Sunday, December 9, 2018

The First Noel the Angels Did say

The Christmas season is upon us and I have been enjoying playing holiday music for various audiences. This year, I entered my arrangement of The First Noel for solo fingerstyle guitar in a holiday music arrangement contest with Sheet Music Plus.    While it would be fun to win a prize for most sales, I am mostly motivated with the idea of others enjoying playing this arrangement. It begins with an improvised introduction, the 1st verse the melody is played as is and 2nd verse is improvised. It is a lot of fun and easy to play! You can hear it and download it at this link:

In other holiday music news, this fall I joined the First Wind Band at the local senior center in Charlottesville. I have really been enjoying playing percussion again because that was where I started in my high school band. I was always best at the snare drum and here is a video from our holiday concert last weekend. The song is called, "Latin Yuletide" and I am on the snare drum and I even have a little solo towards the end!

I hope you enjoy and thank you for stopping by. Happy Holidays to all!

Saturday, December 8, 2018

The plot of Life's Stories

This week I really enjoyed my work as Artist-in-Residence in Albemarle County schools working with three 5th grade classrooms.  The students were working on writing stories and learning all about plot, rising and falling action, climax, character studies. 

In my song, "Choose the Sky" we analyzed the plot for various elements. 

We talked about a plot where a problem is resolved.   When I asked the children, "What is the problem in this song?"

The problem is talked about in these lyrics:

"Sometimes I get lost inside a thought
nowhere to go
A story that, only I know
I need to get some perspective." 

A: "She just needed some space. "  "She needed to chill out." 

When I asked them, "What is the climax? Where the problem is most stated?

A: "Nowhere to go." 

Then we worked on the resolution of this problem. Students had no trouble finding it with my lyrics:

"When walking out into the day
choose the sky, choose the sky
the sun will renew, let it in you."

It was a lot of fun to work with these young writers afterwards and help them develop their own stories and poems. 

Choose the Sky!