Studio Update - 6/29/09

Welcome to this week's studio update. Enjoy!

  • I enjoyed a Sunday of great music yesterday. I attended both services at my church, One Spirit UMC in Kansas City, MO. Our first worship service is more traditional with our chancel choir leading music along with a song leader. We sang "Friends" by Michael W. Smith for our pastor, Rev. Kim Ross for her last Sunday with us. It was a special tribute to her seven years of service. Our second worship service features gospel/jazz music with a small band and is more contemporary. Our chancel choir also sang at that service and was joined by the band. A stirring rendition of "Get Together" by the Youngbloods was also special music for that day. We finished the festivities with a picnic at a local park. Some of the guys brought guitars and shared some live gospel music. It was a great day! Here's a neat video of "Get Together" by the original artists. Enjoy!

  • www.dafont.com I went font happy last week once I found this great website of free fonts and dingbats. Check out a few of my favorite music themed downloads.
Lassus Music Class

Music Elements

  • I have been doing quite a bit of computer work lately updating the Elliott Music Studio website. I have been throwing around the idea of updating my logo and the site's color palette and now that job has been made a little easier for me. My husband passed along these two sites Your Custom Color Palette from Color Hunter and The Color Palette Generator from DeGraeve These sites ask you to upload your chosen photo and then they take the most prominent colors out to create your ideal color palette. This tool works fantastically for website work or even interior design. Happy creating!
  • We are coming out ahead at 62% of the vote this week for our nomination in the Best Music Class category in Nickelodeon's Parents' Picks Awards for 2009. We still need your help to win! Vote for us once a day, every day, until July 15th at http://www.nicksparentspicks.com. And while you are there stop by our profile page and leave us a review. Thanks for your continued support!


Quote of the Week "You create your thoughts..."

“You create your thoughts, and your thoughts create your life. Do you like what you have created? Contemplate yourself each day and you will unravel the mystery of not only what you are but who you are.”


Rachmaninov had big Hands

Here's another clip from Igudesman & Joo "A Little Nightmare Music". Rachmaninov is one of my favorite composers that I wish I had the technique and the hands to play his music well. Rachmaninov really had large hands and this gag not only funny but quite ingenious. Enjoy!


Studio Update - 6/22/09

Welcome to my new weekly studio update. Here is where I will share about current projects and the comings and goings of my musical world. Enjoy!

  • We have a new addition to the Elliott Music family. Oliver Daniel was born on June 6th, 2009 and we are all doing well even through the sleep deprivation. Our oldest, Madeline is adjusting to her big sister status quite nicely by being a big helper around the house.
  • I have started work on a new project with the Raytown Arts Council. Don Forsythe, Vice President of the organization and I will be performing a special recital this fall featuring some of his original compositions of German Lieder. He has composed 140 settings, more than any other composer, living or dead, of Heinrich Heine poems. All of these songs are in a collection at the University of Massachusetts Music Library. For a complete listing of these works, visit Heine Lieder Query. We start rehearsing this week. Wish me luck!
  • We are holding strong at 64% of the vote for our nomination in the Best Music Class category in Nickelodeon's Parents' Picks Awards for 2009. We still need your help to win! Vote for us once a day, every day, until July 15th at http://www.nicksparentspicks.com. And while you are there stop by our profile page and leave us a review. Thanks for your continued support!


Quote of the Week "Be at peace with..."

“Be at peace with yourself. If you are not at peace with yourself, you are at peace with nothing.”


PS22 Chorus Wows the World

My Mom called late the other night after watching ABC Nightline to tell me about the PS22 Chorus of New York. Thank you Mom! I am always thrilled and delighted to see quality programs like this one crop up because it shows me that there is still a future for music in our schools no matter how bleak it looks. These fifth graders sing with so much love and emotion. What I would give to lead a group like that. They are just brilliant!

I am so proud to have Mr. B, the chorus' teacher & director, as a colleague in music. He makes his job look so easy but I know how much work goes into building a program and keeping it active and thriving. They have quite a bit working against them each and every day but they continue to succeed and it shows. The amount of publicity this chorus has received in the last few weeks is just staggering. CNN, ABC Nightline, The Bonnie Hunt Show, TV Guide Network, just to name a few. Here is the ABC Nightline video clip for you to enjoy!

I was privileged to be a part of several great music programs while I was in public school. I am quite certain that without those experiences I would not have decided to be a music educator or have pursued a career in professional music. Even if a student doesn't go into the field of music they still have important skills to gain and develop being a part of a music program that will make them better learners.

I encourage you to support your local public school music programs any way you can. Volunteer in the classroom. Call your school and inquire about needs in the classroom. Attend PTA meetings and stay current about the future of music in your local school and district. Make sure that your voice is heard about the quality of education that you expect for your children including music education. For too long we have taken for granted that music will be included in our school's curriculum. Unfortunately, with recent budget cuts due to the economy the future of music in our schools looks bleak and many districts have cut music all together. As a parent, if you feel that the music programs in your school are lacking make your voice heard to your school board. Tell them that music is important to your child's education.

Look for ways to expose your child to music in your every day life as well. You don't have to be a great musician yourself to help your budding musician along in their education. You just need to be dedicated and willing to try new things. Private and group lessons are also a great option to supplement your child's musical education. At the Elliott Music Studio our goal is to enrich people's lives with music and that is exactly what we strive to do with private voice and piano lessons.

Tell us your musical story. How has music made an impact on you or your child's life? Drop us a line in the comments.


"I Will Survive" from Igudesman & Joo

Igudesman & Joo have been making me laugh for days. This clip comes from their recent project, "A Little Nightmare Music." They are quite amazingly versatile and talented musicians. You can visit their website at www.igudesmanandjoo.com. Enjoy!


Differences between Hymns and Praise Songs

Differences between Hymns and Praise Songs

An old farmer went to the city one weekend and attended the big city
church. He came home and his wife asked him how it was. “Well,” said
the farmer, “it was good. They did something different, however. They
sang praise choruses instead of hymns.”

“Praise choruses?” said his wife. “What are those?”

“Oh, they’re OK. They are sort of like hymns, only different,” said
the farmer.

“Well, what’s the difference?” asked his wife.

The farmer said, “Well, it’s like this - If I were to say to you
“Martha, the cows are in the corn”’ - well, that would be a hymn. If
on the other hand, I were to say to you:

Martha, Martha, Martha,
the cows, the big cows, the brown cows, the black cows
the white cows, the black and white cows,
are in the corn,
are in the corn, are in the corn, are in the corn,

Then, if I were to repeat the whole thing two or three times, well,
that would be a praise chorus.”

The next weekend, his nephew, a young, new Christian from the city
came to visit and attended the local church of the small town. He
went home and his wife asked him how it was. “Well,” said the young
man, “it was good. They did something different however. They sang
hymns instead of regular songs.”

“Hymns?” asked his wife. “What are those?”

“Oh, they’re OK. They are sort of like regular songs, only
different,” said the young man.

“Well, what’s the difference?”

The young man said, “Well, it’s like this - If I were to say to you
‘Martha, the cows are in the corn’ - well, that would be a regular
song. If on the other hand, I were to say to you:

‘Oh Martha, dear Martha, hear thou my cry
Inclinest thine ear to the words of my mouth
Turn thou thy whole wondrous ear by and by
To the righteous, inimitable, glorious truth.

‘For the way of the animals who can explain
There in their heads is no shadow of sense
Hearkenest they in God’s sun or His rain
Unless from the mild, tempting corn they are fenced.

‘Yea those cows in glad bovine, rebellious delight
Have broke free their shackles, their warm pens eschewed
Then goaded by minions of darkness and night
They all my mild Chilliwack sweet corn have chewed.

‘So look to the bright shining day by and by
Where all foul corruptions of earth are reborn
Where no vicious animals make my soul cry
And I no longer see those foul cows in the corn.’

Then if I were to do only verses one, three and four and do a key
change on the last verse, well that would be a hymn.

I can't take credit for this story but I couldn't resist posting it. Thanks Dr. Margo Dillard
of First United Methodist Church in Lewisville, Texas for sharing it on the United Methodist Musician Listserv this last week.


Quote of the Week "Recognize that you have..."

"Recognize that you have the courage within you to fulfill the purpose of your birth. Summon forth the power of your inner courage and live the life of your dreams."

-Gurumayi Chidvilasananda


Quote of the Week "Great Spirits have always..."

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."

- Albert Einstein


Summer Music & Movies in the Greater Kansas City Area 2009

Summer is just about here and school is out so it's time for free concerts and movies to start popping up in our communities. With more and more families considering a "staycation" these days it's important that we take advantage of the fun things we can do in our own backyards and for free no less. I have compiled a small list of events in the greater Kansas City area. If you know of one that I missed please add it to the comments.

There is still time to vote for Best Music Class in the Nickelodeon's Parents' Picks Awards. The Elliott Music Studio needs your help to win! You can vote for us once a day, every day, until July 15th at http://www.nicksparentspicks.com! Thanks for your support.

Summer Music & Movies in the Greater Kansas City Area

  • Olathe Kansas Parks and Recreation - Free Friday Night Concerts June 5th - July 31st. This series, in its tenth year, will consist of five performances featuring Blues, Zydeco, Country, Old School R&B, Singer-Songwriter, Funk, Americana, Soul, Roots Rock, Cajun and NEWgrass! These shows are scheduled on Friday nights at 7 PM at Frontier Park, 15501 Indian Creek Parkway, and they are FREE!
  • Zona Rosa Summer Concert Series - Zona Rosa is once again offering a unique list of performers for its weekend concerts this summer. Attendance is free to the public and everyone is invited to enjoy some fresh air and fresh sounds at the Town Square. The weekend concerts feature live music from 6 to 9 p.m. every Friday and Saturday throughout the summer. Audiences are invited to bring lawn chairs or blankets for lawn seating, relax on one of the many Town Square benches, dine in nearby restaurants that overlook the concert or simply stroll along enjoying the music. Zona Rosa is a mixed-use urban town center located at the northwest corner of I-29 and Barry Road in Kansas City. For a list of current retailers or information regarding additional events, visit the Web site or call 816-587-8180.
  • Zona Rosa Jazz Series - The popular live music series brings local and regional acts to the outdoor stage every Thursday. Zona Rosa has a lineup of talented, well-known jazz performers for its weekly jazz series again this summer. The summer Jazz on the Square concert series spotlights many returning acts as well as some new performers. It begins Thursday, May 28 with The Wild Women of Kansas City and continues every Thursday through the end of September. Concerts begin at 7 p.m. and run until 9 p.m. with one intermission. Audiences are invited to bring lawn chairs or blankets for lawn seating, relax on one of the many Town Square benches, dine in nearby restaurants on the patio that overlook the concert or simply stroll along enjoying the melodic sounds of a variety of professional jazz musicians, both instrumental and vocal. Each concert features prize drawings for Zona Rosa restaurant and merchant gift certificates. Free food samples from nearby Zona Rosa restaurants also will be distributed. Also, for three select Jazz Nights – June 11, July 16 and August 20, Zona Rosa will partner with Northland Healthcare Access and have desserts for sale, donated by Bravo. All money raised will benefit the organization. Visit northlandhealthcareaccess.org to learn more about the organization. Visit www.zonarosa.com and click on the events calendar for an updated listing as the series progresses.
  • Street Flicks in Blue Springs, MO - sponsored by the Blue Springs Parks & Rec, these movies are shown at 12th & Main in downtown Blue Springs; kids’ activities start at 7:15 pm, movies start at dusk
  • FREE Summer Movie Series at the Pharaoh Theater on the Independence Square - @ dusk (come early - 6 pm to 8 pm - for a free concert on the Square sponsored by Independence Parks & Rec)


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I am a still a novice when it comes to using Feedburner and for some reason I have had to recreate my e-mail and RSS feed tracker for this blog and have lost my subscriber list. I am still a little confused but working on the problem. I apologize for any inconvenience. I invite you to re-subscribe so that you don't miss any updates. Let me know if you have any problems. Thanks!

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Singing Opportunity - 2009 Summer Singers of Kansas City

I came across this music opportunity while visiting my favorite local coffee shop, City Grounds in Raytown, MO. If you have been looking for a new summer music experience you should definitely check this out. The William Baker Choral Foundation will be sponsoring the 11th annual Summer of Singing with the Summer Singers of Kansas City chorus. They will be performing Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Great Mass in c minor with soloists and orchestra.

No audition is required but music reading ability is a must. Some choral experience is also highly recommended. Registration is available online at www.festivalsingers.org or for more information, call 913.403.9223. Rehearsals will be held at Grace & Holy Trinity Cathedral in Downtown KC, MO on Tuesday evenings from 7 - 9:30 pm. There will be two concert performances Sunday, August 23rd & Monday August 24th. This is open to the first 150 people who sign-up so I suggest calling today to put your name in.

I would love to sign-up for this but realize that I would probably miss too many rehearsals when our new baby is here sometime in June. Maybe next year... Please comment and give feed back about this experience and tell us if you are planning on participating. I hope to be at one of the two performances.

"The Sound of Music" Brought to Life

On March 23rd, 2009 at 8:00 am, more than 200 dancers performed there version of the song "Do Re Mi" from "The Sound of Music", in the Central Train Station of Antwerp. This amazing stunt was created with just 2 rehearsals. This production was a promotion stunt for a Belgian television program, where they are looking for someone to play the leading role, in the musical of "The Sound of Music". I would have loved to have been there to witness this first hand. Enjoy!


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