Volume 60 | March 1st, 2018
MT Logo
GOOD FRIDAY - 3/30 (OPEN), SPRING BREAK - 3/31 to 4/6 (CLOSED - OPEN 4/7)
Since this newsletter is packed full of important, new & exciting information, I'll keep this little intro short. Please scroll all the way down so that you do not miss:

  • NEW FORMAT for the next concert
  • SIGN-UPS will occur from MARCH 10-31st
  • FEBRUARY student anniversaries
  • GRAND PERFORMING ARTS special discount for lessons
  • SONGWRITING CLUB: Get a free book for entering!
  • TUITION INCREASE as of April
  • STUDENT of the month
  • TEACHER feature

Our next concert(s) will be different.
In an ongoing effort to provide the best possible concert experience, we continue to refine & experiment with the bi-yearly event. After taking into consideration feedback from parents, students and staff, we are happy to announce a brand new format for Spring 2018! This time around, we'll not only have a Bothwell Concert, but a whole extravaganza of fine music.

Big Concert
This extravaganza will take place on SUNDAY, MAY 20TH, 12PM at the Bothwell Arts Center in Livermore, CA. Rather than have 2-3 rooms of performances going on as in past years, we have decided to keep the show to just the East End (large room) so that we can experience the show together, as one community. In order to do this, and to (by request) reduce the concert length to an estimated 2 hours, this show will be primarily group performances, with selected solos (based on audition/teacher recommendation).

It's YOUR chance to win 6 months of free lessons & many other awesome prizes. Details at:

Planned group formats - placement by Teacher recommendation:
Rock/Pop/Jazz Groups (for Vocalists, Guitarists, Drummers, Bassists, Keyboardists & Horns)
String & Wind Groups (for violin, viola, cello, trumpet, clarinet, saxophone, trombone, flute, etc.)
Acoustic Guitar & Ukulele Groups
Choir/A Capella (for voice only)

Participation is open to ALL students!
Expect to be in this concert if you take lessons in VOICE, DRUMS, ELECTRIC GUITAR, BASS, and/or if your teacher is: Anna, Luna, Nick LW, Xavier, Tim M, Scott (previously, now Kevin S)

For pianists & others preparing short solo pieces, we will have a series of smaller concerts held right here at Music Time Academy in our cozy performance area. Concertina placement will be on a first-come-first-serve basis, into your teacher's event. SPACE IS LIMITED!

Thursday, May 17th at 7:30pm - Sal's students
Friday, May 18th at 8pm - Judy & Ian's students
Saturday, May 19th at 5pm - Tim G's students
Saturday, May 19th at 6:15pm - TBA students
Saturday, May 20th at 7:30pm - Michael S's students

Don't see your teacher's name?
Stay tuned as we announce more schedules ASAP! Expect to be in this concert if you take lessons in PIANO, or if you are preparing a short solo piece, like a song from your method book.

Sign-ups will be different, too.
Did I hear you correctly? "All this concert stuff sure does sound fun. So how do we sign up?" So glad you asked!

Concert sign-ups will be open:
MARCH 10th-31st

You'll be able sign up with a quick online form, or via phone/email OR sign up in-person and WIN BIG on the prize wheel...


But remember, the signups open on March 10th!
Sign up for the concert in-person and you'll get a spin on our brand new prize wheel. What will YOU win?!
Nobody is born able to play an instrument. Just ask anyone that "makes it look easy" - it takes years of struggle to even come close to truly "playing" music. A HUGE congrats to this very elite crew that has stuck with it!
Mixolydian Level - 5 Years of Lessons
Shiraz Nomani
Zoya Nomani
Darshini Binduraj

Lydian Level - 4 years of Lessons
Stephen Padgett

Phrygian Level - 3 Years of Lessons
Nate Cameron-Chiao
Alex Chong
Harry Dunne
Mackenzie McDonald
Lilian Ocano
Kevin Strandberg
Ryan Strandberg
Anthony Tong
Nalin Verma
Dorian Level - 2 Years of Lessons
Will Coleman
Melissa Dooley
Ezequiel Enriques Jr.
Sanaya Marker
Arjan Singh

Ionian Level - 1 Year of Lessons
Abram Carr
Emerson Carr
Caleb Carroll
Lillian Domondom
Amanda Monroe
Aliyah Naward
Biju Soman
Jay Tseng
Congratulations on a wonderfully successful production of Into the Woods!

..and now for Willy Wonka. Perhaps we can help you prepare with one-on-one singing or instrumental lessons with a local, professional musici an!

We are excited to offer a special, introductory deal, ONLY for members of the Grand Performing Arts Theater Company!

15% OFF of Monthly Private Music Lessons Tuition (for 6 months)

I bet you're thinking, "Well I already take lessons here". Well, here's a one-up for ya! Why not forward this to your friends & get yourself our REFERRAL DISCOUNT?! That's 25% off of one month's tuition for every (non-family member) that signs up. You'll get a FREE month if 4 friends start private music lessons here.
As of April 1st, 2018:
Private Music Lessons will increase by $10 per month.
80% + of this increase is going directly to the instructors.
New Tuition Rates for Private Music Lessons, as of 04/01/2018*

Weekly, 30 min Private Lesson - $140/month
Weekly, 30 min Private Lesson (additional student) - $130/month
Weekly, 45 min Private Lesson - $200/month
Weekly, 60 min Private Lesson - $270/month

*If you are on a low income/discounted tuition, your rate will increase by $10/month, unless special arrangements are made directly with us.

A huge thank you to those who submitted last month in the very first round of our songwriting club! We hope to have more participation this time around.

Isabella, Nicholas (and Carmen) Carrano
The Carrano's will get to choose the topic for next month, but in the meantime, we want to give you all a little more time to try again:


Yep, you heard me. I want to hear your writing experience, in song form. You can use any instruments (standard...or not). You can have words....or not. You can make it short....or not. You can write alone....or with a friend. Let's hear what you got! Don't like the topic - well guess what:


Not a cool enough prize? Well here's a little bonus for ANYONE THAT SUBMITS!
Submission must be received via post on our Facebook page. Offer includes any printed book currently in stock. Limit one per person. Limit of $25 retail value. May not be exchanged for cash or gift certificates.

Accepted formats include: video, audio, lyrics or written/sheet music. Submissions will be accepted until the next newsletter.
Rya Floyd
Congrats to Rya for earning the Student of the Month honor! She will receive not only priceless glory & endless bragging rights, but also gift certificates to Music Time Academy & Livermore Cinemas.
Instrument: Piano
Teacher: Elizabeth
Age: 10
Grade: 5th
School: Altamont Creek Elementary School
Student Since: March 2015
Hobbies (besides practicing): Soccer, Basketball, Softball, Reading
My favorite thing about Rya is how responsive she is to feedback, easily correcting her mistakes, which shows me that she is eager to advance. She also isn't afraid to ask questions! She likes to throw in quirky comments, too. Rya always does her practice, and she likes to finds unique places to put the stickers that she earns, which is a lot of fun. She makes many connections between her music, her life and her memories.

Rya absolutely loves to play the piano. She enjoys playing songs that she has heard before, and it is amazing to see her face light up when she plays it perfectly. She is dedicated to many things, however always makes time each day practice. Once she has mastered a song, she jumps ahead in her book to challenge herself and she if she can surprise Elizabeth by already knowing how to play the song.
Kevin Stewart

Meet Kevin Stewart, the most recent addition to our team of music educators! We are excited to welcome yet another passionate musician to the world of teaching. Kevin will be working with drum and piano students of all ages on Mondays.
Let's hear a bit about your musical background. How did you get started in music?

My dad was a drummer, and I had always wanted to play, but my parents wouldn’t let me start music until school band in 4th grade. I started out on saxophone. Sophomore year in high school I switched to playing drums in school band, but I had been playing drums since 7th grade.

Is your father a professional musician?

He’s not a professional, he works at the post office, but he plays every day and has always been playing in bands. In the 60s, he was making a living playing music in hippie rock bands and country bands. As soon as he had a family, he got a “real job”. He moved to the Bay Area from St. Louis in his 20s to play music.

What sort of musical influence did your father have on you?

My dad was all about discipline and practicing, so he really drilled that into my head ever since I was a little kid. I’ve always been about having a daily routine, and that’s from him.

My dad also bought me this Glen Miller record that I loved - it was the first CD that I memorized! I would listen to it over and over. From then on, I was just really into jazz. As soon as I learned how to read music, I started writing it. The first stuff that I was writing, I was ripping off from Glen Miller.

What sort of musical path did you take as you went through school?

I was playing in Jazz Band & Wind Ensemble, Alto, Tenor & Baritone Saxophone. I studied sax with Dan Zinn, who was really intense and also instilled how to practice. I had my own band in 6th grade and a different one in 7th & 8th. In 9th grade, I started playing drums in a band.

In high school, I made Jazz Band on Drums. It was competitive, but I got it. My dad had showed me some basic stuff he learned from Chuck Brown, some weird finger exercises. I was playing all the time, really geeking out about technique at first. I can’t really credit anything but spending hours on it!

What were the bands like that you started outside of school?

The first band was called “Kiss My Brass”. It was weird, jazzy stuff, based off of the format that we learned from school Jazz Band. In 8th grade, I started veering off. I got a distortion pedal to play my saxophone through and wrote these really fast metal songs and the bass played through a Moog synthesizer. In high school, my bands were “Oh Lucky Man” then “Rural”.

Wow, so you were pretty serious about sax! Do you still play?

As soon as I switched to drums, my dad sold it and I haven’t had one since! Honestly, I dream about playing the saxophone. This past week I had 2 dreams about playing! I kind of want to buy one again.

After you graduated school, how did you continue with music?

When I was 18, I started playing with an abstract Jazz group with Luke Westbrook and Matt Montgomery. Donald Fahley (of the jazz legend Jimmy Smith) was their drummer, and I was his drum tech since he was super old I would set up his drums and then sit in if he was too tired to play. I played with them for a few years, at least weekly in San Francisco. It was super out-there, free jazz.

After that, I took an opportunity to move to Napa and live for free on a vineyard, owned by a bassist that I played with. I just practiced all day! After about a year, I moved to San Francisco. I was working night shifts and practicing Indian classical music all the time.

How did you get introduced to Indian Classical Music?

In high school, I had done some studying and drumming with Edgardo Cambon. He was teaching me bata and Uruguayan drumming. We played in a troupe, and one of the other guys in there said, “If you're into different rhythms, you gotta check out this tabla stuff. It's the craziest in the world!” Once I checked it out, I just got more and more recordings, then books and DVDs, then finally got a konnakkol teacher and started learning with Somashekar Jois.

For someone that might not know what this is, how would you describe Konnakkol?

A lot of people like to compare it to beat-boxing. It’s just rhythmic recitation. You’re reciting rhythms, that’s what it is. The best way to understand is to just listen to recordings.

I still practice it every day and I use it for writing, but I haven’t been in lessons for the past year and a half.

What are you involved with now? Are you still practicing, writing and performing music?

Every single day I wake up and do a Yoga, breathing thing. I exercise a tiny bit, usually play for a few hours, then go about my day. I’ll also play a little bit when I get home from work.

Currently, I’m playing with an experimental rock/funk band and another band called Curling. It's a noise pop thing, like My Bloody Valentine. We’re working on an album. There’s also a noise duo that I started with a bass player. I'm getting back together with Luke Westbrook.

I write a ton! 90% of it, I don’t do anything with. I work on parts for bands I’m in, or I’ll just mess around with ideas for hypothetical situations. Sometimes I’ll write on drums, sometimes on piano. I use Abelton. Very rarely I’ll play guitar, but my chops are incredibly limited.

How would you describe the music you're currently making? It seems like you fall on the more chaotic end of the spectrum.

You could call me a chaotic musician for sure! I’ve always been into that. I look at it as just making art. I like making recordings, and combining improvisation with composition.

And there you have it - a little bit of backstory on Kevin. We look forward to having him on staff!

Go See Live Music!

ALO Sing-a-long for Kids

The Fillmore in San Francisco

Saturday, March 17th
Doors at 2:30, Show at 3pm
ALO’s Family Funtime Fillmore Sing A Long combines story telling, interactive puppets, surprise guests, classic sing alongs and ALO’s original music to create a fun and creative event for the whole family. Dancing, singing and laughing are all encouraged!

ALO is more than a band. It’s a musical relationship that has endured for over two decades, with band members playing in numerous projects together and apart. Following the 2012 release of their freewheeling Sounds Like This, the band took time off to work on various side projects. Zach Gill (keys/vocals) toured the world with the band’s college pal Jack Johnson; Dan “Lebo” Lebowitz (guitar/vocals) played shows with the Grateful Dead’s Phil Lesh; Steve Adams (bass/vocals) toured and recorded with Nicki Bluhm & the Gramblers; Dave Brogan (drums/vocals) joined up with Utah band, Mokie. These and other endeavors have influenced the band’s new album Tangle Of Time.
Every Thursday:
Tim G (guitar) at Tiki Tom's in Walnut Creek 

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

Every Saturday:
Adam (trumpet) with West Grand Brass Band at Lake Merrit Farmer's Market in Oakland

Thursday, March 8th
Muncie (Anna & Mike) @ The Bistro in Hayward

Saturday, March 10th
Muncie (Anna & Mike) @ Hometown Heroes Festival, A Benefit Show at Concord Crossfit
The UnOriginals (Tim G & Xavier) at Meenar, Danville

Friday, March 16th
Fast & Vengefully (Tim G & Belinda) at Johnny Foleys SF
Tory & the Teasers (Anna) @ Bower Center in Berkeley

Saturday, March 17th - Saint Paddy's Day!
Fast and Vengefully (Belinda & Tim G) at O'Flaherty's Irish Pub, San Jose, CA 12-3pm
Mama Foxxy (Judy & Anna) at Vinnie's in Concord
Fast and Vengefully (Belinda & Tim G) at Maggie McGarry's

Friday, March 23rd
West Grand Brass Band (Adam) at Woods Bar in Oakland
The UnOriginals (Tim G & Xavier) at Johnny Foleys SF

Saturday, March 24th
Tory & the Teasers (Anna) at Prospect Sierra Fundraiser

Saturday, March 31st
Mama Foxxy (Judy & Anna) at the Lucky Horseshoe in San Francisco

Friday, April 13th
The UnOriginals (Tim G & Xavier) at Vinnie's, Concord

Saturday, April 14th
The UnOriginals (Tim G & Xavier) at Johnny Foleys SF


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.