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    Pavarotti Jr.

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    Say hello to Sislena Caparrosa. She is the granddaughter of the highly acclaimed Luciano Pavarotti. She is certainly carrying on the Pavarotti name and talent.

    Here she is performing a song made famous by her grandfather “Nessun Dorma”.

     

     

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    Which Instrument Is Right For My Child?

    girl violin

     

     

     

     

     

    If you are considering signing your child up for music lessons this article featured on PBS.org is worth the read. “Dr. Robert A. Cutietta is the Dean of the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music. He is the author of “Raising Musical Kids” and a popular speaker whose areas of expertise include the middle-school learner, choral education, learning theories, and the psychology of music. Additionally, he is a highly regarded musician and educator with extensive knowledge about the full range of musical talent nationally as well as internationally.”

     

    http://www.pbs.org/parents/education/music-arts/helping-your-child-choose-the-right-instrument/

     

    The Music Junction offers piano and voice lessons at our Burbank and Hollywood locations. Call us today to learn more.

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    “But I Don’t Wanna Play The Piano….”

     

     

     

     

     

     

    “Forcing a child to play an instrument rarely leads to the love of music making we want.”

    (Dr. Robert A. Cutietta, author of “Raising Musical Kids”)

    I have very mixed feelings about this statement. I was one of those children who’s parents “forced” them to play an instrument. In my family learning to play the piano was not optional for my siblings and me. Practicing the piano regularly was also not optional.

    My parents made a deal with me during one of my many rants about wanting to quit. They said that if I could find 3 adults that had quit playing piano as a child and didn’t regret it then they would let me quit. I tried for years, asking every grown up I came across. Needless to say, my parents won. Every adult I spoke to said “I wish I would have kept going.” Not only did I develop my own love for the piano, but I also went on to study music in college, perform on multiple stages worldwide, and even become a piano teacher myself.

    We’ve all heard of the cognitive and physical benefits of learning an instrument as a child. We’ve heard how students who study an instrument for an extended period of time have improved grades and test scores, increased creativity, and stronger balance in left/right brain function. Even so, it can be very difficult when our kids refuse to practice or argue to quit taking lessons. The competition is fierce with the internet, video games, sports, and even school work. As a teacher, I encourage parents to push through and continue through those phases (which is exactly what they are) in setting non-negotiable standards for their children. I do, however, recognize the need to maybe switch to another instrument or introduce new musical genres into the students repertoire. Music teachers and parents can work together as these different stages of growth arise for the young musician.

    There are always ways to keep it fresh!

     

    The Music Junction offers piano and voice lessons at our Burbank and Hollywood locations. Call us today to learn more.

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    Joey Alexander

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    Joey Alexander. This is a name you may want to remember in years to come. 12 year old Joey was just featured as a jazz pianist on the 2016 Grammy Awards show. Indonesian born Joey has already performed in front of thousands worldwide, including presidents and dignitaries. He was even nominated for two Grammy awards.

    Joey began playing piano at six years old, his parents consider his abilities a “gift from God”.

    Here’s Joey playing at the 2016 Grammy Awards.

     

    The Music Junction offers piano and voice lessons at our Burbank and Hollywood locations. Call us today to learn more.

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    Lydian, the 9 year old piano virtuoso.

    imageLydian Nadhaswaram is an incredibly talented young musician. At only 9 years old he plays the piano, drums, and guitar and practices religiously every day. Lydian’s father is a music educator and has trained his children to be dedicated and talented musicians. Here is Lydian performing Fantasie Imprompu by composer Fredrick Chopin.

     

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkf2HTn2v8I

     

    The Music Junction offers piano and voice lessons at our Burbank and Hollywood locations. Call us today to learn more.

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    Super Bowl 2016. What a showdown!

    The 50th celebration of the NFL Super Bowl boasted one of the most epic half time shows to date. Some fans eagerly awaited the football action on the field while the rest of us were anticipating the half time show featuring Coldplay, Bruno Mars, and Beyoncé.

    There was a little something for everyone in this performance; a little rock and roll, hip hop, r&b, classical music, and lots of dancing. It was completely mesmerizing to watch.

    The show featured some very lucky young musicians. There were young singers, violin players, a drum line, and a marching band. Every one of them solidifying their bragging rights for years to come. Who would imagine that all those hours spent in music lessons and band rehearsal could lead to a performance in front of millions of viewers and on stage alongside three of the biggest performers in the world. Anything is possible!

    Oh! And Congratulations to the Denver Broncos on their big win. Ahh yes, a football game did also take place.

     

    The Music Junction offers piano and voice lessons at our Burbank and Hollywood locations. Call us today to learn more.

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    CSUN Orchestra and Fantasia

    Having a hard time getting your child to listen to Beethoven, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky? A cameo appearance from Mickey Mouse may be the answer.

     

    Cal State Northridge’s symphony orchestra will be performing some classics with scenes from “Fantasia” and “Fantasia 2000” playing on a big screen. The performance is at the Valley Center for the Performing Arts and is scheduled for the last Sunday in March and tickets are still available, some for as little as $35.

     

    Fantasia is often children’s first exposure to classical music and we certainly remember seeing clips in school. Images of Mickey wearing the sorcerer’s hat and the dancing broom are seared in our memory.

     

    As we all know, there is nothing like hearing orchestral music live. For Music Junction students the performance could also motivate your children to practice a little bit more, too!

     

    Now that the weather is warming — or did we ever have a winter in LA? — get prepared for more live music for you and your children. Personally, this is our favorite time of year and we’re already excited about Bugs Bunny at the Symphony at the Hollywood Bowl!

     

    The Music Junction offers piano and voice lessons at our Burbank and Hollywood locations. Call us today to learn more.

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    Some Reasons To Be Happy About Music

    We recently read about music instruments stolen from a middle school in Pasadena. It was a heartbreaking to story to read. The children had two big performances that week and only had a few instruments to play.

     

    It just seemed especially cruel that someone would steal from kids. They not only stole an instrument, but stopped them from making art while dampening their hopes and ambition.

     

    Needless to say, we’ve been in a sour mood.

     

    Then, as if the writers for Music.Mic were reading our mind, they posted some inspirational stories about music. Stories ranged from children making instruments out of trash to a group that brings people from warring countries or cultures together to make music. It lifted our hearts.

     

    So, in the spirit of Music.Mic, we came up with a list about the good things that are happening with music in Southern California.

     

    Enjoy!

     

    Yes, the children’s instruments were stolen but the Pasadena community rallied around them and raised $16,000 to replace the instruments and buy a secure locker for storage.

     

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic is bucking a national trend among symphonies. The Phil has one of the largest budgets of any symphony in the country and has an endowment of $222 million. The Los Angeles Times published a series on the Phil’s success and it’s definitely worth a read.

     

    We learned that Children’s Hospital Los Angeles has an Expressive Arts and Therapies Department. As KPCC reports: “The department offers clinical and non-clinical services to help patients manage pain and other challenges with their illnesses. On the clinical side, therapists help patients build coping skills to manage their pain and moods. On the non-clinical side, patients can attend art workshops, watch theater performances and more.”

     

    Some of the pictures just pull at your heart strings. We are so happy that people realize the healing power of music and other forms of art!

     

    The Music Junction offers piano and voice lessons at our Burbank and Hollywood locations. Call us today to learn more.

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    March Is Sing With Your Child Month

    No one in The Music Junction needs prodding to become songbirds but we’ll happily sing a little bit more in honor of Sing With Your Child Month!

     

    Yes, there is a month dedicated to singing and it begins in March!

     

    As we learned in an earlier blog post, parents are more likely to sing in the shower than to their children so we fully support a month dedicated to belting out tunes. After all, the benefits of music are scientifically proven and we all could find more ways to add music to our lives. So, forget about the quality of your singing voice — trust us, you’re probably a lot better than you think you are — grab a drum and starting singing.

     

    Still, not sure what to do? We have some advice:

     

    Make up a song: Turn off the car radio and have your family sing a song, suggests Music Together. Don’t worry about rhythm or the quality of the lyrics. In our house, we borrow heavily from the song “Mary Wore A Red Dress” except we change the lyrics to say what we’re wearing.

     

    Turn Storytime into Musical Storytime: Visit your local library and check out books you can sing. The Denver Public Library, has curated a list for you and it goes beyond “Twinkle, twinkle little star” and “Mary had a little lamb.”

     

    Sing to Chores/Tasks: Some things are just inevitable in a child’s life. She will have to pick up toys, brush her teeth, and wash her hands. Why not make the experience fun by singing some music. These can be quick tunes that your child is learning at school and preschool.

     

    Good luck and keep singing!

     

    The Music Junction offers piano and voice lessons at our Burbank and Hollywood locations. Call us today to learn more.

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    Can Children Take Voice Lessons?

    When it comes to singing, so many myths abound. Some people believe that singing is an innate skill and others claim their singing success lies in “using” their diaphragm.

     

    Another persistent myth is that children should not take voice lessons.

     

    We’re not sure about the origins of this myth but whoever created it certainly has never visited an elementary school classroom where songs are often integrated into the curriculum. And this person certainly has never visited a playground, where high octave screaming is a regular occurrence.

     

    So, what do we think about the myth that professional training will lead to “vocal abuse” in children and cause deterioration of their vocal cords?

     

    Our response: If you’re with a voice instructor who treats every student the same — young and old — then you’re with the wrong instructor. A good, responsible teacher tailors your child’s education to his abilities and desired outcomes. A voice coach should never push your child to sing with strong intensity, sing excessively or do overly challenging vocal ranges.

     

    The Music Junction co-owner Charissa Vaughan-Wheeler has been taking singing lessons since she was 4 years old and believes in learning to sing the right way from the start.

     

    “Of course singing incorrectly for a long time can cause damage to any voice, young or old,” Vaughan-Wheeler says.  “Kids can sing incorrectly whether they do it in front of a teacher or singing on their own – I would feel better if the teacher was monitoring.”

     

    For more information vocal abuse visit this website. To get another teacher’s perspective, read this Huffington Post story.

     

    The Music Junction offers piano and voice lessons at our Burbank and Hollywood locations. Call us today to learn more.

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