Monaco Music Studio


Summer Newsletter 2022

Monday, May 9, 2022 by Marcie Monaco | Uncategorized

Hello musicians and families,

There's a lot of info in this newsletter!   Important details about the upcoming recital and summer lessons are included, so please read through the entire document and save it to refer back as needed. 

I will also publish this newsletter on my website (, so you can always find it later if you need to. 


*Verify lesson times with me THIS WEEK AND NEXT.  I am traveling!!

*Recital preparation THIS WEEK: 

1.  Write a paragraph about the piece you are performing and/or the composer,

2.  Record video of recital piece and 

3.  Attend studio classes online

*Recital help on 5/22/22: 

1.  help with moving chairs 

2.  help with lifting harpsichord. 

3.  Lunch will be provided!


LESSONS ONLINE weeks of 5/9/22 and 5/16/22

STUDIO CLASS:  Wednesday, 5/11/22 at 6:00-6:30 (ages 10 and under), 6:30-7:30 (ages 10 and up)

STUDIO CLASS:  Wednesday, 5/18/22 at 6:00-6:30 (ages 10 and under), 6:30-7:30 (ages 10 and up)

SPRING RECITAL: BRILLIANTLY BAROQUE Sunday 5/22/2022 at 4:00 pm 11190 Hagemann Rd.; Lebanon 

MIDWEST FLUTE INSTITUTE: 6/13/22-6/16/22 SIUE  NO LESSONS (but come to the Institute!)

FIELD TRIP: St. Louis Wind Symphony + Dinner out 6/25/22; meet at Casa Monaco at 4:00pm

COSTUME KARAOKE Saturday 7/16/22 4:00 pm 11190 Hagemann Rd.; Lebanon




I left today (Monday, 5/9/22) for a family trip and will return on Saturday, May 21st.  Normally I would just give us all a vacation from lessons, but with a recital looming, let's continue to work together over the next two weeks to prepare.  I will be scheduling online lessons to coordinate with our travel schedule this week and next.  I will be available all day tomorrow (Tuesday 5/10), all day Thursday (5/12), and Wednesday evening.  I know that online lessons don't always work for every family, but it would be helpful even if we could schedule several smaller sessions throughout the next two weeks to "check-in," or even send performance/feedback videos back and forth.

The recital is scheduled for Sunday, May 22nd at 4:00 pm.  We will have a rehearsal the same day from 1:00-3:00, and I will send out a tentative rehearsal schedule in the next few days. 

One of my goals this term was for students to understand more about Baroque music and its characteristics.  I asked every student to write a paragraph of information about the piece and the composer they studied this term so that I can compile the information in the recital program.  It doesn't have to be amazingly polished, I can help with editing, but at least 5-10 sentences would be great.  Please get this to me no later than May 16th so that I can finish formatting the program and send the file off to get printed. 

I need every student to record themselves performing their recital piece with a backing track (if applicable).   Not everyone has prioritized this task, but this truly is a crucial performance preparation technique.  Often, making a video can be a harsh wake-up call that your piece isn't quite performance-ready.  BUT, recording a successful video goes a long way toward building confidence for recital day. 

We will have two ONLINE studio classes in the next two weeks:

Wednesday, May 11th at 6:00-6:30 (ages 10 and under), 6:30-7:30 (ages 10 and up)

Wednesday, May 18th at 6:00-6:30 (ages 10 and under), 6:30-7:30 (ages 10 and up)

You are welcome to attend whichever time works best, the pieces that the older students are playing are a bit longer, so they might take a bit longer.  PLEASE make it a priority to come to both classes.  Stay tuned for the zoom link to this event!

On 5/11, I will play the videos the students submitted of their recital piece to the entire group.  On 5/18, students will perform their pieces in real time for each other.  I will also ask the students to share what they've learned about their piece and the composer with the rest of the group. :)

Y'all, I'm not trying to create extra work for myself (and you all) by asking for these assignments and scheduling group classes.  Public performances can be stressful to navigate for anyone at any age.  If your child has done everything possible to mentally and musically prepare for their performance, they are more likely to have a positive recital experience.  Over time, several positive recital experiences can have a tremendous impact on relieving stress and anxiety associated with being in the spotlight, and becoming comfortable in the spotlight can help a child in so many ways: meeting new people, interviewing for jobs, giving public presentations, or assuming leadership rolls in school, career, or community.  

On the other hand, several negative recital experiences in a row (or even just one!) can turn someone off to public performance FOREVER, and no one deserves to carry around that kind of anxiety.  I really want your child to understand that they CAN do hard things and that hard things will eventually get easier if they keep trying.


At this point in the preparation process, students should find opportunities to perform their pieces for as many people as possible before the big day.  Friends, neighbors, grandparents, etc. can be a bit help to musicians who are trying to work through their nerves.  Live performances are best, but performing over FaceTime for Grandma is great, too. 


I would be eternally grateful for any assistance you can give me on recital day.  The two items I am especially concerned about are:

1.  The rental chairs aren't available for pickup until noon the day of the recital.  I'm going to pick them up in my van, but I will be busy coordinating a mini-rehearsal in the hours before the recital, so I would appreciate it if you all could grab a few chairs to help set up.  My husband will be on hand to direct traffic and answer questions. 

2.  Our recital theme is "Brilliantly Baroque." I bought a very cool harpsichord (a keyboard instrument used in the Baroque era before pianos were invented) to provide accompaniment.  This instrument is HEAVY, and I could use 4 or 5 laborers to help me move it.  It will only take about 10 seconds of effort to lift the harpsichord off its legs onto a dolly, then 10 seconds to put it back on its legs once it's up the hill.  And then, reversing the process after the recital. 

3.  All helpers will be fed!


This summer, I'll be on staff at the Midwest Flute Institute from June 13-16 at SIUE.  This is a terrific program open to flutists aged 12-18.  Every single one of my middle school and high school flutists would be an excellent fit for this program, so I encourage you to consider registering.  There will be no regular lessons this week!  Register here:


On June 25th, students are invited to a special musical event!  We will meet at my house at 4:00, drive across the river in my enormous van to get dinner, and then attend an outdoor performance of the St. Louis Wind Symphony.  The concert is free, but please send $ with your child to cover dinner (you can send cash with your child or just Venmo me).  This event is geared toward students who are 10+.  Please RSVP in lessons or by texting me at 843-814-3397


Our summer term is 14 weeks long, beginning May 30th and ending September 1st.  I plan to teach ten weeks of lessons during June, July, and August to accommodate my travel and teaching schedule.  During those ten weeks, students can keep their same lesson time or request an earlier slot.  I input several potential lesson slots into the calendar on my website.  Students will also have the option of booking additional lessons over the summer at no additional charge.  Think of these lessons as makeups from lessons missed in the spring, anticipated fall absences, or just extra lessons for enrichment. 

I will charge summer tuition in June, July, and August at a rate equal to 75% the typical monthly rate (i.e., if you pay $100/mo during the school year, you'll pay $75).  Since you'll be able to book extra lessons each week, it will be up to you whether you take 4 lessons, 10 lessons, or even 20 over the summer.

I'll send out a printable schedule for you all to tape to your refrigerators, so watch your inboxes!


Last summer, I hosted daily online "scale aerobics" for students.  We met every day and practiced scales and scale exercises for 45-60 minutes each day.  The concept is the same as having a gym buddy.  People make better choices in life if they have accountability partners!  The students who showed up every day made tremendous musical progress during the summer.

This summer, we'll meet Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 1:00 pm in June, July, and August (except for the days and weeks when I am engaged elsewhere).  The online format will allow students of all instruments and abilities to participate. 

Beginning flutists (who have taken less than two years of lessons) will need to purchase the book "I Love Scales." Flutists who have taken lessons for more than two years will need to purchase Trevor Wye's "Complete Daily Exercises for the Flute."  Pianists will use the Hal Leonard Series of scales and scale patterns. 

HOWEVER, please see me before ordering books.  Your playing level might differ from the general guidelines above.  Also, I order sheet music at least once a month, so I would be happy to place a big order for everyone so we can all split shipping costs. 

All are welcome!  Invite your friends to attend!  My students participate free of charge.  The fee is $10/week for other musicians. 


Costume karaoke will be held Saturday, July 16th at 4:00 pm.  We will assign pieces after the recital, but start thinking about whether there's a movie, TV, theater, or pop song you enjoy that you'd like to learn and perform.  


The annual NFA convention is in Chicago this year, August 11-14.  This is an enormous event where thousands of flutists and hundreds of vendors converge come together to learn and celebrate all things FLUTE.  You can hear the latest in newly published music, try every brand of flute known to mankind, buy sheet music and gifts, hear speakers discuss topics related to music, performance, or business, and watch incredible performances by world-class flutists.  I encourage you all to go if you get the opportunity!  I'll be there, and I'll be looking for you!


I will be performing a recital on Saturday, August 6th, at 1:00 pm, at our home.  The program will feature the music of female composers: Chaminade, Uebayashi, Harberg, and Larson.  You are all invited!


I play with the Highland Municipal Band during their summer series, Friday evenings, June 17-August 12, at 8:00pm under the stars on the square.  Search for the "Lory Theater" in your GPS, and it will bring you to the right general area. The HMB is comprised of terrific professional musicians, so the music is high-quality.  This event is free!  Bring lawn chairs or a picnic blanket.


When I was growing up, my dad used to listen to music from the 50s and 60s all the time.  It was annoying at the time, but now I can sing the lyrics of dozens and dozens of "oldies" (which impresses absolutely no one ever).  But my mom played classical music every day in the afternoons, so I was exposed to a rich variety of music on a regular basis.

I'm not here to condemn your family or personal music preferences  (all music choices are an extent), but I do want to encourage you to make classical music part of your family's everyday listening experience.  You can start with something easy like a curated Spotify, Youtube, or Apple Music playlist.  Or just pick a composer, any composer, and listen to him/her every day for a week or a month, then pick another composer.  Commit to playing this music at the same time each day (while you're getting ready in the morning, during study time in the afternoon, while you're eating dinner together, or around bedtime when the house is quiet but everyone is transitioning between wakefulness and sleep).  

Classical music might not be your favorite (or your child's favorite), but it will grow on you with regular exposure!  Just like The Drifters and The Platters grew on me. :)


Did you know?  

*An "Opus" is a method of cataloging a composer's published works.  The first published work would be Op. 1, and the second Op. 2 etc.  Composers who lived before this convention was accepted had their works cataloged by scholars after their deaths, so you'll see other abbreviations attached to their music. For example, Mozart’s music is cataloged with a K. (Köchel-Verzeichnis), and Bach’s with a BWV (Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis).  Interestingly enough, "opus" is a singular term, and the plural is "opera."

Did you know?

*Most lay people call any musical work a "song," but in music, SONGS are performed by vocalists, and PIECES are performed by instrumentalists.  There's another vocabulary entirely when it comes to jazz music, and the CHARTS they perform.  Still, these three terms will enlighten you enough to converse with musicians across all genres and sound like you know what you're talking about.  :)