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Score Documentary

Last week I came across a documentary about the life of movie composers, as they explain the process of composing music for major movies. I was so mesmerized by the Doc, that I had to take a moment to share what I learned. I don't want to spoil anything, yet I'll give you some glimpses that caught my attention. The film shares about various composers, including Hans Zimmer, John Willams, Danny Elfman, Quincy Jones, Randy Newman and so many others that I've never heard of, yet want to learn who they are. Each composer explains the process of how they make the music for the films. Most of them use live orchestral musicians, yet others us whatever instruments they have and create a symphony wit

Acting Games

This week I shared on the acting/theater part of our website some of my favorite acting games. Thought I would take a moment to share how some of them work. One of the games is the Question Game, where people ask questions instead of answering the questions. A topic is decided and the group can only ask questions. For example, the topic might be going to the store to get bacon. One person might say: Where is the bacon? Another person might say: Why are you looking for bacon? What is this bacon made out of? How long has this bacon been here? The game is so much fun with tons of laughs based on the topics suggested. The zoo animal game is an improv where 2 different animal cards are picked an

Happy Birthday To You

One of the many songs I've tried to teach piano students is Happy Birthday, since they know people who have a birthday. Who wouldn't love to hear someone play and sing the song on their special day. What a blessing to have that type of special gift given on their day to celebrate their life. I recently came across an arrangement by William Gillock, through Willis Publishing, taking the basic melody and creating gorgeous arpeggios and various chords. The song is written in the key of F, however Gillock utilizes various chords that are not part of the key. I must be unusual, yet I really like when composers add chords that are not part of the key signature to get your attention. In fact Willis

Beware the Jabberwock

Recently I became a bit obsessed with the story of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Ok passionate, to the point that I read a Who Was Lewis Carroll kids book and even read the first book. What a crazy ride. Perhaps I'll share more of the ideas soon. Yet I wanted to share with you a recent book I came across at our local music store. Jason Sifford, a jazz pianists, teacher and composer for Willis Music and FJH Composing, created original songs based on the book, for an intermediate piano student. And may I say that the original music he created is fantastic. The songs are filled with diverse styles of music that will get anyone attention. The sounds are amazing and the line up is incredible.

Summer Games

I'm a bit giddy as we prepare for the summer studio games, where students have a chance to play with water balloons, water squirters and sidewalk chalk. There are so many great options from smashing water balloons to staff, piano keys and rhythm created with sidewalk chalk. We have the students write out major and minor chords with sidewalk chalks in a race. When we know we're going to play water balloon softball, where we will get soaked, we wear swimsuits and I ask a music question and throw the water balloon at the bat. The results are a "smash". Summer water game options are tons of fun. Sometimes we do summer olympic water games that the students love, plus they are learning. Win-Win. Y

Patriotic Music

One of my many favorite holidays is July 4th, how we celebrate the freedoms we have. The older that I get, the more I appreciate the time to celebrate. This year is no different, as the studio has been learning how to play and sing famous Patriotic Music. I'm really excited to hear what the students will experience this month as we prepare for a time to celebrate. The voice students are learning how to sing the National Anthem and other famous songs. The piano students are learning music that might have a fun duet. Plus some of them are composing with sheets from susanparadis.com and eartrainingandimprove.com. The examples are pre staff, treble celf and Grand Staff. The students are really e

Welcoming Local Students Back

Today is a big day for the studio. We are opening our doors for our local students to return to lessons at the studio. We will be taking our precautions, including hand sanitizer and wiping everything down during and after the lessons. I'm excited and praying the transition goes well. We'll take it slow, knowing everything is working out for good. Thanks for your support. Blessings.

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