Lloydminster shines on piano

By Jessica Dempsey

October 3, 2017 3:30 PM

Norah Matthews, Ginny Kroeker, Jonathan Rollheiser and Ella Matthews all received the Medal of Excellence by Conservatory Canada for the highest marks in the province. Jessica Dempsey/Meridian Booster

Practice makes perfect, and that’s exactly what happened for four piano students at Pam’s Piano Studio.

Norah Matthews, 11, Ella Matthews, 14, Jonathan Rollheiser, 11, and Ginny Kroeker, 9, all received the Medal for Excellence by Conservatory Canada.

“It represents the student getting the highest mark for their grade, in either Saskatchewan or Alberta,” said Pam Rollheiser, piano teacher.

The medals are awarded to the candidate who receives the highest mark, with a minimum of 85 per cent for the academic year.

“It’s always exciting to see the students recognized like this. I have a lot of students that do work hard. You are proud of each and every student for achieving at their own level,” she said.

The students had one lesson a week, and were encouraged to practice as much as they could at home.

Overall, she said she was extremely happy with her students, and to see what they could achieve.

“I’m very, very proud,” she added.

Ella, who completed her Grade 6 exam with the highest marks, has been playing piano for nearly 10 years.

“I didn’t really know any of the skills until a few weeks before, and I realized there was a lot I needed to learn. So, I practiced a lot the last few weeks before the exam,” she said about how she prepared.

Before the exam, Ella and some of the others didn’t even know you could receive an award for the highest grade.

“I was really proud of myself because I think I did get a really high mark, and it was pretty hard to learn it all,” she said.

Piano skills must run in the family, because her younger sister, Norah also received the highest mark for her Grade 3 exam.

“I’m really excited because this hasn’t happened before,” said Norah.
As for continuing with piano in the future, she said she would love to.

“I want to be able to teach piano,” she added.

Jonathan completed his Grade 5 exam with the highest mark in the province, and while playing the piano, he said he likes to play classical music.

“It’s fun when I play,” he said, adding that when he found out he received the recognition, he was over the moon.

“I was really excited because I knew it was a huge accomplishment,” said Jonathan.

The youngest of them, Ginny, received the highest mark after completing her Grade 1 exam.

She said she likes to play pop and blues music because “it’s fun to play.”

This isn’t the first time Pam has had students achieve the Medal of Excellence, but it has been a couple of years since it last happened.

“I did have four one other year, but it’s pretty rare,” she said.

With their awards they will be invited to London, Ont., for an awards ceremony and will perform in a recital later that day.


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