Volume 62 | May 4th, 2018
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APRIL 2018


Looking for more info about the concert?
It's been a whirlwind of a month, as we prepare for a whole new breed of a Spring Concert! 5 separate events over 4 days, featuring over 150 students....

We can't wait to see the rear space of our humble little studio light up with 3 evenings of "Concertina" performances, starting in only 2 weeks. And of course the grand finale of it all, "The Big Show" on Sunday, May 20th at the Bothwell Arts Center is shaping up to be an incredible afternoon of live music with over 20 group performances ranging from rock and roll to classical to jazz to pop and more! Stoked level? Ludicrous.

  • Join the Big Show Facebook Event
  • Raffle Ticket Bonus Offer: Get a few steps closer to 6 months of FREE music lessons
  • Wednesday Nights: a few more weeks of OPEN JAM
  • Student of the month: Stephen Padgett
  • Teacher Feature: Belinda Bohanna & her backyard jam
  • 21st Annual Stone Soul Concert in Concord & more live music
  • Songwriting Club: Write a song about a FULL MOON (and get a free book from our retail store)
  • Congratulations to 21 Student Anniversaries this month!

Let all of your friends & family know about the big day that we are all working so hard to prepare for!

Music is always better with friends.
Invite Friends.
Earn Tickets.
Rock on.

Earn 5 Tickets for sharing the Big Show Event on your Facebook page!

Earn another 5 tickets for every friend that RSVP's "Yes" to the Big Show event on Facebook!

Be sure to tag the Music Time Academy Facebook page in your shared post!

How to qualify for tickets:
Show us the shared post on your phone when you come in for your lesson, For friend RSVP's, ask your friends to tag your name in a comment on the event page, letting us know who invited them. So simple! If you need assistance or need clarification, please respond to this email.

iPad Mini / 6 months of FREE MUSIC LESSONS

For details on earning tickets, see:

There are also posters around the studio with details!

We'll be changing formats in June.

Please join us for the final few weeks of what's been a fun little run of FREE community music-making.

It's easy: just show up at the studio at 7:30-7:45pm with your instrument (drums, amps & keyboards provided). Multi-instrumentalist instructor Xavier will help you feel comfortable in this new setting & get you jamming right along with the rest of the group. It's also a great way to get some extra practice for the Big Show, so bring you band along!

Congrats to all winners, especially our very own Music Time Academy Students, Colton Crouch (drums) & Shannon Thomas (violin)!
Beth Wilson led our music scholarship program, which had 44 applicants and resulted in 22 awards totaling $5,975.00.

The scholarship recipients were: Soham Khedkar. He plays the piano - is in 6th grade. Colton Crouch. He plays the drums and is in 6th grade. Serena Bond. She plays the piano and is in the 7th grade. Harrison White. He sings (tenor) is in the 7th grade. Emily Buttler. Emily play the piano and is in 7th grade. John Viri. He plays the Clarinet and is in 7th grade Geonhan Kang. He plays the Bass and is in 8th grade.
Shannon Thomas. She plays the violin and is in the 8th grade Miraya Choudhury. She sings (soprano) and is in 9th grade. Aria Roach. She plays the violin and is in 9th grade. Andrew Tantzen. He plays the piano, trumpet and french horn and is in the 9th grade. Morgan Rogge. She sings (soprano) and is in the 10th grade. Drake Small. He plays the piano and is in the 10th grade. David Davisson. He plays the flute and is in the 11th grade. Loreli Litney. She plays piano and is in the 11th grade. Katrina Makarewicz. She plays the cello and is in the 11th grade. Ian Sylvester. He plays the drums and is in the 11th grade. Grace Post. She plays the flute and is in 11th grade. Dakota Marr-Clark. He plays the guitar - and he
composes - and he is in the 12th grade. Andrew Divita. He plays the trombone and is in the 12th grade.
Dallin Harwood. He plays piano and is in the 12th grade.
Stephen Padgett
Congrats to Stephen for earning the Student of the Month honor! He will receive not only priceless glory & endless bragging rights, but also gift certificates to Music Time Academy & Livermore Cinemas.
Instrument: Violin
Teacher: Belinda
Age: 35
Occupation: Nuclear Physicist at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory
Student Since: February 2014
Hobbies (besides practicing): Astrophotography, reading science fiction
We had to triple-check that Stephen Padgett had not already won Student of the Month before sending him the exclusive invitation. It's hard to believe that after all these years of private lessons, steady enrollment in the Thursday String Ensemble and consistent participation in the Concerts, we have not yet awarded Stephen this honor. Congrats, finally, to Stephen for your years of commitment so far - and for all the years ahead!

Stephen's teacher, Belinda, spoke very highly of him for his recent help at her Backyard Jams. What's that, you say? Well friend, keep on reading...
Belinda Bohanna

On Sunday, April 21st, Belinda hosted her 3rd “Backyard Jam”, perhaps best described by her daughter, Ella in her article recently published in the highly esteemed “Griffin Globe” (Glenview Elementary’s source for news):
The recent jam consisted of a sizeable group of 20+ participants, including 9 violinists, 3 cellists, 4 pianists plus mandolin, guitar and banjo and more. Ages ranged from youngsters of only 7 years old, up to parents that are just getting started (or re-started) in music. The music began in the late afternoon and took a pause for a potluck, then resumed, eventually moving inside to the parlor, where the tempos came up and the more experienced musicians provided a little entertainment for the newbies (although still welcoming all to jump in at any time).  

As Belinda describes it:

“It's not like you’re sitting there in a recital with all eyes on you. I want to call it, ‘Belinda’s Non-recital!’ If you're nervous, you can sit back there and figure things out, then just turn yourself up whenever you want to be heard."
What motivated you to start doing Backyard Jams?

On my birthday last year, I cleaned up the backyard a bit and had my friends come over to jam. I realized, ‘Oh this is really cool! I have enough space back here.’ I figured it would be fun to have another jam and get students mixed with established musicians, so that they can get experience playing with other people, and also get the jam aspect of it, trying to play without music in front of you, learning how to jump in without being afraid. In order to do that, you have to have a space that allows for creativity to come out. It has to be a place that's non-judgemental, where people don't feel intimidated.

I’m also at the point in life that I'm focused on what I am here to contribute. I really believe that I have an ability to encourage a real creative, personal voice to come out, and to give it a nurturing environment. The backyard jam is an extension of that, it's about playing with other people, learning that you can join in - there are no mistakes! If you try something and it doesn't sound good, try something else! That's how you learn. You have to be prepared to be able to do that. It’s a challenge to get people that don’t normally play together in a format with just enough information so that they can join in, but they're not reading from a script.

How did you first get the students in that place of just enough information, but no script?

A lot of times my students zone in on the same pieces that get their attention, like some really beautiful Celtic music that everyone says, “Oh! I  want to play that.” So there is some common ground on the material. I started teaching my piano students to play along with the chords, at first just the root notes, then they would work on integrating playing the melody themselves. The next step, if they got that far, would be to improvise on it, to have fun!

What was the timeline, how much time did the students have to prepare in lessons before the jam?

Oh I am terrible with that! If I’ve got a jam coming up and someone's newly started, I’m going to invite them to come along, check it out and join in on one song, and I’ll show them how to get their feet wet. I had a few students that came to the first jam and I felt awful because it was a new format and they didn't know what to do - but they said they had a great time and they came back! It helps that it’s also a potluck, so there’s room for kids to run around. If you feel like you're done with what you can do, you can just go chill a bit an then join back in.

At the jam, what sort of information do you give the students before a song starts?

At the second jam, i drew up some very basic chord charts, with a box for each measure. I’ll give them this basic framework - it’s not even a lead sheet because it doesn't have the melody on it. My goal is for them to leave all of it behind eventually, but i want to give them enough so they feel like they can join in.

How many songs do you play at a jam? What’s the flow of the music?

I have a list of about 10 that we go over a lot. They range from a warmup with basic simple rounds. The joy of doing them is great because the harmony created when you play just simple rounds is so cool, it makes everyone smile. Then we’ll go into something fun, like the Drowsy Maggie. I taught them the basic 12 bar blues. Once they get over the fact that it sounds complicated, they see that it’s really very simple. They can start with the root note, then add another note that will always work, then add rhythm and you just build it from that.

What’s the plan for the future?

I do have a vision! I’m not charging any money for it, so it’s a community thing. I might use it for a fundraiser for the school next year though. I’m considering even writing a “Backyard Jam Method” and making backing CDs so my students can have something to improvise against at home and then they can come back and do it at the jam. That's what I'd like to have happen.

The point is I just want everyone to get something out of it. I don't know why it's so important. I just want them to access their creative place and feel nurtured in a supportive environment.

Student Anniversaries
Mixolydian Level - 5 Years of Lessons
Roshni Vakil

Lydian Level - 4 years of Lessons
Abhijay Paturi
Dave Kuhns

Phrygian Level - 3 Years of Lessons
Harkeerat Halait
Harry Tsai

Dorian Level - 2 Years of Lessons
Sarvagna Banda
Aiden Clarin
Katie Fogerson
Dylan Tongol
Prianka Vakil

Ionian Level - 1 Year of Lessons
Srinagesh Addala
Srivishnu Addala
Anika Awasthi
Jeremy Dyson
Upasan Goswami
Upayan Goswami
Dillon Lenihan
Gillian Mena
Matteus Ramos
Kate Shofstall
Jing Rui Zhang

Limit one free book per person per month, limit of $25 retail value. No special orders, must be currently in stock. Does not include manuscript paper.
This month's topic:


If your song is chosen as the winner, you'll get to choose the topic for next month! How fun?! Now let's get to writing! Go on now, git.

Accepted formats include: video, audio, lyrics or written/sheet music. Submissions will be accepted until the next newsletter.
Go See Live Music!

21st Annual Stone Soul Concert Experience

Concord Pavilion

Memorial Day Weekend
May 26th & May 27th
12pm to 10pm
The KBLX Stone Soul concert is coming to the Pavilion for two days, Saturday and Sunday, May 26 and 27 beginning at noon both days. The line-up includes Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, Kenny 'Babyface' Edmonds, Joe, Keith Sweat, Musiq Soulchild, Johnny Gill, Ro James, Angela Winbush, Zapp, Leela James, Rob Base and Stokley. 

Frankie Beverly  started the group as Raw Soul in 1970. They recorded a couple of  singles  on the small Gregar  label , but without any major  hits . With a few personnel changes, a relocation from Philadelphia to the  San Francisco Bay Area  in California in 1971, and an introduction to  Marvin Gaye , the group became an immediate success. Gaye took the group on the road with him as one of his opening acts, and in 1976, he suggested that they change their name from Raw Soul to Maze.

Babyface, is an American singer, songwriter and record producer. He has written and produced over 26 number-one  R&B  hits throughout his career, and has won 11  Grammy Awards .
Every Thursday:
Tim G (guitar) at Tiki Tom's in Walnut Creek 

Every Thursday:
Michael Solomon at Live Oak Lodge # 61 in Oakland

Friday, May 4
West Grand Brass Band (Adam) at Jupiter in Berkeley

The UnOriginals at Retro Junkie, Walnut Creek

Saturday, May 5
Fast & Vengefully (Tim & Belinda) at Johnny Foley’s in SF

Friday, May 11
The UnOriginals (Tim & Xavier) at Meenar, Danville

Friday, May 12
The UnOriginals (Tim & Xavier) at Chuck's Corner

Friday, May 18
The UnOriginals (Tim & Xavier) at Maggie Mcgarrys, SF

Saturday, May 19
Mamá Foxxy (Judy & Anna) at Vinnie's

Sunday, May 20
Music Time Academy Big Show at the Bothwell Arts Center in Livermore

Saturday, May 26
Tory & the Teasers (Anna) at HAS Lordships in Emeryville

Friday, June 1st
The UnOriginals (Tim & Xavier) at Retro Junkie, Walnut Creek

Saturday, June 2nd
Lost Dog Found (Adam) at Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma

Wednesday, June 6th
Lost Dog Found (Adam) at Courthouse Square in Santa Rosa

Friday, June 22nd
Gringa (Luna) at Off the Grid, Fort Mason in San Francisco

Friday, July 6th
Lost Dog Found (Adam) at Courthouse Square Concert Series in Redwood City


Fast & Vengefully - Tim on guitar/voice, Belinda on fiddle
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.