Piano Belloso Music Studio
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Above & Beyond Practi$cash

A new contest for students of Piano Belloso Music Studio.

Similar to loyalty rewards cards at your favorite coffee shop or gas station, students can complete special challenges to earn key punches and eventually turn in a completed card for real prizes.

It all starts with students maintaining their minimum practice requirements in the Better Practice app, or playlist. Visit any of the topics below for more details:

Rules and Instructions


All students will be given a rewards card at their first lesson in January 2019. The competition will last through at least June, so there will be plenty of time for students to collect points.


Any student enrolled in lessons at Piano Belloso Music Studio may participate. However, in order to actually earn points, student must maintain their minimum practice requirements either by logging their practice time in Better Practice, or on their playlist as shown below:

  • Level 1-2 (Beginners) = 15 minutes per day, 5 days per week

  • Level 3+ = 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week

If a student completes a challenge but has not maintained their minimum, there will be a 7-day grace period in which they may reinstate their practice routine and regain eligibility.

Students and Parents can view their current stats in Better Practice on the Insights page by clicking the Summary tab and filtering for the last 7 days.

How to Complete a Challenge

Most challenges will include detailed instructions on how to complete them. Since every challenge is different, students will need to pay close attention to the instructions and ask questions if they are unsure about anything. Many challenges can be repeated as many times as you like and never expire.

The most important thing to remember is that a student must be able to show evidence that they completed a challenge before they can receive a key punch. This could be as simple as showing me a score in Better Practice; but, for some challenges, an audio or video recording may be required.

Rewards Cards

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Front Side View

Each fingerprint represents the area where a hole punch may occur. Each key is worth 100 points and there are 10 keys on every card, totalling 1000 points per card.

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Back Side View

Students may redeem each completed card for a prize, or collect multiple cards to redeem for a higher value prize later.

Each Practi$cash punch card has a cash value of $1.00.




Unlike the special event categories of the Pianolympics, the challenges students will be asked to complete for Above & Beyond Practi$cash are dynamic - changing from week to week. I will be communicating new challenges via the home page header inside the Better Practice app, as well as posting new challenges to this website and announcing them via email.

Some challenges will be very straight-forward and fixed, which can be completed in the Better Practice app itself. Other challenges may require more creativity and motivation. To get started, go ahead and start working on any of the challenges below…

Jump to:


Challenge of the Week (500 Points)

March 25, 2019

Practice Pad Power - This week, choose one of the songs on your assignment list and practice that song using either your Practice Pad (the paper keyboard), or turn the volume all the way down on your keyboard. Practice that song for at least 5 days in a row.

To get credit for this challenge, you will need to tell me which song(s) you practiced and demonstrate how you play the song in class.

February 25, 2019

Use any music discovery tool to find 5 NEW SONGS you like, but have never heard before. Send me a message with the following details about the song:

1. Song Title
2. Artist Name(s) (who performed it)
3. Composer(s) or Songwriter(s) Name(s) (who wrote it)*
4. Where you heard it (YouTube, Spotify, iTunes, in a movie or TV show, etc.). If you can provide a link, please do.
5. Why you like it.

*Quite often the songwriter is different from the artist and is more difficult to find. 

February 18, 2019

Write new lyrics to any song you’ve learned so far (Dreams Come True, Night Storm, I’ll Be There, etc.); then video or audio record yourself playing the song while either singing or saying/rapping the new lyrics.

For those of you who use Better Practice, I’d prefer you share the recording with me (see tutorial below). However, I will also accept iCloud, Dropbox, or any other link. You can either send me the link in a message in Better Practice or email me at:


DO NOT attach recordings to a text message!

How to share a recording using Better Practice.

If you don’t use iCloud or another cloud storage option for you photos and videos, or you have an Android device, I recommend Google Photos. It’s free and works well with any Google account.

February 11, 2019

Pick any song from Foundation Level 1 and teach it to a friend or relative who is NOT already a student of Piano Belloso Music Studio. Send me a message with a short description of who you taught, which song you taught, and how well the “lesson” went.

January 28, 2019

Compose a song this week using the I, IV, and V chords in the Left Hand, and a melody in the Right Hand. For more advanced students, you may do this in any key.

To get inspiration on what all can be done with these three simple ingredients, take a listen to my Spotify Playlist below:

January 21, 2019

Click one of the links below to to listen to a YouTube or Spotify Playlist. You DO NOT have to watch or listen to EVERY song. Look at the list of songs or just skip through until you find a song you like.

  1. Choose a song and write down the name of the piece and the composer.

  2. Use any search engine to look up that same composer and find a different piano piece. Then listen to that piece in its entirety.

  3. Send me a message in Better Practice with the name of BOTH piano pieces and the composer. Describe why you chose it and what you like about it. (If you prefer, you may also write or type your description and bring it with you to your next lesson.)

January 14, 2019

Choose one song from your review list that you haven't played in ages, or have trouble remembering. Revive the song until you can grade it "Awesome." Share the song you chose with your teacher by either sending a message, recording, or playing the song in class.


Chord Challenges - 100 Points

For students who have begun the Accompaniment program, using the Chord Game in Better Practice to improve their skills should already be a part of their daily practice. If you’ve managed to continuously beat your high score at home, then step up your game to the next level, and take the challenge during your next lesson! Results will be recorded into the official Studio Records, and students will receive a key punch (100 points) for successful completion.

100-points Bonus: Beat the current studio record. If there is no current studio record, the first student to complete the challenge will receive an automatic bonus.

  1. Complete the chord game with both hands (BH) for all known chords (whichever ones you know), including sharps and flats.

  2. Complete the chord game with both hands for Maj, Min, and Sus chords, including sharps and flats.

  3. Complete the chord game with both hands for all 7th chords (7th, Maj7, m7), including sharps and flats.

Remember that LH does not have to play the chord itself. In accompaniment, the LH plays the single bass note matching the RH chord.

Improvisation & Composition Challenges

Student must submit a recording of themselves using either audio or video for the following:

  • 100 Points - Improvise a RH melody to the Eliza or Black and Blue Soundtrack using the black keys.

  • 100 Points - Improvise a RH melody to the Jackson Blues or Blue Jay Soundtracks using the blues scale.

  • 100 Points - Improvise a RH melody to either Deep Valley or Dark Valley Soundtracks.100 Points bonus for adding LH as well

  • 200 Points - Compose a song by rearranging the RH melody to any non-accompaniment song in Level 1-2.

  • 500 Points - Write a song (including lyrics) using the following chords in any order: C-Am-F-G

How to share an Audio or Video recording with your teacher in Better Practice.



Better Practice Challenges

  • 500 Points - Play the first five songs that pop up in the Review section on your app - don’t skip any! Do this every day for 1 week (7 days).

  • 500 Points - Up your practice time to 6 days a week for a month.

  • 1000 Points - Complete a 30 day streak! Practice every day for 30 days in a row.


More Challenges Coming Soon!…




The Real Takeaway

Every student who participates will experience a HUGE lift in their actual ability to play. That’s a promise! My hope is that students will discover that they are capable of much more than they realized was possible. In that way, the competition is its own reward. That said, participants who fill their punch cards can either redeem them right away for a smaller prize (each punch card is worth approximately $1 cash value) or save them up until they are ready to redeem them for a larger prize. Below is a list of current prizes. These will be updated intermittently.

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Raffle Ticket (1000 points)

A completed Practi$cash card can be redeemed for 1 raffle ticket and entered into a drawing for…

something huge and amazing that I haven’t thought of yet :)

The drawing will take place in May (at the end of the Winter/Spring term), so I’m sure we can all come up with some great prize ideas between now and then.

Help me choose a grand prize for this drawing by taking the poll below.

Random [Sur]Prize (10,000 Points)

So, not completely random, but a surprise nonetheless.

I have a number of odd, funny, and sometimes very cool gifts saved on a secret list. These are typically things you’d never expect or ask for, but they are also unique and will probably be worth more than the points value. If you want to entrust your Practi$cash to fate (or me, rather) and see if I can surprise you, pick this option.

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Musical T-shirt (15,000 Points)

I have over 30 hand-picked musical t-shirts to choose from. Redeem Practi$cash for your favorite. Sizing and color is customizable for most of the shirts.


$10 Gift Card to the streaming music service of your choice (10,000 Points)

In most cases that means a free month of a subscription, or 10 song downloads! Possibilities include iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, Amazon, and Pandora.


Gift Card of Your Choice (??? Points)

Each Practi$cash punch card has a cash value of $1, so redeem however many you want for the gift card of your choice and amount.

This could be anything from a $5 Apple/iTunes, Target, or Amazon gift card to a $25 Xbox Gold Membership to even the $50 Disney card you see pictured here.

More Prizes Coming Soon!…

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