Volume 64 | June 30th, 2018
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JUNE 2018

SUMMER #1: JUNE 3rd to JULY 14th
SUMMER #2: JULY 21st to AUG 18th

There's nothing like the long days and warm nights of a California summer! I am extremely grateful to be in the Bay Area - what a beautiful place to call home.

Welcome to all of the new families that have just started their musical journey here over the past few weeks, and an extra special shout out to the 6 students that are celebrating 6 years of lessons this month: Nicholas Deal, Isabella Fontecha, Tyler Holm, Luke Losey, Rebecca Losey, and Madeline Losey.

Keep on scrollin' down the line here for some exciting announcements, including the launch of an exciting new, collaborative project to encourage something we could all use a little more practice with. It involves those 2 little pesky things on the side of your head....

  • Project: STOP! Collaborate & Listen - An Awareness Initiative
  • Summer & Fall Bands are forming NOW!
  • Discount Tickets to Willy Wonka
  • Student of the Month: Tony Beltran
  • Teacher Feature: Nick Davila - Bass, Comics, Art & Jujitsu
  • Dead & Company (John Mayer & members of the Grateful Dead)
  • Songwriting Club: Write a Song About PIANO (and get a free book from our retail store)
  • Congratulations to 33 Student Anniversaries This Month! 6 students are celebrating 6 years of lessons here - WOW!!

PROJECT: SCL - For Listening Awareness
We the Teachers of the Music Time Academy, in Order to form a more perfect Musical Community, establish Appreciation, insure musical Inspiration, provide for the common repertoire, promote the general listening Awareness, and secure the Blessings of Music to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this PROJECT: Stop! Collaborate & Listen.

Please help us our cause by participating in PROJECT: SCL! How? It's super easy!

Each month our staff will collaborate on compiling a YouTube playlist of 10 awesome videos that we recommend you (that's students AND parents) watch for some inspiration from some of the greats. Extra credit for commenting & sharing the playlist! The project archives & updated lists can be found at: http://www.musictimeacademy.com/scl
Please bookmark, so you can avoid the distractions & advertisements of going (or sending your kids) directly to YouTube!

Project SCL #1: Check Out That Piano!

Start a new band, or join one that's already rocking!
Did you have a blast playing in a band at the Big Show?

We have bands/groups for students of all ages (7 up to adult - yes, you heard me ADULT ).

Our various groups have space for most instruments at beginning, intermediate or advanced experience levels. And if you can't get into a current group for any reason, we'll do our best to start a new ensemble with you.

Why? Because playing music in a group gives you an experience that you just can't get in one on one lessons.

You'll know it when you feel it.

Just click "reply" to this email, call us at 925-456-3460, or stop by the front desk.
You'll be glad you did.
The show is almost over, but we've got you covered!
Our friends at Livermore Grand Performing Arts have been working hard on their recent production of Willy Wonka! We highly recommend checking out the show in it's final 2 days - June 30th & July 1st.

For a discount code that gets you a special deal of only $15/ticket, please respond to this email.
Tony Beltran
Congrats to Tony 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: Piano
Teacher: Sal
Age: 14
School: Granada High School (starting in Fall)
Grade: 9th
Student Since: March 2016
Hobbies (besides practicing): Making and editing videos, computer games
We were blown away by Tony's performance of "Bohemian Rhapsody" at the Big Show! If you missed it live, do yourself a favor and check out the video above. It's no 3-chord diddy, as you might know. Tony estimates that he spent over 100 hours preparing that song!

Tony loves Queen, but he's been learning other songs in lessons, in addition to improving and composing. "Tony is very creative," notes h is teacher, Sal. "He has a wonderful attitude. He almost quit a while back, but I'm glad he didn't!"

On behalf of the hundreds of us at the show, we are ALL glad that you didn't quit, Tony! What a treat to see you up there, alongside Nicolas Carrano on drums (a previous recipient of Student of the Month), Teacher Xavier & (the first ever) special guest vocalist., Ivan Ganchev (as seen on American Idol ). You sure did set the bar high - we can't wait for the follow up!
Nick Davila

Bassist, Cellist, Pianist, Comic Book Author, Artist and All-around Great Conversationalist.

Nick Davila has been on staff at Music Time since 2014, but I just recently learned about his passion for not just music (which is obvious as he is a practiced, skilled multi-instrumentalist), but also for comic books! I had a wonderful conversation with him last week where we got to go over his story. Enjoy!
How did you get started in music?

My mom basically said, “You have no choice, you're playing something.” So in second grade, I started with drums, and then went to trumpet, then to piano. My music teacher was so scary that i just couldn't hang! I decided that I just did not want to play music, so I didn’t play anything from 2nd to 7th grade. I learned that I just don’t respond well to drill sergeant teachers.

What inspired you to try music again?

In 7th grade, I was hanging out with my friend and his older sister showed us Sublime, the self-titled album. We decided right then and there that we were starting a band, it was like “this is what we’re doing.” Then, very diplomatically, we made a deal that whoever got a guitar first would be be the guitar player, and the other guy would play bass. He got a guitar on December 18th, for his birthday and I begged for a bass for Christmas. I got one, and it just kind of snowballed from there. I guess I "got stuck" with bass, but I’m glad I did! 

Did you take any lessons on bass?

I studied with Spencer Craig at Spitzer Music in Concord. It was life changing! I was definitely that kid that had a closet full of hobbies that I had given up on. Then, all of the sudden bass just stuck with me! I remember the very first day, Spencer taught me “These Eyes” song by the Guess Who, it’s like 2 chords. I was just like, “I’m in!”

And how did your new band go?

We just kind of jammed around and played Sublime tunes, then Chris went to a different high school. My friend Nick got a guitar sophomore year, then the two of us started playing as a duo. And eventually jamming with Nick’s dad, Bob, on drums. 

We knew that, at 17, 18, 19 years old, playing with Bob was elevating us, playing with a “real drummer”. Bob was like a 2nd dad to me. He took special care with me, as a rhythm section player, to download as much drum mentality into me! Even to this day, I’ll find myself watching the drummer for 40 minutes, and I’m like “watch the band!”. I never even watch the bass player! 
It was also Bob who very much encouraged me to sing and play, he influenced me to be a multi-instrumentalist. I just got obsessed with low end: cello, bass clarinet, whatever, and I started taking piano and voice lessons at Countrywood music. Guys like Les Claypool and Tom Waits, technically they have terrible voices, but they make them work. So I thought, maybe I could do something with my voice too!

I never knew you as a singer or songwriter!

I wrote a lot while I was at Diablo Valley College, but I never recorded them. I have a notebook full of dozens of songs. I could never get past looking back at it and thinking, “This is so trite.” You know, you’re your own harshest critic. 

Did you go to Diablo Valley College to study music?

I grew up drawing, and I always told myself that i was going to be involved in comics. I actually started at Diablo Valley College to be an Art major, but there was something about the academics of it that stressed me out. I couldn't hang, just feeling like I wasn't good enough. I decided art is not the way to go, lean into music. So around 19, I was like, “yeah, I wanna be a rockstar.” 

When I transferred to San Francisco State, I had a general music theory (kind of a recap from the DVC classes), piano, rock history and jazz history. Semester 2 I started my cello major, but they closed down the program. Then after 2 years into Comparative Literature, I get an email saying that they’re opening the music program again. I didn't want to start over a 3rd time, so I just finished with Comparative Lit. 

I know that you have recently got back into art. How did you get back into that?
All of high school I was not into comics, just distracted by other things, more focused on music. but Grant Morrison pulled me back! He did the “New X-men” and it was just a game changer! After SF State, I knew that my comic artwork was not where it needed it to be, so I focused on the writing. My friends started working on the art, but they didn't have the time for it, which is understandable. They bowed out, so I realized that I’m gonna do it, i gotta do it myself!

Did your experience writing music or your Comparative Lit education help with writing comics at all?

I feel that they are flexing the same creative muscle, especially if you're writing lyrics, it’s a lot like writing a script. You have to bang out a rough draft, then it's all revisions. Even with Comparative Lit, it’s like, “What’s the this book about? What is this chapter about? What about this paragraph? This sentence? All the way down to, why did he choose this word?” It helped to try to map something out. It’s the same with music, like, “why go to the minor there?” It’s all zooming out, and adjusting. 

I really like how you have been able to spend time on other things besides just music and only music. Do you feel like you’re able to feel any connections between the different arts?

I used to be so myopic and single-minded and it wasn't until lately that i was like “Do something else!”. So I ended up trying Jiu-jitsu. There's this thing in jiu-jitsu that they always say: “drillers make killers”. The only way to get good at anything is repetition. Lean into that dry boring stuff. If you have your scales down like the back of your hand, then all of a sudden you can move! It changes things. Get meditative about it! Get like, zen! 

My teacher Spencer always said, which applies to everything you’re trying to learn, “It’s a misconception that playing faster is harder than playing slower!” Going slower requires more strength, pacing, timing and precision - lean into that! Start by warming up slow then get faster. Play that zeppelin line super slow!
Student Anniversaries
Aeolian Level - 6 Years of Lessons
Nicholas Deal
Isabella Fontecha
Tyler Holm
Luke Losey
Rebecca Losey
Madeline Losey

Mixolydian Level - 5 Years of Lessons
Evan Collette
Annie Holm

Lydian Level - 4 years of Lessons
William Igouchkine
Isabel Obaob

Phrygian Level - 3 Years of Lessons
Bansal Veda
Hanumanchi Abhiram
Iyer Avi
Muthuswamy Divya
Rose Clara

Dorian Level - 2 Years of Lessons
Sara Amplement
Ayla Dahlheim
Marina Fiaz
Samantha Lu
Fred Reardon
Luna Rebello
Srijani Saikia
Torianna Stevens
Sophia Stone

Ionian Level - 1 Year of Lessons
Angel Arroyo
Kiran Bhanushali
Melanie Holsopple
Alexie Kwon
Ryan Loder
Brittany Mott
Chris Pearce
Alyssa Ramon
Liam Welch
This month's topic:


Write a song on piano! Write a song about piano! Write about something that you once mistook for a piano! Write about your imaginary pet named piano?

We'll leave the creativity up to you. Now, go!!


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.

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

Dead & Company

Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View

Monday, July 2nd &
Tuesday July 3rd
Grateful Dead offshoot and bona fide supergroup Dead & Company comes to Shoreline Amphitheatre on Monday 2nd July 2018 for a two-night run, raising the spirit of the 'Dead! The band, which is fronted by Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and guitarist John Mayer, has gone from strength to strength since its formation three years ago and it's easy to see why! Come get groovy with Dead and Company!

Three years ago, Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann got together with Grammy Award-winner and Grateful Dead fanatic John Mayer, fellow Grammy-winner and virtuoso bassist Oteil Burbridge and RatDog keyboard player Jeff Chimenti, and out of nowhere Dead and Company was born. After a hugely positive response to their 2015 concert in Madison Square Garden, the Grateful Dead offshoot have continued to build momentum, developing a full tour, which continues throughout 2018.
Every Thursday:
Tim G (guitar) at Tiki Tom's in Walnut Creek 

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

Saturday June 30th
Mama Foxxy (Judy & Anna) at Vinnie's Bar & Grill in Concord

Friday, July 6th
The UnOriginals (Tim & Xavier) at Retro Junkie, Walnut Creek 9-11pm
Lost Dog Found (Adam) at Courthouse Square Concert Series in Redwood City

Saturday, July 7th
The UnOriginals (Tim & Xavier) at Maggie Mcgarry’s in San Francisco

Thursday, July 19th
Gala (Luna) & Gringa (Luna) at Elbo Room in San Francisco

Friday, July 20th
Room for Dream at Bar Fluxus in San Francisco

Saturday, July 21st
The UnOriginals (Tim & Xavier) at Chuck's Corner in Pinole

Wednesday, July 25th
Muncie (Anna & Mike) at Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco

Friday, July 27th
West Grand Boulevard (Anna & Adam) at Scribner Bend Vineyards in Sacramento

Saturday, July 28th
The UnOriginals (Tim & Xavier) at Johnny Foley’s in San Francisco

Sunday, July 29th
West Grand Boulevard (Adam, Mike & Anna) at Waterfront Festival in Benicia

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

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

Saturday, August 18th
The UnOriginals (Tim & Xavier) at Maggie Mcgarry’s in San Francisco

Friday, August 24th
The UnOriginals (Tim & Xavier) at Vinnie’s in Concord
Muncie (Anna) at Ty's Blues & Food in Kelseyville, CA

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

Friday, September 14th
Gringa (Luna) at Off the Grid, Fort Mason in San Francisco


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.