November 2020 Newsletter

Dear Golden Key Community,

We still don’t see it being safe to have in person lessons but we are glad that all the students are doing really well with online lessons. In this email you will find some information about our upcoming virtual recital and potentially considering Royal Academy Exam as ways to keep them motivated.

1. Theme Recital

Theme recital

We have had our Annual Duet Recital in December in the past several years. This year however having a large indoor gathering in December is unlikely to be possible. But we will have a recital and it will be fun.

This year instead of Annual Duet Recital in December we will have a virtual theme recital. The three themes to choose from are:

Romantic Composer

Any student can choose any one or two themes. You have most likely already chosen your recital pieces with your teacher’s help. You can also think of a costume or simply a color of your dress that matches with the theme that you chose but that is just for fun and not a requirement. We love to see you being creative with the theme and make it a fun stay-at-home event.

Be ready to submit your video by mid December. All videos will be posted on our YouTube channel so you can see your friends and other students performances. We will inform you where to send your videos in the next newsletter.

For now, keep practicing.

2. Would You Consider Writing a Review on our Google Page?

review us on google

Our google page can be found here, and your review is greatly appreciated. Since our school relies on its online presence these days having your feedback can help new students to find us and that can help our school’s stability during this challenging time.

Thank you very much for considering to spend a minute on this.

3. Elaine’s Fundraising News

ElaineWe are grateful to all parents, friends and some people we don’t even know (from other states) who donated to the fund that Elaine initiated for our scholarship. With your help and support we now have $1250 in our scholarship fund that will cover a third of a tuition and all books and material costs for one new student for one year.

If you know someone who is interested in taking piano lessons but their finances don’t allow them please let them know about our scholarship.

You may also join Elaine and donate to the scholarship fund to enrich a deserving child’s music education.

Here is how to do it:

  • Send your donation to our PayPal account:
  • Send a check to the school’s street address
  • Add your donation to your monthly tuition payment

For more information about Elaine’s Scholarship fund and to read about how it got started check out our link here.

4. About Royal Academy Exam

Royal Academy Exam is a very reputable examination system known all over the world. If at some point in the student’s musical life having a set goal can be motivating this is a place we can recommend to apply. But in general we don’t recommend any examination outside of our school for student under age of nine. That is because we want the younger students to have the flexibility to work on what is the best for the student and not what is the requirement for the exam.

If you are interested in Royal Academy Examination please discuss it with your teacher directly. Your teacher will help you find what level to apply for and what date to choose for the exam. All the books you would need for the exam are available on their website here.

5. Some News From Our Friends at Piedmont Piano Company

Piedmont Piano Company’s next event is coming up this month. November 15, 5pm, renowned Bay Area vocalist The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol will be livestreaming a new suite “Celebrating Black LGBTQ+ Musical Pioneers,” commissioned by East Bay Community Foundation East Bay Fund for Artists from Piedmont Piano Company’s The Showroom Sessions.

Celebrating Black LGBTQ+ Pioneers

6. Congratulations to Teacher Christopher

Christopher“I am excited to let you know that I am the winner of the State MTNA (Music Teachers National Association) Piano Competition and will move on to the division competition.” ~ Christopher

We are thrilled to hear that and we send our sincere congratulations to our amazing teacher Christopher.

“The MTNA National Competitions are the most successful and prestigious student competitions in the country Each year, thousands of students compete for top prizes and national recognition. The purpose of the Music Teachers National Association Performance competitions is to provide educational experiences for students and teachers and to recognize exceptionally talented young artists and their teachers in their pursuit of musical excellence.”

If you have any questions please call the school at (510) 665-5466 or reply to this email.

Yours truly,
Katrin Arefy


Katrin Arefy, Head Teacher
1809 University Ave., Berkeley, CA

“… there is an invisible thread between teacher and student…”

— U. Galperina

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