1st Ensemble Week of 2020-2021!

September 8th and 10th were the first  ensemble classes for students at Nina Belle’s  Music Academy in the new academic year.  Our first time together since COVID came for its unwelcome visit will make things a bit different.    I have installed plastic dividers between the larger pianos in the front room where we will most likely do all of our classes.  In the case that we use the smaller keyboards in the back room, they have been spaced apart and no one will have to share a keyboard.

Our first class will be a get to know each other again class and each will share a solo they worked on at last week’s lesson.  We will also talk about our composer of the month- J.S. Bach and listen to some of his music.  I will be assigning ensemble music and festival solos within the next couple of weeks.

See you later this week!

As a reminder:  Ensemble classes this year are scheduled for the following weeks

September 8,10; November 3,5; January 19, 21; February 23,25; April 27, 29

TUESDAYS Group 3- 6:30-7:15  (High School Students)

THURSDAYS Group 1- 4:30-5:15 (Early Elementary Students )

THURSDAYS  Group 2- 5:30-6:15  (Late Elementary/Middle School Students)  








Due to the pandemic, certain precautions will be in place upon opening the studio to “in person” teaching.

  • All persons entering the studio must wear a mask.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available upon entry to the studio-use it.
  • Piano keys will be sanitized between students.
  • No visitors will be allowed to come in the studio.
  • Only one parent may remain in the studio waiting area. I will do my best to finish a lesson a couple of minutes before the end time, to allow the new parent/student to enter.
  • EXCEPTION: families with multiple children taking lessons-their students may come together and wait in the waiting area. They should bring something with them to do to keep quiet or go to one of the pianos and practice with headphones until it is their turn. Please remember to sanitize your hands, leave the piano uncovered so I will remember to sanitize the keys afterwards.
  • Students should use sanitizer again after their lesson or anytime they must remove their mask to drink or for a sneeze/cough, or go to the restroom.
  • If a student feels ill, especially with a possible fever, please don’t bring them to the lesson. I will arrange a zoom lesson. (If you know early in the day they are not well, but they still feel like having their lesson, contact me asap so I can be prepared to call you on zoom.
  • On ensemble days, the most in a group will be 5. Parents should not wait in the waiting area those days. Just drop off your child and be ready to pick him/her up at the end of class. If you would like, he/she can call you as soon as the lesson if over so that no one is waiting.
  • On ensemble days, students will be spaced appropriately and will have plastic barriers between the pianos. No one will sit at the same piano. We will probably do most of our lesson sitting at the pianos–even with games, but if we do any “off the bench” activities, we will remain distanced. Again, sanitizer for hands, masks worn, and I will sanitize the keys between classes.
  • Recitals: this is still an ongoing process. I want to have our recitals as scheduled, but the usual location is not allowing the use of the building right now. Hopefully I will find a location, but if we have to, we will do another virtual recital. I know how to do it now, and if all goes well, I can video them playing their pieces and put it together for everyone and we can watch the video together at the same time on zoom. (This is what I had hoped to do in the spring, but my learning curve about uploading was as good then.)
  • If the situation gets to the point that online classes for all is necessary, I will work with you to help us get that going again.

2020-2021 classes start August 31

In-person lessons will be on Monday, August 31st. I am teaching 3 days, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday. Our second week of lessons will be ensemble class and we will meet in small groups- 4-5 students. Students will be distanced, keyboards sanitized between classes and plastic barriers are being installed to further distance students. Please come with having had some practice in the 2 weeks prior to your lesson so that our first lesson can be the most successful. Bring your binders and tote bags and all of the music you had assignments in, at our last lesson, including your practice/assignment book.
Looking forward to seeing you!


Summer 2019

Summer piano lessons will conclude next week.  Only a few chose to study this summer, but for those who did, we have made good progress.  If you didn’t take lessons this summer, please take the time to start reviewing the last lesson assignment.  Be sure you have tuned your piano for the fall (might be better to wait though until the air is off and you turn on the heat–it DOES affect it), check that you still have all of the materials that you had when we last met. BE SURE you have considered the already scheduled piano lesson time as you plan other after school activities–it’s really difficult to make changes. Plan and schedule times to practice at home–a scheduled time is much easier to keep up with then just trying to fit it in to an already busy schedule.  If you have something you would like to try in piano (a particular piece or type of music), let me know, or bring in with you when I see you next time.  I want to teach you , but I also want you to enjoy what you are learning!  See you soon!
Nina Belle Durr

A Year in Review

A lot has been happening since I last wrote a post in NBMA!  The year 2013-2014 has been an eventful one to say the least…from joy to tragedy from good times to bad times…it has had it all.  There have been Conferences, family gatherings, weddings, recitals, concerts, graduations and there have been floods, pain, and surgery.  The year began with pain and has ended in pain.

After returning from the 2013 KETS-12 conference in OKC, I began having discomfort in my left shoulder and arm.  By August it had become more than discomfort and was actual pain.  After a trip to my chiropractor didn’t help, I proceeded to go to my MD and he automatically said it was in my cervical spine–I doubted him vehemently because I had no neck pain! My pain was in my shoulder and left arm.  However, after the MRI result, it definitely was my neck.  Two vertebrae were the culprits, both were bulging and herniated, and in one of them, the disk was pushing on my spinal cord.  Surgery was recommend although I might have some success with physical therapy.

After visiting two surgeons who both told me I was in a dangerous situation with the spine I decided to put off surgery as long as I could by participating in physical therapy including cervical traction.  I needed to give myself some time for some of the good things that were planned:  KMTA conference in Murray, Kentucky, traveling to Orlando to make wedding plans for my daughter, and then the January 4, 2014 wedding in Orlando.  My teaching continued as scheduled as did my playing at church but with pain almost all of the time.  However, I was able to participating in the conference, have some good times with my daughter in Orlando, have a family get together for Thanksgiving and continued to rehearse with my choir.  Therapy seemed to be helping some so I was encouraged.  We presented our Christmas music on the 2nd Sunday in December and the Friday before that there was NO PAIN!  I was so encouraged; however, that afternoon while resting, the pain returned and this time it was worse than before.

Visits to Physical Therapy were excruciating and I had no pain medication other than tylenol.  My daughter’s wedding was in 3 weeks and I couldn’t imagine enduring the pain it was so bad.  I saw my surgeon again who prescribed me hydrocodone and gaberpentin for the pain.  I really never saw much relief but I continued playing, going to jazzercise, and living my life.  The drive to Orlando was over 15 hours.  We did it in two days, but it was still very painful.  There was so much last minute stuff to do before the wedding and I wanted so badly to enjoy the time with my daughter and family but at times the pain was almost unbearable. I took my medication as regularly as I could, spent time lying down with a heating pad and my tens machine and also did cervical traction with the portable device my PT had loaned me.  However, nothing really helped for long. The day I went to the spa with my daughter for a pedicure and massage was excruciating.  The massage had only begun and I was in such pain that I was nauseous and about to pass out.  All I could do was cry.

The day of the rehearsal was filled with lots of things including cold weather for Florida and I didn’t feel well at all but I had to get through it and I did.  The wedding day arrived and all of its craziness and it began early with getting hair done, makeup, pictures, etc.  I took my pills with me and made sure I had taken them.  I was a little woozy because of them and the pain, but over all it was a very good day.  Weather was great and my daughter was beautiful!  I couldn’t stand for long and there were lots of people around me who understood and helped me but the day was draining since it began at around 7 am and didn’t finish until around midnight when we had gotten back to the condo to unwind and go to bed.

Most of the next day (Sunday), I rested and tried to begin packing because we were heading out Monday for the two day drive home.  It was almost impossible for me to pack my things because of the pain, but I did the best I could and my husband and son did more than their part.  After a quick last visit with my daughter and new son we headed north. (to be continued)


Lessons for 2014-2015 begin August 25th

Plans are getting underway for scheduling lessons for the 2014-2015 academic year at NBMA.  Remember that you can register online at  NBMA.   Check back soon for more information!


Piano Camp 2013

Piano Camp 2013 is completed.  Check the pictures below to see how much fun  we had!


DSC_5315 DSC_5316 DSC_5317-2 DSC_5320 DSC_5321 DSC_5322 DSC_5325 DSC_5328 DSC_5330 DSC_5332 DSC_5336 DSC_5341 DSC_5342 DSC_5344 Image 1-3 Image 1 Image 2-3 Image 2 Image 3-2 Image 3-3 Image 3 Image 4-2 Image 4 Image 5-2 Image 5 Image 6-3 Image 6 Image 7-2 Image 7 Image 8-2 Image 8 Image 9-2 Image 9 Image 10 Image 11 Image 12 Image 13 Image 14 Image 15 Image 16 Image 17 Image 18 Image 19 Image-2 Image-3 ImagePlease click  2013 piano camp flyer for full information

Please click 2013 Piano camp registration form to download and complete the registration form.

Happy New Year!

The first semester of lessons at NBMA are now “music history”! We had  wonderful Christmas Celebrations on December 17 and 18  and I’m looking forward to a new semester with new goals, new music and some new students!

I hope you have had a great break with Christmas and other things since we last saw each other.  Lessons will resume on Monday, January 7th.  Please note that in January there will be NO LESSONS on MLK Day, Monday, January 21st.

Remember to check your emails and reminders that I send out to keep up with announcements.

See you NEXT YEAR!!IMG_3117

First Day of the NEW YEAR of teaching!

Today started for me with my usual jazzercise class at 9 am.  Then it was home to drink my 2nd cup of coffee and get ready for lunch.  And then…….it was off to my studio to prepare for my first day of the new year.  Lots of folders to put together and check on music and keyboards, etc.  My 2 hours of prep time today was filled to the last second.  Then the classes began:  My adult student, Brenda came first at 2:30, then a new student, Cailey came with all smiles.  Next was my  first group of the week with three smiling young ladies, Ava, Emma, and Olivia. Elizabeth arrived before I had finished the group so we got started right away.  Then after Elizabeth came Abby and finally Briana!  All of the students were ready to start and had great attitudes for the year.  Most were given new pieces to begin work on for the fall recital.  After my last student left, I had paperwork to complete and clean up so I didn’t leave the studio until after 8:30!  Fava’s never tasted so good!  Now on to day two!

Registration for 2012-2013 Piano Lessons begins soon!

Very soon, you will find the updated studio policy and registration information for the 2012-2013 piano lessons.  I am in the process of making a few changes and as soon as I finish I will post the new information on the website as well as email the information to my current students.  Please note that I am hoping to get everyone registered by the 1st week of August so that I will know how many openings I may have to offer lessons to new students. Stay posted!