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home : arts & entertainment : arts & entertainment November 19, 2018


8/30/2016 1:54:00 PM
Learning to play music joyfully in Sisters
Agnes Hendrie teaches Playful Piano. photo provided
+ click to enlarge
Agnes Hendrie teaches Playful Piano. photo provided

By Jim Cornelius
News Editor

If you remember your piano lessons and recitals as a nerve-wracking, stressful time of childhood, you'll barely recognize Agnes Hendrie's method. It's all summed up in the name of her teaching practice: Playful Piano.

"I'm a Simply Music teacher, which is a playing-based program from Australia," Hendrie explained.

Simply Music is a fully developed curriculum and protocol that is science-based to make learning piano a more natural - and more joyful - experience. The idea is to create "a lifelong friendship with music," Hendrie said.

Students enjoy playing real pieces from their very first lessons. The emphasis is on playing, and learning patterns - all before learning to read music. According to Hendrie, it mimics the way humans learn to communicate.

"When we're kids, we talk first, then we learn to read and spell," she said.

Hendrie took up piano when she was five years old.

"I learned the classical way," she said with a wry smile. "The crying-and-tears way."

She also played flute and sang. But for her, piano offers the widest palette for musical expression.

"Really, you can get anything out of the piano," she said.

Hendrie, who has a master's degree in special education, adopted the Simply Music program about nine years ago. Her students range in age from 4-year-olds to people in their 80s.

"I love to build community," she told The Nugget.

And that community spreads far and wide.

"I've got students online from different places in the world," she said. "I've got a student in South Africa; several in California."

The Playful Piano studio is in Bend, but Hendrie and her husband are moving to Sisters, where she plans to open a studio in her home in Buck Run in October. For now, she's teaching Sisters-area students at Judy Bull's home east of town.

For more information on Playful Piano, visit www.playfulpianobend.com or call 541-408-2948.





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