Music Studio Of Karen A Betz-Griewahn
Hello! Musical Greetings to You! Thank you for your interest in music lessons!
I have openings for new students at this time! Youth and adults both welcomed! Flute and Piano!
I teach year round in my home studio. During the summer, I teach lessons weekly.
There are no extra fees for individual lessons, nor do I ever charge registration fees. I can even schedule week to week lessons for summer needs.
I am always accepting accompanying work on piano for students for festivals, solo and ensemble, other events.
IN A NUTSHELL ABOUT ME:
I am a flutist, pianist, conductor and adjudicator from Grand Rapids, Michigan.
I hold two degrees in music performance, studies done in flute performance and piano performance.
I teach both flute and piano to all ages and ability levels. I have been playing the flute and piano for almost 50 years (I started in 2nd grade),
I have been teaching extensively since 1980 in the West Michigan area.
COLLEGE DEGREES AND STUDY:
I graduated from Grand Rapids Junior College (GRCC) and Grand Valley State University (GVSU) and attended the Univ. of Michigan and Hartt School of Music.
GROUPS I HAVE PERFORMED IN:
I have performed with the West SHore Symphony Orchestra on flute/piccolo, Hope Repertory Theater, Grand Rapids Chamber Winds, Kent Philharmonia Orchestra, Grand Rapids Civic Theater.
I currently perform with the West Michigan Flute Orchestra and Flute Chamber Choir for the past 29 seasons.
I also perform in the Westwind Quintet, a quintet based in Grand Rapids. I play flute, piccolo and alto flute in the quintet. (1999-present)
WHO WERE MY TEACHERS?
My flute teachers have been: Darlene Dugan, CHristopher Kantner, Judith Kemph and Mary Louise Poor.
My piano teachers have been: Joyce VerHaar, David Belcher, Julianne VanderWynGaard and Dale Nyboer.
MY LOVE OF MUSIC AND MY DAILY WORK
I have a flute/piano studio from my home in SE Grand Rapids.
I worked as band assistant at Byron Center CHristian Middle School (2002-2019), teaching beginning woodwind band and help prepare students for Solo/Ensemble festivals, assist the director in many ways, and also work as general music sub when needed. (5th through 8th grades)
I am pianist at St. John Lutheran Church, where I play the piano for services. I have been active in church music for over 29 years.
I am active in piano accompanying and am available to accompany at Solo/Ensemble Festivals, Federation Festivals/Student Achievement. .
I judge at MSBOA Solo and Ensemble festivals. My students score high at Solo and Ensemble events, Federation events, MMTA events.
I am an active member of MMTA, MTNA, West MI Flute Assoc, National FLute Assoc, and the Piano Teacher's Forum of Grand Rapids. I've been an active member of each of these organizations for over 25 years.
In summer, I teach Latin American, Eastern European Music, Global music and preschool music at Heritage Camp, a camp for adopted children. Lots of fun!
I have led music for my church's VBS for many summers.
I volunteer in the music at my church, singing in the adult choir (alto), providing special music, cantor, playing piano/flute for services when needed, serving on the Worship and Music committee, helping with Sunday School music when needed.
ABOUT ME MUSICALLY:
Have two music degrees in flute performance, with piano minor in performance.
I have taught flute/piano for 36 years and love teaching students of all ages! Have taught all levels of students, 4 through 86 years old!
Have taught at Aquinas College, GR Baptist College (Cornerstone) as flute instructor- Also taught flute choir at Aquinas
Winner of Kent Philharmonia and Grand Valley State Concerto Competitions. General Mills Post high school scholar grant winner.
Perform with West Michigan Flute Orchestra for 29 years on flute/alto flute/contrabass flute/piccolo and play with the WMFA Chamber Flute Choir, as a founding member
Board of directors of the West MI Flute Association and was awarded 2007 WMFA Volunteer of Year Award .
Served as West MI Flute Assoc High School Flute Ensemble director for 4 seasons.
Many solo recitals performed throughout West Michigan and much requested performer in churches throughout the state
Hear me play flute on the CD "Sacred Space", with soprano Diane Penning and pianist Nicholas Palmer. Available from CD Baby.
Married with two daughters: Anna, plays piano, clarinet, handbells and sings classical and opera; Elena, plays piano, oboe, handbells and plays the organ. My husband, ELwyn, who is a barber by trade, sings in church choir. We have a very friendly dog, Harley, who loves music students. (she can also be crated if a dog is a problem for you). We love to read, craft, watch Jeopardy together, thrift store shop and cook.
My Teaching Philosophy
I bring the love of music to each student. I am eager to teach students who are eager to learn about music- inquisitive, eager, excited, diligent, willing to practice.
In a lesson, we cover technic (scales, chords, triads, arpeggios, etc), solos, method books, exercises, ensemble work(as needed), tonal studies (flute), theory and music history, preparation for festivals/other events. Your lesson will be tailored to your particulaar needs. Strengths will be celebrated and weaknesses will be overcome!
I expect the student to practice well during the week. Each student will keep a notebook of assignments and bring each week to the lesson.
I continue to learn and continually work on adding new skills myself as a musician and repertoire and teaching techniques, so that I can pass on the best instruction to my valued and special students.
I give the highest instruction possible in flute and piano. I love teaching all students of all levels. I will only specialize in instruments that I have been trained in. I feel it is very important to be trained extensively in the instrument(s) that I teach.
EXTRAS FOR MY STUDENTS
I specialize in students who want to pursue more music my students participate in the following activities:
-student concerts- both flute and piano
-GR Musicians League Music CLubs- both flute and piano- meet on Friday afternoons after school once a month Sept-Feb.
-scholarship competitions= both flute and piano- you can compete to win scholarships to music camps, new instruments, lesson payment
-Federation Festival through National Federation of Music Clubs- both flute and piano and theory- points given for scores- amass points toward -Gold Cup trophies and play in honors recitals through GR Musicians League.
-Student Achievement Testing through Michigan Music Teacher's Assoc (only woodwind teacher in west MI doing this) both flute and piano- 5 areas of achievement. Scores can be put part of school file to go on to college apps.
-Sonatina Festival through GR Piano Forum- held in November- you play a movement of a sonatina or sonata in a recital setting
-student recitals through GR Piano Forum- held in February
-student outreach concerts at area nursing homes- both flute/piano- 4 opportunities each year:Nov- Dec-Jan-Feb GR Musicians League
-Music Theory weekly at lessons for all students. Also aural awareness and ear training is used in lessons.
-WMFA Flute Choirs for 7-12 grade flute players- two yearly concerts, 2 recital opportunities, workshops, classes, etc.
-I am available to accompany instrumentalists at various functions and will play piano accompaniments with you at your lessons (flute).
- students always keep a music lesson notebook. Assignments are written down weekly. Students will know exactly what to practice. I just ask the student to provide a 8 1/2 x 11 notebook- I will write down assignment for you at lesson. Most teachers will have this format.
I ALSO LOVE TEACHING ADULT STUDENTS!
-specialize also in ADULT students who are looking to further their skills, beginning and continuing piano, back to playing the flute, or begin playing the flute.
-I LOVE to teach adult students of both flute and piano. You are never too old to learn! I will tailor a lesson to your needs.
-Some of my adult flute students have also gone on to perform with the West MI Flute Orchestra! And the Chamber Flute Choir too! Bravo!
-I do have alternate day/times that adults may enroll for lessons- I try and make it as convenient for you as possible.
-I love to inspire and help adults return to their music or learn a new skill- I love watching their confidence grow!
- I can schedule week by week lessons also- we can have alternate lesson time each week if that fits your schedule.
I look constantly for opportunities for students to perform and practice their music- lots of opportunities and camps and festivals and groups to perform with! Improve your performing skills by participating in musical activities such as those above. They are fun and rewarding!
-See above list for lots of opportunities!
-students often go on to study at universities and schools and have won numerous competitions, festivals, scholarships
I do play quite often with students at lessons. Demonstration is important. Showing and demonstrating how a technic or tone or rhythm, etc is done is important. Rhythms, articulations, posture, dynamics are also taught and maintained.
FLUTE LESSONS- Suggested length of lesson
Beginner-2nd year- 30 minute lesson 3rd-4th year- 45 minute lesson Intermediate/Advanced/Adults- 1 hour lesson
PIANO LESSONS- Suggested length of lesson
Beginner-2nd year- 30 minute lesson 3rd-4th year- 45 minute lesson 5th year and beyond- 1 hour lesson
WHAT AGE TO START FORMAL PIANO LESSONS
The question is always asked: how young do you start lessons?
the optimum time to begin lessons is 5-7 year old. Prior to this age, a 3-4 year cannot sit still for a 30 minute lesson. Children this age can participate in music and I highly suggest the wonderful Kindermusik program. Sing music, play music, attend concerts, recitals and plays, make up music, have fun! Little fingers are still so small- can hardly reach a full sized piano key! In my studio, the child will be expected to do basic reading, number skills, be able to understand the technical concepts presented, and give attention during his/her lesson. Some younger students may need a break, at which time we may play a rhythmic imitation game or talk about a famous composer, or I might play an intriguing piece for them.
Some 5-6 year olds can excel at piano lessons. Some students start at the age of 7-8. All children develop at their own rates. I believe that before the age of 5, the parent can provide musical enrichment, but the child is not ready for formal training. There are some "instructors" who claim they can private teach a 3 year old, but that is not my philosophy and believe that is too young to start formal training. Enroll them in a Kindermusik class with accredited teacher (degreed or certified). There are many excellent Kindermusik classes around the area. Please always check the instructor's training and credentials.
Can a child 2 1/2 years old take and understand a music lesson? I feel very strongly that a wonderful start can be made with a trained Kindermusik teacher. If the student wants/needs to dance around during a lesson, sing with a CD, color music pictures and can't sit on the bench or at a music stand- I know they are not ready for a formal lesson- I want everyone to have a love for music, but a 3-4 year old in a formal piano lesson is unrealistic. I will meet with prospective parents and child with a free initial lesson/meeting and give you immediate and honest feedback about the readiness of your child. I will be happy to give you a recommendation and if necessary, have you on my lesson list as your child grows older.
SOME VERY IMPORTANT THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN LOOKING FOR A TEACHER-
1. You will always want to check out the prospective teacher to see if they actually play the instrument they are listing to teach. Listen to them play a piece?
2. Are they degreed in the instrument that they teach? Where do they have a music degree from? Ask for a copy of resume. Degreed in an specialized area/instrument area is different than attending a college. What is their major instrument(s)? Whom have they done studies with?
3. Do they play the instrument they list to teach? Be very warry of those advertising to teach many instruments. Music stores often do a good job with this- hiring multiple persons to teach many different instruments. I suggest you ask about their training and background on the instrument in question- where did the teacher do their training? How are they maintaining their musical skills? Continuing education? Where are they currently playing in addition to teaching.
4. Ask for a sample/introductory lesson to see if you are a good fit with the instructor. I offer this as a free service.
5. Ask to listen to them play several pieces on the instrument that they are listing to teach.
6. If possible, attend a concert that they are playing in or listen to a recording they've done.
7. Knowing how to teach rhythm and note names is not enough. You want a teacher skilled in teaching and performing. What does the teacher cover in a lesson? What effective practices do they use? Method books used?
8. Ask and check at least 3 references. Call the references and check them out. I am happy to provide you with references at any time.
9. For parents not versed in music training- you want to thoroughly check out your prospective music teacher- check their credentials, training, background, performance. Taking the time to ask questions is valuable. Ask about their references. Don't just assume. Don't hire just anybody because they live close to you. Be thorough in your search.
10. Ask about on going training- what do they do to increase their knowledge and skills? Seminars, recitals they are playing, lessons, etc.
11. Are parents allowed to sit in lessons? Why or why not?
12. What kind of opportunities does the teacher provide for student? Performances, scholarship competitions, playing in festivals, etc.
ALWAYS HAPPY TO HELP.....
I will be happy to play for you, give you a trial lesson, provide a resume and provide you with as many references that you may need. ALways feel free to check out this information for a prospective teacher. It is your right. Make sure your prospective teacher is schooled, degreed, knowledgeable, playing the instrument, performing, teaching, actively studying and gaining new knowledge for themselves too. I will be happy to go through the above list with you at any time.
You want a teacher who cares about you and looks for opportunities to increase your abilities in music. I am very dedicated doing this for my students. I want my students to have as much experience playing as possible. Lessons will be full of activities to play and do, I love to get to know you as a whole person; I will write down assignments for you in a notebook each week. I love to give as many opportunities for you to be involved in as much performance in music as you would like. I will often let you know about upcoming concerts in the area too! If you have questions at any time, please feel free to email me or call me. Email is the fastest way to reach me.
I love to perform and to teach! I have been playing and teaching in this area and have built a reputation of a very thorough and respected teacher. I am the only teacher entering flute students in MMTA Student Achievement in West Michigan and one of the very few flute teachers entering students in Federation events. As a 30 year member of the Piano Teacher's Forum of Grand Rapids, students have the opportunities to participate in many musical activities. I attend their teaching seminars monthly to enrich my own teaching skills. I also attend all the educational events the West MI Flute Association has to offer, and often attend with my own students! I attend many musical enrichment events throughout West MI and classes and seminars to enhance my playing and teaching. My next seminar to attend is a piano seminar in June relating to intermediate piano students. I can hardly wait! Students can earn trophies, other awards and scores can be put part of their school permanent files too! Very helpful when applying to colleges! There are fees associated with entering these programs. I will always let you know of these very much in advance
Rates And Availability
Teach in my SE Grand Rapids home, near Breton and 32nd Streets. I am available to teach lessons Monday-Thursday.
Lesson fees: 30 minute ($24), 45 minute ($34), and 1 hour lessons.($44)- family discount available. Year round lessons taught on weekly basis. I try to charge reasonable rates. I love teaching music and want to pass on the love of music to all students.
flexible times also available for adult students.- mornings also available- week to week scheduling also available
Family discount is offered for 2 or more family members studying in the studio
I NEVER charge registration fees- what for? You are always welcomed in my studio!
YOU will be responsible for buying all your own music and bringing all materials to each of your lessons
SPECIAL EVENT FEES: If you participate in special events, there will be entry fees for festivals, SAT, accompanying, etc. I will inform you of these ahead of time, depending on activity. These fees are set by overseeing group. I will include on monthly bill.
bill by the month- cash or check accepted. I will send home a statement for the next month's lessons at the end of the month. You can also pay through Paypal.
I take students of all ages and abilities. Students with special needs will be accommodated- I have two special needs children, so special needs are near and dear to my heart.
I cannot go to students homes at this time. All lessons are given at my home studio located at 3220 Sunrise ST SE Grand Rapids, MI
REFERENCES gladly supplied upon request at any time.
I look forward to the opportunity to meet you and hopefully work with you or your family members!
HAPPY TO HELP IN ANY WAY! Hope I can assist you in your musical training!