I’m thrilled to share this information from my friends at ArtFarm19! I will be there with bells on. Bells and heaven knows what else. Anything is possible.
Dear creative friends and collaborators,
I wanted to let you know about ArtFarm19, a festival of creativity happening near Iowa City this July. ArtFarm19 brings together artists, educators, entrepreneurs, healers, and movement builders, to share creative practices, find renewal and restoration on Scattergood’s rural campus, and participate in the launch of new regional arts programming. The mission of ArtFarm19 is to connect people across differences and harness the power of the arts to build a more JEDI (just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive) world.
Throughout the month, ArtFarm19 will gather together creative folks to participate in a variety of creative activities. Check out the opportunities below and RSVP for one or all of them:
July 4 (RSVP here)– opening potluck to greet the Swarm Artist Residency hive queens who will be curating 75 artists in residence this summer at Scattergood.
July 9 (RSVP) – Art Bazaar to meet the Swarm artists in residence.
July 14 (RSVP) – join The Great Parade in the Muscatine County Fair Parade in West Liberty – we will give you costumes, musical instruments, and puppets to play with as we make a spectacle and recruit more people to the creative force
July 15-17 – join us as we Build-a-Show in three days. The first day will be for designers who want to get inside the making of the show. The second day will be for people who want to be in the show. The third day will be for people who want to see the show we made. RSVP to join us for Day One-Designers, Day Two-Performers, or Day Three-Final Performance!
Attached is a flyer you can share with your networks. Please follow our social media platforms (linked below!) to keep up on all the events as they unfold. You can also fill out our contact form to be added into our events email.
Introducing Mira, my featured musician for January and February!
Websites are great and all but I find that when a student finds me because of a recommendation by another longtime student, we have a much higher chance of clicking and having grand musical adventures. This has never been more true than in the case of Mira.
Mira descends from multiple generations of music making and music is highly valued among her family members. Even more beautiful than this is the fact that music is not the only valued pursuit. Witnessing how deeply a child gets to know herself when all of her interests are treated with so much respect and support is remarkable and heartwarming. It’s no wonder that Mira feels so free to play with such musicality and emotion. I am privileged that I get to be her audience so often.
I am so grateful that I am able to glean such valuable parenting inspiration from the families in my orbit like Mira’s family. When we encourage children in loving what they love, the connection we forge is priceless.
Introducing Althea and Naomi, my featured musicians for November and December!
I am delighted to introduce a wonderful family who I have been very lucky to make music with for many, many years now. Althea and Naomi have been with me since I was teaching in our smaller house when my sons were very small, they stayed with me when I taught in the West Music conservatory for several years, and they are my stalwart Friday friends in my current home studio.
I have seen a huge amount of musical development from each of them over the years and I have also had the real privilege of being alongside them as they grew and gathered many other interests and continued to keep music in their lives while they explore ballet, taekwondo, basketball, art and many of the other pleasures of life. I encourage you to read their answers above to see all the wonder they find in the world.
As I’ve mentioned many times before, I get a real surge of joy from seeing my students making music with their family members and so I especially love when their dad Ryan joins them on mandolin and guitar and their mom Jen joins them on piano and flute. Our fellow beloved Family Folk Machiners and audience members also know what marvelous singers they all are.
This family of truth seekers and kindness givers weaves their love of music into the splendid landscape of life’s many treasures and I stand in awe of all the beauty they share with us.
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 Waelyn, my featured musician for March and April!
Waelyn is a wonder. She has never met a melody that she doesn’t retain, can hear and demonstrate melodic similarities in vastly different pieces of music, and her impeccable rhythm extends to her comic timing, much to my continued delight.
Perhaps it is no coincidence given her musical gifts that Waelyn’s parents are two of my favorite local musicians (Benj and Nicole Upchurch). Even beyond my admiration of them as musicians, I really appreciate parents like Benj and Nicole who share my belief in music being a joyful, lifelong pursuit and never ever a drudgery or a battleground.
Given her vast array of interests and talents and her impressively balanced sense of self, I am curious and excited to witness how Waelyn’s passions will manifest in the coming years. I am grateful to be playing a part in her story.
Introducing Beth, my featured musician for January and February!
Teaching Beth is a delight for so many reasons. Let me count the ways:
- well-rounded multipotentialite lifelong learners like Beth are the most inspiring and interesting people with whom to spend time. I strive every day to count myself in this group. Here she lists her “interests outside music” but I happen to know that she has many additional talents not listed here, including being a very gifted visual artist.
- dedicating oneself to mastering a complicated instrument like the fiddle is a task that takes years. Beth cheerfully honors this commitment each year and together we rejoice in noting the ways in which she has grown musically over time.
- Beth embraces the ways in which learning music benefits her overall health as well as challenges her areas of growth.
- Beth is very funny and kind and is wonderfully supportive of me and of her fellow students.
Congratulations to you, Beth! You are a light in my life.
Introducing Stella, my featured musician for November and December!
How awesome is the self-portrait that Stella provided for her featured musician poster?!! I hope you can tell that the shirt she is wearing reads “Be Who You Are”. Stella embodies that message so well.
It also delights me to no end that Stella’s mother Katie captured a photo of our very first fiddle lesson together 4 years ago when she was just shy of her fifth birthday.
Since that first lesson, Stella and I have learned so much together. We sing in nearly every lesson because two people who love to sing as much as we do just can’t help ourselves when we get together. We are also both shameless multi-instrumentalists. The more music, the better! I’m actually quite jealous of Stella’s collection of musical instruments and I highly doubt the collection is complete.
Stella draws deep inspiration from performing and I believe it stems at least in part from her generous spirit. She truly understands how much joy a passionate performance brings to the audience and she loves to spread happiness. There is very likely a genetic component as well, given how richly blessed Stella is on both sides of her family with a legacy of performance and music making that goes back many generations.
Please join me in wishing Stella a happy birthday and a hearty congratulations on all her musical accomplishments past, present and future!