Throwback Thursday Alumni Spotlight

Here’s our very first Throwback Thursday Alumni Spotlight featuring:

Adrienne Pedrotti Bingamon

Adrienne attended classes at Jensen’s Yamaha Music School in the 90s.   Her grandfather used to pick her up and take her to class at the location on Lockhill-Selma near Blanco (it’s now part of the Lexus dealership!)  She remembers when Ms. Lois would play the gather around the piano song (Mozart C major Sonata), playing the recorder and marimba, and the fun summer musicals, like the Little Mermaid.

Now Adrienne is living in Austin where she participates in three different choral chamber ensembles – the Chorus Austin Chamber Ensemble, the San Antonio Chamber Choir, and Inversion Ensemble.  In order to participate in these other ensembles, she recently stepped down as director of the Austonettes, a position she held for 3 years.

She has taken some conducting classes and workshops to help her learn how a conductors movements help encourage particular sounds and she might pursue a masters degree in choral conducting at some point in time.  She finds that her early music training at Jensen’s Yamaha has helped her with her aural dictation skills and writing arrangements of songs.

“I plan on having music in my life forever!  It’s definitely a part of who I am and Jensen’s Yamaha was a huge part of that!  Because choral music is my passion, I plan on singing in as many choirs as my schedule will permit and hope to have my own church choir someday.  I’m also considering going into teaching because I think music is so vital in helping young minds develop and flourisn.”

Posted in Alumni, having fun with music, love, music, performing, singing, Singing expressively

Why we need to sing, expressively!

When I graduated high school, I felt like a pretty big fish in our little pond.  I went off to college with quite a confident ego.  It took a very short time before I realized how much I didn’t know and how inadequate I was.  My piano teacher asked me to choose a piece to study for the semester.  I chose the saddest Chopin etude I could find!  Woe is me! I would sit and wallow and play in the practice room, licking my wounds.  Sounds kind of melodramatic and silly and yet, I think it is so cool that I could find music to express how I felt.  It helped desensitize myself to my predicament and kept me on the path to musical growth.  Obviously I recovered!

This brings me to something I have learned about the Yamaha curriculum.  One component is Lyric Singing.  It is also called Expressive Singing.


  I used to think these terms were interchangeable, but over time I have realized just how important the concept of expressive singing is.  As children develop, discovering and labeling feelings is the gradual mastery of our lives.  Remember the baby who screams when he/she is hungry.  What is that frightening feeling?  Ah, think of that little two year old who now goes to the pantry and says, “I want a cookie papa”.  Over the years our children learn names of more feelings, angry, happy, sad, frustrated to named a few.  Once you know what that feeling is, it doesn’t have to control everything you do.  You can choose!

Yamaha has incorporated these growing feelings into their Lyric Songs.  The first one in Music Wonderland is Please Shake Hands with Me Mom.  It’s a warm, loving song that ends with a hug!  What a great celebration of how we feel about our children and how much they love and depend on us.  In JAC there is a wonderful song “Talk to Me.”  It’s a celebration of best friends.

“When you talk to me Oh so patiently,

Face to face we share our thoughts and feelings.

Then I talk to you. You’re a friend so true

And I know that we’ll be friends the whole way through.

I think it is amazing how detailed the planning is in our courses.  Research has shown us that music is at the very core of who we are.  It’s in the deepest, oldest part of the human brain.  It truly expresses who we are as individuals and even more so, helps us to connect with others.  In our world right now, we need all the tools we can muster to help us become caring, loving, productive human beings.  So let’s get started.  Let’s sing!

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Posted in children, expressing feeling with music, having fun with music, love, music, singing, Singing expressively

Summer Update 2017

Hello music friends!

Here’s an update of what’s going on at Jensen’s Yamaha Music School. We have news from around the world as our teachers travel during the summer break, and we have news for returning students and our new students.

All students – we are closed right now and will be back for our fall semester on Monday, August 21. Both existing classes and new classes will start. Existing classes will remain on the same schedule unless you were notified otherwise. New students will be receiving information via email soon regarding their class information.

Congratulations to all the students who celebrated the end of  the summer with an end of book concert and party. You will be starting your new book when you come back in August. Invoices for these new materials will also be sent out in August. New music, yay!

Way to go JXC and JAC students who attended our special camps: You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown, and Superhero Camp! Here are videos from the camps:
The DO-RE-MI-FA-Man Video from Superhero Camp

If you’re wondering what Ms. Noelle has been up to, here are some of her pictures from her trip to Switzerland:


Ms. Lois has also been on a big trip. She’s been on a road trip with her husband (of 50 years on August 19th!) and two grandchildren to California. They’ve made it all the way to Disneyland. Here are some pictures from their adventure:

After the fun, Ms. Lois begins teaching Seminar B. That’s the name of the special training Yamaha Music Teachers are required to take in order to teach JMC 3-4 and JXC 1-4 (advanced courses). She will be very busy. But after that she plans on having a fun reunion with family in Northern California in celebration of their 50th Wedding Anniversary!

Ms. Aimee has been busy with her daughter, Laïla, as she celebrates her 2nd birthday! Happy Birthday, sweet Laïla! Here are some pictures from her Farm Party!

Next week Ms. Aimee and her family head for La Paz, Mexico. She hopes to spend sometime relaxing at the beach with her family!

We hope you all have a fabulous, fun, and relaxing time and we look forward to making music again on August 21st!

Posted in Advanced Students, calendar, having fun with music, special event, Summer Camp, Teacher Training, Yamaha Corporation, Yamaha Music Education System


I’m sitting at the food court at the airport waiting for myflight to Switzerland!  Check back for more updates and pics 😊

I was just thinking about all the beautiful music I heard this past week.  Despite all the crazy schedules, traveling, swimming, and camps, many of our students managed to finish their books and celebrated with a concert and party.  One group of advanced students managed to put together a musical (You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown) and perform it, while the others explored superheroes and made their own Do-Re-Mi-Fa Man music video.  

Now it’s time to take a vacation!  Numerous studies show the benefit of giving your brain time off (read a story here), so let your child relax and recharge.  I’m always surprised what things my brain is able to figure out when I’m on a break.  So give your child space to let that happen!  Celebrate your child’s accomplishments and enjoy your time off!  Stay cool ☀️

Posted in children, group lessons, having fun with music, parenting, Summer Camp

My New Instrument

Something I get asked quite often – how many instruments do you play?

Hmmm…..six?   I sing, play piano, clarinet, recorder, guitar, and can kinda fake other woodwind instruments (flute, sax, etc).  I had no idea that I’d be adding another instrument to my collection – my feet!!!

The Third Coast Rhythm Project is a tap dance school here in our lovely shopping center.  I have wanted to take tap lessons since we moved in here almost 4 years ago.  This summer, the absolute beginner tap class and an opening in my teaching schedule finally matched up.  My daughter Brynn, sister Aimee, and longtime adult piano student and friend Virginia decided to join the class with me.

I’m headed to my 5th class tonight with Barbara Phillips and I’m having a blast!  She is a phenomenal teacher and every class seems to fly by.  Instead of counting, we always dance to music –  so we can “play” our feet along with the various songs.  It’s the music that tells our feet what to do!   Many pieces we’ve been playing with are jazz standards, but she has played other styles as well (even George Michael!)

I am truly enjoying the challenge of applying my musical training to my feet – and have been surprised sometimes how tricky some steps are!  I found that sometimes it’s more important for me to hear what we’re supposed to do, rather than see it.  Once again, I’m thankful for my musical training – my ears help guide my feet and I can hear how it’s supposed to sound in my head (even if it doesn’t sound exactly the same…)

We’ve almost learned tap dance’s national anthem – the Shim Sham.  It’s a 90 year old dance that is frequently performed at the end of tap dance performances.  I’ve loved learning a little tap history along with the actual dance (maybe Ms. Aimee and I need to perform it some time!).

So now maybe after more lessons, when people ask me how many instruments I play, I might say seven 🙂


Posted in Adults, ear training, having fun with music, love, music, music as a language

What former students say…

"Early music training definitely opened my eyes towards the world of music. I would not have been able to pick up the instruments that I play now and write songs without learning the training that the school taught me! I'm so glad my parents kept me in music when I was little, I made some great friends that I still talk to today and I am so blessed to have been given the gift of music by my wonderful teachers and parents :) "

Former Student Kara Rollins

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