Quote of Week: "You can't have a better..."

“You can’t have a better tomorrow if you are thinking about yesterday all the time.”
 – Charles Kettering


Musical To-Do List: January 29, 2011

This is my first post in a new series here at the Elliott Music Studio called "Musical To-Do List".  I am hoping that these posts will help me focus my actions and share with you what I am doing to achieve my goals for 2011. I need the direction, extra motivation and accountability this will provide.  So, here are a few things on my list for next week. 

-Continue collecting public domain children's songs for recording consideration.  I will be putting together a list and looking for piano accompaniments as well as guitar chord arrangments

-Send out revised resume and cover letter to current job list

-Work on future music articles for the month of February.  I have started the outline and will be narrowing down topics.

-Narrow down music records to share on blog, website etc.  (I have about 4 CD's so far that I have found)


More Free Music on the Web - RowyNet

I wanted to share one of my new favorite places to download free sheet music for solo musical instruments.

RowyNet - Free music scores online

Besides classical sheet music, they offer folks songs and new classical music and all downloads are legal.  I first found them while looking for a new vocal score of Schubert's Ave Maria.  I was very surprised by the size of RowyNet's collection.  It's a great resource.

Here are their top 20 most popular downloads

1. 1_Piano Album - Intermediate 12 Pieces piano
2. 2_Piano Album - Interm._Easy 12 Pieces piano
3. 1_Organ Album - Senza Pedale 12 Pcs. organ
4. 1_Flute Album - 12 Pieces flute
5. Beethoven - Fur Elise piano
6. 2_Organ Album - Senza Pedale 12 Pcs. organ
7. Grieg - Peer Gynt Anitra's Tanz public domain
8. Schubert - Ave Maria vocal
9. Debussy - Claire de lune piano
10. Albeniz - Espana_2_Tango piano
11. Bach - Badinerie flute
12. Gounod - Ave Maria piano
13. Bach - Air Suite in D Major BWV 1068 organ
14. Beethoven - Für Elise recorder
15. Telemann - 6 Duets Sonata I fl vl pd
16. Albinoni - Adagio in G Minor cello
17. Bach Gounod - Ave Maria organ
18. Anonymous - La Cucaracha trumpet
19. Bach - Bourree guitar
20. Rowy - City Life_December piano

Goal Setting & Making More Music in 2011

I am a list maker.  I make lists so I don't forget things and to keep myself organized and focused.  A couple years ago I made what I called the "Big List" that would include all my goals and ideas for my life as a professional musician.  I included unfinished projects, goals that I once had but wasn't sure if I could or wanted to accomplish and things that I felt that I should complete based on social conformity.

So this year I took that list and broke it up into four main areas:  Worship & Sacred Music, Music Recordings & Performances, Blogging & Music Website, and Music Fun & Enrichment.  I also trimmed the fat so to speak and took out things that didn't make sense for me to be doing right now or ever.  That took some courage but I am now happy with the result. 

Goals and Ideas for 2011

Worship & Sacred Music
-Find & Attend a Kansas City Area Taizé service
-Find out more about Emerging worship
-Video Tape Myself Leading Worship for resume building
-Reignite Kansas City/Raytown Taizé worship if possible
-Find a Worship Director / Church Music possition so that I can continue to use my skills

Music Recordings & Performances
-Record 1st Vocal Christmas CD
-Make a Children's Music CD to go along with E-book
-Record a Taize Music CD
-Make a Wedding & Sacred Music Sampler CD
-Find more ways to share music with others through local performances
-Work on Jazz and Pop Standard repetoire
Blogging & Music Website
-Add a Music Player on My Blog, Website and Facebook to showcase recorded works
-Finish rep list on biography page of website and blog
-Continue tweeking and making the site better.
-Stick to my weekly writing schedule and even prepare posts in advance
-Write my first e-book and learn how to share it.
-Grow my affiliates and sponsers by selling limited ad space
Music Fun & Enrichment
-Create a play-list of my favorite songs for my MP3 player
-Go out and listen to live Jazz in Kansas City
-Sing at a Piano Bar
-Go to the Kansas City Jazz Museum
-Buy a large conga type drum and take part in a drum circle

My next steps will be to list all the little things I need to do to accomplish the big items and create some deadlines.  So, every Saturday my Musical To-Do List posts will help me focus my actions and share with you what I am doing to achieve my goals for 2011.  I need the direction, extra motivation and accountability this will provide. 

What are some of your goals for 2011?  How are you bringing more music in your life?


Video of the Week: "Hey Ya" Cover by Mat Weddle of Obadiah Parker

I have always loved the song "Hey Ya" but never really understood the lyrics.  This accoustic cover by Mat Weddle of Obadiah Parker has finally made the story of this song a little clearer for me.  Music is all about interpretation and one of the ways you can do that is strip a song down to its bare parts and then present it.  It gives the music a vunerable quality that I think suits this song quite nicely.  Enjoy!  


Joyce Castle Celebrates Ruby Anniversary

Joyce Castle was one of my favorite voice teachers during me time at KU. I wanted to make sure I shared this amazing free concert with you. I wish I could attend.


Quote of Week: "We are each gifted in a..."

"We are each gifted in a unique and important way. It is our privilege and our adventure to discover our own special light." 
 ~Mary Dunbar


What's New in 2011? *Updated*

So, I bet you are wondering where I have been for the past week or so.  I had great plans for the start of the new year here on the Elliott Music Studio blog but had to postpone writing and posting because the computer I have been using decided to quit working.  So, all of my best laid plans had to wait for a few more weeks.  I am borrowing a different computer now until the other one is fixed.  The amazing snow we are having here in the Midwest has made it so shopping for new parts hasn't yet been possible.  Sigh...

I try to re access before the start of the new year and look at ways I can improve things and set goals for the coming 365 days.  Here are just a few things I have been working on for the Elliott Music Studio Blog.  I will be posting additional posts about my music goals for 2011 in the coming weeks.

  • I have made a few changes to the layout of this blog in the last couple months to make it easier to read and navigate.  As of last night I changed the color scheme and background graphic.  I tend to play around with that often because I get bored.  I failed to find a background that I liked so I set off to find myself an image and make one.  Stock.xchng.com never fails to help me find what I am looking for and it's free.  You can't beat that.   

  • There will be a new posting schedule for 2011.  All posts will be Wednesday through Sunday with Monday and Tuesday off.  Wednesday will be the "Video of the Week", Thursday will be a longer post or a post from an ongoing series, Friday's I will share a bit of  Music Technology or an Online Music Find, Saturday will be a post related to my "Musical To-Do List", and Sunday will be my favorite "Quote of the Week".

  • This year I decided to explore what it would take to start to make a little money using my blog so I can cover my time and add some much needed income for my family.  I promise I won't be inundating you with ads all over the place.  I can't stand visiting blogs that do that.  I will however be adding some Amazon affiliate links where I feel there are relevant and helpful.    I also will be adding a donate button so those that feel so moved can donate to the cause.  I am contemplating a few other avenues but I have no other plans as of yet.  *Update:  I finally added the donate button and it works just like this one here.

My hope has always been to create a place where I can share what I am passionate about and to enrich people's lives with music.  I want to thank you for taking some time out of your day to visit.  If you don't already subscribe via email or rss reader, I hope you will do just that.  Do share with your friends, too. 

Thanks for joining me on this musical journey.     

Video of the Week: Ballake Sissoko and Vincent Segal

Malian kora player Ballake Sissoko and French cellist Vincent Segal swept me away tonight as I prepared this post to share.  I tried looking up more information on the Malian Kora but came up empty.  Wikipedia didn't even have a page.  I was stunned.  I love the sounds of that instrument and combining it with the cello, another of my favorites, is pure genius.  The sounds that Vincent Segal can coax from that instrument are quite unique and breathtaking.  So, enjoy this week's Video of the Week!

Ballake Sissoko And Vincent Segal

Set List
"Chamber Music"
"'Ma-Ma' FC"


Video of the Week: "Sleigh Ride in a Fast Machine"

In high school I became an expert sleigh bell ringer while in full orchestra playing "Sleigh Ride".  It was a standard on our winter programs.  So, have you ever wondered what would happen if you take "Sleigh Ride" for a fast trip in a time machine?  Here's a funny spin on this popular wintertime song.  Enjoy! 

"Short Ride in a Fast Machine" gets taken for a quick sleigh ride.


Journey to Epiphany: Devotional

Welcome to Epiphany Week! I have put together a series of musical devotionals that have taken us on a journey from Advent to Epiphany. Each devotional in the series has include a visual word cloud that I hoped would aid in your reflection time, a Scripture passage, a music video, and a prayer. If you missed last week's devotion or are just joining us, click Week One, Week Two, Week Three or Week Four to see the Advent devotionals and click here for the Christmas Week devotional.

So take a minute to light a candle and reflect on today's message.

Scripture: Isaiah 35 (New Living Translation)

Isaiah 35

 1 Even the wilderness and desert will be glad in those days.
      The wasteland will rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses.
 2 Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers
      and singing and joy!
   The deserts will become as green as the mountains of Lebanon,
      as lovely as Mount Carmel or the plain of Sharon.
   There the Lord will display his glory,
      the splendor of our God.
 3 With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands,
      and encourage those who have weak knees.
 4 Say to those with fearful hearts,
      “Be strong, and do not fear,
   for your God is coming to destroy your enemies.
      He is coming to save you.” 5 And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind
      and unplug the ears of the deaf.
 6 The lame will leap like a deer,
      and those who cannot speak will sing for joy!
   Springs will gush forth in the wilderness,
      and streams will water the wasteland.
 7 The parched ground will become a pool,
      and springs of water will satisfy the thirsty land.
   Marsh grass and reeds and rushes will flourish
      where desert jackals once lived.
 8 And a great road will go through that once deserted land.
      It will be named the Highway of Holiness.
   Evil-minded people will never travel on it.
      It will be only for those who walk in God’s ways;
      fools will never walk there.
 9 Lions will not lurk along its course,
      nor any other ferocious beasts.
   There will be no other dangers.
      Only the redeemed will walk on it.
 10 Those who have been ransomed by the Lord will return.
      They will enter Jerusalem[a] singing,
      crowned with everlasting joy.
   Sorrow and mourning will disappear,
      and they will be filled with joy and gladness.

Song: "De Tierra Lejana Venimos" (From a Distant Home)
From a distant home the Savior we come seeking,
using as our guide the star so brightly beaming.
Lovely eastern star that tells us of God's morning,
heaven's wondrous light, O never cease thy shining!
Glory in the highest to the Son of Heaven,
and upon the earth be peace and love to all.
Glowing gold I bring the newborn babe so holy,
token of his power to reign above in glory.

Prayer:  God of joy and gladness, you join us wherever we are on our personal faith journey.  Help us be patient and to listen for your still, small voice so that you may guide us on our path.  Please filled us with your spirit and make us faithful.  Amen.

*Special thanks to these online resources who helped me pull this together.


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