Carol of the Handbell Choir

I so looked forward to playing handbells this Christmas eve but the weather kept me from attending worship and many services in my area were even canceled.  We had a "White Christmas" and then some with over six inches of snow the last time I checked.  So for this weeks video of the week I decided to share a handbell choir piece.  This version of the "Carol of the Bells" comes from the handbell choir of First Baptist Church Eastman, GA, directed by Clay Layfield.  Enjoy! 


Studio Update: 2009 Wrap-up

Well, Christmas Day has come and gone and now we have entered the fun in between time of the 12 days of Christmas and Epiphany.  The past couple weeks have been an interesting time for my family as we prepared for the Christmas holiday.  My husband and daughter passed around a flu bug that wasn't fun for anyone.  I am so thankful that neither I nor my 6 month old son caught the bug. (knock on wood.)  Kansas City received an insane amount of snow that halted pretty much everything in the area and made it so that my family couldn't attend Christmas eve services or church this past Sunday.  I had so looked forward to ringing handbells and singing with the choir so I was quite disappointed and the Children's Christmas program for the Sunday after didn't happen either.  I did get to enjoy Christmas eve unexpectedly from my computer with a live feed from the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection located in Leawood, Kansas.  I remembered at the last minute that they had started that ministry.  I really enjoyed worshiping that way since I had small children and couldn't get out because of the weather.  I would encourage anyone to check it out.

I have learned a lot this year and continued work on my goals for the Elliott Music Studio and can't wait to begin looking to 2010.  This year we embarked on our first try at a studio recital and just couldn't pull it off due to scheduling conflicts.  But we did get some great recordings that I hope to share soon on my website and here on my blog.  Plans are in the works for at least 2 studio recitals / performance opportunities for next year.  One in the spring and the other in late fall.  I like the idea of a Holiday Recital but I am not sure about the logistics.  We may make the Christmas Recital a virtual event that we put on YouTube for families to watch all through the season.  I also enjoyed collaborating on several studio pieces this year and look forward to more opportunities in the future.  The studio is still growing as we work towards are goal of 20 students in 2010.  So, don't forget to share us with your family and friends!  A more detailed list of my music goals for 2010 is forthcoming this week.

I wanted to share a couple of Christmas items I found that I thought you all might enjoy and had planned to share earlier but couldn't with all the hubbub.  The first one comes from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and it's entitled, "The Christmas Story Through Period Art".  I found it last year and have kept going back.  It is such a beautiful experience.  You won't regret the visit.  The second one is a fantastic video from Straight No Chaser and their rendition of the "12 Days of Christmas."  I believe it needs no more explanation.  Enjoy!


Quote of the Week "I heard the bells..."

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


A Caroling We Will Go - "Let is Snow & Sleigh Ride"

I had to change gears a little bit from my blues listening on thesixtyone.com to get into the spirit of the season to write this post. If this video doesn't help you get into the spirit of things I don't know what will. On my "A Caroling We Will Go" adventure I ran across the grand finale to Pellissippi State Music Department's Christmas Concert from 2008. Carolers appear one last time to perform two timeless Christmas holiday classics, "Let it Snow" and "Sleigh Ride." The Conductor is Bill Brewer, Associate Professor of Music. I love how they added that extra special touch by dressing like carolers. It truly adds a touch of whimsy. I am told that the awesome high kicks during "Sleigh Ride" come from Michael Stokes who belonged to the Concert Chorale and Variations vocal groups at PSTCC. He also teaches dance, go figure. Enjoy!


Quote of the Week "Sing hey! Sing hey!"

Sing hey! Sing hey!
For Christmas Day;
Twine mistletoe and holly.
For a friendship glows
In winter snows,
And so let's all be jolly!
~Author Unknown


What's on Your Musician's Christmas List?

I am terrible at remembering what I would like to have for gifts so several years ago I started keeping a run-on list on my Palm PDA. Any time I think of something that would make a great present for me or something that I know I would buy if I had the money right now I put it on the list. It really has come in handy and helps me to prioritize my spending, too.

So, what to get the budding musician in your life? I thought I would list here some of the things on my gift list as well as past gifts that were really helpful or just plain neat. If you are still stumped, you can always go the gift card route. I know that I appreciate gift cards a lot.

Emily's Music Wishlist

Performance music folder with hand strap - Makes solo singing a breeze

Music Stand - My studio desperately needs one

German-English, Italian-English & French-English dictionaries -
for all those vocal score translations

Piano Style Sustain Foot Pedal - I was thrilled to find out they made these. I can't wait to have my own.

De-Lovely Soundtrack CD - I am in love with this movie and the music of Cole Porter. A must have for my music collection.

Rhythm Heaven - For my Nintendo DS

Musicnotes.com Gift Certificate - This is such a great place to get sheet music. I love the fact that I can pay and print my music at the same time. I don't have to wait for it to be shipped to me.

Metronome - This handy tool is great for practice

Private Music Lessons Gift Certificate - Couldn't resist a shameless plug for the Elliott Music Studio

Concert Tickets

Musical Biographies & History of Music Books

Mixed CD's - Share some of your favorites

Tea Basket - For the singer in your life fill a basket with herbal teas and throat soothers. Add some honey and maybe a nice travel mug.

Composer Statues

Novelty Music Gifts - Check out this website for an awesome collect of music nick-nacks and the like.

I hope this list gets you started and helps you find the perfect gifts for the musicians in your life.
There are so many perfect gift ideas out there that I know I am bound to miss one. Don't forget to tell me what I missed in the comments. Merry Christmas!


A Caroling We Will Go - "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings"

"God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings" featuring Sarah McLachlan comes to us from the album "Barenaked For The Holidays" by the Barenaked Ladies. It is not the holidays until I listen to this song. I think it's pure genius and I will have it on repeat for the rest of the season. If you know where I can get the sheet music for this arrangement let me know. The other reasons why I love this CD is because it makes great party music and it includes songs for Hanukkah and New Year's. It's a must have. Enjoy!


A Caroling We Will Go - "Angels We Have Heard On High"

This year I have decided to try and enjoy the music of the season even more than usual. As a church musician it's hard to get in the spirit since I have had to practice all of these songs since October. But for my kids sake this year and for future years to come I am trying to enjoy these songs more and one way to do that is to widen my scope. I have been listening to many different styles and trying not to stick to just my favorites. Accuradio.com has been a help in this. Try the channel of unknown Christmas albums. I will warn you that some of these might scare you at first or take you completely off guard. They are not your usual Christmas carols.

I also took one of those funny pop knowledge quizes for Christmas Carols this week. I had to identify songs based on sound clips. It turns out I am at Elf level and scored 860 points getting 61.29% of the questions right. I am 140 points away from the Santa level. To try your hand at this cool quiz and others related to Christmas music check out the Parents.com website here.

Now back to "A Caroling We Will Go". "Six Pence None the Richer has done it again with "Angels We Have Heard on High" from the "The Dawn Of Grace" album. I would love to find out who designed the animation. It is just so cute. My daughter has been asking me to replay it every day this week. I enjoy the light and almost delicate sound that they give this song and visuals are such a great pairing. Enjoy!


Quote of the Week "Oh! Lovely voices of the sky..."

Oh! lovely voices of the sky
Which hymned the Saviour's birth,
Are ye not singing still on high,
Ye that sang, "Peace on earth"?
~Felicia Hemans


Top 50 Contemporary Christian Christmas Songs

I am becoming more savy this year when it comes to contemporary Christmas music and the Top 50 list from Musicnotes.com blog has been a great help. I have been working on a few new songs this year for our contemporary worship at One Spirit UMC as well. Here are five of my new favorites from the list.

4.All is Well by Michael W. Smith

29.Mary, Did you Know? by Kathy Mattea and several others

O Come, O Come Emmanuel by BarlowGirl, Steven Curtis Chapman and more!

42.The Christmas Shoes by NewSong

49.Unto Us (Isaiah 9) by Sandi Patty

For the complete list of 50 songs see the musicnotes.com blog.

I can't wait to hear about your favorites. Please share in the comments.


A Caroling We Will Go - "Silent Night"

I have fallen in love with Sixpence None The Richer's album "The Dawn of Grace" which features eight Christmas classics and two original recordings for the season. I have chosen "Silent Night" Featuring Dan Haseltine from Jars Of Clay for this week's Wednesday video. The amazingly cute animated video is a cool bonus. I have found a great arrangement of "Silent Night" for my own recording project and hope to put it on Youtube soon. Enjoy!


A Caroling We Will Go - "Drummer Boy"

I am kicking off my first ever "A Caroling We Will Go" series for the seasons of Advent and Epiphany. So, from now until mid January I will be sharing with you some of my favorite carols from various artists. Our first one comes from a live performance of "Drummer Boy" by Jars of Clay. This song and 14 others are available on Jars Of Clay's album "Christmas Songs". I love the use of mallet percussion constantly reminding the listener visually of the drum and the little boy going to visit Jesus in the Stable. For more information about the history of carols and your favorite carol check out this article. Enjoy!


Quote of the Week "Wouldn't life be worth.."

Wouldn't life be worth the living
Wouldn't dreams be coming true
If we kept the Christmas spirit
All the whole year through?
~Author Unknown


Give the Gift of Music with the Elliott Music Studio!

Struggling to think of new and exciting gifts for your friends or family? Give them the gift of music - it's way better than bad aftershave or some boring socks. Find the perfect gift with the Elliott Music Studio, we've even showcased some in this post for you. We think they're great and we're certain you will, too.

Can't wait until Christmas? Not a problem. We are excited to offer you the opportunity to have a fun and enriching music experience with private or small group voice and piano Lessons. We are currently enrolling all ages, children and adults. Check out the Elliott Music Studio website to see our studio calendar for available lesson times and to fill out our enrollment form. Don't forget to ask about sibling and family discounts. We look forward to sharing music with you and your friends and family this holiday season!


Featured Gifts


  • Private Voice Coaching & Instruction – For students 10 years and up. Lessons are customized for the student based on their personal goals and will include basic vocal warm-ups, breathing technique, sight-reading and ear training exercises. Choose from a 1, 2 or 3 month package starting at $60.00 for one month of weekly half hour lessons.

  • Music for Little Mozarts – A piano method designed especially for your favorite 4, 5 or 6 year old. This program helps foster an early love for music that lasts a lifetime. These lessons will use singing, coloring, and movement as well as one on one instruction to teach the musical ideas for that week. Choose from a 1, 2 or 3 month package starting at $60.00 for one month of weekly half hour lessons. *Instructional materials not included.
  • Piano 101 – This short course lasting eight weeks is designed especially for high school students and adults who want to study the piano for fun. The Piano 101 course is divided into 6 units and serves as a basic introduction to music study. Eight weeks of weekly, hour long lessons is $240.00 plus the cost of materials.
  • Private Piano Instruction – Available for students 6 years and up. Piano lessons include sight reading, music theory, fingering technique and performance music. Choose from a 1, 2 or 3 month package starting at $60.00 for one month of weekly half hour lessons. *Instructional materials not included.

For more information about these great gifts and the complete offerings of the Elliott Music Studio contact us at 816.372.7169.


Friends and Family Referral Discount


I want to thank you for sharing the Elliott Music Studio with your friends and family with our Friends and Family Referral Discount. Let your friends and family know about the Elliott Music Studio and receive the Friends and Family Referral Discount. If they sign-up for their first month of lessons you get one lesson free ($15.00 - $30.00 value) your next month. It's our thank you to you for sharing us with the people in your life. We look forward to sharing music with your friends and family!


Please Join Our Online Networks:


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Search for Elliott Music Studio & Emily Elliott

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MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/elliottmusicstudio


Quote of the Week "That's what I consider..."

“That's what I consider true generosity. You give your all, and yet you always feel as if it costs you nothing.”

-Simone de Beauvoir


Happy Thanksgiving from George Winston

I hope your Thanksgiving is a happy one! I wanted to share with you today music from one of my favorite composers, George Winston. I love the feel of this solo piano piece entitled, "Thanksgiving". It forces me to take a minute for myself and just breath and that's exactly what I did while preparing for this post. This is my invitation for you to take a minute from all the hustle and bustle of this special day and relax. Enjoy!


Beethoven’s 5th Completely Visualized

I love how beautifully this video visualizes Beethoven's 5th symphony. I had never seen it that way before. It opened up a whole new dimension of thought and interpretation for me. You have to check it out. Enjoy!

Who Am I? - Songs of Thanksgiving

Who Am I?

See my feathers colored bright,
Colored bright, colored bright.
See my feathers colored bright
What a pretty sight.

See my tummy big and fat,

Big and fat, Big and fat,
See my tummy big and fat
What do you think of that?

See my head look all around,
Look all around, all around,
See my head look all around,
For corn up on the ground.

See me as I strut and sway,
Strut and sway, strut and sway
See me as I strut and sway
This is what I say: Gobble, Gobble, Gobble

Sung to: "Mary Had a Little Lamb"
Original Author Unknown



Little Pilgrim - Songs of Thanksgiving

Little Pilgrim

Little Pilgrim dressed in gray
on that first Thanksgiving Day.
Little Indian dressed in brown,
Came to visit Plymouth Town,
They both came to eat and pray
on that first Thanksgiving Day.

Sung to: "Twinkle Twinkle "
Author Unknown



Who Are YOU? www.whohub.com

I am always working to strengthen my internet presence and network with other musicians on the world wide web. During one of my recent research sessions I came across whohub.com and I thought I would share my findings with you all.

Whohub is a directory of interviews with creative professionals in the areas of communications, arts, technology, marketing, etc. To be a part of this unique list all you have to do is create your interview by answering questions that are relevant to your craft and personality in both professional and personal categories. In any of your interview answers you can include links to your websites, blogs, and online projects to link your pages together. Once your interview is complete you will have created your own interview page with the answers to the questions that you chose.

Here are some of the questions from my interview.
  • When did you realize that making music could be a way of life for you?
  • How often do you practice?
  • What time did you get up this morning?
  • What is your blog address? What subjects do you deal with?
For answers to these questions and many more check out my interview page at http://www.whohub.com/elliottmusicstudio


Quote of the Week "Anything that has real..."

“Anything that has real and lasting value is always a gift from within.”

-Franz Kafka


Massive Multiplayer Online Music Experience - thesixtyone.com

"A road is a road, but sometimes it's more. Sometimes a road sings. Drive down Highway 61 and you'll find music everywhere you turn. Muddy Waters rode the 61. So did Bob Dylan, Ike Turner, and B.B. King. Elvis grew up in the housing projects along it. Highway 61 was the road by which people left to find better opportunities. And by leaving they took their music to the world."
~ The meaning behind thesixytone on the about page

Finally a massive multi-player online game that I can actually get into. I can't take credit for finding this one, that's my husband's doing and now we are both hooked. I had been complaining for awhile about how hard it was to find new music that I actually enjoyed listening to. Mainstream radio just wasn't cutting it. Thesixtyone.com has opened up my music world and I'm loving it.

Once you create an account you are allowed to customize your music experience by heart-ing songs you love and featuring favorites on your homepage. You also get the opportunity to earn reputation, collect badges for discovering and recommending good music to others and level up your influence. With thesixtyone.com building your own unique taste in music becomes fun, competitive, and trackable with quests that you complete daily. I have enjoyed several quests, including "similarity complex" and "the rack" as they encourage you to branch out and listen to music you wouldn't normally listen to. To learn more about how thesixtyone.com works, please see their FAQ page.

So, what are you waiting for? Come join us on thesixtyone and tell them elliottmusicstudio sent you.


Birds on the Wires

Birds on the Wires from Jarbas Agnelli on Vimeo.
From a photo of birds sitting on electric wires in the newspaper this composer decided to experiment and see what kind of melody there positions actually made and then created an original composition based on that. The music was made with Logic and the video was made with After Effects. For the newspaper story about this unique work, check out this link tinyurl.com/l4qdbg


Quote of the Week "I do believe it is..."

“I do believe it is possible to create, even without ever writing a word or painting a picture, by simply molding one's inner life. And that too is a deed.”
-Etty Hillesum, author


Quote of the Week "Use your imagination..."

“Use your imagination not to scare yourself to death but to inspire yourself to life.”

-Adele Brookman, psychotherapist

Studio Update - October Round-Up

It has been awhile since I wrote up an update and quite a bit has been going on since my last one so here it goes.

October started out with a great afternoon Cabaret n' Love concert benefiting the Shepherd's Center of Raytown. I was so happy that this event finally was rescheduled since we were snowed out last February. I sang "People" from Funny Girl and "Someone to Watch Over Me" by Gershwin. I was very happy with my performance and look forward to more concert opportunities like that one. A couple weeks later I sang my new favorite solo from Sandi Patty called "You Alone" during both church services that week. I was thrilled to finally get to sing it after many years of it sitting in my file box and to sing it with the band at church was pretty cool, too. Truly memorable performances!

Also in October was United Methodist Women's Sunday where I was asked to be the song leader for worship that day. It was an honor. I just love it when something good comes together. I am also proud to be a part of such a great group of ladies that do so many things for mission around the world for women and children. I am thrilled to be learning so much from this organization and leading others as our UMW's Alpha Circle President.

Several days before Halloween I got a wild hair and started thinking about Christmas and music projects. I am excited to announce that I have started the work on a Christmas music recording project that I hope to have available a few weeks before Christmas. I am taking suggestions now for music ideas to consider. I am looking to strictly work with creative commons licensed or public domain music that doesn't require royalties to be paid for use. It takes a little more leg work but it is well worth it and the music I am finding so far has been great. Check out the Emily Elliott fan page on Facebook and join the discussion about your favorite Christmas songs.

I am preparing for several Christmas music performances this year as well. Instead of a Christmas Cantata our church will be hosting a carol sing that will include many different kinds of holiday music presentations. More info to come. I have also been asked to help with the children's Christmas program that will be the Sunday after Christmas and will include a skit and favorite carols of the season. I am working with one of my favorite music people on this one so it should be a lot of work but also quite fun.

The Elliott Music Studio is going to offer something new this December for all interested piano and voice students. We will be holding our first ever Holiday Recital. Work has already started on several musical selections both sacred and secular. I am the most excited about a musical collaboration of "Blue Christmas". I still have the venue and a date to lock down next week but plans are underway.

I am excited by all of the opportunities that I have had recently to "enrich peoples lives with music". I look forward to keeping up the good work.


Kansas City Metro Men's Chorus

Kansas City Metro Men's Chorus
In Concert
Singing Songs of Praise

Sunday, November 15th, 2009 @ 3:00 pm
Blue Ridge Methodist Church
51st & Blue Ridge Blvd Raytown, MO
Charity: Shepherd's Center of Raytown

I had the privilege to sing on the same bill with these guys last month at the Cabaret n' Love concert that also benefited the Shepherd's Center of Raytown. A great opportunity for men in the area to sing together and have great fellowship. Noel Fulkerson is the Director.


'Star Wars (John Williams Is The Man)' - an a cappella tribute

'Star Wars (John Williams is the Man)' is such a great tribute song. This guy recorded himself lip-syncing each of the four parts of this imaginative work and then put them together side by side for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!


Quote of the Week "You are what you..."

“You are what you think you are!

What do you think you are?”


Music From a Tree

If you don't know by now I am a big crafter. One of my secret pleasures is reading all of the posts from craft websites that I have in my RSS feeder with Google. I just love that thing. Today's video came from Dudecraft. You should hop over there once you read this post. Really cool stuff posted there.

Diego Stocco was curious if the large tree in his backyard could make music. This curiosity led him to put together this film, "Music From a Tree". For more information check out this link. Enjoy!

Diego Stocco - Music From A Tree from Diego Stocco on Vimeo.


Quote of the Week "Success is important only..."

"Success is important only to the extent that it puts one in a position to do more things one likes to do."
- Sarah Caldwell


Playing the Right Music for your Monkey Friends

I love monkeys! I have been collecting monkey items for several years and now share my collection with my kids. So, when I received an article related to music and monkeys I was quite curious. Wired Science brings us this interesting article about the music preferences of monkeys. It turns out that monkeys prefer silence over what humans consider quality music. The author makes the point that we shouldn't expect monkeys to appreciate the sounds we enjoy. They are however effected by different kinds of music just like we are. Experiments took place that showed that calm music would result in a calming effect and that anxiousness would result from music that was more tension filled.

So, research has been done to create music in sounds that monkeys are more familiar and might be more comfortable with. Check out the audio clips in the article. It's quite fascinating. So, music for monkeys...Who knew?


TMG "Science is Real:"

They Might be Giants' latest album Here Comes Science has been a hit in my household and is regularly requested when mom is searching on youtube. We also love TMG's entire collection for kids including, Here Come the ABCs and Here Come the 123s. Enjoy this weeks video from Here Come Science, "Science is Real"!


Quote of the Week "What I have in my heart..."

“What I have in my heart and soul must find a way out. That is the reason for music…”

– Ludwig Van Beethoven


"All People That On Earth Do Dwell" by The Martins

I was blown away by this video recording this week and have been listening to it quite a bit in the last couple days. The United Methodist musician's list serv shares some of the coolest stuff and this was definitely one of them and I couldn't wait to share it with you. The Martins are a three voice a cappella group that has rocked my musical world. They are capable of some amazing unison's and harmonies. Enjoy this week's video "All People That On Earth Do Dwell" from the Martins newly released DVD "Rock of Ages". (ACAPELLA)


Quote of the Week "Twenty years from now..."

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream."
-Mark Twain

Musical Mobius Strip

See the video at moonmilk.com to hear this neat music box.


Wear Sunscreen

This speech resurfaced a few days ago and has been in my head ever since. It reminds me that life is a lot simpler than we make it sometimes. I need that advice right now and I bet you do, too. Enjoy!

Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young
by Mary Schmich
Chicago Tribune June 1, 1997

Inside every adult lurks a graduation speaker dying to get out, some world-weary pundit eager to pontificate on life to young people who'd rather be Rollerblading. Most of us, alas, will never be invited to sow our words of wisdom among an audience of caps and gowns, but there's no reason we can't entertain ourselves by composing a Guide to Life for Graduates.

I encourage anyone over 26 to try this and thank you for indulging my attempt.

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '97:

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.


Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.




New Presentation Mini Master Class on The Singer Link

Maestro Doug Lawrence presents...

The Presentation Mini Class Series

Weekly tips for all of those who perform in front of audiences.

I have enjoyed Doug Lawrence's series for singers and conductors so much I had to pass this along as well for all those looking to perfect their performance. Do send your comments to Doug on The Singer Link (ask Doug to be your friend and send him messages about the series or ask questions - he wants to know what you want to learn.)

How to do a walk on...
You don't just walk...on!


Thinking about a degree in Music?

When I was starting college in 2000, music students either tried music education or performance on their chosen instrument and if you were really crazy you did both. Nowadays there are quite a few options for people who are interested in music study and careers in music. MusTech.net has a great article entitled, "So, What Can You Do With a Music Degree". This is a great reference for those trying to make that important college decision. It's also great information for those trying to convince their parents that a career in music is worthwhile.


Elizabeth Gilbert on Nurturing Creativity

I enjoyed reading Elizabeth Gilbert's book "Eat, Pray, Love" and found her to be a fascinating person who completed an amazing journey of self discovery. But after I put that novel down I really hadn't thought about her much until this TED talk surfaced a few weeks ago. It doesn't focus on music specifically but I wanted to post it for this week's video segment.

I believe everyone with a creative mind would benefit from her thought provoking ideas about creating and what it takes to create. As musicians we create something new every time we interpret a piece of music. Our jobs are to take what's on the page and make it come alive. We also are asked to put ourselves out there and be vulnerable while we do it. I hope you enjoy this week's video clip.

Music Art with Your Child

This activity is for children ages 2 - 6, but can be adapted to suit any child. All you need is a music player, music in any style, drawing paper, and crayons to express music through art.

Start playing your favorite song. Give your little musical artist the drawing paper and crayons and have him draw what he hears. How does the music make him feel? What would that look like? Is it slow and lazy loops and swirls or is it fast and frantic dots and zig zags? What color is it? Don't forget to do this along side your child and compare your creations. How are they same? How are they different?

I can't wait to do this with my daughter during her music class tomorrow. I will keep you updated on how we do. Happy creating!

Adapted from Savyysource.com


Quote of the Week "You give but little when..."

“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”

― Kahlil Gibran


Come Join in the Fun at Elliott Music Classes

At Elliott Music Classes, it's important to us that music class be fun, creative, imaginative and educational. Through our unique programs, children learn fundamental music skills and concepts. They learn to focus and expand their attention through exposure to many different kinds of music, rhymes and rhythms. Our classes for children include parent and child style music and movement classes that are specifically designed to meet the developmental needs of young children, infants and toddlers.

Come join in the fun as we explore music together!


Musical Offerings of Elliott Music Classes:


Tiny Tot's Music I & II

Exploring the World of Music With Your Baby and Toddler.

Ages: 16 - 30 months old or 2 1/2 - 4 years old

When: Tuesdays @ 6:00 pm beginning September 29th

Class Length: 30 Minutes per week

Class Size: 4 Student Minimum - 6 Student Maximum

Class Location: Elliott Music Studio

Explore with your child activities designed to build a strong foundation of musical skills. This will be done through singing, instrumental play and rhythmic movements with a variety of mu­sical styles. This is a parent/caregiver participation class. Enroll today!

Classroom Music for Little Mozarts

An Introduction to Music Making

Ages: 4, 5 & 6 year's old

When: Tuesdays @ 10:30 am or Thursdays @ 3:45 pm - beginning September 29

Class Length: 30 Minutes per week

Class Size: 4 Student Minimum - 6 Student Maximum

Class Location: Elliott Music Studio

This comprehensive approach to musical learning develops singing, movement, and listening skills simultaneously with an introduction to musical styles and concepts. No keyboard instruction is included, but rhythm instruments are used to support basic musical concepts. Parents are required to attend all Classes. Lesson 10 is a showcase for all parents and family to attend. No textbooks are required and children do not need a keyboard at home. Come join in the fun as we explore music together! Enroll today!

Family Music

Ages: All Ages Class

When: Mondays @ 5:30 pm - Beginning September 28

Class Length: 30 Minutes per week

Class Size: 3 Family Minimum - 5 Family Maximum

Class Location: Elliott Music Studio

Move your way through an exploration of the elements of music with your whole family. We will explore rhythm, pitch, dynamics and movement through developmentally appropriate activities that the whole family can enjoy together, including finger plays, songs, circle dances, story time and family instrument jam. Come join in the fun as we explore music together! Enroll today!


Friends and Family Referral Discount


I want to thank you for sharing the Elliott Music Studio & Elliott Music Classes with your friends and family with our Friends and Family Referral Discount. Let your friends and family know about the Elliott Music Studio and receive the Friends and Family Referral Discount. If they sign-up for their first month of lessons or music classes you get one lesson or class free ($15.00 - $30.00 value) your next month. It's our thank you to you for sharing us with the people in your life. We look forward to sharing music with your friends and family this fall!


Gift Certificates


Music classes and lessons are a great gift any time of the year for birthdays, graduations or special occasions. We have made it easy to give the gift of music any time of year with 1, 2 or 3 month gift certificates starting at $60.00 for one month of weekly half hour lessons. For more information about this great gift contact the Elliott Music Studio at 816.372.7169.


Please Join Our Online Networks:


Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/eelliottmusic

Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com

Search for Elliott Music Studio & Emily Elliott

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/emilyelliott

MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/elliottmusicstudio


Making Maracas for Worship

This is such a simple project that can enhance any music time. I especially like making projects like these and then teaching the children I'm working with a song or two that work well with percussion. Later in the week I will be posting about kids in worship. How might you use these and other children's percussion in worship?


The Future of the Choir in Worship

What is the choir's role in worship? That is the million dollar question these days when it comes to the traditional choir that many of us grew up with and are now seeing less and less of in our churches. What is the worship choir going to look like in the next five, ten, 20 years? I wish I had a crystal ball to see because right now I am worried about the future for choral music in worship. I tried to illustrate with the above picture collage that music leadership in worship takes one many faces and includes many different kinds of music. I am a true believer in doing what works for your congregation and worship style. So, I expect to see differences. I would hope though that our one similarity would be that we produce quality music and strong music leadership in whatever setting we are working with.

I ran across an article by Robert Eric Walker from the Robert Eric Walker - From the Heart Blog called "The Worship Leading Choir" that gave me some new ideas on how we can and should rethink the choir's role in worship and how we should think of ourselves as worship musicians. I have always thought of any church choir that I was a part of as an extension of our worship community and ambassadors to worship. Robert lists some thoughts for worship leading musicians. Here are some of my favorites:

1. Don't just rehearse the music, rehearse the worship!

4. As you sing and play, don't forget to engage your heart!

9. Worship without passion is a contradiction in terms.

12. What will it cost you to convey this song with total authenticity?

16. Our goal is to turn passive observers into active participants.

So, what would it cost us to convey music in worship with total authenticity? How can we, with music increase the passion for worship in our churches? These are the jobs of the church choir and it's our job as musicians called to serve to rethink our role and make music in worship even better and more engaging than ever before. How has being in church choir changed how you worship? How important is the church choir to you? I would love to hear about your favorite moments where music impacted your worship experience. Join the discussion in the comments.

Quote of the Week "If you knew what I know..."

“If you knew what I know about the power of giving, you would not let a single meal pass without sharing it in some way.”


Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Most days are like all of the others,
Go to work, come back home, watch TV,
But, brother, if I had me druthers,
I'd chuck it and head out to sea,

For I dream of the skull and the crossbones,
I dream of the great day to come,
When I dump the mundane for the Old Spanish Main
And trade me computer for rum! ARRR!

T' me,
Yo, Ho, Yo, Ho,
It's "Talk Like A Pirate" Day!
When laptops are benches God gave us fer wenches,
And a sail ain't a low price ta pay!
When timbers are shivered and lillies are livered
And every last buckle is swashed,
We'll abandon our cars for a shipfull of ARRRs
And pound back the grog till we're sloshed! Yo ho....

Don't pick up yer phone and say "Hello,
Our ten-o-clock meeting's delayed",
Ye scrunch up yer face and ye bellow,
"AVAST! Ye've been bleedin' BELAYED!"

Ye can't keep this fun to yerself, I bet,
So sing "Aye!" "ARRR!" "Ayy!" every man!
We ain't got much grasp of the alphabet,
But a damn good retirement plan!

T' me,
Yo, Ho, Yo, Ho,
It's "Talk Like A Pirate" Day!
Whatever's in fashion is in for a thrashin'
And bein' polite is passe!
When it's ev'ry man's duty to grab his proud beauty
And let out a hearty YO HO!
And if this offends you, hold y'r breath as we sends you
Ta Davy Jones' Locker ya go! Yo ho....

We'll tell every banker "Heave to and weigh anchor!"
Buy latte with pieces of eight
We'll fight to be chosen as cap'n or bosun
The loser, o' course, is worst mate!

When we hoist Jolly Roger, the landlubbers dodge 'er,
We fill 'em with loathing and fear,
We'll plunder and pillage each city and village,
Or at least clean out Wal-Mart of beer!

There ain't no computin' or morning commutin',
No "Parking Lot Full" signs for me,
No lawns ta be mowin' or bills to be owin',
I'm knowin' the pull of the sea.

The fresh salty brace of the wind on my face
Through hurricane, sunshine or squalls,
I'm keepin' my eyes on the distant horizon,
Verizon can hold all my calls!

To wear a red coat full o' buckles,
To earn a few duelling scars,
Well, at least we can get a few chuckles
By filling the office with ARRRs!

And maybe we'll never get closer,
Than watchin' 'em on the big screen,
So here's to old Errol and Depp as Jack Sparrow,
And every damn one in between!

T' me,
Yo, Ho, Yo, Ho,
It's "Talk Like A Pirate" Day!
That time in September when sea dogs remember
That grown-ups still know how ta play!
When wenches are curvy and dogs are all scurvy
And a soft-wear patch covers your eye,
Ta hell with our jobs, for one day we're all swabs
And buccaneers all till we die!

So hoist up the mainsils and shut down your brain cells,
They only would get in the way,
Avast there, me hearty, we're havin' a party,
It's "Talk... Like... A Pirate" Day!


Words and Music: © 2003 by Tom Smith
Dedicated ta Cap'n Slappy an' Ol' Chumbucket,
fer creatin' National Talk Like A Pirate Day (September 19th)


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