Studio Highlights

Private Lessons

A delicate balance of fun and learning is the goal of each lesson. Students progress step-by-step through engaging curriculum (primarily Piano Safari) to build a firm musical foundation. Students often choose pieces they enjoy to supplement their regular studies. Typically lessons include:

  • Curriculum pieces
  • Student choice pieces
  • Music reading
  • Games or activities
  • Technique study
  • Improvisation & arranging
  • Rote memory pieces
  • Scales & theory
  • Ensemble pieces
  • Composition
  • Music apps to solidify & enhance learning


Students at Rising Star often collaborate with other students in duets, trios, or even quartets. This is a great time to develop new friendships and learn to play well with others! Carrie’s personal favorite: pieces for one piano, three players. So fun!!

For one Christmas recital, family members performed together with their students on additional instruments, including guitar, drums, flute, jingle bells, and vocals. Family collaboration is the BEST!


There are two annual recitals for Rising Star students, a casual gathering at Christmas and the formal-but-friendly spring recital in June. Christmas recitals may be held at a local retirement facility or restaurant, or in a cozy place for a PJ party. The year-end June recital is usually held at a local church where there is adequate seating and a beautiful piano. Carrie endeavors to keep both recitals relaxed and fun, making sure students are well-prepared and confident in their pieces.


Every spring Rising Star students compete for prizes at the June recital. A variety of contests motivate and inspire students to work hard, try something new, and practice consistently.

Prizes have been awarded in the past for:

  • Learning 40+ pieces during the year
  • Best original compositions
  • Practicing the most number of days
  • High score for note-reading app
  • High score for scales and arpeggio test
  • Most improved student
  • Audience choice – best performance