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    Watch 10-year-old Anna Christine – Semi-Finalist on The Voice this week

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    This week, vocalist/pianist Anna Christine was the semi-finalist on The Voice.  At 10 years old, she possesses the vocal maturity of an adult that has been wowing audiences all summer.

    This video is of her performance in June, when the Daily Caller reported she “stunned viewers across the nation performing “The House of the Rising Sun,” on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” The talented 10-year-old from Henderson, Nevada, debuted a surprisingly rich, deep voice that left an expression of disbelief on the face of new judge Heidi Klum and veteran judge Howie Mandel”

    To sing with the strength and volume of Christine without creating vocal damage takes an advanced understanding of the voice that most wouldn’t be able to manage by age 10.  It’s evident in Christine’s tone that she is using the exact right vocal placement that can allow her vocal ease while producing such hearty sounds.  The placement can be taught to anyone over time and commitment to lessons, but then it needs to be exercised frequently to stay so strong and vibrant.  It’s a beautiful example, and also an amazing feat for her age.

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    Listen to Renowned LA Music Teacher, Rafe Esquith

    This week, Terrence McNally interviewed a multi-award winning 29-year LA 5th grade Music teacher, Rafe Esquith.  This is a wonderful interview where we get to hear about Esquith’s views on teaching and how he has impacted the lives of so many LA kids in his years at Hobart Elementary.  He started a theatre troupe called the Hobart Shakespeareans, takes his students on yearly field trips, and finances it all through a variety of donors including Shakespearean actor Sir Ian McKellen. He has authored 4 books, his latest being Real Talk for Real Teachers, Advice for Teachers from Rookies to Veterans: “No Retreat, No Surrender!” Rafe has an enlightened view on how to reach kids, born out of his lifetime of teaching experiences, that gives parents and teachers alike a vision of how educational experience should be.  In this interview he shares his journey, what it has taught him, and what that means for all of us.

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    Watch Carly Rose Sonenclar – 14 year-old pianist/vocalist

    Carly Rose Sonenclar, age 14, is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. In December 2012, she became the runner-up on the second season of the U.S.version of the The X Factor.

    Carly started singing at the age of two. Carly made her Broadway debut at the age of seven in Les Miserables as Young Cosette (singing “Castle on a Cloud”).  She made her television debut as Gilda Flip in Season three of The Electric Company.  Screen credits include Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 and The Nanny Diaries.

    Carly is in the eighth grade in Westchester, NY.

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    Watch Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir 3, ‘Water Night’

    This is an amazing video featuring a virtual choir made of prerecorded homemade videos from 3,746 people in 73 countries of the same song.  It’s a 3,746-person choir in this 3rd installment by Eric Whitacre (the 4th video features over 8,000).  Composer Eric Whitacre’s idea for a Virtual Choir featuring voices from all over the world began when a fan recorded herself singing one of his songs and shared it on YouTube. (more…)

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    Americans Want Music Education, Research Shows

    With the way that schools in California (and other states) have been gutting/removing their music programs, you would think that people didn’t care about music education.  This seems to not be true, according to a 2009 Gallup Poll of American attitudes toward music.

    According to the survey, the majority of Americans completely or mostly agree that benefits for children and teenagers playing musical instruments include:

    •    Helping a child develop creativity(97%)

    •    Helping develop teamwork skills from playing in a school band (96%)

    •    Helping a child’s overall intellectual development (94%)

    •    Relieving stress and providing relaxation, which is needed during these troubled economic times (94%)

    •    Helping make friends (93%)

    •    Helping prepare them to be creative and innovative in the workforce (91%)

    •    Yielding better grades, teaches discipline, motivates them to stay in school (88%)

    •    Making you smarter (83%)

    •    Most (92%) completely or mostly agree that schools should offer music as part of the regular curriculum

    •    Eight in ten completely or mostly agree that music education should be mandated by states

    •    Most (87%) completely or strongly agree that music is a very important part of their life

    (more…)

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    Watch a Video of Kurt Elling – The Best Jazz Vocalist

    Kurt Elling is my (Charissa’s) favorite jazz vocalist of all time (sorry Ella).  I first saw him live 7 years ago at the Green Mill Jazz Club in Chicago, where he got his start.  He performed in LA in 2012 and gave one of the best performances I’ve ever seen, with a small 3-piece ensemble of high-end musicians who were so tight and advanced that it felt like a whole new level of music.

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    Why Voice Lessons?

    If you’ve thought about taking lessons, you probably fall into one of three categories. It may seem strange that something that comes as naturally to most people as singing requires tutoring. People often make excuses, or don’t have all the facts in front of them to make a decision as to whether or not to embark on a series of classes. Here I have answered some of the questions that people ask when considering vocal coaching.

    • 1. Why even great singers can benefit from lessons
    • 2. What to expect from singing lessons
    • 3. What to look for in a vocals tutor
    • 4. How much will singing lessons cost

    ‘Singing just comes naturally to me- I sound good anyway. If it ain’t broke…’

    This is, unfortunately, the attitude of most budding singers around. People think that a natural ability in something is enough.

    We learn to do most things by imitating what we see or hear others do. However with singing, imitating can be a dangerous thing.  Without truly understanding what happens when you use your voice, trying to replicate Christina’s runs or Alicia’s chesty high notes will cause you damage. So even if you are lucky enough to be happy with the sound of your voice, it’s still a good idea to go to someone who can help point out your bad habits, and give you tips that could help keep your voice in good shape for longer. Plus, you’d be surprised,  your voice will become stronger, and you’ll be able to sing more easily and sound even better than you do now!

    ‘I think I’m quite good, but sometimes I can’t do the things that I want to and I want to get better.’

    Wanting to improve is the perfect attitude for success at any skill. Singing lessons can help you to explore and understand your own voice, and help you to figure out how to do the things that you want to do in a comfortable way, without harming your voice. A teacher’s job is to guide you in the discovery of your full potential. Often I’ve seen people within a few sessions of coaching discovering they can do things they’d never thought they could, simply by putting into place the basic rules of good singing technique. When you’ve got a good strong foundation, all it takes is practice and you’ll find that that your voice will start to blossom and grow.

    ‘I’m not very good, and I don’t know if I’ll ever be any better.’

    If you’ve found your way to this article, it’s quite obvious that a part of you desires to be a strong and confident singer. Anyone can improve on what they have. We don’t all sound like Kelly Clarkson or Whitney Houston, but we each have our own unique voice, that is just ours. Making the most of what we have is part of what the singing coaching process is about. Understanding our own limits, and learning to love our own voices is vital, and confidence is 90% of the battle to making you a better performer. Taking the plunge and getting some lessons is the starting point to your vocal journey of discovery.  And who knows where that will lead!

    Singing lessons can help anyone, no matter what their skill or confidence level. Someone with a natural ability to dance will still spend hour after hour slaving away at dance class, even once they reach a professional standard. Dance studios everywhere are filled with professional dancers pushing themselves further, learning new skills and keeping their bodies in top condition.

    Why should singers be any less committed?


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    The Music Junction Introduction Video

    • Private, personalized piano and voice lessons for ages 4 and up
    • A friendly, warm, welcoming staff bringing excellence in service
    • Accredited teachers with varying, specialized degrees in music
    • 4 private, sound-treated, spacious teaching rooms
    • 4 authentic, upright, acoustic, tuned pianos for learning & playing
    • 2 electric pianos with headphones for practicing in the lobby
    • Lesson times available 7 days a week
    • Spacious, comfortable lobby with comfy seats for waiting, reading, computing, chatting or practicing piano
    • A safe, small-town-feel, artistic neighborhood, convenient stores
    • Free Wifi internet access to use while you wait
    • Easy-to-find street parking
    • Lots of reading material while you wait
    • Teacher fluent in Armenian & Russian available
    • Convenient secondary location in Hollywood


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