Powerful Praise! Introduction to Sight-Singing Mini-conference and Music Night

You are invited to a one-day mini conference workshop on Sight-Singing on March 31st, 2018 8am-4pm with an Evening of Music at 6pm. Conference will be held at Grace Bible Church, Coeur d’ Alene, ID

Come for the training, stay for the Music Night!

Do you love to sing but not know how to read music?

Have you ever wished you could look at a new song and just sing it like some of your friends do?

Would you like to discover the basics of reading music, gain confidence in your ability to sing in four or six-part harmony and learn the basics of sight-singing?

If you answered “YES!” to any of the above, then don’t wait to sign up for this incredible opportunity! We are here to help you (or your choir) be successful making excellent music!

In addition to the skills listed above, delegates will have the opportunity to:

  • Understand more of what the Bible says about music
  • Practice Sight-singing choral music
  • Enjoy valuable times of fellowship with others passionate about music ministry
  • Seize the opportunity for limited private instruction
  • Lift your voice to the LORD in the Powerful Praise Chorale
  • Stay for the music night at 6pm!
  • Includes Continental Breakfast, Lunch, instruction and materials!
  • Will culminate in a music night with local musicians and Powerful Praise! Chorale
  • Learn more…

 

Register now before it’s too late!

Open to all anyone with a desire to learn. No childcare provided.

You don’t have to read music to join us!

Group discounts available. Bring the whole church, the choir, or just yourself!

It is our goal to help you make excellent music!

Single Registration- $30

Groups of 5-$125

Groups of 10- $250

Sponsored by Hymnprovisation.com and Grace Bible Church, Coeur d’ Alene.

 

Hymn of Grateful Praise New Piano Arrangement

Just in time for Thanksgiving- Introducing Hymn of Grateful Praise! (For The Beauty Of The Earth) piano solo arrangement! Accessible Intermediate level piano solo arranged by Chris Dortignac. Performance Time: 3min. 44 seconds. Seven pages total. Digital download delivered right to your inbox

$2.99 Now only $1.99


Buy Now


For The Beauty Cover

Hymn of Grateful Praise-Sample

Getty Music Worship Conference: Sing!

Why do we sing?  It seems like a funny question – in our churches, it’s just what we do, every Sunday morning.  But really, why do we sing?  Furthermore, what does our singing say about our view of God? How does it reflect our relationship with the Lord and with each other as believers? What is the importance of congregational singing?

Keith and Kristyn Getty, modern-day hymn-writers, have teamed up with an amazing list of speakers and musicians to answer these questions and more.  If you’ve heard any of the Getty’s music, you probably know the wonderful depth it has both theologically and musically.  This coming week in Nashville, more than 4,000 believers from over 16 countries will be gathering for the very first Getty Music Worship Conference: Sing!  Now, however, you can join them through the free, live simulcast they are offering, September 18-20!  RSVP now and receive a free songbook download with 25 of Keith and Kristyn’s songs.

I know this is a late notice, but I didn’t find out about it until yesterday and was unable to post anything until now. However, you can still get the entire conference on demand because they are also making available all 70 hours available by purchasing a LifeWay Digital Pass as an individual or with a group rate here.

So, what are you waiting for? While you’re there, check out the Getty’s new book titled “Sing!” (If you order through the link, you get a really great discount.)

Learn more here.

 

Master Class with Greg Howlett and Heather Sorenson

Another Upcoming Master Class with Greg Howlett!

Saturday, March 18, from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (12:00 – 2:00 Pacific Standard Time), Composer, arranger, producer, and pianist, Greg Howlett is hosting another online class, this time with highly-experienced arranger and teacher Heather Sorenson.  (Learn more about Heather here.)

The first hour will feature tips and answering questions, and for the second hour, the two musicians will evaluate 3 original arrangements sent in by students.  The cost for observers is a mere $9.99! If you think this is a lot, or aren’t sure you will get your money’s worth out of this, I can assure you that it is totally worth it! You won’t be disappointed with the wealth of information these two experts bring to the table.

Greg is very generous to do host these master classes, however, due to technical constraints, class size is limited this time, so don’t wait!

Master Class – Greg Howlett and Heather Sorenson

Damien Sneed-“Taking a Hymn To Church” Gospel Style

If you have ever wanted to apply a Gospel Style to your hymn playing, this is for you!

How to take a hymn and “Gospelize” it. Damien takes the well-known hymn, Precious Lord, Take My Hand and applies gospel styles to it. In this video, Damien shows how you can use something other than the basic I, IV, and V, or basic down beat/after beats in the left hand, for hymn playing, this video will expand your horizons a bit!

Learn gospel music techniques at the piano with accomplished pianist Damien Sneed.

Mr Sneed has an impressive biography that includes everything from Classical, to gospel, to jazz, to CCM. You can read more about him here.

This video is posted for the purpose of furthering your musical education and imagination. We believe there is valuable content in this video clip, however, not everything in every video we post is wholly endorsed by hymnprovisation.com. If you do not like it, you are free to turn it off.

Should You Train To Failure?

Our Practice

I just heard a strength and fitness trainer advocating “training to failure,” and I thought that was an odd thing to say. I had to hear more.

First though, you need to understand something. It should be obvious by now that I am a big fan of improvising in music, and in fact, that’s what this website is about, in part. But not just improvising out of rebellion to the composer, but in order that the music set aside for worship can be the best possible music out there. There are times when improvising isn’t the best thing to do, but in general life throws curve balls, so I think we should look at improvisation as practice for real life situations.

With that understanding as our foundation on this topic, I’d like to explore both what the Fitness Trainer said, but in terms of our musicianship, and also another saying no doubt you have heard which goes like this:

“Practice Makes Perfect!”

Hmm…But does it really?

Like so many sayings we have come to believe because we have heard them so often, which may or may not have an element of truth, this one too, could be true or false.

Let me explain:

It doesn’t take long to think up a situation where it would not be true. If you are incorrectly practicing a piece of written music, or failing to execute a technique correctly, than you won’t get it perfect (even if everything else is right except one little thing). In this all-to-common scenario, instead, practice makes pathetic, because the incorrect rote practice now becomes a habit that is very hard to break.

However, it would be true if you practiced it perfectly through and through, each time, which is what we strive for.

Let’s face it though, how many of us actually really do this? Of course we are human and will make a mistake, but many of us are also lazy, especially when it comes to worship music? I’m not sure why, but in 22+ years of playing in churches, I have witnessed the general unspoken consensus among the musicians, that, It isn’t going to be as good as the symphony, so it doesn’t REALLY matter.

That is a sad indictment, and I hope it isn’t true of you. I’m sorry to say it has been true of me at times.

I’m not sure if it is a lax attitude among laymen because we aren’t paid, so why bother, or maybe you are paid, but you feel it is not enough to practice like a pro. Or maybe it is because we feel like the people who are listening don’t care, which is a mistake in itself because our music shouldn’t be for them, it should be for our LORD.

And He deserves only the absolute very best.

But is that even possible to deliver?

That is really the crux of the matter and a question that only you can answer:

Do YOU give YOUR very best?

Do you do as good as you would if you were first chair Violinist, or a musician invited to play with the New York Philharmonic in Carnegie Hall?

And that brings me to the other thing I want to explore:

Our Training

Some of us practice daily, while others are lay musicians who practice when they can. God has called each of us to different walks of life, and I get that. However, if He has called you to make music for Him, you should have some sort of a plan in place to ensure that you are giving your very best.

So how should we train?

Each of us will be inclined to one method or another, and some ways may work better for others. That’s understandable. What I want to do is encourage you, whichever course you take, is to train to failure. Not for failure, but to failure.

In other words, train until you can’t anymore. Until your muscles give out from exhaustion, Your brain can’t take it anymore, and there is nothing left to learn.

I don’t typically listen to celebrity trainers but as I said earlier, I happened across a short clip of celebrity trainer, Jeff Cavaliere, advocating “Training to Failure.” Since that seemed contrary to my thought process, I thought I would see what he had to say, and I heard this:

“Train until you reach failure in your technique, where your 
technique is good, but you go as hard as you can and if you 
have to change your tempo, that’s okay, as long as your form 
is still good. 
What you don’t want to do is change your… form in order to 
keep going, that would not be training to failure.”

Does that make any sense? He’s advocating training with the right technique and not letting up until you can’t go any further.

He’s not saying train so you WILL fail, but UNTIL you fail. Only then should we take a break.

This isn’t just true of athletes. I know musicians who would practice something until they got it right, and then, at that point, they would play it 100 times in a row nonstop. If they got it wrong, they would start over. And that wasn’t even for the LORD!

If we are going to bring the LORD our very best, than this kind of hardcore training is necessary to condition ourselves into the proper technique, the right notes, the perfect tempo, the exquisite dynamics, the perfect phrasing, etc.

I know that some of you won’t even know what songs you may be called on to play next. I played for many years at a church where they called out the hymns from the congregation, so I never knew what I was going to have to play. But still, I had to be ready. And you can be too. You can practice through your whole hymnbook if you are a church pianist, until you know all the hymns by heart. Words too.

I must admit here that I never learned every one of them (partly because I was lazy, and partly because we didn’t sing certain ones) but I know most of them to this day, by heart.

We can be ready for whatever we are called to at a moment’s notice, by taking the time and energy to train like an athlete. In a very real sense, this is a sacrifice of praise.

If a concert pianist would train like an athlete in preparation for a concert, why shouldn’t you or I train like an athlete in preparation for Sunday morning worship of the God of all the Universe, who gave His most prized possession to purchase us?

I’d like to know if you agree or disagree, or if you have another opinion. Please leave a comment below, and if you found this useful, share it with a friend.

 

 

 

Free Master Class This Saturday with Faye Lopez and Greg Howlett

Free Master Class This Saturday, February 4th from 1-3pm Eastern Standard Time (10am-12pm Pacific Standard Time).

Faye Lopez will be joining Greg Howlett for an online group Master Class. The class is free to observers, and participants are $25. I would highly recommend this class! I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to take some classes from Faye, and learned a bunch! Plus, she’s the nicest teacher ever! She won’t let you get away with poor quality music, but she will guide you in the sweetest way so you can make it better.

This class includes the added benefit of having pianist, teacher, arranger and producer, Greg Howlett, as well! He is excellent at teaching, and super nice! Greg brings a wealth of experience to the table you will be blessed by!

This is a great opportunity I don’t intend to miss, and you won’t want to either!

To learn more, go here and grab a spot before it fills up: Greghowlett.com/MasterClass

Even if you are not an advanced player you will still learn a ton from these two and the participants, and how can you beat the price? I’ve already signed up…what are YOU waiting for?

Free Album until Sunday night!

Solace album coverSorry for the late notice, but until Sunday night, you can get a FREE ALBUM!

Greg Howlett is generously giving away his brand new album, Solace, for FREE until Sunday night. As the name implies, it is an album of quiet, background like music that is peaceful and refreshing. Get it for free while you can by clicking the link or the picture!

Songs include:

Sweet Hour of Prayer

Day by Day

Hiding in Thee

Holy, Holy, Holy!

Near The Cross

Christ Arose

The Old Rugged Cross

He Leadeth Me

Search Me, O God

Jesus, What A Friend For Sinners

Also, he is offering his complete set of 11 courses for 25% off right now! These are 10, no, 11 great reasons to jump over to www.greghowlett.com and check out his website right now!

If you are reading this after the Sunday, August 28th at Midnight, don’t worry, you can still get the album at Greg’s website by clicking here.

2016 PPMC Music Conference part 2

Music Conference photos part 2…

Vocal Class

Jim’s vocal class was well received. In the first session, he had the most students!
20160601,2,3 (29)For those of you, who haven’t had the pleasure of hearing him, he sings in a natural, easy style, that has really is a joy to listen to! A lot of people are preferring this over traditional classical operatic singing that typifies traditional church music. Jim showed that you can sing both praise and worship songs, and traditional solos, such as The Via Dolorosa, and not still project your voice, and add proper emotion and technique without sounding gaudy. One of Jim’s strengths which I believe added to this conference, is that he comes from a slightly less traditional background, having been a professional entertainer, and then later serving on the music ministry team at Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, CA. He now leads the music at a Messianic Jewish congregation in Irvine, CA., and he possesses the ability and sensitivity to balance the technique and style. He understands both sides and their proper uses and was able to communicate this through instruction and demonstration._MG_1759

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jim did a lot of private lessons in addition to the group sessions that covered the basic techniques. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of photos from this class.

 

Conducting/Songleading

Everybody loves Mr. Fox! He is a blast to be around, and he knows his stuff! Don’t let his this serious look scare you away!

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Mr. Fox. Photo Courtesy of the Shove Family

Too bad there isn’t a picture of the historical conducting devices which you would’ve seen had you been here, but I guess we will have to do this again, and you will have to come to his class, so you can learn not only the history, and beginning of conducting, but also learn some actual conducting skills (if you can between laughing!)

Doing what He does best!
Doing what He does best! (Photo Courtesy of the Shove Family)

 

Really, Mr. Fox was another wonderful asset to this conference, bringing many years of teaching and believe it or not, actual conducting experience! 🙂 He is also very expressive, and his students always have a great time and burn calories laughing from the fun in the process!

Mr. Fox also had the difficult task of taking 46 of us, with varying degrees of ability and experience (some not even reading music), and led us in making actual music! It really was amazing that he was able to pull it off!

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Photo Courtesy of the Shove family.

Each student at this conference was involved in either the chorale, or the accompaniment for the chorale.

Logan O. Accompanying the chorale.
Logan O. Accompanying the chorale.

In the short time we had together, we put together two anthems and a hymn, which were sung on Friday evening in addition to the individuals and groups that shared their gifts.

20160601,2,3 (78)We had a number of string players which brought their instruments and did a fantastic job accompanying us, as well as Logan O. on the piano, under Mr. Fox’s fabulous direction.
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Thank you to the Smith, Haymond, Osborn and Bisceglia family members who were willing to do a little extra and share your talents with us in the string ensemble!
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Photo by Treasured Moments Studio
Photo by Treasured Moments Studio

Really, all of you should be congratulated on your perseverance and hard work on learning some brand new (to most of you) music in just two short days! You all did an incredible job!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instructor Forum

On Friday afternoon, we held an instructor forum, with the combined experience of the professionals to answer your questions. As you can see, we aren’t always serious!

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If you were there, you would know what was said…:) 20160601,2,3 (83)

20160601,2,3 (89)20160601,2,3 (88)We solicited questions on Wednesday, and Thursday, and held the forum Friday. 20160601,2,3 (85)

Our purpose wasn’t to discuss the merits of Traditional vs. Contemporary, or to get into a divisive argument which doesn’t serve to help us worship. Instead, we deliberately steered the conversation toward things of practical value to any musician of any leaning, with the emphasis and encouragement of keeping a heart of true worship. We did seek to define what worship truly is, earlier in the week, and this discussion expounded on that somewhat.

 

Final Concert

The conference culminated on Friday evening, with a community evening of worship in song, led by the staff and conference attendees. Each of the students had the opportunity to put to use some of their new skills. All participated in one way or another. We had a chorale, special numbers, and community hymn-singing led and accompanied by the students and staff. 20160601,2,3 (93) 20160601,2,3 (94)

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Mr. Smythe shared some history about the iconic hymn, How Great Thou Art, and then led us in singing it. This was his first time leading music for an event like this!

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Vicki L’s powerful piano accompaniment on the hymn, “And Can It Be?”
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Osborne sisters with Natalie L. brought us a beautiful trio!

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Greg H. accompanying congregational singing.
Greg H. accompanying congregational singing.
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Kristen and Amy H. Violin duet.
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Cathy O., doing a fine job leading us in another hymn!
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These two sisters in Christ, shared an Acapella arrangement they created of “Oh Glorious Love” by John Peterson. Wish you could’ve heard it! It was very beautifully done.
Mrs Smythe Leads singing for her first time!
Mrs Smythe Leads singing for her first time!

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Mr. Fox leading, with student accompaniment. BeccaLee S. and Mrs. Lopez, on the piano with string ensemble and organ.
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Community members joined us for a night of worship in song.

After we had sung the last song and acknowledged our incredible director, Mr. Fox, he said he had one more thing to do and handed me an envelope with donations he and Mrs. Lopez had collected so that I could go to the Pine Lake Composer’s Symposium in Atlanta, GA. Only Mrs. Lopez knew I wanted to go to this, and she “put a bug in someone’s ear” suggesting they do this. 

Receiving the generosity of the students! Photo Courtesy of the Shove Family
Receiving the generosity of the students! Photo Courtesy of the Shove Family
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Photo courtesy of the Shove family

I was so overwhelmed! We had just, by the grace of God, had the most wonderful conference, and then to top it off, the kind generosity of so many of the students, which allowed me to go and learn from the likes of Joe Martin, Mary McDonald, Brant Adams, Victor Jackson, Robert Sterling, and Brad Nix. THANK YOU ALL SOOOO MUCH!! it was an incredible “Composium” which I will write about in the next blog post, God willing.

 

Mr. Kenny Shove Jr. Assisting with technical aspects such as sound, and recording.
Kenny S. Assisting with technical aspects such as sound, and recording. Photo Courtesy of the Shove Family.
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Maria B. taking photos. Photo Courtesy of the Shove Family.
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Josiah P. photo crew. (in the background is James S.) Photo Courtesy Shove Family
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The Instructional staff. Photo Courtesy of the Shove Family

All of you who attended made this a fantastic conference, which was better than I could’ve hoped for and all of you who didn’t make it, missed a great conference!  Lord willing, we will do this again in the future.We have identified a number of areas that people are looking for further training in, and hope to be able add those as well. We are currently praying about what the LORD would have us to do. If you would join with us in this, we would greatly appreciate it!

2016 PPMC Music Conference Part 1

On June 1-3, 2016, we held the very first Powerful Praise! Music Conference, at Opportunity Presbyterian Church, in Spokane Valley, WA!

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Our welcome banner

Forty-six musicians and worship leaders from as far south as Southern California, and as far North, as North Dakota, showed up to learn how to improve their musicianship in order to make God’s praise glorious! It was an awe-inspiring time with representatives of several different denominations including Presbyterian, Baptist, United Methodist, Messianic, and Non-Denominational churches. I really appreciated the oneness in spirit that everyone had-we were here for the purpose of learning to bring our Lord and Savior praise through music, in the best possible ways, preparing our hearts, minds, and bodies (through excellent technique and practice), to bring Him the very best we can.

We had instruction in piano accompaniment, modulations, arranging, master classes, playing the message of the music, vocal techniques, singing with proper form, projection, mic techniques, conducting hymns for congregational singing, conducting choirs and  ensembles, understanding your audience, understanding the difference between praising God and putting on a performance, a forum with the experts, and hands-on practice. This is only a partial list of the many, many things taught during this two-day conference.

Our instructors were Faye Lopez (piano accompaniment), Brian Fox (song leading and directing), and Jim White (Vocals). Mr. Tom Wylie was invaluable behind the scenes with technical aspects making things run smoothly, as well as Logan O., and the Shove, Pinkerton, Smith and Haymond families. And I can’t fail to mention the gourmet refreshments and service which were graciously provided by the John Smythe family! Thank you all for your servant’s heart and your gracious generosity in giving of time and resources to help out in making this a success!

This has been the culmination of a vision which has been such a joy to see come together!  THANK YOU TO All who participated, helped get out the word, attended, gave of your time and resources, and made this conference happen. It would’ve been a lonely endeavor without you!

At the close of this two day conference, after the choir sang, and we acknowledged our amazing conductor, I was presented with an envelope of donations which they had collected unbeknownst to me, so that I could go to Pine Lake Music’s Composer’s Symposium, I had heard about through Mrs. Lopez. I will tell more about that in part 2. Thank you to all who donated toward this!

As people arrived, they checked in with Tom W. and received their name tag and personalized folders.20160601,2,3 (15) 20160601,2,3 (16)

Photo Courtesy of Shove Family
Photo Courtesy of Shove Family

Everyone received a name tag and a folder with sheet music (several octavos and a new hymn), instructions, and notes, as well as information on copyrights and church music complimentary of CCLI, and Hymnprovisation.com

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We were blessed to have 46 worship leaders, pianists, vocalists, and fellow musicians from South Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and California! It was a great group of people who sought to improve their skills in musicianship, and to learn how to make excellent music in praise to God.

We began on Wednesday evening, with welcome, introductions, announcements, and a concert by our instructors, Brian Fox, Jim White, and Faye Lopez.

Mr. Fox was Master of Ceremonies, and led in corporate worship at the beginning of the group sessions, as well as conducting the chorale, and string ensemble, and teaching conducting and song leading. We began with the introduction of a brand new hymn by Faye Lopez, Blest Be The Tie, which was fitting for this conference seeing as we had many people from many denominational backgrounds, who all were come together to make God’s praise excellent!

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Mr. Fox, taught conducting and song leading and was MC for this conference.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We began with introductions and learning the new hymn, "Blest Be The Tie", by Faye Lopez
We began with introductions and learning the new hymn, “Blest Be The Tie”, by Faye Lopez

After the the introductions and announcements, the rest of the evening was dedicated to hearing from Faye Lopez and Jim White, as they shared the gifts God has entrusted to them, with us. Part of the purpose of this was to hear what they are able to do with the training and experience they have gained from years of practice, performance, worship, and teaching.

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J.W. Pepper was also on hand with four tables of music, books, and resources for those involved in music ministry, and if they didn’t have what you were looking for here, they offered free shipping to conference attendees! 20160601,2,3 (57)

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This was intended to be a “hands-on” music conference. Each student was encouraged to try out and implement the techniques they were learning, and each who wanted it, had the opportunity to present, accompany, or lead the singing at the final concert and community hymn sing.

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BeccaLee S. taking notes.

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Practicing

Impromptu singing at the breaks in the wonderfully acoustic lobby!20160601,2,3 (60) _MG_1636

Piano Accompaniment Class

We were very, very blessed, to have published composer, teacher, and pianist, Faye Lopez, all the way from Bob Jones University, in South Carolina, come out and teach piano accompaniment. The wonderfully expressive Mrs. Lopez, shared from her years of experience teaching, playing, arranging, and writing music. In addition to the regular sessions, she also did a couple of Master Class sessions, where students could present a piece they had been working on, and receive instruction on how to improve their technique, the way they think of the music, the way they express their music and much, much more, in a mutually encouraging, constructive environment!

20160601,2,3 (51)20160601,2,3 (49) 20160601,2,3 (56)Students were encouraged share a song they had been working on, with the purpose of improving techniques through excellent instruction. 20160601,2,3 (48)

There were also a limited number of private lessons available from Mrs. Lopez for an additional cost.

Break time…

During the breaks, there were numerous opportunities for networking, and to learn from others, browse, and purchase sheet music from JW Pepper, practice what you learned, play or sing music in the lobby with others, or simply relax and enjoy the incredible refreshments provided by the John Smythe Family!

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Click here for part 2 with more photos…

 

All photos on this page unless otherwise noted, are ©2016 Treasured Moments Studio. You can find out more about Treasured Moments Studio here.