After you read the stories our seniors have written, I know you will be as impressed as I am. They have all had successful academic and musical careers and are poised to become productive adults. Nick’s story of perseverance and parental resolve is a great lesson for all of us. Don’t give up just because something gets hard or is frustrating. As you read these stories, see if you can visualize what your student might write for a future newsletter. Think about the personal growth you will both experience on their musical and academic journey. It is my belief that many more of our students will be writing their senior story in the coming years.
This is an exciting time for our seniors and for Harmony Road as well. Miss Keiko’s retirement this year is both a loss and an opportunity. As she moves into the next phase of her life , the school also begins a new phase. Our current teachers are taking on more classes. Our new teachers bring years of experience to share with your students. We added new classes this Spring and Summer that compliment, and add value to, our Harmony Road curriculum. You can expect to see additional classes in the future. You will also see a new look for the school next fall.
I am confident that our music school will continue to be your school of choice. Thank you all for your support and loyalty and hard work during the last years. We appreciate all you do.
Judy Stanley, Owner
I began taking lessons at Harmony Road Music Center when I was in kindergarten. I started out with Ms. Keiko, and have been fortunate enough to be with her my entire time at Harmony Road. Over the years I have come to love playing the piano. I occasionally play at my church and have also provided the musical accompaniment for multiple children’s plays. This year I played in the festival for my eighth year in a row, and also performed a Mozart Concerto. Next year I will be attending a four year university. I am still in the process of deciding between two. I don’t think I will pursue music in college, but it will always be a part of me, and some-thing I love to do.
Parker began studying music at Harmony Road when he was three years old. For most of his life, Miss Keiko has been one of the biggest influences on Parker’s development, both as a musician and as a person. At Harmony Road he has made friends, become a musician, and learned how to perform in front of an audience. With Miss Keiko Kobayashi literally at his side (they played a duet of Mozart’s Concerto in the Oregon Music Festival), he recently received his third gold cup.
Parker has taken the important lessons he received at Harmony Road and applied them to his career as a student at La Salle Prep, where he is graduating with honors. He’ll attend the University of Portland Honors College in the fall and study Computer Science and Engineering. Parker is a captain of both the La Salle swimming and soccer teams, has received ten varsity letters, and was the goalie for the 4A State Championship soccer team, a kicker for his football team, and a swimmer for four years as well as a tennis and track athlete.
But most of all, Parker is a student of Miss Keiko, who has helped make him a success in life. According to Parker, “In the fifteen years I have studied with Miss Keiko, to her dismay, I have never really been nervous at a performance. She worries enough for both of us! And I have always managed to pull through and do a reasonable job. And it is always worth it, to see the pride and relief on her face!”
Annabelle Thorniley has been studying piano at Harmony Road Music since age 5. She has gone from "Down By The Ocean, Under The Sea" to Debussy's "Arabesque", which she played in this year's Junior Festival, aiming for her third Gold Cup. Annabelle intends to keep playing piano, on into college, especially the music of her favorite composer, Grieg. The twelve years of instruction at Harmony Road have been priceless, thanks to Andrea Nagy and Paula Whistler, the best teachers ever! And thanks to Keiko Kobayashi, who gave such encouraging words at all the recitals! It has been a great time.
Piano is the most wonderful instrument in my life. Piano filled up my heart and made my life more joyful. I started my piano lessons at Harmony Road Music Center when I was a sophomore. Through these years I learned a lot from dear Ms. Keiko. Her strictness on piano skills and her laugh left a deep mark in my heart. I remember I almost quit piano lessons once but Ms. Keiko made me hang in there. I got three superiors at the piano festivals and a gold cup. Next year I will attend the University of Washington and study engineering. I will keep playing the piano in the future for fun and enjoyment. Thanks to Harmony Road Music Center and Ms. Keiko for giving me these unforgettable memories.
I’ve been studying piano at Harmony Road for eleven years now. I’ve had three teachers but Ms. Keiko has been my teacher for the last eight years. Taking piano lessons was never an option for me. It was always part of the plan for my brothers and me. And like so many stories of kids and piano lessons, I struggled with having to practice all the time. No matter how much my parents said that in the long run, I’d be glad I kept at it. I really didn’t know how much piano would influence my life.
There were always lots of things going on. Whether it was school, Boy Scouts, or sports, it was hard to keep everything in balance. But my parents and Ms. Keiko always found time to help me get focused and ready for festival or the next recital.
As I’ve moved through school, I’ve become very interested in acting and singing. And it’s something I really enjoy. But I never really did anything with the piano. At my 8th grade graduation, I played and sang the song “100 Years” for the entire class and audience. It was the most nerve-wracking experience I’d had up to that point, but it was also very exciting. It clearly gave me the bug to want to perform musically for people. And then piano became an outlet for me. It was no longer a chore, but something that gave me a sense of peace. Whenever I get stressed or nervous, I love to sit down at the piano and just play. It’s a very relaxing experience for me.
During high school, I’ve become even more involved with the theatre and particularly musicals. All my work with piano has allowed me to understand music theory and given me so many more opportunities to excel in the theatre. The next phase for me is heading off to Linfield College in the fall as a theatre major and the winner of the Linfield Theatre scholarship. I have so many things to be thankful for. Wonderful parents who encouraged (made me) take piano and stick with it. And a wonderful teacher such as Ms. Keiko who pushed me, encouraged me, and inspired me to be better. To be the best I can be. I don’t know where I’d be without piano and these wonderful people in my life.
I’m very interested in musical theatre and playing the piano seems like an extension of that.