Buy a CD, Build a Family!

Music brings families together. Meet the Walters!

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Bret & Mandy Walters and their kids live in my Indiana hometown, and as a young girl, Bret & Mandy spent countless hours investing in me and teaching me about faith and family. They have been in the process of adopting two orphans from Haiti for far too long. They have suffered loss and set-back because of a fraudulent adoption agency. They are finally making headway, and with that comes adoption fees. They could really use some love and support, and you can help!

Buy a CD, Build a Family.

It’s really simple. For every CD that I sell from now until Valentine’s Day, half of the proceeds will be given to this family to aid in their adoption process.

I currently have two CD’s available to purchase. Both CD’s feature my original music and are produced by Grammy & Dove Award Winner, Alex Hitchens.

Short Stories was released last year.

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Change the Station (July 2017) is currently in production, hence only the selfie from our recording session yesterday. However, you can PRE-ORDER this CD to support the Walters’ family.

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CD purchases can be made directly through my website via Paypal or credit card, or contact me to make other arrangements.

If you’re not a fan of uplifting, inspirational music, you can donate directly to the Walters’ family through their Adoption Bridge site.

Together, let’s use music to unite this family!

Happy Mom Music provides at-home lessons and private lessons at the Crescenta-Canada YMCA in piano, voice, guitar, drums, violin, flute and saxophone. 

Written by Joletta Sells.

4 Reasons to Hit “Rec”

The next time your child practices his or her instrument, hit record! Here’s why:

  1. Hear Mistakes – I have a student who likes to bang on the piano. So I recorded her version of Kabalevsky’s “A Sad Story,” and simply asked her to listen and describe what she hears. Her response was perfect. “Wow! It sounds like I’m banging.”
  2. Problem Solving – Once my student realized the problem, she started  thinking of ways to correct it. Parents and teachers can help guide the discussion, but it builds confidence when students can try out their own problem-solving ideas. In this situation, my student played more gently, slowly and with better technique (all her ideas!), and it worked!
  3. Mindful Practice – Once a student has evaluated a recorded song, practice becomes much more purposeful. The student is aware of exactly what to change and why it would be an important change. This encourages mindful practice instead of mindless repetition.
  4. Have Fun – Send the recorded song to Grandma and Grandpa or post it on Facebook for some additional positive feedback that encourages students to keep trying!

 

Happy Mom Music provides at-home lessons and private lessons at the Crescenta-Canada YMCA in piano, voice, guitar, drums, violin, flute and saxophone. 

Written by Joletta Sells.

New Year, New Music!

Learning music is an adventure!

the-soundofmusic-maria-w-children-on-mtn-teaching-them-how-to-sing It’s not about selecting an instrument and taking private lessons for a decade. Well, okay, I did do that with piano, but I also took a lot of other paths, too, that made music learning enjoyable, interesting and long-lasting. Like the year I took harmonica lessons in college, or the summer I spent exploring the trumpet – did I become great at those instruments? No way! But the experiences helped contribute to my overall musicianship.

Every path a music student takes is a successful one. There’s no wrong way to learn music. When parents call me, frustrated that their child wants to quit lessons, I often encourage parents to simply switch up the instrument and continue the learning. Students can always return to their original instrument later, and the change could help build flexibility, aid in musical understanding, strengthen note-reading, etc.

For example, the two years I played oboe in jr. high band class really helped me understand breath control as a singer today. The summer of drum class in high school improved my rhythm at the piano. My recent guitar practice has made my left hand stronger, which helps me execute difficult left-hand passages on the piano. Playing with other musicians, performing, writing music, studying more advanced theory and music history, it all helps me grow as a musician, and the same can be true for your child.

So in this new year, switch it up and take a new path for a while because music learning is an adventure!

Happy Mom Music provides at-home lessons and private lessons at the Crescenta-Canada YMCA in piano, voice, guitar, drums, violin, flute and saxophone. 

Written by Joletta Sells.

Soprani Compagni in Concert – it’s FREE!

A concert piano and voice students won’t want to miss!

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Soprani Compagni
Sunday November 6, 6:00pm
Calvary Presbyterian Church
(610 N. Glendale Avenue, Glendale)
Admission is free.
Childcare will be provided.

Soprani Compagni will debut their new project “Portraits of Women” in Glendale, one of their many stops on their 2016-2017 world tour.

Soprani Compagni is comprised of sopranos Dr. Lisa Dawson and Dr. Tammie Huntington, and pianist Phoenix Park-Kim. Together they research, compile and perform soprano art song duets, oratorio and opera scenes, modeling soprano collaboration; and commission new works for soprano duet. Specifically, “Portraits of Women” is an expansion of soprano duet repertoire that emphasizes the contributions of women in our society. This recital series involves historical characters, women of the Bible, as well as fictional characters.

Soprani Compagni made their Carnegie Hall debut in March 2012. Let’s welcome them to Glendale!

Congratulations CM Students!

Congratulations to the following students for
participating in the 2016 Certificate of Merit music test:

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Julia Bonk, Samantha Bonk, Sarah Bonk, Nyra Tatoulian,
Sarah Kenny, Sophia Aftandelian, Leo Aftandelian, Nelly Moradi, and Dion Moradi

Flute
Rachel Towner, McKenna Dahlen

Guitars Are For Girls!

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So you think that guitars are just for boys? Think again. In the last 100 years female guitar players have rocked just as hard as their male counterparts. Guitar players like Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Maybelle Carter opened the door for ladies such as Nancy Wilson of the band Heart, and Joni Mitchell. The ladies below are currently picking up the reins as they grace stages across the world. Happy Mom Music offers group guitar classes for girls and boys.

Taylor Swift started playing guitar at the age of 12. Check out her solo performance of Wildest Dreams.

Juliana Vieira, a teenage, Brazilian, Youtube sensation has hundreds of thousands of followers from around the globe. In this video she plays both lead and rhythm guitar on the Guns and Roses hit Welcome to the Jungle.

Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes began playing guitar as a child and began writing songs by the age of 13. The song Hold On was voted the best song of 2012 by Rolling Stone Magazine.

Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker of Sleater-Kinney were a major part of the 1990’s Riot Grrrl movement. Brownstein is also an actress and, and can be seen in the popular TV series, Portlandia. Their song Dig Me Out was released on their album of the same name which has been listed by Spin Magazine as one of the the greatest albums of all time.

Tina S., a French, guitar YouTube star began playing at age 6. MTV has called her a “guitar goddess” and her cover of Van Halen’s Eruption has over 13 million views.

Orianthi, an Australian singer- songwriter, and guitarist has played with Michael Jackson, Alice Cooper, and was listed as one of the “Top 12 Greatest Female Electric Guitarists” by Elle Magazine. Here, she is covering Voodoo Child originally by Jimi Hendrix.

Drumming is Great Exercise!

Looking for an alternative for kids who aren’t into sports? Did you know that drumming is great exercise? Happy Mom Music offers group drumming classes for health and fun.

A university study on drummer Clem Burke of the band Blondie produced some exciting information about drumming as a physical fitness activity.

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Clem Burke and Debbie Harry of Blondie
  • Burke’s drumming during a 2 hour concert equaled the same energy expended by a 10K runner or professional soccer player.
  • Drumming is great cardio. It uses aerobic energy which increases strength in your lungs and heart, improving circulation, and reducing stress.
  • Drumming also uses anaerobic energy building muscle mass, and increasing stamina.

Check out Clem Burke in action from this 1982 live clip of Blondie performing Call Me

Happy Mom Music has partnered with the Crescenta Canada YMCA to provide group drumming classes for our community. E-mail us or call Joletta at (818)441-9662 to sign up today.

For further reading, check out the following link:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/sns-health-use-drums-for-workout-story.html

5 Great Reasons You Should Practice Music

 

We’ve all heard that practicing your instrument is important, but is it really important? Practicing your instrument and lessons will make you a better player but want to see some real benefits of practicing?

1) Get a million views on Youtube

This 14 year old slays Van Halen!

2) Impress Heidi Klum

Watch this 9 year old wow the judges of America’s Got Talent!

3) Play on stage with your musical heroes

This teen plays on stage with U2 and Bono gives him a guitar!

4) Get invited to play on The Ellen Show

Watch this 10 year old shred on guitar and amaze the audience!

5) Spend the rest of your life doing something that you love!

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Guitarist Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes, Drummer Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters. Cellist Yo Yo Ma, Pianist Chris Martin of Coldplay, Violinist Anne Harris, Pop Band Saint Motel.

Happy Mom Music believes that practice makes awesome! Practice, practice, practice.

Our Favorite Local Drum Teacher

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Take a seat at the drums and meet your friendly neighborhood drum teacher Mike Victory. Mike has been teaching students how to keep the beat since 1996.  His experience includes teaching at San Gabriel Christian School for 15 years, Arcadia Christian School for 5 years,  and South Pasadena Public Schools for 3 years. His uncanny way of making students feel comfortable gets them rockin’ on the drums in no time!

Mike teaches various styles of drumming including classic & modern rock, traditional & modern jazz, shuffle, blues, reggae, disco, pop, and world beats. He also teaches on various drum types including drum set, stomp, and world percussion instruments.

On Tuesday afternoons Mike can me found at the Crescenta- Canada YMCA teaching our Happy Mom Music Drum Classes. He explores all mentioned styles and percussion instruments in both his group and private lessons.

For more information call Joletta at (818)441-9662

Musical Games for Winter Break

It can be hard to keep kids entertained during school breaks, especially when it’s cold outside. Here are some fun, musical, at-home activities to keep your kids moving!

1) Musical Chairs

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This old favorite easily keeps kids active. Place chairs back-to-back with one less chair than the number of players. When the music plays the kids will walk, run, or dance around the chairs. When the music is suddenly turned off, all the players must find a chair. The player left without a chair is eliminated. Play continues until there is only one player left. Let the winner choose the music for the next round.

2) Freeze Dance

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Let the kids pick their favorite dance song. When the music is playing, the kids have to dance. When they least expect it, turn the music off, and everyone has to freeze. Anyone still moving is eliminated. The last man standing is the winner!

3) Make Instruments

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Check out some of these simple craft ideas to makes instruments at home.  Or get out some pots, pans and wooden spoons to see what different sounds each object makes. See if you can even play a simple holiday tune.

 

4) Name That Instrument

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Take out all of the instruments in your home, either homemade or professionally made. Blindfold each player and have them guess the instrument as it’s being played.

5) Marching Band

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Outside or inside, have your kids create lines and formations as they play their instruments, just like a marching band!