Yesterday was National Superhero Day. We love Superheroes at our Griffiths Music Studio. Adam is the resident expert around here so I had him compile a list of 10 Superhero Themes you'll be humming for the rest of the day.
And in no particular order:
1. X-Men Cartoon Theme- Ah the good ol' days of superhero cartoons. I remember watching these after school with my brother.
2. X-Men movies- Let's not give all the X-Men glory to the animated series. (Composer for X-Men 1 is Michael Kamen)
3. Nanananananana BATMAN!- You're welcome.
4. Tim Burton Batman- You know this one is iconic as well. And we have Danny Elfman to thank for it!
5. Dark Knight Trilogy- So much good batman music! This theme is courtesy of Hans Zimmer.
6. The Incredibles- Let's come out of the darkness and enjoy a superhero theme that might not have immediately jumped to your mind. But you know it belongs on this list and so does its' composer, Michael Giacchino.
7. Spider-Man- Our niece LOVES Spider-Man! And with such a catchy theme song, who can blame her?
8. Spider-Man Movie- Regardless of your feelings about the Spiderman movies, but the theme music is pretty good. But Danny Elfman has had some practice with superhero themes.
9. The Avengers- I have a friend who listens to this music while she runs. And who can blame her? It makes me feel like a superhero too. Well done composer Alan Silvestri.
10. Superman- The King of Movie Themes, John Williams, is a good option for topping off our list.
Man, that's some good music! Makes me want to get out there and fight crime! If you walk around with any of these stuck in your head today, well, you could definitely do worse.
Leave a comment and let us know what other Superhero themes you love! Obviously this isn't a comprehensive list!
We'd also like to leave you with an honorable mention...because childhood nostalgia....
I'm not [completely] ashamed to admit that I like to read Buzzfeed. And I'm a sucker for the lists. "7 kitchen gadgets that will change your life" "22 gifs that are basically you as an adult" "15 quotes from Parks and Rec that perfectly describe finals week"
So today, I'm giving you a Buzzfeed-esque list!
1. Mark Twain- Did you know Mark Twain played the accordian, guitar and banjo? True story.
2. Zooey Deschanel- That really is her singing in Elf and she sings the Theme song for New Girl. Did you also know that she is in a musical group called "She and Him"?
3. Albert Einstein- There's no question this guy was a genius. Is it a coincidence that he also happened to play piano and violin?
4. Hugh Laurie- We love him as Dr Gregory House, cantankerous genius with social issues. And like his character, Hugh Laurie is also an accomplished musician. He especially loves Jazz.
5. Neil Armstrong- This name is the first we think of when we think of the moon and space travel. But did you know that Neil Armstrong also played the Baritone?
6. Ryan Gosling- Is there anything he can't do? Watch him sing and play the piano with some cute kids singing back up.
7. Louis Braille- This is one of my favorites. The man who created Braille (the way blind people can read) played the Organ. I just think that's super cool.
8. Condolezza Rice- This Former Secretary of State even got to tickle the ivories for Queen Elizabeth II. And you might have seen her in a cameo on the TV show 30 Rock.
9. Bernie Williams- For those of you who know sports (I'm not really up on my sportsing), he was a New York Yankee. But apparently he's also grammy nominated and composes his own songs. He plays the Guitar.
10. Chris Evans- Our very own Captain America has a hidden talent. Watch him play and sing with his brother. It's a bit rough, but I'm sure it's because he was worn out from saving the world or doing push ups or something.
Lists are fun. I liked watching various videos while I put this one together. It's fun to see all the hidden talents of people we think we know so much about!
I will definitely be doing more lists like this!
The Value of Music Lessons
I'd say one of the most common questions I get is "What do you charge for lessons?" It's truthfully probably only second to "What do you do with a music degree", but the answer to that question is a different blog post altogether. I want to discuss the first question.
I spend a lot of time researching. And about once a year, I evaluate my lesson fees. I look around at what others of comparable education and experience charge. I look at what those with more education and experience charge. I look at what those with less charge. I look at what is the average in my area and I look at other similar locations. There are a lot of different resources for me to find this information. I would hope that in your search for a music teacher, you are doing your research as well. Of course, I also take into account how much I might be paying for studio space rental, supplies and time outside of lessons preparing materials and curriculum. And of course, I need to know how much I need to pay my bills. This is, after all, my job; my primary income.
So those are the things I consider when selecting my lesson fee. What things should you be considering when you are deciding if music lessons are "worth" it for you and your child? I've done significant research in this area too. I'm going to present you with some data that is more on the scientific side. But I'd love for you to read this blog post from a parent's point of view. Click HERE to read why this parent thinks music lessons are a sound investment.
Here's what you get for you money when you pay for music lessons:
As you can see, your child gets so much more out of music lessons than just learning to make music.
Don't just put your child in music lessons because you think it will improve their chances of getting into an Ivy League school. Put your child in music lessons because you want your child to have fun and enjoy music. Put them in lessons so they can learn about different types of music. Put them in lessons so they can be exposed to musical traditions of various cultures. Put them in lessons because you want them to learn to love something and to succeed in something. Put them in lessons because music can be a safe haven for them.
I've been thinking a lot this week about why I ran so hard with my idea for a Kids Summer Music Camp. As a teacher, I am constantly having to innovate to try to appeal to a broader audience and hopefully gain students for our studio so we can earn a living. Not all of the ideas I have are great ones. Not all of the ideas I have immediate implementation. But I felt like the summer camp was a great idea and could be immediately implemented. And as I've thought more about what exactly excited me about the idea, I've actually become even more passionate about the idea and what it means to me. And I want to share those thoughts with you.
I had an excellent opportunity to grow up performing with Sunshine Generation. I know this entity still exists. But I can guarantee there aren't teachers as great as the ones I had. They loved music and performing and working with young kids. They were excited to see us and excited to teach us and excited to see our love of music grow. It was an environment of encouragement. It wasn't about showing who was the best. It wasn't about making the next American Idol star. It was about nurturing a love of music, it was about helping kids find a way to express themselves. It was about allowing the kids to figure out what they loved about music and performing. It was about making friends through music and supporting each other.
I don't have children. But have nieces and a nephew that I feel every bit as protective of as if they were mine. Both my sister and sister in law have expressed concerns about how difficult it is to find performing arts lessons that aren't competitive classes. They both want to foster a love of music and dance and performing in their kids. They want to give their children an opportunity to have a safe environment to learn new things without feeling like the only measure of success is being "the best". I want these things for them as well. I want every child to have this opportunity.
This is really is a passion for me. And even if this summer doesn't have as high of enrollment as I hope it will, I'm going to keep trying. I'm going to keep finding ways to give these opportunities to every child I can. I hope to grow this program into a year round program.
I know it can be scary to send your kid to a program when you haven't met the teacher. Maybe this can give you little more insight into who I am as a musician, a teacher and a person.
Please leave comments if you have any questions about me or my teaching experience and philosophy! I'm happy to share!
Kids Group Summer Camp!
I am so excited about this announcement! I (Wendi) has decided to teach two 4-week summer camp music camps for kids! I've been working really hard on the curriculum for these camps and I think I have some great activities planned!
Depending on demand, the possible locations for these classes are Woods Cross, Bountiful, Centerville and Murray.
The dates for the Camps are the same for all ages.
1st Session: June 20th thru July 15th
2nd Session: July 18th thru August 13th
Each age group will come twice a week. Assigned days are TBA. I'm waiting to see the kind of response I get. There might be multiple classes of some age groups.
Here's what's in store for the different Classes-
Ages 3-4 years old, 30 minute classes, $50 for 4 weeks:
Kids will learn basic rhythm and music concepts. Solfege (do, re, mi....etc) will be introduced. Kids in this group will do group singing as well as making music using BoomWhackers. Basic choreography to group songs will also be introduced.
Ages 5-8 years old, 45 minute classes, $80 for 4 weeks:
Kids will learn solfege and basic music note reading will be introduced. Kids will learn about rhythm and other music concepts. In this age group, kids will sing songs in a round and will learn simple partner songs (2 melodies sung at the same time). Some choreography will be incorporated into the group numbers. Solo singing will be introduced.
Ages 9-12 years old, 45 minute classes, $80 for 4 weeks:
Kids will learn solfege and basic note reading. Rhythm and other concepts will be covered. In this age group, kids will sing partner songs and simple harmonies. Choreography and other acting elements will be incorporated into the group numbers. Each student will also learn a song to sing solo.
I realize that some families will have kids in different age groups and this can get pricey. So I will be offering a 10% discount for each additional child from the same family. Additionally, if you want to enroll your student in the second session as well, there will also be a 10% discount.
I really love teaching kids music. This is a great way to introduce your kids to music and performing concepts in a low-pressure, non-competitive environment.
Contact me soon to reserve your spot in the summer camp! There are a limited number of spots available in each class.
For more information and to register your kids, email me at email@example.com
A Musical Journey- Adam
My parents met in the Mormon Youth choir and sang together their whole marriage. They were both members of the Utah Opera Company, where my dad was one of the principal tenors and my mom was an accompanist. My mom taught us all to song since before I remember. We have family videos of us singing together, often in harmony, with some of us under the age of 4 or 5. My mom started teaching me piano lessons around age 5. I picked it up at a young age and loved to play by ear. I would try to pick out songs on the piano that I heard on my favorite cartoons. I wrote my first full song "Sneaky Mouse" around age 8.
As I grew up, my interest in music grew with me. I continued to play in all of my mom's piano recitals and sing in various performances with my family. I started choir in 8th grade and sang in various choirs all through my schooling. I participated in several musicals in Jr. high and high school, acted as president of two choirs and drama in high school, and received straight superiors all three years competing in Vocal Solo & Ensemble competitions. Some of my favorite school roles in high school productions include "The Minstrel" in Once Upon a Mattress, "Jud Fry" in Oklahoma, and "Tevye" in The Fiddler on the Roof. I also musically and artistically directed the musical Something's Afoot. All of these amazing experiences in high school gave me a sense of what it means to be a well-rounded performer and how to teach others in the craft.
Following high school, I continued on in my performing career by singing with the University of Utah Singers. Over the years participating in this group, I sang hundreds of songs and travelled all across the globe to places like Germany, Solvenia, Crotia, Hungary, Italy, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Spain, Israel, and Hawaii. I consider my time in this group as one of the highlights of my musical experience.
I've always known music was the career path for me and I graduated with a bachelor's degree in Music Education from the University of Utah in 2013. During my time in college, I worked at Day Murray Music for 5 years and I taught private voice lessons for 3 years at the music studios directly above the store.
Directly following my graduation, I accepted a job as choir director and AP Music Theory teacher at Alta High School, where I've taught for the last three years. I have taken my groups to various festivals and competitions and won first place at the Heritage Music Festival in Seattle, Washington in 2015. I have continued my music performance career by performing at venues such as the Desert Star Theater and Centerpoint Legacy Theater. I spent 3 years participating in the male septet Consortium. I have also been a soloist with groups like the Salt Lake Vocal Artists, Salt Lake Choral Artists, Salt Lake Symphonic Choir, and the Sterling Singers.
I have decided that solo performing is where I would like to focus my career. I have been accepted into the master's program for Vocal Performance at the University of Utah to begin this fall (2016). I plan to perform locally and abroad in various settings like recitals, oratorios, musicals, and operas. I want to expand my knowledge of the voice and share that with my private students. I feel that my diverse experience in music gives me a unique advantage to teach students. I know that as I continue my education I will learn more about proper technique and will help me to teach to individual students' needs.
A Musical Journey- Wendi
I thought it might be a good idea to give everyone an idea of our individual music backgrounds. Kind of a "get to know you" post.
I've been involved in music and performing my whole life. At the age of 3, my mom enrolled me in Sunshine Generation. I remember loving all the singing and dancing and "Teddy Bear Picinics". When I got older, the instructors had me help teach the younger kids and that's when I got my first taste of teaching. While I started piano lessons official at age 8, I remember my parents had a little keyboard and my mom put stickers with the note names on the keys and gave me a little help to start playing some easy songs. Once I started taking lessons, I advanced pretty quickly. I had a pretty good instinct for music and piano playing. I didn't love practicing, but thanks to my mom's insistence, I took lessons for a long time. I was even fortunate enough to have a piano teacher who also played the organ. I took organ lessons and was able to play for church and even compete in the Utah State Fair Organ Competition.
I took lessons through most of high school. I became a really solid sight reader and accompanist and often accompanied many students during solo and ensemble season. I was also a regular accompanist for my school choirs. In addtion to accompanying, I sang in my high school choirs. I was especially fortunate to audition and be selected for my school's Chamber Choir. It was a select group of 30 senior singers. As part of that group, and the larger senior choir, I got to travel to New York and perform on stages and in churches there in the city. It was an amazing experience and further drilled in my love for music.
My mom had me teach my younger brothers piano lessons. Word spread and soon I was teaching a few students. I really loved playing and teaching piano, but singing was always my real passion. I had never had a voice lesson until college, but still got a scholarship at Weber State University for Vocal Performance. I loved taking lessons and learning more about my voice and what it was capable of. But my freshman year was stressful and I had a hard time as a music major. I ended up switching and I graduated from Weber State in History and Political Science. I didn't know for sure what I wanted to do and for a while, I just kind of drifted. But I kept playing the piano for different things, including accompanying a wedding and event singer.
It it didn't take me long to realize that I needed a career in music. I began teaching more and more students. I had piano and voice students. I read all the vocal technique books I could get my hands on, I accompanied lessons for a few different voice teachers and learned a lot from them, I spent 3 years as an accompanist in the Musical Theater Department at the University of Utah. All the while I was trying to get more and more performing experience to build a ,ore impressive resume. I've performed at Rodgers Memorial Theater and it new replacement, Centerpoint Legcay Theater. I've also performed for Davis Arts Council and in the LDS Church production of Savior of the World. Currently, I am performing at Desert Star Theater.
I also started getting my ducks in a row to go back and get my music degree. It was a long road. Fortunately, I married a very supportive man. He pushed me to become better and to takes risks, like auditioning for the University of Utah's Vocal Performance program. I was successful and am just finishing up my Sophomore year in the program. I look forward to my final 2 years in this program and continuing my studies in a graduate program.
I've been running a private music studio for 15 years, off and on. I am classical trained and also have extensive experience in musical theater performing. I love teaching all ages to develop their talents and love for music!
A Studio Blog
We are so excited to have a blog attached to the website! We have extensive experience with performing, teaching and music in general and we can't wait to share this knowledge with you. Look forward to weekly posts (mostly from Wendi, if we're being honest).
Adam and Wendi have extensive music experience, as teachers and performers.