A Number of Firsts in the May Exam Series

The May 2019 AMEB exam season is now completed for Top Notes Music Studio students and once again all the students worked very hard and been rewarded for their efforts.  Two students, Adhav Manoj Pillai and Menuli Silva, were complete novices to the AMEB exam experience and tackled Grade Two Flute with some uncertainty as to what to expect.  Both found the examiner very friendly and encouraging and emerged with High Credit passes.  Well done Adhav and Menuli!  Grace Chen tackled Grade One Flute, her first flute exam, although Grace has previously undertaken a piano exam.  Grace received an Honours pass which she was very pleased with.  Zeynep Unal, already an accomplished violinist, undertook her first piano exam and was awarded an Honours pass for Grade One.  And finally two AMEB exam veterans, Joyce Chen and Charlotte S both tackled Grade Five Flute.  Joyce, like her younger sister, Grace, passed with Honours and Charlotte received a High Credit grading.  A big congratulations to all the students who worked very hard to polish those scales and get their pieces up to a high standard.  Thank you also to the professional accompanists Daniel Sakoulas and Lyn Morgan who accompanied the higher grade students.  Undertaking a music exam challenges students to prepare their work to a high performance standard and to build confidence in dealing with the stressful situation of a practical exam.  It also gives students and parents an indicator of the level the student has achieved, and feedback on the written exam report helps the student and teacher set future goals.  Onwards and upwards!    

Using Music To Help Create Great Kids

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Caitlin still

Music lessons and exams are more than just an end in themselves.  They give us the skills  to be able to come together with others sharing similar interests and passion, and work as part of a team using our love of music to support the wider community.  Top Notes Music Studio was so proud on ANZAC Day to see student Caitlin Handel (fourth from left in photo) march in her first ever ANZAC Day Parade in the City.  Her Mum wrote, “Caitlin was very privileged to take part in the Sydney ANZAC Day March down Elizabeth Street with the 2019 Millennium Marching Band.  A very unique experience and one she was very proud to be a part of.”   Membership of the Millennium Marching Band is open to all students in Years 7-12 attending a government secondary school in New South Wales. Opportunities exist within the Band for instrumentalists, dancers and rhythmic gymnasts. There is a place for everyone with energy, commitment and a willingness to learn.  Caitlin only joined the Band at the end of 2018 and this is already her second high profile performance with them.  Why not think about expanding your musical horizons?  There are many great musical groups in The Hills for students to join.  Ask Cathy for suggestions.



Top Notes Music Studio farewells ‘Top’ Student

It is with great sadness that I report that Top Notes Music Studio is farewelling a ‘top’ student, Clara He, who transitions from primary school to high school in 2019 with a swag of musical achievements under her belt.  Having passed

IMG_0663her AMEB Grade Six Flute exam with a High Distinction this year, Clara has successfully auditioned for the Junior Rising Stars program at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and will now move into an environment where she will benefit from tuition from some of Sydney’s finest flute teachers and performers.



Clara is no stranger to the Sydney Conservatorium of Music whershe is already a piano student in the Junior Rising Stars program and has completed her Certificate of Performance on Piano with Honours as well as the AMEB Music Craft Grade Four examination.

And to ‘top’ it all off Clara has been awarded a Full Music Scholarship to one of Sydney’s ‘top’ private girls’ schools.  We wish you the greatest success Clara as you embark upon these new and exciting musical ventures in 2019.  You are certainly a young lady we are going to hear much more about in years to come.  Best wishes from everyone at Top Notes Music Studio. 🎼🎵 🎹



Another year draws to a close

Another year is fast drawing to a close at Top Notes Music Studio, exams are done, reports digested, results celebrated, and resolutions made for things to work more intensively on next year!  It is now time to congratulate all the students who took their nerves in hand and put themselves on the line to have their playing and their years efforts assessed.  Here they are: Caleb Chan – Grade 6 – Credit; Charlotte Choy – Grade 1 – High Distinction; Alyssa Collins – Grade 3 – Credit; Caitlin Handel – Grade 4 – High Credit; Clara He – Grade 5 (Recital) – High Distinction; Anika Pandey – Grade 1 – Honours; Caitlin Power – Grade 8 (Recital) – High Pass; Charlotte S – Grade 4 – High Pass; Hannah Wang – Grade 2 –  Honours.  Well done everybody – a relaxing holiday is now well deserved!


Honours All Round!

Three Top Notes Music Studio students entered for AMEB exams in this mid-year session, and I am very excited to report that all of them were awarded As (Honours) passes and glowing comments on their reports!  Congratulations to Clara He and Carol Xu who did Grade Four, and Joyce Chen who did Grade Two.  Fabulous results and well earned rewards for regular and consistent work.  Well done girls!!  Special thanks too to Clara’s Mum, Amy, who accompanied Clara and Carol so proficiently for rehearsals and on the day of the exams.   









Diploma Success for Top Notes Music Studio

It has been a very exciting week for Top Notes Music Studio, Pravin Chanmugam, his family and myself as we received the wonderful news that Pravin had been successful in his AMusA (Associate in Music, Australia) diploma exam conducted by the Australian Music Examinations Board.  At the age of 17 this is an outstanding achievement for Pravin, who is now entitled to use the letters after his name!  Pravin’s achievement will also be recorded on the Honour Board in his school’s Music Department, where he will be the first student in the school to have achieved the AMusA on Flute.  Pravin has managed to juggle preparation for this exam with many other extra curricular activities in a schedule that makes me feel positively exhausted just hearing about it!  He has been supported every step of the way by devoted parents who have been real partners in his musical journey. Thanks should also go to his brilliant accompanist, Anne Hopkins, who has been available for rehearsals late into the evening, and flute teachers Melissa Hoile and Jocelyn Fazzone who have given Pravin additional lessons, tips and pointers over the last few months.  I’m looking forward to some more relaxed times with Pravin playing duets in the months to come as he prepares for his next challenges – his driving test and the HSC!  


Charlotte Recommends Kids At The Con Holiday Workshops!

Holiday Workshops coming up: Tues 11 – Thurs 13 April

Following their sell-out success in January, the Kids at the Con Holiday Workshops are back again this April! They are fun and interactive as flute and piano student Charlotte found out last school holidays.  That’s Charlotte on the very right in the picture getting to experience making music in different ways and with different instruments, and having fun interacting with other children who love music just as much as she does.

One-hour workshops for 3-5 year olds: Tues 11th & Wed 12th April.

Half-day workshops for 6-10 year olds: Wed 12th & Thurs 13th April.

Click here to read more and book your child’s spot now!





Terrific Theory!

Yet another success for Year 11 student Pravin Chanmugam, as he continues his musical journey towards the coveted Associate Diploma in Music on flute.  Pravin has sandwiched his study for Grade Five Theory of Music in between a term as an exchange student at a school in Johannesburg, South Africa, participating in his school musical and Cadet Camp.  Hoping to just get enough marks to pass and meet the Theory requirement for his Diploma exam, Pravin amazed even himself by passing with no less than 91%.  A focused student who manages to keep many balls in the air at once, Pravin is a hard worker who always gives his best, even when his life seems to become overwhelmingly busy.  Congratulations Pravin, a fine achievement yet again!!

Congratulations to a fine bunch of students!

It’s been one of those weeks where none of us could quite believe our eyes!  Every one of my four students who did AMEB exams last Saturday passed with either Honours or a High Distinction!

These four girls, Emma (Grade Four), Caitlin (Grade Three), Charlotte (Grade Three) and Alyssa (Grade Two) are a wonderful group of young people who have all worked consistently throughout the year to achieve these fabulous results.

Special mention goes to Emma who has completed all the Grades – One to Four – over the last two years, doing an exam every six months and achieving an Honours pass in each exam, and to Caitlin who passed her exam with a High Distinction.

So proud of you all girls, and thanks for being such great students!