Keyboard Gymnastics™ of Phoenix is an achievement program for piano students, beginning to advanced. Students are tested in seven areas of study: Theory, Ear-training, Technic, Sight-reading, Performance, Ensemble, and Creative Project. Students are entered at their individual level in each area, not one level across the board.
Events are passed off throughout the year, as opposed to all on one day. This gives students the opportunity to be well prepared for each event and tested when they are ready, allowing them to advance to the next level and progress at their chosen pace.
Ten levels of study are included in the areas of Theory, Sight Reading and Ear Training. There are 17 levels in Technic. Performance, Ensemble and Creative Project have no precisely defined levels. Consequently, a teacher is trusted to enter students appropriately based on their age and experience.
This program is helpful in motivating students to be at the proper level and to reach their potential in all of these important areas of study. Students may enter a few, or all of the events. Awards and prizes are given for outstanding achievement in each individual event as well as for completing all seven events with a passing score (7.0 or higher). Only those who enter all seven events are eligible for the all-around award and the Gold, Silver and Bronze medals for their division. Prizes and awards may include cash, gift certificates, movie passes, CD's, MP3 player, personal DVD players, Computer notation software, etc.
The Keyboard Gymnastics™ program was created in 1993 as a vehicle to better serve the sound educational demands of the Utah State University Youth Conservatory. This conservatory serves over 300 students, ages 5-18, through group theory classes and individual piano lessons. Its curriculum offers weekly group theory classes and individual piano lessons as well as many other extra-curricular programs. The National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) stated that "the USUYC should be a national model for music preparatory programs."
When Charlene Zundel Shelzi, co-founder of the program, moved to Arizona in 2002, she met Liz Owens, who was then serving as president of the Phoenix Music Teachers Association. Together they decided to offer the benefits of this program to their own students and Keyboard Gymnastics™ of Phoenix was born. With it's sound educational precepts and motivating format, the program has appealed to more and more teachers each year, drawing participation from all corners of the Valley of the Sun. We are excited for the prospects the future holds for Keyboard Gymnastics™ of Phoenix and offer an open invitation to any teacher looking for a fresh approach to educate and motivate their piano students to reach their highest potential as musicians. We look forward to hearing from you.
Click Here for a great handout explaining the benefits of Keyboard Gymnastics.
Click Here if you are a teacher interested in participating in this program. here you can order the Keyboard Gymnastics Teacher Handbook.
Charlene Zundel Shelzi