practice shines through with each note, and after just one and a half years, his playing already displays incredible ease. Arjun studies with teacher Tim at The California Conservatory of Music's Santa Clara location. Keep up the great work!

December Student of the Month - Arjun Apte

What is your name? 
Arjun Apte

How old are you? 
6 and a half

How long have you been studying guitar? 
1 and a half years

Who is your teacher? 
Teacher Tim

What advice would you give to a guitar student just starting out? 
Have fun playing guitar

What piece are you looking forward to playing? 
Last song in book 9

What is your favorite thing about playing guitar? 
How the strings work

 

What is your favorite food? 
Cheese pizza

What are some of your hobbies outside of playing guitar? 
Reading books

What do you want to be when you grow up? 
Basketball player

What is your proudest guitar moment? 
When I finished book 1

Parent Spotlight: Smruti and Atul Apte

Regarding guitar, what are you most proud of Arjun accomplishing? 
His dedication to daily practice

What advice would you give a new parent starting at CCM? 
Have patience and believe in the CCM teachers, they are great at what they do!

Why did you decide to give Arjun a musical upbringing? 
We believe that music is a good way to generate happiness within and around you. We felt that an early exposure to music would build a love for it in Arjun, which would hopefully help him in the long run.

How has music impacted Arjun's life? 
It has helped him focus and improved his confidence.