Maureen E. Riley Studio
Bellevue Christian Church is fortunate to have Maureen Riley share her violin talent throughout the Sunday service, greatly enriching the worship experience.
In addition, Bellevue Christian Church hosts a Community Suzuki Violin Program directed by Maureen. Private lessons, group classes and recitals are held at the church on a regular basis.
Maureen passionately believes in the power of music in healing, in ministry, and in the development of noble hearts and kindred spirits in children who study the violin.
Additionally, she provides music for many weddings and special events as a soloist or as part of The Harpeth Trio.
To learn more about Maureen and her music visit:
Practice for Pennies
Practice for Pennies!
Annual Dollars Raised for the Bellevue Food Bank
In 2012, the Riley Violin Studio in Bellevue, TN alone collected $179.22 in a “Practice for Pennies” challenge for Bellevue Food Bank. Bellevue Christian Church and Belle Meade Cleaners generously matched these funds. In addition, the Bellevue Exchange Club collected (just at one of their meetings) $82.88 in pocket change to support the students’ efforts making our grand total $620.54! Just for practicing violin!
In 2013, the Riley Violin Studio in Bellevue, TN alone collected $550.72. Sherith Israel Synagogue, Honor Music and Entertainment matched the funds. Donations were made by Bank of Nashville, World Music, Dr. Gary Smith, Poplar Hill Realty and Hillwood Country Club, bringing the grand total to $2,285.68.
In 2014, the Riley Violin Studio in Bellevue, TN alone collected $1,176.76 from students and their sponsors! No exact matches that year, but some very generous donations came in from:
Steve Zaccari Crye-Leike Realty: $500
Dr. Gary J. Smith $500
Sherith Israel Synagogue $200
World Music $100
Poplar Hill Realty $ 50
This brought the grand total to the Bellevue Food Bank to:
$2, 526.76 Just for practicing violin!!!!!
Maureen Riley, director of the Riley Violin Studio Suzuki Talent Education, wants to invite area music studios to include their students this year in a joint effort. We live in Music City, U.S. A. Why not take this opportunity to improve music skills by asking our students to practice for a worthy cause during the season of giving?
Here are the details:
What: Penny Drive for Bellevue Food Bank by Violin Students from Riley Violin Studio and other Music Studios in our area.
When: Starts October 25, 2015 through December 5, 2015 (6 weeks)
How: For every piece reviewed, (or Holiday piece on an upcoming program), collect a penny. Younger students who may not have as many pieces to play can count the number of minutes practiced instead of pieces. Older students whose pieces are much longer may also want to count minutes of practice as one piece could take a big chunk of the practice time. I will leave this up to the students, parents, and studio teachers to decide which is best in your situation. If you are not sure, ask me for clarification. Repetitions of parts of songs are included in my studio in order to get better at some of the tricky spots and improve the piece overall (unit practicing). Scales, tonalizations, and special exercises may also be included.
Who: Decide what person you would like to ask to sponsor you, i.e.: parents, grandparents, close family member, neighbor -- up to you. You can ask whomever you'd like (one or as many as you'd like). (Last year most of my students had a couple of sponsors and some had a few more. One student put what they were doing on Facebook and several people came forward wanting to support the student in this way for this great cause. Two students had a dozen individual sponsors alone.)
Susie asks her grandmother to donate a penny for every review piece she plays during this time period. Susie’s grandmother wants to encourage Susie to practice and is excited to help in this way to help motivate her granddaughter to practice and to also teach Susie how every penny helps go to a great cause. Susie reviews 10 pieces every day, five days a week. She collects 50 cents each week and deposits it in a container. At the end of 6 weeks, Susie has a total of $3.00. That doesn't sound like too much, does it?
Susie's dad wants to support her efforts so he gives her a penny for her review pieces, too (50 cents a week). Now Susie has $6.00 at the end of 6 weeks. Just for practicing!
Multiply this by 30 students and now we have $150 collected! Wow! Multiply that by other area music studios and the amount quickly rises to a substantial amount. When businesses match studio collections, it becomes an amazing amount collectively!
Each student brings their pennies in each week and tosses them in a container the teacher will have at their studio. Watch the container of pennies grow as time goes by! Guess the number of pennies in the container at the end of 6 weeks and win a prize for the closest guess (to be determined by each studio). (Last year my prize was a choice between two decorations – one was a stained glass angel playing the violin, which was very popular with the girls; the other was a wooden violin ornament that suited the boys.) Ideas welcomed! And this is optional. I did it last year and the students loved it.
Listen to the improvement you are making in your sound, tone, pieces, and musicality as time goes by! Notice how much better the group sound is as time goes by!
This gives us a chance to give during the holiday season and motivates us to practice in order to help others - a win-win situation for everyone.
There will not be a tally of who has practiced the most at the end. This is a group effort and the only tricky rule is that you can't put in a penny unless you have practiced! This is an important rule to remember. Last year, some families would say, “Oh, let me put in what I have in change.” I responded with, “Your deposit must equal the amount of time or pieces you have practiced, times one penny.” This really motivated students to practice more. I used a large water jug that was in my studio. Group night was especially fun as most students brought their pennies in each week and we all enjoyed hearing the jingle of pennies dropping into the container - such music to our ears as we knew how much we were collecting to help the Food Bank.
If you know of a business that would like to match your student's practice for pennies, or make a donation, let me know. I am hoping each studio will find a business sponsor for the total amount they collect, but it certainly is not necessary. Any music studio can participate in this at any level!
I will contact NPR to ask them to announce it on their station and contact area newspapers as we get closer to the starting date and/or finishing date.
The penny collection will close on December 5th to allow time for everyone’s studio amount to be tallied up and to collect from any businesses, therefore getting it to the Food Bank in time for the holiday season. (Final collection date for all participating must be in my hands to deliver to the Food Bank by December 10th.)
Won’t you join our practicing efforts to help your students, your studio, music in Music City, U.S. A. and the Food Bank families?
About Suzuki Violin:
The Suzuki Violin Method encourages the development of fine human beings with noble hearts and kindred spirits using the violin as a tool to promote excellent character and beautiful hearts.
The purpose of the penny drive is to raise money for the Bellevue Food Bank during this season of giving, motivate the students to do something for the community, inspire the students to practice more and to improve the student's technical skills and ability in music and violin playing. The students range in age from 3 – 16 years and are excited about this opportunity to serve the community.
About the Bellevue Food Bank
The Bellevue Community Food Bank serves families living in zip code areas 37221, 37205 and 37209. It also serves Pegram and Kinsgton Springs area. The Food Bank operates out of Bellevue United Methodist Church at 7501 Old Harding Road and has been in existence for more than twenty years.
Each Tuesday, approximately 50 bags of food are handed out to persons whose identity has been established. During the holiday season, the number of bags will easily double or more. A few volunteers tirelessly work to prepare the bags each week. These volunteers also sort and shelve any food items received during the week. Numerous other volunteers spend time working behind the scenes.
Food donations are received from area churches, food drives by groups and individuals. The Food Bank also welcomes checks of any amount.
Violin Students Practice for Pennies, Raising More than $4,000 for Bellevue Food Bank
It all begins with practicing the violin. None of this is possible without the efforts of the students and their families, friends and sponsors.
The total amount for the 2015 Penny Drive for the Bellevue Food Bank in its 4th year:
$ 4, 669.36
The students from Riley Violin Studio collected $ 2, 024.52.
Donations from: Bellevue Christian Church, Sherith Israel Synagogue, Dr. Gary Smith, Poplar Hill Realty, Friends of Charlie Tygard, Heritage & Belle Meade Cleaners, Mark Meyer, The Violin Shop – Fred Carpenter, Judy Mahone Piano studio and Sherry Meredith-Toni Ferguson studio totaled 2644.84, bringing the grand total to: $4,669.36.