Musical Musings

Sharing musical thoughts and ideas.

Grit Series - The Yeti

Thursday, January 20, 2022 by Paula Augustine | Uncategorized

The Yeti

Welcome to the next Grit and Growth Mindset area we will be focusing in the studio. In the Yeti Yetters we are understanding the power of the word "yet".

A conversation in a lesson may go a little like this:

Teacher: "How did 'The Castle' go this week?"

Student: "I can't play it!"

I hear quite often students saying they cannot play something. They know they can't because when they try to play the sound is not correct. This is a true statement. Many times we encourage by saying, "Yes, you can!" and we try to be positive.

The student doesn't believe the positive statement, they know the honest truth. The secret is to add the word yet to a negative statement. "I can't play it, yet." 

This one magic word can single-handedly reframe things students perceive as failures, helping them put mistakes and challenges in the right perspective. 

We will be practicing adding the word yet to negative statements in the studio over the next month.

Introducing New Flute Zoo Classes

Monday, January 3, 2022 by Paula Augustine | Uncategorized

Flute Zoo

I am excited to announce the new Flute Zoo class for students ages 5-8. 

With the innovation of the Jflute from Nuvo and the newest Flute Zoo books from Kathy Blocki this class is sure to be fun for the youngest new flute student. 

The six week introduction class is where students will learn how to make their first sounds on the flute and play simple tunes as well as begin to understand how the written music works. Cost for the class will include rental of the instrument, the book, and 6 weeks of classes. After this introduction class students may participate in regular weekly flute classes, buddy lessons, or private lessons if they would like to continue their study.

How to choose a piano

Monday, March 15, 2021 by Paula Augustine | Uncategorized

Purchasing your Instrument for home practice

Purchasing your first piano can be confusing. Here I would like to share options and the pros and cons to each.

Upright Acoustic Piano

This is the standard traditional piano that sits against a wall and easily fits in most homes. They have 88 keys and inside the back box there are strings and hammer mechanisms that produce the sound.


  • Best Quality
  • Best Long term option
  • Authentic Sound
  • Can resell generally for your purchase price as acoustic pianos are made to last
  • Best to practice so when student plays for lessons, recitals, and auditions there is less shock on the differences


  • Upkeep, generally need to be tuned every 1-2 years (about $120)
  • Difficult to move, movers in our area cost around $150 to move a piano


You can pick up a used piano for anywhere from free to $1500. Generally the higher price will be a much better instrument and the free pianos may have further issues that need to be fixed. New pianos start around $2000.

Unweighted Keyboards:

Unweighted Keyboards are the instruments most people think of when they think of getting a piano keyboard at home. These I do NOT suggest spending money on. Unweighted keyboards generally do not have all 88 keys. Unweighted keyboards are not similar to pianos.


  • Lightweight and cheap to purchase


  • Will hold back a student's technical development
  • You will not be getting the best investment out of your piano lessons
  • more than likely will not have all 88 keys and a pedal

Digital Pianos

Digital pianos can be easily confused with Keyboards. Digital Pianos have the weighted keys and generally come complete with all 88 keys. The keys are more similar to playing a piano. Digital pianos are a good option if you need something that can move easily.


  • Realistic piano features
  • Moves easily
  • No tuning needed


  • Still not the full texture and sound and strength building of a piano
  • Can be more expensive than a used piano
  • Digital parts will break down and may not be able to resell

Hybrid Pianos

Hybrid Pianos combines electronic, mechanical, and/or acoustical aspects of both acoustic and digital pianos. They have real hammers inside and wooden keys just like an acoustic piano but they’re electric. This is the newest technology in piano building.


  • Can be used for silent practice with headphones
  • Will connect to computer and sound systems
  • Won't ever need tuning
  • Can imitate different types of pianos


  • Expensive