Highly Educated Instructors
Dr. Holly Hughes:
- Bachelor of Music (Piano Pedagogy)
- Master of Music (Music Theory)
- Doctor of Arts (Chamber Music Performance/Accompanying)
- Attended the Hochschule der Musik und darstellende Kunst, “Mozarteum” in Salzburg, Austria from 1977-1978
Mr. Russell Hughes:
- Bachelor of Music (Piano Performance)
- Master of Music (Piano Performance)
- Attended the Hochschule der Musik und darstellende Kunst, “Mozarteum” in Salzburg, Austria from 1982-1983
Mr. Steven Lent:
- Bachelor of Music Education
- Minister of Music at First Christian Church, Mineral Wells, Texas
- Has performed as a pianist and as a singer throughout the Southwestern USA
The Burch School of Music faculty brings years of experience teaching piano at a high level. Dr. Holly spent twenty years as a university professor before opening the Burch School of Music. Because of her academic background, she has structured her school much like a university setting. Mr. Russell has both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in piano performance and has taught young and old alike during his teaching career. Mr. Lent has taught public school music, along with private and group piano instruction. He has also served in the music ministry of various churches.
To register for the Piano Program, please call Dr. Holly Hughes at 817-341-2345 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you!!!
Group Lessons for Beginners
The Burch School of Music teaches beginning students in a group setting. In the school’s digital piano lab, each student has his or her own piano to play during class. Beginning with group lessons has many advantages:
- Piano study can be a solitary pursuit, while children in general are social beings. By meeting together once a week, they forge bonds of friendship while learning the basics.
- Group classes meet for one hour per week – twice as long as most beginning private lessons.
- Group study is a proven winner. When extroverts and introverts come together in a classroom, the introverts are often swept up in the enthusiasm of the extrovert, while the extroverts become aware of the benefits for focused study. Many times when discussing an upcoming opportunity each personality type can influence the other, whether it be the fun of participating in a festival or recital, or an appreciation for the elements of a particular piece. With one-on-one instruction, a teacher could find it challenging to duplicate a similar situation.
- Charting everyone’s practice progress each week encourages students to maintain a consistent level of playing at home in order to keep up with the group. (We call this ‘friendly competition.’)
- Group piano offers many opportunities for performance. Playing together lends a rhythmic stability that would otherwise be missing. Plus, making music with others is great fun.
- In-class performances assist students in coping with mistakes and with successes. They learn to listen and offer constructive criticism to their peers, helping them learn to listen more closely to their own playing. It also helps address any nervous jitters before an actual event.
- Students learn many basics of music theory by working at the white board together, playing games, and participating in ear training assignments. Again, including these elements in a private lesson is often difficult to achieve.
Monthly Group Classes for Students in Private Lessons
When a student graduates to private lessons in their third year of study, attendance at a monthly group lesson with other students of comparable age and ability becomes part of their schedule. These lessons often afford more time for theory study since the class is usually longer than the private lesson. These lessons are also used as performance classes, in addition to receiving important music history instruction about composers and performers.
In addition to the local piano festivals offered by the Weatherford Music Teachers Association, the Burch School of Music strongly encourages participation in the annual Junior Festival, a program of the Texas Federation of Music Clubs, held each February in Fort Worth. Burch School of Music teachers are the only Weatherford teachers holding membership in the Texas Federation of Music Clubs, allowing their students to participate in this unique festival program. Most Burch School of Music students participate, and they learn about long-term goals as they try to earn a gold cup. The gold cup is awarded after three years of earning a Superior rating. With each three-year increment of Superior ratings, the gold cup increases in size, and the 60-point cup is quite large.
The last lesson of each semester is a parent/teacher conference where the teacher presents the parents with a report and synopsis outlining the semester’s accomplishments. Discussions at these conferences are vital in better understanding the needs of both the student and the parents in relation to the teacher’s expectations.
During the summer, our students are required to take a minimum of six private lessons during the nine weeks of instruction. They may take up to nine private lessons if they wish. A variety of camps is also included in the summer session. Most summers include a week-long music history camp for elementary-aged students, covering one of our classical heroes (Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, etc.) We offer art classes in the summer to develop drawing skills for budding artists. Sometimes a “Goin’ Country” camp is included on the roster, where students learn to chord by ear while playing with fiddlers and guitarists.
Annual Awards Picnic
At the end of the spring semester, students attend the annual picnic in the backyard of the Burch School of Music in order to receive their awards. Students in the elementary grades earn points through logging practice time, performances, attending concerts and arts events, composing music, writing essays, and other music activities; these points become the basis for their annual award. They earn points for finishing theory workbooks and lesson books, and for taking the bi-annual theory test, sponsored by Texas Music Teachers Association. They also earn points for answering quiz questions in their monthly e-“magazine,” constructed by Dr. Holly. Before an audience that includes other students, parents, and friends, all BSM students are called forward to receive BSM awards, Junior Festival certificates and gold cups, theory medals, WMTA Spring Solo and Pop festival trophies, and gift cards for practicing above the required minimum number of minutes.
Additionally, Burch School of Music Students Join Other Local Studios in These Activities:
- Annual studio recitals
- Fall and Spring Theory Tests through Texas Music Teachers Association (TMTA)
- Fall Solo Festival through Weatherford Music Teachers Association (WMTA)
- Fall Hymn Festival through WMTA
- Pianothon, Annual Fundraiser for WMTA at a local restaurant in Weatherford.
- Weatherford Music Festival at Heritage Park
- Spring Masterclass through WMTA
- Spring Solo Festival through WMTA
- Spring Pop Festival through WMTA
- Annual Ensemble Team participation at TMTA State convention in June.
- Other TMTA Contests: Essay writing, Music Composition, Performance Contest
- Local Concerto Competition sponsored by the Fort Worth Civic Orchestra
- Spring Fort Worth Music Teachers Solo Contest