My fall session of lessons doesn’t start until the week of September 13th. I thought I’d share a bit about my studio, and show you some pictures of how I’m getting ready!
Parents are welcomed and encouraged to come in and wait while their child is having lessons. I’ve got seating available, right inside my front door!
This is my piano, the instrument I teach from. It was my grandmother’s piano, which my grandparents bought new in 1961. They gave it to me when I was in 4th grade. It’s been in my personal “adult” possession since 2006.
The cabinet on the right also was my grandmother’s! It’s right around 100 years old. It got very full of music, so I got the smaller cabinet to hold books that I’m using specifically for lessons.
If you’re taking online lessons, this is what it looks like on my end! I actually bought the keyboard in January of 2020, to use in composing and arranging music, but it came in VERY handy for online lessons! 🙂
I teach out of my home, and the space (the formal dining room of the house) was one of the things that really drew us to purchasing the house. If you’re interested in learning from me, either in person or online, fill out the I’m Interested form and I’ll be in touch!
We all from time to time have gotten those butterflies in our stomach before having to speak in front of a group, or play music, or whatever the case is. That’s not the worst feeling to have. It says that we care, we want to do our best, and our body is reacting.
As I tell students regularly, I have NEVER seen anyone stand up in the middle of a performance and yell out “You made a mistake!!” Or, come up to the performer or group after the fact (unless it’s their job as a judge) to point out every flaw in the performance. It just doesn’t happen.
Last Sunday, I had the opportunity to play the organ in the largest physical sanctuary I had ever played in. Now, I’ve been playing the organ for almost 28 years, and I’ve played in a lot of churches, and on a lot of different organs. I’ve gotten past those nerves and butterflies….until they showed up this past Sunday! Why? Well, it was because the organist that I was filling in for is excellent, and those are big shoes to fill, along with it being such a physically large space. I made PLENTY of mistakes. But, I had so many people throughout the week not only thank me for playing, they told me that I did an excellent job. So much so, they did not realize that their organist was gone. Wow!
That’s the thing with performing and being in front of people. Whether it’s music or not, we will more than likely have times where we are having to present in front of some form of group. And it’s one of the great things that you get out of learning and making music. You will at some point be performing for a group of people. And making music is such a personal and connective thing, it helps to prepare you for those times down the road when you’re making a presentation for work, or wherever you are.
So yes, performing can be scary. There’s no doubt about it. But, the more you do it, the more comfortable you will become. Try it. Again and again. It will help!
Have you ever heard yourself saying, “It’s too hard” over something and then, when you actually do it…..it’s not that bad? Well, Craig talks about that in this episode of the Harmanny Music Education podcast.
If you go back to last July (or even farther), it’s been an amazing year and run for Lin-Manuel Miranda. Last July, the video of Hamilton was released on Disney Plus and when you have a daughter who is a self-professed musical theater nerd, it’s going to be pretty much CONSTANTLY on.
This July, In the Heights, another creation by Lin-Manuel was released. Again, this was a production that he created years ago, it won a number of awards on Broadway (deservedly so!) and the movie adaptation of the show was fantastic! Once again, the movie and the soundtrack was on constant rotation at our house.
And then, last Friday, August 6th, the movie Vivo was released on Netflix. If you haven’t watched it, go do it! I wasn’t familiar with much of anything relating to the movie, other than Lin-Manuel did the music, and I was blown away. It was an excellently written movie, with an engaging story, and of course, as it seems any time Lin-Manuel is involved, excellent music. The song “Beat of My Own Drum” has been a staple at my house this week, as my younger daughter has taken to that song as HER anthem.
It is clearly evident that Lin-Manuel Miranda is extremely talented. Take a listen to the music he’s created for In the Heights, Hamilton, Moana, Mary Poppins Returns and Vivo, and you’ll hear it. Of course, with that talent takes work. Also, it’s extremely easy to see that he is regularly hard at work as what he has been creating and continues to create takes up time, energy and effort. But, when you fall in love with music, and making music, as Lin-Manuel has, the work isn’t hard. It’s fun.
Challenging yourself is HARD. But, when you push past those times you may want to quit and continue to make slow and steady progress, you will look back and find that it wasn’t as bad as you thought it was. That progress may feel small as you’re going, but keep moving forward!
Taking lessons can be fun. Making music can (and should be) fun. But practicing? That’s not always fun. Practicing is WORK. There’s no getting around it. You can get by on natural ability for so long and it will take you so far without putting in work. The work will help you improve as a musician. The work will help stretch and grow you to be able to try new things and pick up harder and harder challenges a little bit easier.
Performing is something that we do in music that translates to life outside of music. Find out more on today’s episode. Find out more about Harmanny Music Education at http://www.harmannymusiceducation.com
The Four Seasons, by Vivaldi, are exquisitely written and the Spring theme is one of the more famous melodies out there. But why did Vivaldi write it?
The Four Seasons is a concerto, one of over 500 written by Vivaldi, who was born in 1678 and died in 1741. The thing about this concerto, though, was that it was radically different than all of the other concertos written at this time. What was different about it? It was themed. Up until this point, concertos were just….concertos. Typically labelled by what key they were in, each movement was typically titled by the tempo, or speed of the piece.
But Vivaldi radically changed the musical landscape around him in writing The Four Seasons. You see, he encouraged the players as well as the audience to use their imaginations. If you’re listening to music, do you typically associate it with a season? Probably not. But, if you listen to the Spring movement, and you’re thinking about all of the things that happen in springtime, it doesn’t take much work to imagine the music being the background for it.
We can definitely thank Vivaldi for many masterworks of music that are in the world today. Personally, one of my all time favorite choral works is his “Gloria”.
Check out Gloria, The Four Seasons and many other compositions by Vivaldi. You may find a new favorite classical composer!
This week’s podcast is titled “Get Out of Your Comfort Zone“! In it, I talked about how if we get out of our comfort zone and push ourselves to try or listen to something new, we may find something that we didn’t know that we would like! Go take a listen!