The Consulting Arts

ValfamTCA1000042139The Consulting Arts spawns environments that are catalysts for creativity, focusing on piano, voice, creativity coaching, art and writing. Karen Smith-Will teaches students of all ages and with various learning styles, disabilities, and health concerns. Typically her students' ages range from 5-100, and accommodations can be made for exceptional students.

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Why music?

Screenshot 20201107 205109The Consulting Arts teaches composition to students interested in adding that to their voice or piano repertoire. Multiple TCA students have earned awards and praise for their compositions through the last 15 years.

"Bittersweet" is reminiscent of the folk songs in the 1960s and 70s, with a hint of jazz.

Virtually all of our students at The Consulting Arts have a strategy for learning music theory. Some of them have separate Theory books, in addition to their lesson books. Some students have whole sessions on a difficult topic (like the circle of fifths), or go through lengthy sessions taught by one of our friends, a former music professor.

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Screenshot 20200706 133931One of the readers of this blog, Anna,  brought to my attention that that there are many additional resources that can be useful. She is a Girl Scout, and her message reminded me that many of our students have been scouts.


This contest exclusively for registered The Consulting Arts students is inspired by one of my friends who has always said that instead of calling it “practice,” you should just call it “playing music.”

How many days of the month do you really play or sing? Now that you’ve started back to the routine of Fall, you should have a good idea of where music fits in your new schedule. The TCA student that plays the most days in October 2017 will be the winner. If there is a tie—we hope there will be tons of students that play every day in October!—there will be a drawing on Wednesday, November 1.

Prize: 2 Exhibits Tickets to the Science Museum of Virginia (expiration November 30, 2018)


How many days a month do you listen to music? Practice music? Play music for others? Lead music professionally, as a performer or as a teacher?

The 25 students of The Consulting Arts made it their goal to play or sing music every day during the month. And you know what? It was hard! Every student we have participates in multiple activities…BUT—they still tried. All our students increased the number of days they played music in October 2017.

The winner of the contest (link to original article), with 29 days of music in October, was Anna DeLung.

Matisse Public DomainA theme that occasionally emerges in my conversations with others is the relationship between "sacred" and "secular:" is there a continuum between the two concepts? Should the two be considered as mutually exclusive? In viewing an award-winning documentary this evening, A Model for Matisse, I was struck by Henri Matisse's own observations on this dichotomy: "I’ve always sought that the earthly nourishment of my art may reveal His manifest glory to those who are blind to it."