Save on Piano Lessons –  Apprentice Instructor – Jason

Save on Piano Lessons – Apprentice Instructor – Jason

As part of our ongoing effort to teach and impart our love of music to others, we sometimes apprentice new instructors through our apprenticeship program. We call them Apprentice Instructors. Our goal is to provide them with teaching experience and give new students an opportunity to take lessons at a discounted rate. As part of our program, the instructor works closely with a current piano instructor and meets with studio owner Joey on a monthly basis. The goal of these meetings are to review each student’s lessons, to ensure that the student is advancing in the learning process, and to ensure that the instructor is doing a good job of inspiring and connecting with the student.

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Emmey Bird, Nobody Knows

Emmey Bird, Nobody Knows

Nobody Knows, by Emmey Bird (https://soundcloud.com/emmey-mae-bird/nobody-knows-ft-just-in)

Emmey's CD Cover

Emmey’s CD Cover

I took lessons from Heidi for probably almost two years, it was super fun! She always challenged me to be better as singer, but also respected my limits. It was like pushing the boundaries while keeping me in my comfort zone. She had me do various vocal warm ups that challenged my breathing and my range, even singing styles of music I wouldn’t listen to by choice, it really opened my mind to how cool that other genre was. I also never felt self conscious around her, she was very kind and accepting. A wonderful teacher 🙂

Nobody Knows is about a few things actually, it is about the struggle to be accepted or accepting. It goes over some controversial topics, like religion, and how God has done great things and God has done bad things but it’s all for a reason. Some of the things talked about in the song have caused a lot of hate and strife in the world and I don’t really know why. But you should believe what gives you peace of mind, because nobody really knows whats in the after life, but if you’re happy you should believe whatever you want.  Another thing is everyone is different and has different beliefs or a different way of life, and with that comes criticism and judgement. But at the end of it all, no one should judge you because of the things you like, or how you look, or act because nobody knows what you’ve been through. Nobody knows what has happened in your life to make you who you are today.

I hadn’t made a song in a while and I wanted to make something different from the music we hear today talking about drugs and sex and weapons, writing “Nobody Knows” was easy because it’s something I relate with strongly so the lyrics just came flowing out. And I do have other songs, I’m in the process of finishing my album right now.

After I wrote the song and finally released it, I didn’t think it was going to be super popular because of the topic and I thought people were gonna try to start beef with me because it mentions God, haha. But I was wrong, the song is now at over 1,000 views on SoundCloud and a lot of people have told me things like “Nobody Knows is my favorite song” or “I love your voice”, just really great feedback. It’s my most popular song and I’ve had two radio stations interested in playing it, it was really unexpected for me on how many people like the song.

Making the song was super fun, it was written in like 30 minutes. It was probably the easiest song I’ve ever written, and like I said earlier, I relate to it a lot.  People sometimes write music about things they haven’t been through or things they don’t relate with, but this song was straight from my mind and soul and I live by every word of it.

It’s had such a big impact on my life, whenever I’m going through hard times and I listen to it, it reminds me to keep going.

Passion in Music

Passion in Music

“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.”

-Victor Hugo

“Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with all your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic and faithful, and you will accomplish your object. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Music can be powerful. As music teachers, if we don’t bring this potential into our lessons then we are doing them a great disservice. If we aren’t enabling our students to be moved by the music they make, what is the point? Playing piano has had a profound effect on my life. It has been a lifelong pursuit that has filled me with joy, determination, satisfaction, and fulfillment. At Jammin’ we want that for our students, so we bring our passion to the table and it in turn sparks passion in our students.

Although these are necessary tools, the end goal of our lessons isn’t a lifeless list of accomplished scales, precise technique, and exact playing. It is to stoke a passion for music that allows our students to express themselves, create something beautiful and original, inspire others, and even be a healing emotional outlet.

Here is a story from one of our voice teachers. It’s longer than the average blog post, but I think you’ll find that it’s worth the read.

Emmey and her Grandmother (Betty) came in when she was 12. Betty told us Emmey had quite a gift and passion for singing. However, she also wanted us to be aware that Emmey had a difficult childhood. Her mother died when she was very young, and her relationships with other family members had been suffering. Her Grandmother said, “Lessons for Emmey aren’t just about music.” I was very honored to work with Emmey, and hoped to continue to build skill and confidence, both musically and personally, in her. Well, and who wouldn’t want to work with that voice!? (You can listen to her sing by clicking on the link at the end of this blog post)

I saw from the start that when Emmey steps on a stage, she owns it. She is talented, witty, thoughtful, honest, and ambitious. However, there were days she would come into the studio with life weighing her down so hard she could barely breathe. There was sometimes physical exhaustion or pain that couldn’t be explained. Good singing requires both physical and emotional energy, and Emmey was drained and frustrated. She couldn’t bring herself to sing these days, and she was all the more frustrated when she couldn’t do what she loved most. When this was her state for five or six consecutive lessons, I really started to worry. Many lessons we would talk, and I would ask her if she was eating okay, sleeping okay, how her family relationships and friendships were going, and if there was anything I could do. Outside of the studio I thought of her frequently, and I would occasionally text message her or pray for her.
 

Where Emmey took lessons

Studio A, where Emmey studied voice.

Then, one day she came into her lesson with a glow I had never seen. Without her saying a word I asked her, “What’s going on!?” In the short two weeks since I had last seen her, she had written, recorded, and presented a song. This was not just a “song” but a very raw and personal expression, processing the difficulties and questions she had been facing. After listening to it I was fighting tears, not because of the pain expressed in the song, but because of my happiness in seeing Emmey with a weight lifted and a sense of hope. I was so proud of her for being brave. She took a significant part of her life story and put it in a song. She took her questions of God and put them in a song. She chose to grab onto hope and put it in a song. Emmey’s problems weren’t anywhere near being solved but her self-confidence and determination to thrive was revived.

Emmey’s performances were featured on the radio, at local shows, and at my student recital. We then continued working on technique, stage presence, and discussing repertoire for future performance opportunities. This experience with Emmey is one of the reasons I love music. Music is freeing, healing, rewarding, and a means to deep human understanding and connection. Some of my greatest friendships and moments of renewed hope and inspiration have been found through music. It makes me love the work I do and care deeply for my students. What an incredible gift we have in music.

To listen to Emmey’s song click here.

Click here to read what Emmey had to say about her song.