Our 11 year old son Atticus has been very busy. He decided some months ago that he wanted to create a live action version of one of his favorite fairy tales. When he decides something, so mote it be.
Atticus is the star of this new film version of Jack & the Beanstalk. He is also the scriptwriter/editor, the director, the cinematographer, the costumer, the prop master, the film editor, and the composer/performer of the musical score. His beloved accordion teacher Jill VanDorpe worked closely with him as a coach on this project and she does a beautiful job of playing Jack’s Mother.
Atticus expertly cast his father as the Giant (don’t miss his impeccable death scene!), his brother Liam as The Creepy Old Man (wearing my favorite costume in the film), and me as the Cow (who looks uncannily like a panda) and also as the Giant’s Wife.
Please consider taking ten minutes from your day to view his film and to leave him some encouragement. You will be glad that you did. We are very grateful for your support of our young artist.
Thank you, Kalona Brewing Company! Congratulations on your 5th anniversary. Here’s to many more delicious years.
Introducing Silas, my featured musician for September and October!
I’ve only had the privilege of working with Silas for one year and it is astounding to look back and see all that we’ve already explored together.
Silas is a natural adventurer, choosing to learn about the world by jumping right into the experiences that spark his curiosity. We had only been working together for a few weeks when he arrived at his lesson with his first composition in hand. Together we played through it and I helped him translate what he had written using finger numbers into standard notation. Oh, the thrill when the computer played back his song to him!
Since then, the compositions have been flowing steadily. I have a file of student compositions that I keep on my computer and Silas’s creations now make up almost 20% of the content in that file. It is fascinating to observe how the musical concepts that we explore in lessons organically manifest themselves in his compositions as we progress.
Silas’s technique continues to strengthen along with his creative victories so he is well placed to soon reach his goal of “playing piano very fast” that he states above. He capably achieves all that he sets out to accomplish by taking on challenges at his own beautiful pace with his eager, openhearted mindset toward learning.
My students inspire me so much.
Introducing Lucy, my featured musician for July and August!
One of my favorite aspects of producing these featured musician profiles every other month is what I learn about my students and how that new knowledge relates to what I’ve already seen from them in the context of working together each week.
I knew of course that Lucy has been taking lessons since May 2015 because my studio software keeps track of these things for me. When I consider all that Lucy has accomplished in just over three years of study while at the same time establishing a thriving acupuncture, Asian bodywork therapy & Chinese herbs practice, I am overwhelmed with adoration and pride.
Lucy regularly attends and fully participates in various Irish music sessions around town. She has also performed locally many times and a recent successful open mic performance culminated in her being invited to open for a touring folk band. I’m going to pause there and let you take that in. Amazing.
Lucy has listed “collaboration with other musicians to make music that inspires others to move and dance” and that inspires me to fondly remember that Lucy and I first met in a dance class. Her innate love of moving to music comes through so beautifully in her playing.
I also love what Lucy has to say about the rhythm of the seasons, community and the importance of embracing the beginner’s mind. These are all deep values for me as well and are the roots of where I find my purpose as an artist.
Congratulations to Lucy for all she has accomplished, for all she brings to our community, and for her sheer courage, determination, and dedication to playing her important part in our miraculous musical ecosystem.