Stewart has a degree in Music Industry Studies


Stewart graduated from the Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, CA in 2009 with a Certification in Music Industry Studies. He then continued his education at the University CA at Santa Barbara in Santa Barbara, CA in 2011 to receive his Bachelors in Music. Stewart has been playing music since the 4th grade starting with percussion and trumpet, than picked up the guitar in the 6th grade. He has performed in many cover and original bands, which included a 2 month nationwide tour performing country, rock, blues, jazz, and classical. From 2005-2011, Stewart performed in orchestras, symphonies, chambers, and Jazz ensembles, playing the upright and electric bass. Stewart has been teaching since 2008.

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True Wealth and Real Gifts


Wealth is not having the most…it is needing the least.”

Whether we’re  caught in a crush of paper, bows, food, and family, or quietly celebrating Christmas day with close friends, it’s a fit time to ponder our personal wealth. If we’re serving in a food kitchen or devoting the day to handing out gifts to those in need, our riches become even more apparent to us.  Personal wealth is derived from things other than cash and possessions. While we may not feel rich, a simple shift in perception may help us realize we are wealthy beyond measure.

We find so often, especially in a time of crisis or illness, that we need very little to sustain ourselves. That, indeed, it is the clutter of life, the too many “things” whether physical or mental that disrupt our connection to spirit and our path to personal peace.  One cannot buy good health, the giving and receiving of love or a peaceful mind, but those things are necessary to life.

This day, adopt a new definition of wealth and make it part of each day to acknowledge and be thankful for wealth beyond dollars and cents.  We should acknowledge and be grateful every day for the simple and profound ability to create.  If we are healthy and have enough food and shelter, we are abundant and well cared for.

Carefully consider the exact meaning of wealth. Wealth is not a beavy of cash and coins. Wealth is measured in heart beats, smiles and expressions of love, an abundance of energy, health and happiness.  We need very little in order to actually survive, but to truly live we need the gifts only spirit can bestow upon us.

Meet our new instructor Krista who specializes in praise music


Krista received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Dayton in Dayton, Oh in 2008. She grew up with music in her home, taking piano lessons at age seven and continued through high school and college. Along with piano, Krista took clarinet in the high school band, and studied guitar and voice in college. She was the drum major in high school, and has had some experience directing choirs. Currently she accompanies at her church and performs for local weddings and funerals. Krista began teaching in 2005 and offers classical, jazz, blues, and traditional and contemporary church music.

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James has a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Performance from Yale


James
James received a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Performance from Yale University in 2001 in New Haven, CT.  Before that, James graduated from the University of Houston in Houston, TX with a Bachelors in Music Performance in 1994.   James has been teaching since 1996, and his styles include jazz, rhythm and blues, pop, Broadway, and classical, among other styles.  He is currently on the staff at UCLA as a collaborative pianist and vocal coach for the music department, and over the summer has been on faculty at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, CA and as opera coach for the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival.  He frequently performs throughout Southern California in well-known venues, piano bars and cabarets.  He has directed and played for numerous Broadway productions and for numerous headlining shows.  James is also a concert pianist, performing concertos with several symphonies.  His awards include prizes in the New York Concert Artists Guild International Competition, the National Chopin Competition, the Washington International Piano Competition at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., the Olga Koussevitsky Piano Competition in New York, the Salon de Virtuosi Awards in New York, the Houston Symphony Ima Hogg National Young Artist Competition, and the title of Top Instrumentalist in the World Championships for the Performing Arts in Burbank, CA.

Boxing Day


boxing day

Practicing the Law of Giving is actually very simple. If you want joy, give joy to others; if you want love, learn to give love; if you want attention and appreciation, learn to give attention and appreciation. ~ Deepak Chopra

The celebration of Boxing Day has a long, rich and varied history. As a common point, the day involved the gift of a bonus of some sort to employees. In an English manor house, servants worked on Christmas Day, but were permitted to “box” up the leftovers from Christmas and carry them home to their families. No doubt this fine food was a welcome bonus to the mundane meals to which  the servant class was accustomed. Boxing also refers to servants  bringing a box to work the day after Christmas to be filled by the employer with coins and gifts.

For laborers and apprenticies of artisan shops, the day meant the smashing of the Christmas Box, a clay vessel in which coins had been deposited over a period of time by visitors, customers and the master of the shop. The Christmas Box was broken and the coins divided among the shop workers. This was considered a year end bonus and kept the master of the shop from the prickly chore of doling out performance based bonuses.

In feudal times, the serfs would gather in the manor house the day after Christmas and the manor lord would distribute boxes of useful goods to them.  The lord was obliged to gift the people who worked his land a bonus of cloth, grain and tools.  Churches also took part in Boxing Day, opening their alms box and distributing the contents to the poor.

A bonus is a wonderful thing. It’s a way to express appreciation, warmth and well wishes during the last week of the year.  But bonuses are not confined to monetary gifts or presents.  A bonus carries meaning beyond symbols.  Dole out bonuses liberally between now and the new year.  A bonus can mean a plate of cookies for your neighbor, a note card telling your agent how much you appreciate their hard work and effort or the offer to give the kid next door who got his first guitar a free lesson or two.  A bonus can make someone’s year complete. Remember: to receive joy- spread joy. To acquire appreciation – show it. To garner the best- give it.

Happy Christmas Day!


Did you get a guitar? A violin? A keyboard? Let us help you make the most of your holiday music gift!

We have in home music lessons, in studio music lessons, skype music lesson, instructional books, and so much more. Check out

melodymusicstudios.com

Entertaining Angels…


MMS-Christmas Cheer

 

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” -Hebrews 13.2

Those who carry the blessing of music find themselves entertaining strangers on a daily basis.  We travel to perform in other cities, states, countries. We perform for strangers, people we have never met or may never meet again. We entertain strangers when they listen to our music on myspace.com or watch us on youtube.com. We bare our hearts and inner most feelings to strangers through our music.

In many ways, we spread our blessings in etherial ways. We have the ability to touch hearts and souls by the simple construction of vibrations and words.  I’ve asked fans what attracted them to one band or another.  Many times they reply with one word, “Vibe…” and that pretty much says it all.

As performers, we never know exactly who is standing in that crowd, who is parked at the bar or who is sitting at that table right up front.  If you don’t recognize a face, but there’s something familiar about the being wearing it, you may have encountered an angel.  If you’ve experienced writers block and suddenly are deluged with ideas, an angel just may be whispering in your ear.  If you’ve lost touch with yourself, your family or your loved one while persuing your music dreams, and then experienced a sweet homecoming, angels may have kept those home fires burning.

The angel Gabriel announced the good news to Elizabeth and Mary of the birth of their sons. Some have theorized Gabriel communicated the specifics of the ark to Noah and was the voice of the burning bush in the Old Testament. Gabriel is a prime messenger and a patron of those who communicate.  Be aware of the angelic realm as you create and perform.

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