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. 🎼🎵 🎹



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!!

The Sight Reading Challenge!

One of my lovely students, Caitlin, sent this to me, to remind me that what looks simple to teachers and examiners when we put up a piece of sight reading looks totally different to the poor student standing in front of it!  But I can assure you from my own personal experience that sight reading, like everything else in life, only gets easier with regular practice.  The challenge is to overcome the panic, tackle the music in manageable chunks and look for the patterns in the music. 

Sight Reading Cartoon

Student of the Week – Term One Week Seven

I am pHannah Smithleased to announce that Student of the Week for Week Seven is Hannah Smith.  Hannah is just about to sit her Year 12 half-yearly exams but even so is continuing to have fortnightly Flute lessons, and work on her Theory.  Hannah passed her Grade Six Flute exam with Credit in 2015, but has to pass the additional requirement of Grade Two Theory in order to receive her Grade Six certificate.  We work on the basis of a little bit every day is better than nothing at all!  So Hannah spends a few minutes completing just one page in her Theory book each day, which adds up to 14 pages in a fortnight!  As well, just a small amount of flute practice focusing on tone, technique, one solo piece and one duet, means that Hannah can continue to enjoy her flute playing without feeling overwhelmed by preparing for an exam. Year 12 is a big year for all students, and Hannah is proving that having music as an enjoyable, extra-curricular activity can help with the stress of getting through it all.  I’m proud of you Hannah for managing to keep all the balls in the air!      

Theory vs Musicianship

Students can choose to do either Theory or Musicianship exams to fulfil the theoretical requirement of their practical exams.  The main difference between the two is that Musicianship has an aural component and therefore goes into theory into a little less depth.  Which do you think is better to do?  Which do you think will help you be a better musician?  Share your thoughts and opinions.