Posted in Student highlight

Cole’s Creativity!

Check out Cole! He did such a fantastic job with his final piece in his Fired Up book, and then came up with some unique rhythms to play! I love encouraging creativity in my students! Cole has done a fantastic job and really grown as a musician this year!


And he moved to Fired Up Level 2!

Posted in Student highlight

Check out Miles!

Miles has been watching his big brother Luke take lessons from me for a few years now. Today was his first lesson! He was super excited and already was very knowledgeable about the piano! I’m guessing Luke taught him well already!

One of the fun games I love to play with students is to guess how many black and white keys are on the piano. I told Luke he couldn’t tell. It took Miles a little bit of guessing, but he got to the right answer! It’s 88 black and white keys on a full sized piano!

Miles learned a bit about the music alphabet, which is different than the regular alphabet (only A-G), but…..the music alphabet goes backward! Ever try saying the full alphabet backward from Z? That’s a fun challenge! He also got to learn about quarter notes, half notes and whole notes. Quarter notes are one count (short) notes, half notes are two count (longer) notes and whole notes are four count (really long) notes. Miles learned where middle C is, and then played a song! I asked him before he played whether or not he thought the song was easy or hard and he said easy. Still thought it was easy after he played it the first time!

I love starting new students on lessons. Their excitement and enthusiasm cannot be topped! I do still have a few times available in the afternoons, and lots of times during the day for homeschool students and their families. You can find more about my schedule, lesson policies and calendar here.

Posted in About Craig, Student highlight

I Love My Students!

Story time with Craig today. I taught lessons on the side of my church music jobs for 18 and a half years. Finally in 2020, I decided that I would make the leap out of church music to doing something else. My degree is in music education, so going back to teaching was a thought, but what really intrigued me (and scared me to death) was stepping up my lesson business to full time. The pandemic hit, so I dove in to teaching online, which was a huge learning process, but I enjoyed it. I was building up a good number of students, and ramping up to the fall of 2020, when an opportunity to direct choirs part time came up. It was a good experience, but it only lasted 1 year. So, again, last summer, I started building up a good number of students. The fall came, and all of a sudden, I’m only down to 11 lessons a week. That’s far from full time. I started doing Door Dash to come up with the shortfall. I was frustrated and questioning why I made the decision I did.


But then, in December and January, more and more students signed up. I got to 31 students this past semester. And these students are fantastic! They are willing to learn, put in time to practice, are excited about music and learning, and it has reminded me of why I wanted to go this route of full time teaching. My students regularly make me laugh, surprise me with the questions they ask and the things they say. For example, I had a student tell me yesterday that he named his books! What did he name them? “Bruce Willis” and “Dwayne the Rock Johnson”. And he told me that after talking about having a summer pot-luck. I asked him how many pot-lucks he had already had and he’s had none. Hilarious stuff! It’s about music, but so much more. It’s about relationships.


One of the things that I’ve learned over the past year is that my background in church music ministry has helped prepare me for this. Music is about relationships and connections, just like church music ministry is. It’s not just the relationships with the students, though. It’s also about the relationships with parents. Because without the parents, the students aren’t getting to their lessons, getting their lessons paid for, So, it’s my responsibility to make sure that I am effectively communicating with parents, something also learned from church music ministry.


It’s been amazing to get to the end of this semester and look back at the journey I’ve been on. I know that I still have room to improve as a teacher and in communications, running my business and more. But the biggest thing that I am thankful for more than I can say is my students and their families. They have blessed and encouraged me far more than I could for them. And every day, I wake up excited to teach and excited for what will come for each lesson. This means that my work isn’t work. It’s joy. And it’s because of my students and their families.

Posted in Performing, Recital, Student highlight

Recital Fun!

Last Saturday, Harmanny Music Education hosted its first ever in person recital. 23 students participated and did an absolutely amazing job! This past week at their lessons, I found a really fun way to process the recital and get their feedback. It was in the form of 5 questions, which then were put into the form of a Mad Lib. I wanted to share their answers, because I think it gives a good amount of insight into performing and learning how to perform well.


1. What are three positive words you would use to describe your performance?

Good (x 7), OK, Fine, Enjoyable, Pleasant, Interesting (x 2), Fantastic (x 4), Noisy, Fun (x 5), Exciting, Incredible (x 2), Energetic, Great (x 3), Sunny, Happy (x 2) , Joyful, Amazing (x 5), Motivated, Extremely Awesome, Very Good, Very Great, Confident, Finishing Well, Marvelous, Awesome, Cool, Awesome, Well Done, Quiet, Peaceful, Loud, Well, Terrific, Impressive


2. What is one thing you would like to improve upon in future performances?

Not be so nervous (x 2), play more challenging music, play the keys louder, play with more fluency and make sure I get notes and chords right, don’t mess up or anything, sing longer phrases, count better, play a longer song (x 2), be more prepared, bow better, not be afraid, not play the song 4 times, practice more, playing the notes where they should be and holding them out, should have played the whole song, overall consistency, play a faster song


3. What is one piece of advice you would give to students performing at their first recital?

It’s OK to be nervous, only you know that you’re making mistakes, play the whole song, don’t be nervous, practice and stick to the beat, do good dynamics, don’t be afraid, you did a great job and keep going, be very serious, be confident, be brave, if you feel nervous, take a deep breath, act like it’s your lesson, if you’re nervous say you’ve got this, try your best and not be nervous, pretend you’re just by yourself and no one’s watching, be brave and courageous, relax, be ready and know everything you’re supposed to play.


4. What is one piece you heard someone else play that you would like to play in the future?

Theme from Jurassic Park (x 2), Surface Pressure (x 5), Ode to Joy, Hurricane, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo (x 2), Megalovania, Symphony (x 2), Formula One Theme,  Jailhouse Rock, Pirates of the Caribbean, Aria Math, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star


5. How would you rate your recital performance on a scale of 1-10?

10, 7, 9.5, 9, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10, 8, 7, 7, 5, 10, 8, 10, 7, 10, 5


My students are rock stars! Almost all of them had never performed in a recital before. We spent a lot of time preparing for nerves, working to continue on if mistakes happened, and they did great! With 22 performers, there are a large number in attendance, so not only was it a bigger space than what they have lessons at, it was also a different instrument…and more people! But everyone got up and confidently played. Getting their feedback this week was just as much fun as Saturday, because the insights here are powerful!


For all of us as musicians, there is always room for improvement, and many of these students have only been learning since January. So they will naturally improve as they continue in their musical journey. The takeaways and encouragements to first time performers is something that can be very helpful to anyone presenting anything for the first time! Also, the confidence shown in their ratings says to me that they were well prepared and feel they did their best, which is all you can do!


I’m so proud of my students. Not only do they make each lesson fun for me to teach, they’re all ready and willing to learn and try new things. And that is how you grow! I’m looking forward to this last week of lessons for the semester. We’ll do some fun activities and still make it musical, but much more relaxed and enjoyable!

Posted in Student highlight

Student Highlight–Emily H

As we wind down our spring semester, Harmanny Music Education is taking the time to highlight students in the studio.


Today’s student is one who I know quite well, as she is my daughter! Emily and I have been working on her voice since the fall. She’s working hard to learn and better her voice, and she’s gotten more control and strength in her voice as she continues to work on it!


Emily is in 4th grade. Her favorite subject in school is math. Her favorite songs are “Dance Monkey” and “God is On the Move”. Her hobbies are singing and playing with dolls. Emily’s favorite thing about voice lessons is that “I get to do it with my dad.” What Emily enjoys most about music is “If I’m having a hard day, it makes me feel better.”


You can join Emily in strengthening and building up your voice, learning the piano, trumpet, beginning on the guitar or playing the ukulele! Or, if you’re looking for summer activities, Harmanny Music Education is offering an online as well as in person camp in June. You can find out about both here.

Posted in Student highlight

Student Highlight– Derek M.

Harmanny Music Education has so many amazing students, and as we wind down our semester, it’s time to highlight them.


Today’s student highlight is Derek M. Derek has been taking guitar lessons since January and regularly putting in practice to get first place consistently on Tonara, the app used to track practice. All of that practice has led to growth as a musician. Derek is excited about music, and it shows in everything he does.


Derek is in 3rd grade. His favorite subject in school is math. Derek’s favorite song is “Legends Never Die”. His hobbies are video games, watching TV and soccer. Derek’s favorite thing about lessons is “learning songs”. What he enjoys most about music is “every time someone is bored, they have something to listen to.”


You can join Derek in taking summer lessons on piano, voice, trumpet, beginning guitar and ukulele. You can also join in the ukulele camp the week of June 27th. You can find out more about either here.

Posted in Student highlight

Student Highlight– Olivia R.

As we wind down our Spring semester, Harmanny Music Education is overjoyed to highlight some of the awesome students in the studio.


Today’s student to be highlighted is Olivia R. She clearly loves music, is always smiling, and for our recital this past weekend, took on a huge challenge to play Surface Pressure and she did amazing!


Olivia is in 3rd grade. Her favorite subject in school is music. The reason she wanted to play “Surface Pressure” for the recital is because it is her favorite song! Her hobbies are soccer and piano. Olivia’s favorite thing about lessons are “learning how to play music I want to play”.


The interesting part for Olivia is that after playing a challenging piece full of rhythm like “Surface Pressure”, when we went back to her method book, the music we looked at was so much easier for her! We looked at what happens when you challenge yourself to get just a little out of your comfort zone. After you complete that challenge, other things seem so much easier. I’m really excited to see where Olivia continues to go in her musical journey!


You can join Olivia and other students this summer by joining the studio for summer lessons.  Also, a ukulele camp to be held the week of June 27th. More information is available here.

Posted in Student highlight

Student Highlight–Dominic B.

Harmanny Music Education has many amazing and outstanding students. As we’re winding down our semester, it is fun to highlight just a bit about each student!


Dominic is currently my youngest student, but he is all personality and enthusiasm! He is sophisticated and wise beyond his years! It is what makes teaching him so much fun, because I never know what insight or saying he’ll have at each lesson!


Dominic is in Kindergarten. His favorite class in school is music. Dominic’s favorite song is “Too Late” by Cash Cash. His hobbies are swimming, everything airplanes, history and military. Dominic’s favorite thing about lessons is “when I learn a new song”. What Dominic enjoys most about music is that “music makes me happy”.


It really has been a lot of fun to get to know Dominic and help him learn and grow as a musician. He started lessons in January and it’s been fantastic to see his progress over the last 5 months!


You can join Dominic in being made happy by music. Summer lessons are available or June and July. You can find out more here. Lessons are available in person or online!

Posted in Student highlight

Student Highlight– Elliot M

As we wind down our 2nd semester of lessons, Harmanny Music Education is taking time to highlight students and how unique and amazing they are! Today’s student is Elliot M.


Elliot M has been taking lessons with me since last June. He is such a blast to teach! He’s got a positive attitude, is excited about music, and usually has something quite philosophical to say at each lesson in regard to the song he’s playing, or something related to music! There’s never a dull moment, and it’s so much fun!


Elliot is in 3rd grade. His favorite subject in school is Science. His favorite songs are “Good Tonight” from the Bad Guys movie and “Thunder” by Imagine Dragons. Elliot’s hobbies are legos, reading, rock collecting and playing piano. His favorite thing about music lessons is that he learns something new every day (something the teacher can say as well!). The thing that Elliot enjoys most about music is that “there is music to match every mood”.


Elliot is definitely right on that. Music definitely can match our moods. And when you learn music, you can become more understanding of different moods and more empathetic. There is still spaces available for summer lessons, if you or someone you know is looking for piano, voice, trumpet, beginning guitar lessons. Or, if you’re wanting something a little more focused and intense, Harmanny Music Education is offering a ukulele camp for students who have finished 1st-5th grade. The camp will be the week of June 27th from 9:30-11:30 AM. You can find out more about both summer lessons and camp here.

Posted in Student highlight

Student Highlight- Luke P

Luke P started taking lessons with me after the recommendation of his neighbor Blake. It’s been great working with Luke and helping him learn music. He’s always ready to dive in at his weekly lesson, and even though he doesn’t say too much, I can tell by his playing that he’s excited to make music!


Luke is in 3rd grade. His favorite subject in school is math. His favorite song is the Formula 1 Theme Song (he’s playing it at the studio recital this afternoon!). His hobbies are video games, soccer, baseball and cars. His favorite thing about lessons is learning how to play songs.


This afternoon at 3 central, Harmanny Music Education will be having a studio recital. It will be livestreamed on Facebook. Check out all of the hard work the students have put in!


If you want to join the students at Harmanny Music Education this summer, find out more here.