Spencer Siblings Hit all the Right Keys

| April 17, 2012
  • She loves to create stories from her music.
  • Riley Spencer, performed 'Perfect' by Hedley on the keyboard during the interview.
  • Layne Spencer's favorite pieces are the 'Peanuts Theme" and "Dec. 1963, Oh What a Night."
  • The siblings practice 45-60 minutes a day, five days a week between extra activities and school.
  • Music scholarships were awarded to both Riley and Spencer for their exemplary performances at the Whitecourt Spring Music Festival.
  • Music is harmony to the soul.
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Music is harmony to the soul.

Crystal Kerr’s piano students, brother and sister, Layne and Riley Spencer of Fox Creek, entered into the Whitecourt Rotary Music Festival from March 19 –  22.

On March 19, both children played three pieces each throughout the day and they both earned three gold seal certificates for their musical selections.

Layne and Riley were invited back to perform at the “Finale Concert”, however they were not available to attend because of prior commitments.  The siblings were both awarded music scholarships for their exemplary performances.

“All the students did quite well at the festival, playing among soloists, violinists,and classical guitar players,” said Crystal.

“They have worked very hard and are great kids to work with,” says their teacher Crystal, who’s been instructing lessons for 19 years; formerly in Fox Creek and the past six years in Whitecourt.  Kerr’s Music Studio has grown into an ‘awesome experience’ for Crystal and her family.

Mom, Linda Spencer said, “Piano lessons are part of the kids’ education.” They practice 30-45 minutes a day, five days a week and the family commutes to Whitecourt one day a week for lessons, from September to June.

“We are very proud of the kids, they work hard all year.” said Linda.  A year end recital, for family and friends, is held at the beginning of June.

Riley’s fingers started tapping the keyboard at the age of five. She started her first year with private lessons and then went to Music for Young Children’s ‘Sunbeam’ class for her second year.

Now 13 years old, Riley loves playing movie themes because it ‘seems like I am creating stories with music.’ Her favorite pieces are Victor’s Piano Solo, from Corpse Bride and Hedwig’s Theme, from the Harry Potter movie. Riley is working towards completing her Royal Conservatory Grade 5 Piano and Theory, Basic Rudiments exams, which include studying various styles of music such as Baroque, Classical, movie/TV/pop, and contemporary/modern composers.

A highland dancer and a top academic honor roll student, she enjoys the dramatic, slow, mysterious sounds while she plays. “As long as the songs are reasonable and the lyrics do not have bad words, Mrs. Kerr will teach it to us,” said Riley smiling. She is thrilled to be able to choose her own songs, utilizing the internet and the website: www.musicnotes.com.

12 year old Layne, a music student for eight years, started Music for Young Children in the ‘Sunshine’ program. His favorite music selections are the ‘Peanuts Theme’ and ‘Dec. 1963, Oh What a Night.’

Layne, working on his Grade 3 Piano, enjoys all different varieties of music, particularly Jazz music. Between passing the hockey puck, being a top academic honor roll student, learning taekwondo moves and stringing his guitar, Layne really likes piano lessons. He says performing can sometimes be a ‘little scary’, but once he starts playing he’s ok. Crystal’s students are encouraged to have poise and confidence.

“Crystal makes it fun for the kids to learn.  We are really fortunate to have the teachers we do,” said Linda.

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Brandi loves meeting people and sharing their stories. A country girl at heart, she appreciates the simple things in a complex world.

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  1. June Millar says:

    Congratulations to Riley and Layne Great kids and Great Mom and Dad so proud of all you.
    Hugs June

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

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