Volume 65 | August 1, 2018
MT Logo
JULY 2018


SUMMER #2: JULY 21st to AUG 18th


Listen, we can all use some inspiration! Check out 10 fun & exciting videos, hand-9 by our staff to show you a thing or two about what those school band instruments can REALLY do!
Just for participating!

Needless to say, July flew right on by! Or maybe it melted away...

Did you notice the little formatting update above? We moved a couple of fun, monthly updates to the top of the page, in an effort to get just a little bit more your attention, before you get exhausted from vigorous down-scrolling. I know, it can really take a lot out of you. Do Fit-bits measure scrolling distance yet? Million dollar idea right there. You're welcome.

Anyways, this is your friendly reminder to check out the links in the blue box above! We don't want you to miss out the new recommended listening YouTube playlist, hand-picked by our staff for your enjoyment & education in top quality music. This month, we are highlighting "Horn Power" - because those school band instruments can actually be quite amazing. But don't believe me, let the likes of Too Many Zooz, Chicago, Snarky Puppy, Tower of Power & more show you. Avoid the ads & distractions of YouTube & view directly at: http://www.musictimeacademy.com/scl
And gee whiz, that's only the start of the fun in this newsletter....

  • A Farewell to Judy
  • Fall Session for Bands & Meet Music Starts Aug 20
  • Need to restart lessons or change your day/time? Talk to us.
  • Student of the Month: Varsha Mattaparti
  • Teacher Feature: Jene'e Patitucci, Meet the Newest Face at Music Time!
  • Sound Summit: Herbie Hancock, Grace Potter, Bob Weir, Nikki Lane, Con Brio
  • Congratulations to 35 Student Anniversaries This Month!

It's been a great 7 years & we wish Judy well!
We wish Judy the absolute best as she embarks on a new chapter of life! After teaching hundreds of private violin, voice & piano students here since 2011, Miss Judy has moved on to become a full-time string instructor at Elizabeth and St. Anthony Catholic Elementary School in Oakland.

Over the years, we have continued to be amazed and impressed by Judy's relentless efforts to help her students succeed. It has been wonderful to watch her grow as both a musician & and educator. From a singe piano student on Wednesday afternoons when she started here 7 years ago, to watching her direct an ensemble over a dozen strings at the Spring Concert - it's been quite a ride!

Judy is a truly wonderful teacher, colleague and friend. We are sad that we won't be seeing Judy so often around Music Time (although she does plan to return to lead a group strings class for Fall session), we are truly excited for her to take this opportunity to keep on growing, and we wish her the best of luck on her new path!


Playing music in a small group/band is a whole different world from private lessons and school band or orchestra programs! Just ask any of the 100+ students that got a taste of it by playing in the recent "Big Show".

If you (or your child) is ready for an experience that just might make music into a lifelong addiction, please respond to this email, call the office, or stop by the front desk at your next lesson. We'll hook you up. The first class is free...
Spaces are limited & filling up quickly!
If you are thinking about changing your lesson day or time when the school year starts, talk to us ASAP!

We have already heard from many of you, but if you have not yet come to us to either re-start lessons, or to change your regular appointment, we highly recommend that you speak with us immediately! We want you to have the most convenient day and time possible in your instructor's schedule, but if all the spaces are full by the time we hear from you, there's just nothing we can do! Please help us help you & let us know what you need, while we can still possibly make it happen. Thanks!
Varsha Mattaparti
Congrats to Varsha for earning the Student of the Month honor! Varsha will receive not only priceless glory & endless bragging rights, but also gift certificates to Music Time Academy & Livermore Cinemas.
Instrument: Guitar
Teacher: Xavier
Age: 14
Grade: 9th
Student Since: July 2013
Hobbies (besides practicing): Reading
Varsha has made quite the impression on the Music Time staff over years of appearances on electric guitar at both Spring & Winter concerts. In the most recent "Big Show" back in May, Varsha performed Ariels by System of a Down alongside 2 other fierce ladies: Astrid, bass & Mallory, drums. In case you missed the rock in person, do yourself a favor & watch the video above.

Xavier, Varsha's teacher, is especially excited to work with her because of her dedication to the instrument. He loves to get into more advanced details of guitar & music theory with her, and appreciates how Varsha shows the drive to truly become a guitarist, as opposed to an average person who just wants to play some guitar. Varsha's mother tell us:

"Varsha really loves playing her guitar, to the extent that even on days when she's extremely busy with school work/exams, still she'd take time to practice her guitar. She has told me so many times that it's the only thing that relaxes her and something she really wants to become very good at."
Jene'e Patitucci

Introducing the newest member of the Music Time administrative staff, Jene'e!

Don't let the desk fool you, she's got quite the musical story - from a toddler crawling up the piano, to being "too hyper" for her first piano teacher, to being inspired by a classical orchestra, to playing bass in a hardcore band, to becoming a singer-songwriter, to being a violin ambassador in Oakland's own flash-mob orchestra...
How did you get started in music?

My mom played piano and sang, so we had a piano in the house. I would always want to be up on the piano with her as a baby, and when I was about 3, she would have me sit in her lap and start to teach me, before I took any lessons. My grandmother also played flute, but I decided pretty early on that I didn't have the lung capacity to do a wind instrument! I was in church and school choir, but when I first saw the violin in 4th grade, when we had an orchestra come to school and, that was it. That was the rabbit hole!

What do you remember about those early piano lessons?

I liked playing the piano, but I don't remember if lessons were something that I actively wanted to do. I remember never practicing and just sight reading, and doing an ok job at it! The teacher could eventually tell that I wasn’t practicing, and she told my mom that I was too hyper for her. I went to a different teacher, who actually gave my mom piano lessons when she was young! He was great, but there was a point that I didn’t enjoy it. I enjoyed playing the piano, but it was something about the lessons. I thought, “I love music but maybe this isn't the right thing”.

But it sounds like the violin made quite the impression on you! What do you remember about that first time you saw that orchestra?

We had this assembly at the start of a semester. Either the middle or high school orchestra came and played in the gymnasium of our elementary school. I just remember the sound was crazy! There were so many different things happening at once, and it was just so beautiful! I had never really heard that kind of music before. I had never heard classical or orchestral music. My mom had always played piano, so I had only heard it with piano & singing. I was just blown away by hearing this orchestra! I really fell in love with it! I remember seeing how beautiful it looked, everybody all stoic, all dressed nice, and all moving together. I was like, “Wow. OK. I want to do that!”

Did you not go to live music often as a kid?

I did go to music. My mom actually brought me to see the Guess Who when I was about 4 years old, and I remember knowing every word to every song. I also remember going to a festival that would happen every year in Muskegon. The Doobie Brothers came through, and ELO! But up until that point, before I had seen that orchestra, it has been just a handful of more modern concerts. I remember wanting to be in a rock band when I grew up, but I never knew what an orchestra was. 

So then what came next for you musically, after seeing that orchestra?

I started violin in 5th grade, then in middle school, I started in a program called “The Fiddlers”. It was mostly bluegrass, and Irish and Scottish music. I started in 6th grade and that went all the way until my senior year. I was also doing honors choir, plus regular choir and orchestra during the school day, and choir and handbells at my church. It was all way too much! I remember never hanging out with friends, or doing anything other than these extra curricular things. 

I think part of that was pushed by my mom, because she had always had that dream of being a musician as a living, and that was something that she didn't really have the chance to do. Because she was still so into music, and she saw that I was into music, she gave me every opportunity to do music all the time Maybe too much. 

Did all this music affect your academics?

I was doing great academically. I didn’t ever really struggle with school stuff. Honestly, I do accredit that to music. Studies have shown that music classes really do help you, academically, It changes the way that your brain processes information - musician kids do better in school!

I know that you currently play more than just piano and violin. When did you start branching out more?

In 8th grade, we only had 3 violas in orchestra. About half way through the year, my direcetor says, “Hey can I see your violin for a second?” She went back into her office, came back out and handed me a viola, “You play viola now!” It was really funny. She gave me a couple weeks to learn alto clef, then I moved to the viola section. 

When I started high school, I could play the violin, viola and piano. At that point, I was really into alternative rock, like AFI, so I asked for a bass guitar for my 14th birthday. I got really into bass for a while while I was in high school. Then my gift for high school graduation was an acoustic-electric guitar, so I started teaching myself. Also in The Fiddlers, we got to play the penny whistle and a little bit of percussion. I can figure out the cello & the mandolin too. 

I’m sure a lot of people are wondering this, how are you able to play so many different instruments? 

Well I always say, if it has strings, I can figure it out! I guess technically piano is a stringed instrument too. I think it’s really by ear. I know what I want to hear coming from that instrument, so it’s really just a matter of how do I make that sound happen. With strings, it’s pretty easy because the concept is the same: you have a string and you want to put your fingers down in a certain place to make the string shorter, making a different pitch, then you either strum it or pull a bow across it. But the position of your hand is always different, so it's a struggle finding out how to get your hand to do the thing you want it to do. It’s just about building things up really slowly and small, allowing yourself to take really small steps.The hard thing is taking the time to allow myself to not get frustrated with a new instrument. But if it’s a wind instrument, I'm just going to get frustrated and stop right away, haha,. 

My brain works in a way that makes this sense to me, and I really accredit that to piano - it’s the gateway drug of the music world! Once you have the concept of what things sounds like, what chords and scales sound like, you can just see it that way,. If I close my eyes when I'm playing an instrument, I kind of think about it like a piano to help make a scale happen. If I can make a scale happen, I can play that instrument.

I love how you broke that down! So please tell us more about your musical path, from the end of high school and onward.

I started teaching private lessons to some younger students during my junior year, and continued that until I left Michigan. After high school, I was playing in the college orchestra and taking all of the college music classes, and I volunteered with The Fiddlers. I felt like I was only playing music for other people. I wasn't practicing, I wasn't finding enjoyment, so I eventually dropped out of college because music wasn’t fun anymore. I just had to walk away from it.

I did a complete 180, and went to college for sign language interpretation. I think it's funny to go from my life being oversaturated with musical things, to being engulfed in the deaf community! My mom is legally deaf, so I wanted to learn because her hearing was getting worse. I wanted to be sure we could still communicate when her hearing went out completely. I did that for a year and a half, but realised that, although I liked it, it was not what I wanted to do as a career. 

Around that time I was living in a punk rock house, and I started playing bass in a hardcore band. I figured, why not, I haven't played music for myself in a while, why not do something different? It was a really cool point in my life, because I got to experience actual work, making songs with a group of people. It wasn't an obligation, yet we had this commitment to it. It was something that we were creating, it wasn't something that had already existed. 

Being in this band, writing songs, getting to travel to different parts of the state, meeting people in bands, playing shows, hosting bands at our house from out of the country - it was an interesting new dynamic that hat never happened in my life! Being raised on 80s pop and rock music, playing piano, playing classical violin and bluegrass, and now I’m playing hardcore music! It was a completely new dynamic and it got me back into playing music. 

Nice! So what was next, once you got back into music?

My life was a whirlwind after high school and before coming to California! I eventually went down to LA, started the Berklee Music Business program, and actually stopped playing music completely for 2 years. I came to the Bay Area in 2016, and went full into the guitar and piano singer-songwriter thing. In 2017, everything really took off with that. I started doing open mics then got invited to do a bunch of shows. And that was a really great year, growing in the musical community here in the Bay Area. 

At the end of the year, I decided that I was just going to focus on violin. So that is where I’m at right now. I play in Awesome Orchestra, and am a “violin ambassador” for them. I just got an electric violin and I’m trying to do more rock stuff.

What is Awesome Orchestra? Tell us more!

It’s the adventure-seeking orchestra! It's a nonprofit that started grassroots, just to get some people together to play in a non-regular orchestra setting, to play fun music, and to do it in public spaces, where it is free for players and free for the public to see it. Since not a lot of people have the opportunity to go see an orchestra, we like bringing an orchestra to the community. Awesome Orchestra is really player-centric, not audience-centered. The focus is on the players to have fun and come together, to play music that is not typical. We get to feature local composers’ music, and we get to play with rock bands. We played live and recorded with the Deer Hunter! The director always says, “It’s called playing for a reason!”

Sounds like Awesome Orchestra lives up to the name. Who can join? Do you have to pay anything to participate? 

It’s free for anyone to come in. It’s mostly adults but we have young people come and play with us often. The ages range from 12 or 13 up through their 70s! You just sign up per session, there is no commitment. We do take donations, and we do raffles, sell merchandise and do fundraisers. We recently did a Harry Potter Trivia Night, and In 48 hours we raised 11 thousand dollars! For the last several hours, anything that was made was matched by one donor That was really amazing! People really care about this orchestra, once they know about it. We’re kind of like a pop-up, flash mob orchestra!
Student Anniversaries
Mixolydian Level - 5 Years of Lessons
Shannon Thomas
Jeff Hallett
Varsha Mattaparti

Lydian Level - 4 years of Lessons
Abigail Aranas
Vineel Bhattiprolu
Jason Chin
Alyssa Feduniw
Dave Kuhns
Addison Lewis
Pranav Sarathy
Lorrie Weiny

Phrygian Level - 3 Years of Lessons
Julia Leigh
Krati Soni

Dorian Level - 2 Years of Lessons
Alejandra Arroyo
Evelyn Arroyo
Lauren Callahan
Aditi Konda
Nihaal Konda
Sid Meka
Marcelo Mello
Caroline Razma

Ionian Level - 1 Year of Lessons
Elijah Chaves
Sean Clark
Benedict Cornejo
Varshsa Kasi
Matthew Kronmal
Ryan Lee
Deborah Li
Sopha Li
Aljolie Mak
Lucinda Mak
Melissa Miller
Scott Rich
Connor Rosales
Myles Rosales
Go See Live Music!

Sound Summit:
Herbie Hancock, Grace Potter, Bob Weir, Nikki Lane, Con Brio

Mountain Theater at Mount Tamalpais

Saturday, September 8th
Held in an intimate venue set amidst an expansive landscape, Sound Summit is a musical gathering like no other in the Bay Area. The festival is staged at the historic Mountain Theater, a 4000-seat natural stone amphitheater with stunning views of San Francisco Bay and beyond. Add a sun-filled day, a resonant cause, and a healthy dose of joy, spice generously with stellar music, and you have a recipe for a magical mountain brew.

Produced as an annual celebration of and fundraiser for Mount Tamalpais State Park by Roots & Branches Conservancy, Sound Summit has raised nearly $200,000 for Mount Tam in its first three years alone. And just as rewarding, we’ve been able to do so fueled by the likes of Wilco, Bob Weir & Phil Lesh, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Jim James, Los Lobos, Dr. John & The Night Trippers, Bill Frisell, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Vetiver, The Mother Hips, The Stone Foxes, and many more, providing an incredible soundtrack to a stirring backdrop.

The same venue was the site of the Fantasy Faire and Magic Mountain Festival (the first rock festival in America) in the summer of 1967 – the Summer of Love – a week before Monterey Pop. Over 30 bands including Jefferson Airplane, The Doors, and The Byrds played over two days to a buoyant and colorful crowd and unknowingly birthed a tradition that’s still thriving a half-century later. In that respect, Sound Summit is treading on hallowed musical ground and keeping the vibe alive for all the best reasons.

As its name implies, Sound Summit is an intentional double-entendre – at once a musical gathering and an image of a strong and whole peak. In short, one exists to help sustain the other. Beloved by generations, Mount Tam is a treasure of our local landscape, an ongoing source of natural beauty, fresh air and water, recreation, contemplative activity and inspiration to the Marin County, San Francisco, and greater Bay Area communities.
Every Thursday:
Tim G (guitar) at Tiki Tom's in Walnut Creek 
Michael Solomon at Live Oak Lodge # 61 in Oakland

Thursday, August 2nd:
West Grand Boulevard (Anna, Adam & Mike) at Los Altos Summer Concert Series

Friday, August 3rd & Saturday, August 4th
The UnOriginals (Tim & Xavier) at The Iron Door Saloon, Groveland

Saturday, August 4th
Mama Foxxy (Judy & Anna) at Dashe Cellars in Oakland
Muncie (Anna) at Red Hat in Concord

Sunday, August 5th
Muncie (Anna) at Brewster’s in Petaluma

Tuesday, August 7th
West Grand Brass Band (Adam) @ Boom Boom Room in San Francisco for Funky Spuds' First 'Tater Tuesdays

Friday, August 10th
The UnOriginals (Tim & Xavier) at Meenar in Danville

Saturday, August 11th
West Grand Boulevard (Adam & Anna) @ Fall Festival in Discovery Bay
The UnOriginals (Tim & Xavier) at Johnny Foley’s in San Francisco

Sunday, August 12th
Muncie (Anna) at Lagunitas in Petaluma

Friday, August 17th
Jene'e Patitucci @ Rock Lotto at Bottom of the Hill

Saturday, August 18th
The UnOriginals (Tim & Xavier) at Maggie Mcgarry’s in San Francisco
Lost Dog Found (Adam) at Pink Party at J’s Winery in Healdsburg

Friday, August 24th
The UnOriginals (Tim & Xavier) at Vinnie’s in Concord
Muncie (Anna) at Ty's Blues & Food in Kelseyville, CA
West Grand Brass Band (Adam) @ Woods Bar in Oakland

Friday, August 31st
Fast & Vengefully (Tim & Belinda) at Johnny Foley’s in San Francisco

Friday. September 7th
Mama Foxxy (Judy & Anna) @ Donkey & Goat in Berkeley
The UnOriginals (Tim & Xavier) @ Retro Junkie, Walnut Creek 9-11pm

Saturday, September 8th
Timmy G acoustic @ Eight Bridges Brewing, Livermore

Friday, September 14th
Gringa (Luna) at Off the Grid, Fort Mason in San Francisco
Fast and Vengefully (Tim & Belinda) at Johnny Foley's in San Francisco

Friday, September 21st
Awesome Orchesta (Jene’e) at Oakland Museum of California
The UnOriginals (Tim & Xavier) at Meenar, Danville

Saturday, September 22nd
The UnOriginals (Tim & Xavier) at Johnny Foley's in San Francisco

Friday, September 28th
The UnOriginals (Tim & Xavier) at Maggie McGarry's in San Francisco


Fast & Vengefully - Tim on guitar/voice, Belinda on fiddle
Awesome Orchestra - Jene'e on violin
Gringa - Luna on drums
Lost Dog Found - Adam on trumpet
Mama Foxxy - Judy on violin, Anna on drums
Muncie - Anna on drums
Professor Jones - Anna on drums, Mike M on bass
Room For Dream - Nick LW on Guitar/Vocals, Luna on Drums
TV Mike & the Scarecrowes - Anna on drums
The UnOriginals - Tim on guitar/voice, Xavier on drums
West Grand Brass Band - Adam on trumpet
West Grand Boulevard - Anna on drums, Mike on bass, Adam on trumpet
From the Music Time Academy Administrative Staff: 
Anna, Monica, Mike & Adam
25% OFF
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.