Student of the Month, July 2022

Piano Student, Maya Bennett

Maya first started piano lessons with SMMC in 2017 and has been playing ever since. In this stage of her piano lessons Maya has progressed to more difficult music featuring difficult rhythms, accidentals, and syncopation. Accidentals are notes of a certain pitch that are NOT a member of the scale indicated by the most recent key signature. If that sentence is a bit confusing, learn more about key signatures HERE from one of our teachers, Mr. Armin!

In Her Teacher’s Words

Maya takes lessons with Mr. Patrick and has been taking lessons with him for over a year. Mr. Patrick has been teaching at SMMC for 9 years and this past winter was featured on our “Instagram Live” series doing guitar improvisation. You can watch Mr. Patrick HERE! Keep an eye out for our future IG Live performances and you just might see Mr. Patrick again sometime soon!

Patrick writes: “I am so proud of Maya Bennett!!! She has been showing incredible dedication and focus, whether the lessons be in person or online.  Maya has a great attitude in our lessons.  Even when there are difficult, frustrating passages she takes my advice with humility and patience.  She even regularly looks ahead to pieces that are coming up so that when we pass a piece, she’s already prepared for what’s coming next!  It’s been a true joy to work with Maya and I hope to watch her journey with the instrument for years to come.

In the video below, Maya performs a piece that gave her lots of trouble not 5 minutes earlier! Rather than get discouraged, she kept trying until she got it right, following her teacher’s advice and working through it. Wonderful work, Maya!

Maya During Her Lesson

In Maya’s Words

1. How long have you been playing your instrument and what do you like most about playing it?

I have been playing my instrument (piano) for 6 years. I like that when I play the piano, I can make my fingers have this soothing feeling.

2. Do you have someone you look up to for playing your instrument? A favorite artist or musician, and if so, why do you like them?

I look up to Beethoven because when I listen to his music, I see how much effort he puts in and someday want to do that.

3. What do you like to do when you are not playing music?

I like to read, play outside, and relax.

4. What other activities do you do that you take classes or lessons for? How does it compare to your music classes?

I take classes for math, writing, basketball, and swimming. It compares because for writing I have homework just like after I have piano lessons, I have homework to practice.

5. How do you make time to practice in your busy schedule?

After the day is over, I like to play, sometimes I will come back from school and practice. Sometimes it depends on my schedule for that day.

6. What is the most fun that you’ve had in the last month?

Starting the Encanto book and being recorded.

We’re so glad you’re enjoying your new Encanto book, Maya, thank you for sharing with us! For anyone out there who is an Encanto fan, the book is available for purchase at our store!

Meet the Instructor

Patrick received his BM in Music Therapy and Music Performance in Classical Guitar from Chapman University. While at Chapman, he actively performed in the University’s Guitar Quartet and Duo, which in 2008 took first place in a nationwide competition in Brownsville, Texas. He was also given Chapman’s Guitarist of the Year Award in 2009 and Music Therapy Scholarship Award in 2008. From 2010-2013, Patrick worked at Orange County Children’s Therapeutic Arts Center where he served as the Therapeutic Arts Coordinator. There, Patrick worked as Music Therapist for children with special needs, lead the Early Head Start/Pre-Kinder Arts program, and taught piano and guitar to children of all ages. When he is not teaching, Patrick performs and collaborates with several ensembles and bands around the Los Angeles area.

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