Washington International Piano Festival: July 24 – August 1

The Washington International Piano Festival is a non-profit arts organization dedicated to the performance and teaching of classical music at the highest standard. The festival takes place every summer on the beautiful campus of the Catholic University of America, as well as at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. Young aspiring concert pianists, teachers, amateurs, and piano lovers of all ages from all over the world are invited to participate in this inspiring and unique one-week festival.

The goal of our festival – the first and the only piano festival in Washington, D.C. – is to provide the best learning experience for everyone by combining an intensive educational program with an outstanding concert series presented by world-class classical pianists. We invite you to become part of the festival either as an active participant or an observer (see registration). All participants will have the opportunity to work with prominent piano pedagogues in daily one-on-one private lessons and to participate in a piano competition, recitals, educational workshops, lectures and master classes that will focus on both piano solo and piano ensemble repertoire. Selected WIPF participants will also have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform in two concerts at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage. Both concerts are webcast live at www.kennedy-center.org. In addition to the intensive program offerings, participants will have the chance to enjoy and explore the cultural and historical sights of Washington, D.C. including museums, galleries, memorials, monuments, theaters and restaurants. A special sight-seeing city bus tour will be offered to our festival participants and guests.

In addition to presenting some of the best internationally-renowned pianists in recital (see ticket information), we are excited to offer again to the festival participants and audiences the Young Pianist Showcase concert series. These 30-minute concerts, preceding our guest artists’ evening concerts, will feature an array of extraordinarily talented young pianists who are prizewinners of local, national and international piano competitions.

During the last seven editions of the festival we welcomed more than 450 participants, faculty, and guest artists from all over the world including Japan, South Korea, China, Australia, Singapore, U.A.E., Argentina, Brazil, Russia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Hungary, Germany, France, Italy, and the U.S. They all made our festival become one of the most successful additions to the nation’s capital’s summer cultural life.

For more information or tickets, visit http://www.washingtonpianofest.com/

Jordan Kitt’s hosts Teacher Workshop on Technology

This past Wednesday 7/13, Jordan Kitt’s Music was proud to host “Technology to Improve Student Motivation” featuring clinician Linda Christensen, Ph.D.

There was a great turnout from teachers looking to stay engaged with students during the summer months using modern technology to keep them practicing, even while on vacation.

Linda Christensen received her Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma, where she studied pedagogy with E.L. Lancaster and Jane Magrath. After over 20 years as a Professor of Music and Music Technology, she is now the Institutional Sales Director for Maryland/DC for Jordan Kitts Music in Rockville, Maryland. She is a frequent presenter for MTNA, NCKP, and many other national and international conferences.

To get on the mailing list for future education seminars, contact us at info@jordankitts.com

Another Brain Benefit of Music Lessons

Helping kids develop the ability to disregard potential distractions…

via psmag.com, by Tom Jacobs

The term “cognitive inhibition” doesn’t sound particularly attractive, but it describes a vitally important mental process. It refers to our capability to tune out irrelevant information and focus our attention on the matter at hand.

Obviously, this ability to concentrate is more important than ever, in a world where we are constantly beckoned by a wide range of distractions. So how can you help your child develop it?

New research suggests one answer is music lessons.

Belgian researchers report 9- to 12-year-olds who had been taking regular music lessons displayed “enhanced cognitive inhibitory control” compared to a group of same-age peers. Their study, in the journal Musicae Scientiae, adds to the already large body of evidence showing cognitive benefits of musical training.

The study featured 63 Dutch-speaking students from Flanders, ranging in age from 9 1/2 to 11 1/2. Thirty-two of them “had been taking music classes since the age of 5 were younger,” specifically studying the Suzuki method with qualified teachers.

Does cutting music programs still seem like such a great way to balance the budget?

Their parents filled out a form noting how many years they had been playing an instrument, and the average amount of time they spend each day on music training. In addition, they reported the education level of the children’s parents, which was roughly equivalent for the two groups.

To measure inhibitory control, all of the children completed the “Simon task,” in which they were asked to press a certain key when a specific color appeared on a computer screen in front of them.

“Of the trials, 50 percent were congruent, meaning that the position of the circle on the screen matched the position of the required response button,” the researchers explain. “The remaining 50 percent were incongruent, with the position of the circle not matching the position of the required response key.” Participants were scored on whether they pushed the correct buttons, and how long it took them to respond.

The researchers, led by Marie-Eve Joret, found “the magnitude of the congruency effect” was “significantly larger in the control group compared to the music group.” In other words, the young musicians performed significantly better in a task that had nothing to do with music, but required focused attention, quick thinking, and rapid responses.

These superior scores “might be explained by several elements related to music training,” the researchers write. “Playing a musical instrument requires high levels of selective attention. Hence, children need to focus their attention on playing music while ignoring other distracting elements.”

Read more here…

Or get more info about lessons at Jordan Kitt’s Music here!