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TakeLessons Community Shout Outs – Week of 11/17/14

Each week, TakeLessons students and teachers send us their shout outs. We’re thankful to be a part of this positive and thriving community, so we’d like to share these messages with you. Here is a shout out we received this week:

Diane G. in Gaithersburg, MD, wrote, “ I wanted you to know that three my students performed at the Love Ball which was to raise money for humane societies and rescues. Arianna and Estrella performed on the violin and Arianna even performed a beautiful solo. Lisa performed on the piano. It was such a wonderful cause and these students added beauty and dignity to it. I am so proud of them.” Well done, Arianna, Estrella, and Lisa! Thank you for using your talents to help others.

Share your good news with the TakeLessons community by sending an email with your shout out to GoodNews@TakeLessons.com. Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Google+ to keep the conversation going!

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sara c

Inside the Mind of a Young Songwriter | TakeLessons Student Spotlight

sara c

Recently, some TakeLessons students performed at the San Diego Kids Expo, and I had the pleasure of meeting a very talented young lady, Sara C. who takes music lessons with Kristen B. In addition to singing, playing the guitar, and playing piano, Sara is also a budding songwriter. Did I mention she’s only 14?

I was lucky enough to get the chance to ask Sara a few questions about what music means to her, the songwriting tips she’s learned along the way, and how her music lessons have helped her to make music and start sharing it with the world.

Have you always loved music? Who or what inspired you to start taking music lessons?

Sara: I’ve always loved singing. When I was young I would sing “Part of Your World” from The Little Mermaid over and over until my entire family got sick of it, but to me it was really fun. At a young age I wanted to take violin lessons, but then changed my mind and started learning to play the piano. I took piano lessons for seven years and, I’m not going to lie, I hated it. However, not long after I asked my parents if I could start voice lessons because I knew that it wasn’t music that I hated, I just didn’t appreciate classical piano music at the time. However, now I do have an appreciation for classical piano music. I love going to my vocal lessons to learn about and play music. Music is a big part of my life.

You also write your own songs. How did you get started as a songwriter?

Sara: As a really little kid I remember going to the grocery store with my mom and while I sat in the shopping cart I would sing little melodies to her that I had made up. Then when I was about seven years old, I wrote this song called “All the Wonders”. The lyrics made absolutely no sense, but that was the first complete song I ever wrote. Of course at the time I had no idea how to write a piano accompaniment or play the guitar so it was just a vocal part. I’ve written many more songs since then, accompanied with the piano or guitar, and I’d certainly like to think I’ve improved. I’ve also written a couple of piano pieces.

You have a lot of confidence as a performer. What goes through your head when you’re on stage?

Sara: When I’m performing in front of people I get really into it — the atmosphere and the song that I’m playing. If I’m performing an original song I get really excited that I’m letting the world hear something that I created. I concentrate on the way that I sound in the speakers with the music flowing through my brain and the feeling that the song gives me and anyone listening. I get nervous sometimes, but I’ve been told by countless music teachers that if you make a mistake and act like nothing happened, most of the time nobody will notice. In addition to all of this, usually what is going on in my head is, “Wow this is so cool, real people are listening to me.” I love the feeling.

What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned in the course of your music lessons so far?

Sara: In my experiences with music lessons, I’ve learned that you have to know what you want to get anything done. You also need to love what you’re doing. You can’t really walk into a piano lesson and play a bunch of music that you hate because then you aren’t ever really trying. It’s similar with voice lessons. If you want to focus your one hour a week with this person on a specific technique or song, you need to tell them. Otherwise, you’re not doing anything productive for yourself. If you want your teacher to teach you how to make harmonies, how to write music, or how to create accompaniment you’ve got to let them know. If you don’t, they’ll still teach you really great stuff to know how to do, but if you aren’t interested in it, it won’t make any difference for you.

What advice or songwriting tips would you give to other young people who want to make music?

Sara: If you want to make music and you’re really serious about it, don’t let anything stop you from doing that. I’ve had so many instances when I’ve let myself believe that I wasn’t good enough to do anything musical. My dream has always been to create a real studio album and perform it in front of people who love all of the songs on that album. I’ve started to try this so many times, but then gotten distracted by other things in my life. That’s perfectly normal of course, trying to discover what you like to do, but you can’t let these things distract you from what you love to do. If deep down you know you love music more than any other hobbies, you need to let yourself follow that path. I’ve written the first verse of a million songs but then gave up because I hated the melody or the lyrics and this is what brought me down, forcing me to not want to write any more. And then I would become motivated again, and sometimes I would write a really great song that I was proud of. Those are the moments that you need to keep in mind when you feel defeated. Not every song you write is going to be great, and at first you are not going to be perfect at playing the guitar, or piano, or trumpet, or whatever it is you want to learn how to play. You can’t let this bring you down. There will probably always be someone who is better than you, but it would be crazy to think that is a reason to stop playing. If it makes you happy, do it.

If you are a TakeLessons student or teacher and you would like to share your story with our community, send an email to GoodNews@TakeLessons.com!

 

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TL shouts 5-27

TakeLessons Community Shout Outs – Week of 11/10/14

Each week, TakeLessons students and teachers send us their shout outs. We’re thankful to be a part of this positive and thriving community, so we’d like to share these messages with you. Here are the shout outs we received this week:

Arlys A. in Minneapolis, MN, wrote, “I’d like to give a shout out to my student, Molly D. who just completed a very successful run of the Cole Porter musical, Anything Goes, at her high school. Molly not only won the role of Bonnie, but was also a co-student director! The show ran Oct 30th thru Nov 1st with an amazing cast and Molly didn’t miss a beat the night I came out see her, staying in character every second she was on-stage. She’s a true pro. WAY TO GO, MOLLY D!” Bravo, Molly!

Molly R. in Hayward, CA, wrote, “My student Tatiana is in the chorus of her school’s production of the musical “In the Heights”! She’s been working so hard the past few months in rehearsals, and is super excited it’s performance time!” Break a leg, Tatiana!

Xiaole L. in Irvine, CA, wrote, “Two beginner students gave their debut performance in the Masquerade Halloween recital. Julia G., 3 years and 10 months old, sang and played “Zoom, Witches Bloom” in an excellent rendition. (She joined Joie Studio on Sept.19 and had one-month lessons). In a spooky headdress in Halloween spirit, Yutong L., 6 years old, played “Enchanted Geyser Basin” composed by Xiaole L. While learning this piece, Yutong loves to play the piano and practices eagerly.” Way to go Julia and Yutong on the excellent debut performances!

Share your good news with the TakeLessons community by sending an email with your shout out to GoodNews@TakeLessons.com. Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Google+ to keep the conversation going!

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TL shouts 5-27

TakeLessons Community Shout Outs – Week of 11/3/14

Each week, TakeLessons students and teachers send us their shout outs. We’re thankful to be a part of this positive and thriving community, so we’d like to share these messages with you. Here is the shout out we received this week:

Mary R. in Milwaukee, WI, wrote, “My student, Luca M. has been struggling to focus while practicing for a few months. He plays his instrument, just not the material I assign. This week he came to his lesson fully prepared. He was in good spirits as he knew he was ready. We got through 4 pages in his books AND he remembered to bring the materials he kept forgetting. He’s a very smart guy and I’m so pleased he found a way to apply himself :)” Way to go Luca! Keep up the good work!

Share your good news with the TakeLessons community by sending an email with your shout out to GoodNews@TakeLessons.com. Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Google+ to keep the conversation going!

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TL shouts 5-27

TakeLessons Community Shout Outs – Week of 10/27/14

Each week, TakeLessons students and teachers send us their shout outs. We’re thankful to be a part of this positive and thriving community, so we’d like to share these messages with you. Here is the shout out we received this week:

Glenice B. in San Diego wrote in to share her experience with Spanish tutor Sarah B. Glenice wrote, “I’d love to brag about our new Spanish teacher, Sarah B. My 10 year old daughter had her first lesson with her on Monday. She really knows her Spanish and more importantly, she knows how to work with children. She was kind, patient, encouraging and helpful. We will continue to purchase lessons as long as she’s a teacher. My daughter and I are thrilled to find such a qualified instructor. Thank you Sarah for making a difference in Rena’s life!” Muchas gracias, Sarah, and thank you Glenice for sharing!!

Share your good news with the TakeLessons community by sending an email with your shout out to GoodNews@TakeLessons.com. Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Google+ to keep the conversation going!

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TL shouts 5-27

TakeLessons Community Shout Outs – Week of 10/20/14

Each week, TakeLessons students and teachers send us their shout outs. We’re thankful to be a part of this positive and thriving community, so we’d like to share these messages with you. Here are the shout outs we received this week:

Jill H. in Winter Springs, FL, wrote, “My student, Nicholas A. has steadily become an outstanding singer. He has successfully learned some of the important techniques for singing well. His range has improved over the past few months as he has put into practice the elements of good singing, especially breath support. He is to be commended on his hard work and I am proud of his accomplishments. I look forward to seeing his progress sky rocket as he becomes more comfortable with his voice and continues to perfect his skills. He is a great guitarist and he has also worked on his piano skills. Students like Nicholas make teaching fun. Way to go Nicholas!!” Keep up the great work, Nicholas!!

Elizabeth C. in Brick, NJ, wrote, “My piano student Molly W. has been a dedicated learner. She works hard practicing her songs and techniques. In August of this year she began to even learn how to record her songs and we were looking forward to her debut performance in a neighborhood talent show. A few days before the show she broke her finger. Her parents and I were so disappointed that she would not be able to perform because she had worked so hard. However, the next day she came to the studio and told me that she still wanted to play with the fingers that she had left! I love having a student so excited and committed to learning. Her hand is almost healed and we will be resuming lessons very soon. I can’t wait to start working on next year’s performance with her!” Great attitude Molly, and amazing dedication! We look forward to hearing even more great things from you!

Share your good news with the TakeLessons community by sending an email with your shout out to GoodNews@TakeLessons.com. Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Google+ to keep the conversation going!

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TL shouts 5-27

TakeLessons Community Shout Outs – Week of 10/13/14

Each week, TakeLessons students and teachers send us their shout outs. We’re thankful to be a part of this positive and thriving community, so we’d like to share these messages with you. Here are the shout outs we received this week:

Carl S. in Brookings, SD, wrote, “My fourth grade saxophone student, Brendan, is making amazing progress! He has only had three lessons with me, but he is already doing wonderful things. In our first 45 minute lesson, he was able to play a two-octave C major scale! Now we are paying attention to the little details such as consistant articulation, finger transition, embouchure details, etc. It is so nice to work with somebody like Brendan who doesn’t get frustrated when things don’t go perfectly and just keeps working hard. I have to send an extra special shout out to Brendan’s father, who is among the most dedicated parents I’ve met. Tom, who use to be in college band as a brass player, sits next to Brendan during every lesson and learns along with him. During each lesson, I can sense the excitement every time Brendan progresses and learns new concepts. I’m very pleased to be working with a family that seems to get what it’s all about!” Go Brendan!

Share your good news with the TakeLessons community by sending an email with your shout out to GoodNews@TakeLessons.com. Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Google+ to keep the conversation going!

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TL shouts 5-27

TakeLessons Community Shout Outs – Week of 10/6/14

Each week, TakeLessons students and teachers send us their shout outs. We’re thankful to be a part of this positive and thriving community, so we’d like to share these messages with you. Here are the shout outs we received this week:

Erik H. in Cardiff, CA, shared his son’s progress after just three drum lessons with Matt G. Look at him go!

Erik wrote, “After only 3 lessons and some practice, I am already able to jam along on my guitar with my son to some old rock n roll tunes. He’s no Neil Pert yet, but a 6-year old playing like this after 3 lessons is great! (see video). Thanks Matt!” Rock on little dude!

Anna T. in Lawrenceville, GA, wrote, “I am so proud of my voice student Emma S. for completing her first recital! She had a 10 song lineup and sounded great. Foreign language to musical theater and her family was so impressed. She has worked very hard for this and it has definitely paid off. Such a talented girl!” Go Emma! Keep up the good work!

Joann W. in San Antonio, TX wrote in to tell us about her singing lessons with Whitney V. Joann wrote, “Whitney is a fantastic teacher. Even with my clear unpreparedness she still manages to make sure I have a great learning experience. She is super.” Thanks for all that you do, Whitney!

Share your good news with the TakeLessons community by sending an email with your shout out to GoodNews@TakeLessons.com. Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Google+ to keep the conversation going!

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TL shouts 5-27

TakeLessons Community Shout Outs – Week of 9/29/14

Each week, TakeLessons students and teachers send us their shout outs. We’re thankful to be a part of this positive and thriving community, so we’d like to share these messages with you. Here are the shout outs we received this week:

Good News - Stella, Emile and HeidiHeidi S. in Fort Worth, TX shared a story with us about meeting some very special students. Heidi wrote, “My students Emile and Stella are French but they live in Africa. I have been teaching their flute lessons via Skype from the US to Africa! So cool. But what else was fun is that they have relatives that live close to me (thus the reason they chose me as their teacher) and they visited this summer. I got to meet them in person and have lessons in person which was sooo much fun. They are back in Africa now and will end up back in France.” Thanks for sending in your story, Heidi! It’s amazing to see how music brings people together all over the world!

Layla M. in Reston, VA, wrote, “I am so proud of my violin student Kimi for landing 2nd chair in her orchestra seating test! Dedicated to her instrument, she demonstrates that hard work and efficient practice lead to great intonation, rhythm and tone!” Way to go, Kimi!!

John P. in Frisco, TX, wrote, “Yesterday my Acting student LP, made some huge leaps forward in her work. One of the exercises is called Knock at the Door. The purpose (in a nutshell) is to teach the concept of motivation and how it is the Actors responsibility to ALWAYS have a motivation for everything she does, certainly for beginning a scene or entering a room. In the Technique, the student only has to prepare a reason, that is clear and real to her which will (hopefully) propel her to behave a certain way and do specific things because she needs something. LP not only embraced the exercise but also showed incredible emotional flexibility that allowed her to ‘discover’ new things and be surprised ( some people take years to learn how to just be surprised on stage) and keep fighting for her needs in a truthful and beautifully organic way. When I asked her to change the motivation for the second round, she showed even greater fluidity in her faith in ‘the moment’ and ability to let herself be truly present ‘in the moment’.the ‘scene’ was interesting and engaging in a way that only comes from commitment and faith. It is such a thrill to see this especially early in the work. Because it shows an instinct that actors must possess to continue to grow and express themselves fully.” Keep up the good work, LP! You’re well on your way to great things!

Andrew Y. in Wichita, KS, wrote, “Want to give a shout out to Micah, Avery & another student who has been looking ahead in their brand new Piano Adventures Book level B. Each time I show up, they have taught themselves new concepts & songs we haven’t got to. So proud of their hard work. Excellent job. Plus another student has graduated from her first piano book this week. The student has been working so hard to get to the end. I’m so proud of the accomplishments. The student really likes the new book. Keep going. You’re doing great!”

Emily B. in Saint Paul, MN, wrote, “A big shout out to my student Austin who just booked his first role in a film! All your hard work is certainly paying off and they are lucky to have you!” Break a leg, Austin!

Share your good news with the TakeLessons community by sending an email with your shout out to GoodNews@TakeLessons.com. Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Google+ to keep the conversation going!

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TL shouts 5-27

TakeLessons Community Shout Outs – Week of 9/22/14

Each week, TakeLessons students and teachers send us their shout outs. We’re thankful to be a part of this positive and thriving community, so we’d like to share these messages with you. Here are the shout outs we received this week:

Emily B. in Saint Paul, MN, wrote, “Congratulations to my acting student, Rachel, who just scored a lead role in her school’s production of Joseph and the Amazing Dream Coat. She’s going to be great!”

Shannon K. in Boulder, CO, wrote, “This week I had two amazing lessons with a set of identical twin brothers! River and Miles both made a huge amount of progress between lessons and really gave it their best this week. River conquered the C chord this week and learned to relax his arms and shoulders while Miles really focused hard on learning to coordinate the right hand and left hand between measures to make the music “flow”. Keep up the great work and Bravo!”

Helen Q. in Lilburn, GA, wrote, “I must send a shout out to my student Michelle. She is as cute as a button at age 5 but boy has she caught on in just less than a year of lessons. We are already on Book One of Piano Adventures. She gets it and she practices too. Another shout out to great parents. They see to it she practices and stays on top of her theory work. Great job to the whole family!”

Arlys A. in Minneapolis, MN, wrote, “Congratulations and best of luck to Diwan S. as he heads out for his American Idol call back on Monday, September 22nd! Congratulations to Molly D. who worked very hard and landed the role of Bonnie in “Anything Goes”. Molly wrote, ‘…what really set me a part from all the other girls singing for Bonnie was my character voice. The way I sang ‘Heaven Hop’ was exactly what my director had in mind. I would not have been able to acquire this role without your guidance!’”

Share your good news with the TakeLessons community by sending an email with your shout out to GoodNews@TakeLessons.com. Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Google+ to keep the conversation going!

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