Monday, August 25, 2014

In-Stock NFMC Music: Val tries to simplify your shopping

I have a fairly large selection of Federation music in stock and available for browsing, and I have attempted to make your shopping as easy as possible:

This bin is entirely devoted to Federation pieces 

Sorted by level

And each piece is labeled (on removable stickers) with the level, to avoid filing mishaps

AND I have the entire list sorted by level AND alphabetically by title, to simplify your search

Friday, August 15, 2014

How I Work: Ed Varela

Aaaand after a brief break preparing for back-to-school, 'How I Work' is back with an amazing, inspiring teacher that I feel so fortunate to count among my friends! Ed is just a gem who, in addition to being an incredibly talented teacher and performer, is just a really nice guy (who brings me coffee on my birthday, because he is just the best). Anyway, here we go: 

My name is Ed Varela, and this is how I work.

Your Location:  Pensacola, FL but I grew up in Paterson, NJ. So a little "youz guyz" may slip out every now and then.

Jobs You Hold:  Like most musicians, I have more than one. The bulk of my work is my home studio, Varela Music studio where I teach about 40 students weekly.  I teach general music, choirs, and private lessons at Trinitas Christian School, a wonderful and refreshing private school. I teach group piano for adults at Dollarhides Music Center. These adults are so driven and enjoyable to be around. I wonder if I'll be that brave later in life to pick up an new art form. Wow! Lastly, I direct the Student Choir at Olive Baptist Church for grades 6-12. Love those kids and their heart for God. And of course I accompany like a maniac all year long. Then I switch hats and get to be a husband to Miranda, a stage director, and I get to be a father to my favorite three kids in the world, Olivia, Landon, and Lawson.

What is your studio setup?  I have an acoustic upright and a digital side by side. Then I have two overcrowded bookshelves right next to me for quick searching, a computer, and the best printer in the world, HP Officejet Pro 8600. My last one had to be one of the first printers invented. The switch was like driving a Fred Flinstone car to a Corvette. The parents' favorite part are the time-sucking couches. Once you sit, you'll never want to leave. I LOVE my couches. If only I could teach while reclining...

Devices you use in your studio:  I use my Nexus tablet a lot for YouTube listening and a few App games. I'm not much of a "gamey" teacher. I have a bluetooth speaker which syncs to the tablet or IPhone and it ridiculously loud. For metronomes, I mainly use the one on my digital keyboard since it's so convenient. But I like SpeakBeat and the basic metronome app on my IPhone. I have a cork board bulletin board up on a easel for announcements and sign-ups. I purposely put it right in front of the door so NO ONE can miss it. Many even trip over it. Mission accomplished!

What apps, software or other tools do you use to manage your studio? I love paper and pencil because it's ALWAYS the way I want it. All these apps and softwares have some part of it that doesn't work for me and it drives me crazy. Why mess with it? I have my teacher notebook "aka" the Book of Life to manage my studio. Every student has a grid where I record what was done at each lesson. Next page is an info sheet that list their history with me (2nd Place Sonata Contest, Level 5A...Superior at Festival, Level Moderately Difficult 1, NEVER trust a student to remember what level he was in any event from the previous year. There's a section for awards earned, a section where I write what books he owns for that year, a summary of the year, and goals for next year.) The last page is my Student Interview page. At our meet and greet I ask them a bunch of questions to get to know them and I find out their previous musical history. That way I can remember Trenton likes Minecraft and I found Creeperhead stickers at the Dollar Store.

How do you keep your students and their families informed between lessons?  I have a monthly blog I update on my website. Really important and time sensitive material goes up on my cork board. I'll send an e-mail just stating "Check the website for announcements". This year I'm added Remind 101 App. It'll send text messages to my whole studio w/o sharing anyone's contact info. I set it up for the week my baby was born. I didn't want to make 10 calls to cancel lessons. Some people don't check e-mails frequently. But they all get the text instantly!

What is your best time-management tip?  DEACTIVATE FACEBOOK

When/how do you find time to practice? I sign up for performances! It's amazing what the pressure of a deadline can do. Suddenly I just make time to learn new repertoire. Mainly it's from 10pm-'til after my kids are in bed.

What are you currently reading?  Blogs. I follow Diane Hidy and Wendy Stevens the most. And Piano Teacher Groups on FB. It's SO addicting!

What is your sleep routine/do you get enough sleep? I do P90X3 at night. I sleep like a baby after that.

Is there someone else you would like to see answer these questions?  Pitagoras Goncalves...Leo Day

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
" Don't be scared of this job. Go do it and be successful.  People are attracted to success."
 "Stop giving make up lessons" - from one of my student's PARENTS, also a piano teacher. =)
"Must have a Studio Policy"
"My family ALWAYS wins. Never let this job be more important than my wife and kids." - Advice I gave myself.


Edward Varela has been teaching music in Pensacola, FL since 2006. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Church Music and a Master of Arts degree in Music. As an independent professional music teacher, he is passionate about helping students create memories through music. Edward provides each student with a complete package in music education, such as exciting repertoire, theory, ear-training, music history, and composition.

Edward has experience teaching music on the college level, as well as the high school and elementary levels. He is a member of the Pensacola Music Teachers Association and the Music Teachers National Association, where his students benefit from participating in local events. He is also a member of the National Federation of Music Clubs and the Florida Federation of Music Clubs.

Edward teaches piano and voice lessons from his home studio in Pensacola. He is married to his wonderful wife Miranda, a stage actor and director, and mother to their two children.

Edward would like to thank Elcio Portugal, Diana VanRiper, Dona Paventa, Laura Fink, Sharon Black, Pitagoras Goncalves, Ray Gibbs, and Cleausia Goncalves for instilling in him a love of music through private music lessons. They have given him something so good that it has to be passed along to others.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Federation List - All Piano Solo Titles

I made this for my own use, so that it's easier to sort and put away Federation titles. I thought maybe it would be useful to my visitors, as well? Hopefully so!


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Wendy Wednesday: Rhythm

If you didn't know, the amazing Wendy Stevens will be here at Dollarhide's on Friday, July 25th, presenting 'Stress Free Business Practices' and 'Making Rhythm Fun'. I would love to have as many people as possible join us for this workshop (free to attend, please stay for lunch)!

For the benefit of the few not familiar with her work, for the rest of this month my normal 'Web Wednesday' posts will be 'Wendy Wednesday', where I feature posts or products from her site

Today I am featuring posts about rhythm (a topic Wendy will cover at her workshop, shameless plug):

Have you seen Wendy's Rhythm Cups?

Or her other rhythm products?

You can find International Editions of all of her rhythm books, a Classroom version of Rhythm Menagerie AND a Rhythm Menagerie and Rhythm Manipulations bundle at Wendy's store page

Happy browsing!