Last week was another great week as I drove from house to house to give lessons. After one lesson, as I was walking down the driveway towards my car, I hear clip clop sounds. I look up and here comes a horse.
With no rider. Anywhere.
I walked up to him and he was just about the most friendly horse I have ever met. I looked around for the girl who I knew he must belong to.
A few seconds later, she comes running. Out of breath. She had turned her head for one minute and off he went! I was so glad I was there to ‘catch’ him. Actually, he knew just where he was going and had no intention of running away or getting lost.
But I still felt important for just a minute, pretending that I saved the day!
A few days later, I was greeted at the door by my 8 year old student holding (just barely) her 8 week old labrador puppy!
After some kisses and licks and the obligatory check for ‘puppy breath’ (the scent of angels!), she put her puppy down and we went in the room to begin our piano lesson. It was hard to not just get down on the floor and play with the sweet puppy, but I wasn’t there for that. At least, not this time!
These are just more reasons why I love going to students’ homes:
Disclaimer: These are not actual photos of the actual animals described above, but they look just like them!!
When I’m not giving lessons in other peoples’ homes, I am giving lessons in my home studio.
Since I have such a huge age range of students, 4 – 75, I thought that this picture I snapped in my music room was a good
representation of this!
Next I should get a picture of my students all lined up! Hey that’s a great idea. I can do that next month at the recital!!
Until then, happy playing!!
It’s that time of year. At least it’s the time of year when I feel ready to put on a show and let my students do their thing!!
This year’s theme is “SUMMERTIME FUN”. I like to offer a theme idea for my recitals. It makes it different and more fun for everyone.
Everyone is already thinking about summer and what fun things they will be doing, so I figured why not turn it into a musical celebration that will showcase my students and all the hard work they’ve put in this past year.
I would love to invite everyone but seating is limited at the venue. I promise to post pictures and more after it’s all over!
WHEN: JUNE 5TH 2016
TIME: 3:00 P.M.
WHERE: VIA VEGA WINERY
2378 Adobe Road, Paso Robles, CA 93446
DRESS: SUMMER VACATION STYLE
Presented by JamieLewisMusic
Special thanks to April and Larry Gomez
I have been wanting to write a new blog for weeks but had so many ideas that I ended up not writing anything!
So, instead, I decided to combine the ideas and just put a lot of this and that in my blog and see how it goes.
First, I want to start keeping a list of funny things that are said right in the middle of lessons. They might not sound so funny out of context, but I promise you that at the time they were said, I could not stop laughing.
My most advanced piano student was playing a very difficult song. Without missing a beat, she quietly announces “Oh, I got my learner’s permit”. She did not stop playing even though I was laughing so hard.
One of my younger piano students stops in the middle of learning a new song and asks “Hey did you see our new vacuum cleaner thingy?”.
These kids are amazing. I don’t know how they keep track of everything at the same time. I am constantly entertained.
Here’s a link to a very interesting article that my sister sent me about piano lessons on line. She played piano when I was growing up and is thinking about starting again. She lives in Ohio so unfortunately, I can’t help her out.
It covers a lot of information and reviews the different e courses that are available. Some sound interesting and doable, some sound just plain awful.
But the bottom line was a relief, but not a surprise. Nothing can replace a real live piano teacher! Whew! My job is safe. For now.
Learning to play piano
Lastly, I saw this adorable cartoon that I just had to share. I am always looking for cute music related cartoons, especially ones with animals, and especially ones with animals playing instruments! What do you think this guy is playing?
For those of you who are not quite sure who this gentleman is and why I am so excited that I got to actually meet him, suffice it to say that he is probably the best and most famous violinist of today!
I was lucky enough to be able to see, hear and meet him last month when he performed at the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. He not only performed three magnificent pieces with the Los Angeles Philharmonic symphony, he also conducted.
The symphony performed the Sonata in G Major K.261 by Mozart. I was not familiar with this piece and it was wonderful to hear it performed live by the best violinist around. They also performed a sweet little Rondo in C major K373.
Mozart was the star composer of the day when they also performed his Symphony No.27 in G major K199 which consisted of the three perfect movements. Lovely piece of music and thoroughly enjoyable and very familiar.
After a short intermission, we were treated with a bigger orchestra (timpani, tubas, trombones, trumpets,more double basses than I’ve ever seen on one stage, cellos galore) which was necessary to perform Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op.64.
This was without doubt one of the most dramatic and intense pieces of music I have heard performed live. The low notes reached by the double basses were so low that you almost only felt them instead of hearing them! My eyes were opened extremely wide listening to this.
After the performance I went back stage to the ‘green room’ with my friends who had come on this journey with me. After searching through quiet hallways, we finally found Mr. Perlman. He was in the middle of an interview with a young boy. The film crew was standing all around and it was all very professional. When the interview was over, my friend Diane (the one who got us back stage because her mother works for Mr. Perlman) went up to him and introduced herself. He was thrilled to meet her and had been expecting her. We were all introduced and made small talk for a few minutes. I commented on the nice choice of color for the shirt he wore! He thought it was great that I approved! Imagine that! I talked to Itzhak Perlman.
If you’re interested in hearing a beautiful version of the Tchaikovsky piece, here is a link to listen to it: https://youtu.be/w2JBT0HC98I
The beautiful Disney Concert Hall
Happy New Year music lovers!
In this new year I plan on playing more! Of course, this means play more piano, play more guitar, sing more! And teach too. Plato had it right:
But it also means play more with ideas and ways to inspire and encourage the world using music. What better time to bring more music into your life than at the beginning of a new year where all things seem possible? All things ARE possible. At least, how will you know they aren’t if you don’t try!?
So, this year I vow to try new things to make music even more fun than it already is. I want to bring music into everyone’s everyday life in such a way that they will smile and feel inspired to try something new.
I know that my students bring me so many smiles every day whether they are singing or playing or writing a new song. They are trying and they are having fun. And so am I!
Here’s to a fun 2016 and more play and music in all of your lives!!
The past couple of months have brought me many moments of pride and joy. Here are just a few of the things that I am so grateful for:
I was able to enjoy two of my younger students performing in leading roles in Peter Pan at their school. One was Peter Pan, the other was Captain Hook. Both did an amazing and professional job. They are brother and sister too, so you might be able to imagine how proud those parents were!
This past weekend I also heard my most enthusiastic piano student get to perform for the first time with the High School Jazz Band. She was not only the youngest performer in the band (Freshman), she was also one of the only piano players the band has had in years. She did an absolutely fantastic job and it was so rewarding watching her play. I did have to tell her to turn up, though! I appointed myself official sound woman. There was no way I was going to allow her to play so beautifully and not be heard!
A few weeks ago, my lovely senior (75 years young) piano and guitar student shared with me that she was planning on performing at the Alzheimer’s Home for those residents who don’t get much exposure to the world anymore. She has blossomed so much in the 2 1/2 years that I have been working with her and has reached her goal of sharing her music with others. That’s what she said she wanted to do when I first met her. She has been a very hard worker! I am so proud of her.
As the holiday season gets in full bloom, I am looking forward to hearing my students playing all their favorite holiday songs. It’s especially fun hearing the super young beginners play “Jingle Bells” or “Deck the Halls” for the very first time ever! The look on their faces is priceless.
Then, we have the seasoned “professionals”. They’ve been taking lessons with me for at least 7 years. Each year, their performances are more and more advanced and the music is more beautiful than the time they played those songs the year(s) before.
There is always so much to be grateful for and so much to look forward to thanks to my wonderful students. I want to say a big I Love You to all of them.
It might feel as if we are just doing the same thing, year after year. And if we are, no one is really going to be learning much or having much fun doing it. That has to change!
As we start a new school year, I find it’s important to come up with new ideas for myself – as well as my students.
Where can inspiration come from? It can come from anywhere, anyone and at anytime!
Today when I was catching up with Facebook postings, a video caught my eye that spoke to me in my language. Music and dogs. Put ’em together and I’m a happy girl!
I have students of all ages. My youngest is 4 and my oldest is 75. It’s just naturally easier for some than others, but if the desire is there, anything is possible.
Hey. If this pup can do it, so can you!!
I am imagining that maybe one day I will get lucky and have a student just like this:
I ran across this great article on how important it is to expose children (or anyone for that matter) to music. If you learn early in life to play a musical instrument, you will have better reading and math skills, among others. Just listening to music improves cognitive functions.
Music Neuroscience is relatively a new science (2000), but they are discovering all sorts of interesting and important things about music and what we all already knew: Music Rocks!!
Here’s the link to the article:
When you dream, do you dream in color? Do you dream with the sound on or off? Do you notice or think about whether or not there is sound?
When you dream, do you ever have a full soundtrack playing in the background?
Is it a soundtrack to a love story? Or maybe a fairy tale? Hopefully it’s not a soundtrack to a horror movie!!!
I know people who do dream with sound and music playing. I am one of them. More than once I have dreamed new songs. I haven’t figured out a way to record directly from my dreams. Yet.
But I am doing my best to remember what I can from them and tranpose them into music everyone, not just the dreamer, can hear.
Staying awake now. Stay tuned.