Enrolling New Students!


Foothills offers private one-on-one musical education in: Piano, Voice, Violin, Viola and Cello

What makes Foothills unique is that we offer opportunities for collaborative musicianship besides highly-specialized private lessons.

Our Director, Cathy Lowell, has taught orchestra and choir in the school districts and understands how to bring musicians together collaboratively. All of our teachers perform professionally and fully understand the art and joy of creating music with others.

Playing with other musicians is not just going in a room and "jamming", but understanding note-reading, rhythms, key-signatures, chord structures, dynamics, melody, harmonies as well as understanding their instrument and how to blend with other instruments: This is all taught during private lessons and then translated into real-life with other students.

We encourage family and friendship.

The staff all works closely together to provide collaborative musical opportunities where wanted and enjoyed.  Example:  Violin student, Piano student and Vocal student learn pieces in their private lessons, then come together at the quarterly Friday evening session to bring it all together.

Music shared is a powerful experience that is rarely offered in a formal-educational atmosphere.

Please email: foothillsacademy@yahoo.com or call Cathy at 425-753-0820 to arrange a time to see our studio and meet our teachers, so you can see first hand our unique learning environment.

**You are also welcome to just stop in.

All our best,

Cathy and Faculty

Foothills Music Academy
 offering:  piano, voice, violin, viola, cello, cello squad

 serving:  Duvall, Monroe, Redmond, Carnation, Woodinville, Bothell, Mill Creek


Cello Squad - it's all about that Cello!


A unique non-audition learning and performing opportunity for cello players of all ages and abilities! 

Ensembles are created based on experience and ability, to showcase the  diverse sounds and voices produced by the cello.

Students may enroll at the beginning of each quarter.

Example of music learned will be traditional Bach and Mozart, as well as contemporary arrangements of Adele.  Performances will be on a quarterly basis at Merrill Gardens in Woodinville.


Details:

Where:  Foothills Music Academy  13120 177th Pl NE Woodinville WA  98072
When:  Monday Evenings 7:00-8:00 ( performance on last rehearsal of each quarter)
Tuition: $120 per quarter  (Fall: Sept 12-Nov 28   Winter: Dec 5 - Feb 27   Spring: Mar 6 - May 22)
Experience:  At Least 1 year experience.  Need not be enrolled in a school program.
Director: Cathy Lowell - Northshore String Teacher

To Register: 
Call:  425-753-0820  or Email:  Foothillsacademy@yahoo.com


All our best,

Catherine and Faculty

Foothills Music Academy
 offering:  piano, voice, violin, viola, cello, orchestra , percussion
 serving:  Duvall, Monroe, Redmond, Carnation, Woodinville

Why Foothills Music Academy...





-  individualized curriculum including:
     * autistic-spectrum students
     * MTNA syllabus
     * state fine art school credit for private lessons

-  collaborative musicianship opportunities

- professional musician-faculty

-  locally owned

- can begin lessons anytime

School Accreditation - get school credit for private lessons!



FMA has the capability to provide fine art credit for private music instruction.

We have an established syllabus that includes quarterly testing, practice record, theory, varied musical literature, technique and performance.

Contact director for further information





Private Instruction Offered




At Foothills Music Academy we offer the following private instruction:

Piano - Keyboard - Voice

Violin - Viola - Cello
Percussion

Theory - Composition

Youth Orchestra 

All levels and ages welcome!

Foothills Music Academy - To Catch a Fish!


My daughter fishing in Anchorage Alaska

Foothills Music Academy is a unique place to learn.

We use the analogy of learning to fish when describing Foothills Academy's approach to teaching.

The traditional teacher instructs the student by having them mimic or write in the note-names on the music. The student then proceeds to "memorize" and play by rote a beautiful piece of music, but only as the teacher has taught it. They are insecure in attempting to play a piece of music they have not seen before, create their own music or arrange a piece and make it uniquely their own. Much like receiving a beautiful fish but without the knowledge of where to find a good fishing hole or how to care and feed eventually it dies.

We like to teach our students how to fish, meaning they understand the logic as well as artistry behind the music and are not afraid to try new fishing holes! Not all students excel in reading music or following the theory rules, but they can all excel at creating their own music. Sometimes the fish is not the prettiest, nor the fastest, but it is the healthiest and will continue to survive years after the student has caught it.

Our goal is that each of our students will pass on the knowledge of how to fish...


-Catherine

INTERESTING OBSERVATION OVER MY 40 YEARS OF TEACHING:

Stage 1 (ages 4-6): “Listen to me play, everybody!”
In this pre-piano stage, children love to make sounds on the piano just for the sake of being able to make sounds themselves.  The concept of music is fascinating and they enjoy being able to be in control and produce sounds out of an instrument with their own hands.  Children typically learn through peer group interaction and like being in groups, hence their motto: “listen to me play, everybody!”
Stage 2 (ages 7-8): “Not now, later.”
Once piano students enter the beginner and late beginner stages, they find that playing the piano actually takes practice.  This is different than before, when playing the piano was fun and like playing a game.  All of a sudden, motivation levels have dropped because now piano actually takes work.  Note reading is difficult and each lesson is getting progressively harder.  The student gets discouraged.  The lesson time is often spent with the teacher practicing with the student what they were supposed to practice at home.
Stage 3 (ages 9-10): “Look mom – with my eyes closed!”
Students have gotten past the difficult stage of note reading and music concepts begin to make sense.  For some reason, something has “clicked” in the students’ minds and they figured out note reading through ‘every good boy does fine’ or other means.  Usually at this stage the student’s goal is to play as fast as possible or play pieces memorized with their eyes closed, in attempts to show off to family and friends.  At this age, students enjoy flashcards as a means of learning, showy pieces, and tunes they recognize.  Regular practice time can still remain a challenge due to distractions at home (i.e., video games, television, internet, friends, etc.).
Stage 4 (age 11): “Why can’t I have good music – like rock or pop?”
At this age, the adolescent child begins many changes, and it can be quite difficult to continue with piano lessons.  Their world is moving out of the family structure and into a world of peer association and approval.  Students are in the early intermediate stage and teachers often begin introducing students to easy pieces from the classical era (i.e., Minuets, Sonatinas, etc.).  This type of music is so far out of line of what the student enjoys to listen to on a daily basis.  The student wonders why they can’t play “cooler” music like the Harry Potter theme song or the rock song they heard on the radio.  The student gets discouraged, do not care much for their progress at the piano, and playing the piano is no longer cool.
Stage 5 (ages 12-14): “I want to quit.”
After Stage 4, students often have resentment towards learning the piano.  It takes away from the student’s free time, it is hard work to learn the music concepts, and requires a lot of practice that the child does not have diligence for.  The teacher has expressed some frustration toward the child and the parent is placing pressure on the student to keep practicing, furthering the child’s resentment towards music lessons.  The student is not playing music he or she likes anyway, and figures the easiest thing to is to quit lessons.  Unless the parent continues to force the child to go to lessons, many students quit at this age.  Parent involvement and support is very important at this stage to ensure that the student continues learning.  Even if the parent just has the student merely “show up” to the weekly lessons until the student passes the growing pain hurdles, that is better than the student quitting on his or her own terms.  This is the stage that adults who once learned piano often look back on later and regret that they quit.
Stage 6 (ages 15-16): (If you get past the growing pain hurdles) “No more kid stuff.”
After a rough patch of frustration by the student, parents, and teacher, the student will begin to gain an appreciation for classical music in the advanced repertoire.  Students will begin to feel satisfied from their ability to play difficult pieces, and the teacher will begin guiding the student on artistry and interpretation aspects of music pieces.  The students are approaching adulthood and begin to take on responsibility without reminders.  Usually they are taking piano lessons because they want to.  The student and teacher begin to develop a strong bond of mutual respect and students can become very close to their piano teachers.


Washington Music Educators Association Award!

Performing at the Northshore Performing Arts Center

Only 35 musical groups from around the state are invited to play at the Washington Music Educators Association convention. This year only 1 elementary orchestra was chosen...and it is my orchestra out of Northshore! This September my colleague and I were notified that we are invited to play at the President's day convention to be held in the Meydenbauer center ballroom in Bellevue. What an honor. This is the first time an elementary orchestra has been chosen. We now have lots of work to do to prepare, but it is a lot of fun!

Way to go kids!!!