Hooray for Halloween!

IMG_9016Fall is my favorite season to be a piano teacher, and a big reason for that is Halloween! My students love having a chance to play songs in a minor key for a dark, spooky sound. This year I collected all of my Halloween music into an organized binder so that students of any level can look through and find something they are excited to play.

In addition to songs about Halloween, I include songs from pop culture – this year my students are playing music from “Ghostbusters,” “The Addams Family,” “Harry Potter,” “Thriller,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” and of course the haunting piano theme from the original 1970s “Halloween” film!

I also let students choose from famous classical pieces that have a naturally dark or ominous sound – the theme from Beethoven’s 5th symphony, Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, and Gounod’s “Funeral March of the Marionettes,” to name a few.

I can’t wait to see my students perform their Halloween pieces at our second annual Halloween Open House this year on Sunday October 29th at The Perfect 5th Musical Arts Center! For more information about the event, visit our website http://www.theperfect5th.com.


P5 Student, Chris Pedersen Accepts Berklee Scholarship

Chris PedersenThe Perfect 5th would like to congratulate Chris Pedersen for accepting a merit based scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music. Chris studied bass guitar with our instructor and co-owner of The Perfect 5th, Justin Clauser. Chris is a well rounded player and musician with an excellent ear for music, an extensive music theory background, and command of many styles. From the music of Marvin Gay, to J.S. Bach, to Dorje, Chris Pedersen plays the bass guitar with both prowess and passion. For his audition performance piece, Chris and Justin arranged a solo version of Bach’s Two Part Invention No. 13. We at The Perfect 5th couldn’t be prouder of the what Chris has accomplished and wish him the best of luck as he furthers his musical journey at Berklee College of Music.

Molly’s Awesome Beginner Lessons

Molly Shortridge’s creative and fun lessons for beginner students both engage and entertain young flute students. She has them learning the basics of scales, known as five note patterns, through captivating activities. After learning the pattern, they go outside and march around, which teaches them to internalize the beat and memorize the pattern. They do this on quarter, eighth, and sixteenth notes which helped strengthen their pulse even further. Plus, it’s fun. By the time they have completed method book 1, they are proficient in all 12 five note patterns, and are ready to move on to full scales. They also work on these patterns on various advanced rhythms which don’t usually become prominent until method book 2. By doing them prior to reaching the second book, the student gains a thorough understanding of syncopated 2 beat rhythm patterns. They do these on the scales first so when they get into the rhythm patterns in music, they have a complete understanding. Molly’s innovative techniques and engaging teaching style is perfect for any young flute player looking to step up their playing abilities.

Innovative Acting Classes

Ben Hodge’s acting classes are a delight for actors of any age level. Ben is a local actor and director whose fresh philosophies enhance a performer’s abilities and skillset. His workshop studio not only teaches acting, but also incorporates life lessons. While improving their acting skills, students also learn how to be more confident, a stronger speaker, and better person and friend in general. Ben emphasizes emotion and empathy, and practices both in the sessions. The students of the class love it. They are excited to be learning from him, and genuinely enjoy the class. They have running jokes, such as “free relationship advice”, and say Ben gives amazing life advice.  All of the students enthusiastically express that they would take his class again, and that it helps them in both their acting careers and life. Ben is a creative and fun guy, and anyone who takes this class will walk out with an enriched understanding of acting and a new outlook on life.

Students Will Travel!

This student travels from Washington D.C. area in order to continue her studies with John Gerschefski.  Her mother mentioned that it is very difficult to find a teacher of his caliber, even in the D.C. area.  John Gerschefski has been a performer, conductor and arranger in D.C. for much of his life, but prefers to now reside in Mechanicsburg area.  Lucky for us and all string students in our community! DSC_0037.jpg