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My Journeys in a Paper Boat

Guitar lessons Norwalk CT

By Annalisa

Annalisa-classical guitar instructor and performer in Norwalk CT
Live performance audio from Annalisa

“For me the musical journey began when I heard the wind in the cornfield next to our house. I knew with the sublime wisdom of a three-year-old that it was speaking.”

“Many years later, at the age of ten, I began to study the guitar, which my mother insisted I practice daily in her hearing for twenty minutes a day for two years after which I could quit. Well, by then she couldn’t get me away from it; the guitar had become my friend as much as the family dog.”

“For a few more years, I continued playing guitar, sang in a demanding choir (by ear! since reading had somehow passed me by at that point), became an apprentice peal-bell ringer at Washington Cathedral and built a harpsichord from a kit (NOT Ikea) before Sophocles Papas, acolyte of Spanish guitar legend Andrés Segovia, and himself high priest of the classical guitar in America invited me to study with him.”

“I accepted and studied with him as his protegee, being “groomed for the concert stage” as he put it, until leaving for college at my parents’ insistence that I complete my academic studies first. Unable to resist a challenge I entered college early and attempted to keep up with my guitar at the same time. Rather than lose the music to academe I left for conservatory (San Francisco) after sophomore year at college (St. John’s, Annapolis, dubbed “the Great Books School” for its unusual seminar-based curriculum).”

“Back with music as the center of my life, I gleaned a great deal from my studies in San Francisco then met a staggeringly talented guitarist/composer/baroque guitarist (Karl Herreshoff, an underground “cult” figure from the Paul Winter Consort) who took me on as a private student. His approach was both rigorous and highly artistic. Through him I was exposed to a flamenco troupe which ignited a passion for Spanish guitar. This thread has continued and I recently completed a collection of my own transcriptions of Argentinian tango for guitar.”

“Voyaging on, eventually I returned to conservatory at Bard College where I earned a performance degree in classical guitar. There entered the man who would be my mentor for the next twenty years: Patrick O’Brien. He was simply “the center of our universe” to many early musicians. He was both an internationally sought-after teacher for baroque performance practice and a marvelous performer. When Juilliard wanted to start a department of Historical Plucked Strings, they hired Pat. He held the position for the last two years of his life, and was succeeded by not one but
two of his best students, now masters in their own right.”

“These days I teach Suzuki guitar to young children, traditional classical guitar to adults, perform a great deal of Latin American guitar music and have launched Circe’s Consort, my own early music “band” exploring little heard music of the 16th and 17th centuries.”

“I have been profoundly gifted with great teachers and am very gratified to be able to share all I have learned with my students. “Building a player” as Pat put it, is a deep experience for both teacher and student. I am privileged to be called to this profession.”

For more information on Annalisa, you can find her full bio, including videos, location, and schedule.  Sign up today for in home or studio lessons with Annalisa.

 

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Gift Certificates for Music Lessons!

Gift certificate music lessons

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

What kind of gift keeps on giving and lasts a life time?  The gift of music lessons, of course!  Gift certificates for music lessons say you care about your special someone in your life.  With every lesson,  practice session, or performance, he or she will be reminded of the person who cared enough to buy a gift certificate to sing or play their favorite instrument.  At Melody Music Studios, we offer gift certificates for all instruments, from piano, voice, guitar, drums, to all kinds of stringed instruments (banjo, violin, viola, cello, bass, mandolin, and ukulele), as well as band instruments (trumpet, trombone, saxophone, clarinet, and flute). 

Buy a Gift Certificate

For piano, singing, guitar, drums, stringed, and band instruments!

There are so many gifts that are quickly forgotten.  Candy gets eaten, flowers die, things get broken or lost, BUT, a gift of music lessons can never be lost, broken, or forgotten.  It literally lasts a lifetime!  The great thing about buying a gift certificate for music lessons at Melody Music Studios, is that we have a large network of instructors and guaranteed we’ll have the right instructor for that special someone.   Our gift certificate NEVER expire, and the recipient can choose the instructor right from our website at MelodyMusicStudios.com by clicking or taping their state, city, and any instructor’s bio on the list.  The instructor’s bio includes their background, performance recordings, and what we call the “meet the instructor” video.  It’s like a meet a greet with the instructor, so the recipient will feel like he or she knows the instructor personally before even starting the lessons.  

And, it’s so easy to purchase, by phone or on our website.  Simply go to our Gift Certificates page to enter your information, the recipient’s information, as well as the instrument and number of months you wish to purchase.  It automatically calculates the total before entering your credit card information.  If you would like to purchase by the lesson instead of by the month(s), simply call us at 800-Melody 1 (800-635-6391) to purchase just the right amount of lessons.  We’re happy to work within your budget and what works best for you and the recipient.  

We also offer on line lessons (skype, facetime, etc),  so no matter where the student may live or the instrument you choose, we have an instructor available.  For students that may live outside our area, or in a remote area where a music teacher is not available, this is the perfect solution!  Skype lessons are fast becoming a fun and easy way to take lessons, and it’s conveniently at home for both student and teacher.  Skype lessons are live, interactive lessons with an instructor (not a video), and is much the same as in-person lessons, except the interaction is through a computer, laptop, or tablet.  We have a large network of instructors that offer skype for all instruments to choose from.  At Melody Music Studios, only the very best instructors are chosen to be on our skype list, so you can be assured your special someone will receive the very best instruction possible.  

So instead of that old boring traditional gift, why not do something special and buy a gift certificate for piano, voice, guitar, drums, violin, viola, cello, trumpet, trombone, saxophone, clarinet, flute, or any instrument you can think of!  Not only is the gift of learning to sing or play an instrument a lifetime gift, he or she will remember YOU for a lifetime!  

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Fall Music Recitals

Music Recital
Music Recital in Wilton, CT at Melody Music Studios

Fall and spring are my favorites times of year….why??  Because I, Kathi Kerr, owner and founder of Melody Music Studios, get to leave my office and travel to cities across the county to meet my staff of instructors and watch their students perform.  It’s great to see the results of the students’ hard work and discipline.  I also enjoy seeing the students have a great time showing family and friends what they’ve accomplished!  That’s what music recitals are all about!.   And for me, the icing on the cake is to see my staff and students in person.  Over the years, I’ve had the chance to watch the same students perform, and watch how he/she has grown, both musically, and in their confidence as they begin to master their skills of music.  


As I always tell my students, if learning to sing or play an instrument was easy, EVERYONE would be a musician.  But it isn’t easy, and it takes time, endurance, patience, and perseverance, to master an instrument or to sing.  So music recitals are what I call the “pat on the back” to show the student what a great job their doing.  And because of that, music recitals are an important part of the entire musical education.  It gives students a goal to work towards and motivates the student to practice.  Sometimes that little extra motivation goes a long way.  And when the student gets a feel for success, that’s enough to push them through what feels like “tedious” practice sessions.  I still remember times in my youth when I had a performance to practice for.  It can make all the difference in motivation to practice.  And the more a student practices, the better he or she will be, and the better he/she is, the more FUN it is to practice.  It’s what I call the “snowball” effect.  The more skill is developed, the more “fun” it is to play or practice, and in turn gives the student more motivation to practice.  It’s a “good” cycle.  

Although most of the students are children that perform in our recitals, we also have adult students that perform as well.  I especially enjoy having the adult students showcase their songs, and I believe their performance helps to motivate other adults to take lessons.  Often when adults call about signing up for music lessons, they’re first question is if we even offer lessons for adults.  My quirky answer is, “of course, anyone under the age of 99!”  Music lessons are not only for kids, but is a great thing for adults no matter their goal.  Most adult students just want to enjoy learning music, and at Melody  Music Studios, we’re happy to offer that.  Then at recital time, I love to see their performance, and know that what we offering is making a real difference in their lives.   

So keep on going students of all ages, and don’t give up!  It will pay off in your life, no matter what you choose for a career, or what your goal in life may be.  If music is your choice, this is a great way to get started.  But even if you don’t choose to be a musician or music teacher, you’ll have a life time skill of enjoyment as you come home from a hard day’s work and sing or play your favorite song!  Music is the color in a person’s life, that is otherwise only black and white.