Connecticut Shoreline Studio for Music Lessons
in Voice, Piano, Guitar & the Fundamentals of Music

All Skill Levels Welcome, Ages 4 -104

Connecticut Shoreline Studio for Music Lessons
in Voice, Piano, Guitar & the Fundamentals of Music

CML Handbook for Beginning Students

Let’s Get All Students Off to a Good Start!

At Crescendo Music Loft, we use A LOT of technology! And we think it’s so important to have access to this technology that we have employed staff (a.k.a. The Goddess of Gigabytes: Melissa Greenberg) for the sole purpose of helping you get organized and educated in using it.

First, Get Acquainted with My Music Staff

Take me to the video tutorial.

My Music Staff Login Complete

My Music Staff is the music teaching software that manages our schedules, student accounts, billing and online resources. This is where you go to:

  • update your contact information
  • view your teacher’s schedule and book lessons
  • find studio schedules and news
  • enter your birthday
  • access your personal music files
  • access accompaniment tracks

Once you are added as a student, you will receive an email with a link to create a password and finalize your My Music Staff account.  

Next, Let’s Set Up Your Device

Ideally, each student will have a home screen on a computer, iPad, tablet or even a smart phone that is devoted to music apps. As soon as a student can’t find one of these apps, practice times can get shut down. 

We are so dedicated to getting everyone up and running, we would even go so far as to see if we could secure a device for any student who doesn’t have access to one.

For inspiration, check out Sandy’s iPad homescreen:home screen inspiration


Apps You Need

Bare Minimum Apps Needed For All Students

My Music Staff

My Music StaffMy Music Staff does not have currently have an app, however you should save the link to your Home Screen for quick, easy access.  With Apple devices, open the website, click the share icon and select the option Add to Home Screen. You may need to scroll down to find this option.  You can edit the name as it will appear but take care not to change the URL. 


The Pro Metronome app will quickly become a reliable friend to any music student. Ted Ervin, our resident Factotum at The Music Loft, wrote a meticulous Blog Post on the ins-and-outs of this invaluable app. 


You Tube Icon

YouTube is where videos of Crescendo Music Loft students will be posted (in either a private or public format), and also where you will find instructional videos from Sandy and playlists to supplement the curriculum.  It is helpful to have a login for YouTube so you can subscribe to the Crescendo Music Loft channel. Check out how to adjust the speed for practice purposes here.


Tenuto Icon


 Play music theory games and gain skill in reading and listening necessary to advance through Crescendo Music System. Desktop version is free, and you can either pay $4 for it to look beautiful through the app, or you can click “web version” every time and use it for free.


BPM Tap Icon

BPM Tap will count any tempo in beats per minute. Sandy talks about BPM here.

Getting oriented with pitches is almost impossible without an external source. Since our curriculum is centered around learning how to use the piano as a tool, having access to a keyboard is essential to quick progress. If you don’t have an actual keyboard or piano, then this website can help you in a pinch.

For Piano Students

PA Player

PA Player IconThe app PA Player is a user-friendly tool for any piano student using the Piano Adventures music books. For $4.99/level purchase the Interactive Accompaniments version which includes play-along tracks for the Lesson Book, the Performance Book and Technique & Artistry Book. It’s a no-brainer for the price.  Only certain students will need access to the PA Player app. Check with your teacher before purchasing. 

For Voice Students

Vocal Pitch Monitor

Vocal Pitch Monitor

Vocal Pitch Monitor is a straightforward, no frills app that displays the pitch it is receiving from the microphone it is connected to. You can record up to three minutes and save the recording to playback at a later date. In the settings menu you have the option to change the score and colors for easier viewing. 

Sight Reading Factory

Sight Reading Factory logo

Your teacher will tell you when it is time to download Sight Reading Factory.

Pop Up Piano

Pop Up Piano


Contact Info You Need

Kirsten Livingston

Kirsten Livingston

Contact Kirsten, our Maven of Marketing, Bookkeeping, & Scheduling for scheduling and payment info. Her office hours are 9:00 a.m. – noon Monday through Friday:

Melissa Greenberg

Melissa Greenberg

Contact Melissa, our Goddess of Gigabytes, for any lesson-related tech support you need. Her  hours are 9:30 a.m. – noon on Mondays:

Staff Sergeant John Hurley

John Hurley

Contact Staff Sergeant John Hurley for any questions about lesson assignments. He helps The High Priestess with lesson prep and knows our curriculum inside and out.

Sandy ConnollySandy Connolly

Sometimes you just need to talk to the High Priestess herself. Feel free to text her in the afternoons if you are having a problem getting to your lesson that day.


Websites You Need

Crescendo Music Loft

The Crescendo Music Loft site provides resources pertaining to the Loft space as well as the school. You will find rehearsal room information, music lesson details and class schedules, materials and links to curriculum, current events and the entertaining and informative Clef Notes blog.  

Crescendo Music System 

Crescendo Music System is home to all things related to voice and piano curriculum. You will find links to daily workout tracks and centering songs, online courses, and links to any materials that may be required for Rudiments and Music Theory. Put the url for this site on your device homescreen.  

Practice Station Set-Up

Establish a pleasant space in which the student can work daily with the following items:

  • Piano or keyboard (if at all possible)
  • Music stand
  • Metronome (if not using app)
  • Tablet or phone ready with all apps installed
  • Bluetooth speaker that works with device
  • Binder and other books
  • Sharpened pencils with good erasers

Posts to Read

Our Clef Notes Blog covers a variety of topics from singing tips and practice techniques to useful software and commentary on music. Here is a list of posts applicable to our newest students:

For Zoom Students

Check out these Clef Notes Blog posts for tips on making the most out of your Zoom lesson.

Tools For Guitar Students

  • Tuner
  • Guitar Picks
  • Capo
  • Guitar Strap (optional)

Studio Policies

Cancellation Policy

We require 24-hours notice of cancellation. If a student cancels with less than 24-hours notice, the student is responsible for lesson payment.

Snow Policy

We do not close for school snow days unless the roads are dangerous. Call or email if you aren’t sure.