Volume 47 | December 30th, 2016
Happy Holidays!

We hope that the holidays have been treating your and your family well. As 2016 comes to a close, we are excited to ring in the new year with lots of new programs (plus improvements on some older programs). Our primary focus is making more music. We have decided to call it, "Make More Music".

Keep on reading for more info about expanding your music-making, and for other fun things, like links to Winter Concert photos and videos, a

See the full 2017 calendar at the bottom of this email, or view the calendar online at:  http://www.musictimeacademy.com/calendar
NEW Schedule & Pricing for Meet Music

If you attended a Family Music Time or A Sound Experience class in the 2016, you should have already received an email with information about the new 2017 Sessions. If you have not yet received this, please let us know. 

It's SO easy to register for a session (and you don't even need to pay now, but you can if you'd like to). Click the following link (but be sure to register under the STUDENT'S name, not your name): 

FAMILY MUSIC TIME (ages 6 mo to 5 years):

A SOUND EXPERIENCE (ages 3.5 to 6):

We plan to form as many groups of students as we can, based on age/instrument/availability of those that are interested. Groups for the upcoming Winter Session will begin after the break (week of Jan 8th) and will continue to March 4th, concluding with a performance at the end of the session. The rate for Winter Session is $120 ($160 for students not enrolled in private lessons - tell your friends if you'd like to be in a band with them)!
Make More Music in 2017!
We are excited for 2017 to be the most music-making-ist year yet!

As all of our teachers will tell you, the real joy in making music comes when you feel how your individual part comes together with the group to make a full song. It really brings a new life to all of the fundamentals that the students learn during private lessons. We hope you'll consider giving it a shot!

To let us know that you're interested, please fill out our quick & easy form at:

Winter Concert photos & videos now posted!

...and of course don't forget to "like" the Music Time Academy page while you're there. 

...and don't forget to subscribe to the channel so that you can see the rest of the videos as we post them.

Great Job, Performers!
In addition to all of the fantastic performances at the Winter Concert, we would like to give special recognition to a few other performances in the past month. Way to go, Arroyo Seco & Joe Mitchell "School of Rock" bands for great performances at their schools during lunch time! We are also extra proud of our Wind Ensemble for bringing some extra joy to this year's  Breakfast With Santa at the Robert Livermore Community Center. 
Megan Swaim
Congrats to Megan! Megan will receive not only priceless glory & endless bragging rights, but also gift certificates to Music Time Academy & Livermore Cinemas.
Megan's love for music has been steadily growing right along with her for all of her life. At the age of 7, Megan first began to learn the violin. She later played both clarinet and saxophone in  elementary and middle school, but has recently settled into a very happy relationship with what she considers to be her instrument of choice: bass guitar.

The recent Winter Concert was Megan's second Music Time Academy Concert performance (the first being at the 2016 Spring Concert). This time she raised the stakes by playing Green Day's "Hitchin' a Ride" with a band (vocals, drums & guitar). Although Megan had practiced on her own, the band was only able to try it all together once before the performance. Way to have faith and accept the challenge, Megan!

As an avid fan of Green Day, Panic! at the Disco and Fallout Boy, we look forward to more lively rock and roll performances from Megan and her future bands. Great work, Megan!
Megan (left) with her teacher, Luna (right) performing "Hitchin' a Ride" by Green Day at the Winter Concert.

Instrument: Bass
Teacher: Luna
Age: 16
Grade: 11th
School: Livermore High School
Student Since: October 2015
Hobbies (besides music): Painting
Ian Williams

For December, we are featuring an interview with Ian Williams. Ian teaches flute saxophone, clarinet and piano at Music Time on Fridays & Sundays. 

Q: How did you begin playing music?
A: I started in the 3rd grade. I think I was about 8 when my parents rented my first saxophone for me. I started taking private lessons when I was 10. It was very cool for me because my dad was very musical - a trumpet player and composer. He got me started at an early age and really helped push me through the early stages of learning.

Q: Do you remember what your dad did that you found so supportive?
A: You know what it really was that sticks out to me? It was when all the kids in elementary school started to learn the recorder. He sat me down and was like “Let me show you some songs, lets show you some notes and how they work.” And as you know, recorder fingerings transfer over to wood wind fingerings. It’s the same fingers, you’re just going to have more of them. When I started sax, I already knew some basic nursery rhymes, some super easy tunes that I could transfer onto the sax. It was very exciting for me just starting out.

Q: You are known as an excellent improv artist. How did you get into and begin to study improv? 
A: For me, the start of learning jazz and improv was middle school, by 7th grade I was in Jazz Band and I was starting to get introduced to “swing” and different styles, like Latin. I loved it. I had only done symphonic band up until then, so jazz was just awesome. Also, for improv, I had a teacher that specialized in Jazz Sax. A local pro, he was great, and really started to develop my tone, both my approach and the sound. His whole thing was that, yeah, you could play 1000 notes and be all kinds of flashy, play really fast and stuff, but if it’s not the right tone and doesn’t sound right, well then, it’s not going to be appealing. People will really just be put off. So we need to develop your sound and your tone before we can learn to solo. We really worked on getting the “sound” right, that dark, smoky sax tone. 

Even in high school, I was still in the early stages of improvising. It was at that point, I would say not even really until my senior year, that as a student I made the decision that I was really going to buckle down. As a student you have to, at some point, really make the decision that you are going to put all your time and all your effort into learning this thing, to learn everything that I need to know and then put it into my playing, into my improv. One of the things I’ve noticed with the kids, they want to learn how to improvise, they want to be soloists. And they get to the early stages, but they aren’t willing to put in the time that is necessary. The time needed to practice that same lick over and over and over again, and then move it up a half-step and do it over and over and over. They just don’t put in the time.

For me I did not really put that time in until high school, which was good because it kept my interest on the saxophone. In middle school I had picked up guitar and by high school was playing in some rock and metal bands. That was fun, and my focus was starting to shift. Fortunately, with studying improv, I started to really listen to jazz records, not just hearing them but listening and observing what is playing, how they are playing, and how it all fits together.
Q: So it was the beginning of that sort of study that kept you on the Saxophone?
A: Yes, exactly. Doing the listening I could hear what they were doing with the chords and how it flowed and it just sort of clicked for me. And really this wasn’t until the end of high school.

Ian jamming on the Doobie Brother's "Long Train Runnin'" with the Music Time Academy Instructors, kicking off the West End at the Winter Concert. 

Missed the jam? Check out the video at:  https://www.facebook.com/anand616/videos/10155732531614657/

Q: What about your projects and work in the local hip hop and electronic scene? How did that come about?
A: That was birthed at Diablo Valley College. I think it was 2012, I was hanging out in the recording lab.  I met Neil actually, he teaches guitar at Music Time. We were going to do some recording there and after, ended up talking to some guy in the parking lot. He had a friend of a friend who wanted some sax on his record. He made beats, electronic beats and he wanted Sax laid on top. I was like, ‘sure, I can do that.’ So we exchanged numbers and started working together. For the first few months I would just come in and play sax or flute over his beats. Then after a while, I asked him to start showing me how he was making these beats, since I was helping him out with all these instruments. Why don’t you show me your process? That sort of thing was always something I had been interested in. As a kid growing up, I’ve always listened to hip hop, mainly because of the beats.

He started showing me the basics, how to put these beats, these songs, together. Because it’s completely different from what we know, as classically trained musicians. You know, we are trained to read, sight read sheet music, play the song. This is like, how you might find a theme or motif and then expand on that. Similarly when making these beats, you find an idea and expand on that. You might play it on a completely different instrument. Or you might switch the key, or you switch up a certain frequency or tuning or something like that and it will change up the timbre of the sound. From there you add extra drums or percussion. So, he started showing me how to do all of that and I was really inspired by it.

I almost immediately went out and bought the equipment to make my own beats, started hammering out my own ideas and making my own recordings. By 2014, we started collaborating in all these different projects. And once again it just clicked. We were passionate about this music. We were good at making it. Why shouldn’t we start a group? And put together music to sell? Or even just for whatever, you know? I mean, at that point we didn’t even know what we wanted to do with it, but we started taking what we were doing seriously.

That has grown over the last couple of years into F1rst Class Music, you can check that out at f1rstclass.com. We are starting a publishing company and publishing the music of some of the artists we have been working with. We have an instrumental album coming out. It has grown into something that, you know, I never thought it would.

Go See Live Music!

The California Honeydrops don’t just play music—they throw parties. Led by dynamic vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Lech Wierzynski, and drawing on diverse musical influences from Bay Area R&B, funk, Southern soul, Delta blues, and New Orleans second-line, the Honeydrops bring vibrant energy and infectious dance-party vibes to their shows. They’ve taken the party all over the world, playing festivals of all kinds and touring widely across North America, Europe and Australia. In 2016 the Honeydrops were honored to support Bonnie Raitt on her North America release tour—and in the past have been privileged to support the likes of B.B. King, Allen Toussaint, Buddy Guy, and Dr. John. Whether in those high-profile performances or in more intimate venues where the band itself can leave the stage and get down on the dance floor, the California Honeydrops’ shared vision and purpose remain: to make the audience dance and sing.

The Honeydrops have come a long way since guitarist and trumpeter Lech Wierzynkski and drummer Ben Malament started busking in an Oakland subway station, but the band has stayed true to that organic, street-level feel. Listening to Lech sing, it can be a surprise that he was born in Warsaw, Poland, and raised by Polish political refugees. He learned his vocal stylings from contraband American recordings of Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, and Louis Armstrong, and later at Oberlin College and on the club circuit in Oakland, California. With the additions of Johnny Bones on tenor sax and clarinet, Lorenzo Loera on keyboards, and Beau Bradbury on bass, they’ve built a powerful full-band sound to support Wierzynski’s vocals. More like parties than traditional concerts, their shows feature extensive off-stage jamming and crowd interaction. “The whole point is to erase the boundaries between the crowd and us,” Wierzynski says. “We don't make setlists. We want requests. We want crowd involvement, to make people become a part of the whole thing by dancing along, singing, picking the songs and generally coming out of their shells.”

Cant' Make the Show? Consider this recommended listening:
Every Wednesday:
Zach Brough (Mike) at the Saloon in San Francisco

Every Thursday:
Tim G (guitar) at Tiki Tom's in Walnut Creek

Every Friday: 
Tim G (guitar) at Maria Maria in Danville

Every Saturday:
Soul Brunch (Anna, drums) at Penrose in Oakland

Friday, December 30th:
Tim G at Maria Maria in Walnut Creek, Ca

Saturday, December 31st:
The UnOriginals at Maggie McGarry's in San Francisco

Wednesday, January 4th:
Tim G at the Vine at Bridges in Danville

Thursday, January 5th:
Dave Lockhart and Friends (Mike & Anna) at the Bistro in Hayward

Friday, January 6th:
Dueling Guitars (Tim G) at Pura Vida Sangira Bar in Livermore

Saturday, January 7th:
The UnOriginals (Tim G) at Johnny Foley's in San Francisco

Saturday, January 14th:
The UnOriginals (Tim) at Meenar in Danville

Saturday, January 28th:
Tim G at Tiki Tom's in Walnut Creek

Sunday, January 29th:
Jules Layhe (Tim M) at Biscuits and Blues in San Francisco

Friday, February 3rd:
Muncie (Anna) at Rellik Tavern in Benicia

Saturday, February 4th:
The UnOriginals (Tim G) at Maggie McGarry's in Walnut Creek

Tuesday, February 14th:
Gringa (Luna) at Boom Boom Room in San Francisco

Black Box Radio (Xavier on vocals/guitar)
Fast & Vengefully (Tim on guitar/voice, Belinda on fiddle)
Push (Tim M. on guitar)

Peace, Love & Music,
The Music Time Academy Staff:  Anna Cucciardo, Monica Lind, Mike Meagher, Adam Borden & Eric Sedillo
For every new private lessons student that you refer to Music Time Academy, enjoy a 25% discount from your monthly tuition! REFER 4 STUDENTS & GET A FREE MONTH OF LESSONS!
*Offer does not apply to immediate family members or to prior students re-enrolling.25% discount applies to tuition rate for one student only.