It NEVER gets old to witness a student's musical journey and growth, including their "AH-HA" moments.
Last night, I was teaching a 6-year-old student about the treble clef. I drew it several times, in steps, while he looked on.
I then asked him to draw a treble clef by himself and his eyes grew wide. I thought he was nervous, so I said, "Don't worry; just do your best."
To which he replied:
"This is gonna be a little hard...but it's gonna be FANTASTIC!"
Kinda how I feel about life sometimes. =)
Isn't life surprising? Amazing? Sometimes, when we need it most,
something extraordinary happens to help restore our faith.
Today, a woman
visited the studio asking about drum lessons for her 4-yr-old daughter named
"Bella," who was there with her mother. I told Bella that she had the same name
as my Bella studio and that makes her taking drum lessons even more cool. Bella smiled.
And then, the mom told me that her younger daughter is named
Angelina, and they call her "Angel." Bella Angel...WOW!
Thank you for this sign. It brought a smile to my heart...and was exactly the boost my soul needed
I have a student named Abella. She is 5. She loves the fact that her name is
"just like Bella, but with an A at the front."
Tonight, she announced
at her lesson that she is "smarter than a person going into 2nd grade."
When I asked her how she is smarter, she explained that this person "doesn't even know 10+10, 3+3, or where meat comes from."
I love what I
The answer to why I teach music is quite simple:
I teach music because music saved my life.
And, I want to share the power and gift of music with as many people as possible.
Music is, by far, the one thing in my life that has always been a constant positive (please note, I said "thing," not "person").
Music stood by me when I was a young girl, trying to navigate through awkward stages of growing up.
Music stood by me when I was bullied in grammar school, acting not only as an outlet, but a friend.
Music stood by me when I was at the lowest points of my life, filling my time with positivity, discipline, and artistry.
Music stood by me and taught me that even if a song seemed too difficult, quitting was not an option.
Music stood by me and taught me that I COULD perform in front of people and that I COULD get over my stage fright.
The list of benefits is endless...but, what it boils down to is that music gave me confidence; it gave me purpose; most of all, it gave me HOPE.
As I look back on my musical journey, I am filled with pride and a sense of accomplishment. The future's lookin' pretty bright, too!
BELLA ANGEL MUSIC WeddingWire Rated for 2012
Chicago, Illinois – June 16,
2012 – WeddingWire, the nation's leading wedding Marketplace, is excited
to announce BELLA ANGEL MUSIC has been selected to receive the prestigious WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2012 for Ceremony Music!
The esteemed annual awards program recognizes the top local wedding vendors from the WeddingWire Network who demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism within the wedding industry. While many industry awards are selected by the organization, BELLA ANGEL MUSIC was selected based on its stellar reviews from
past newlywed clients.
BELLA ANGEL MUSIC is recognized as part of the top five percent of wedding professionals in the
WeddingWire local vendor community, comprised of over 200,000 wedding professionals throughout the United States and Canada. The Bride’s Choice Award recognizes the best local wedding vendors across 20 service categories, from
wedding venues to wedding photographers, based on their overall professional achievements throughout the past year.
“WeddingWire is thrilled to honor the success of the top-rated wedding professionals within the WeddingWire
Community,” said Timothy Chi, CEO, WeddingWire. “Since the launch of the Bride’s Choice Awards™ program four years ago, thousands of outstanding wedding professionals have been recognized by the bridal community for their supreme
service and dedication to the wedding industry. It is with great pleasure that we congratulate BELLA ANGEL MUSIC for their continued professionalism and commitment to enriching the wedding planning experience for engaged couples.”
We are happy to announce that BELLA ANGEL MUSIC is one of the very best Ceremony Music
Musicians within the WeddingWire Network, which includes leading wedding
planning sites WeddingWire, Project Wedding, Brides.com, Martha Stewart
Weddings, and Weddingbee. We would like to thank our past clients for taking the
time to review our business on WeddingWire. Thanks to their positive feedback we
were able to receive the WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards™ for 2012.
Focus on these five main areas when considering music lessons for either your child or yourself.
Be sure the studio is licensed and certified to be in operation. This means that the teachers have undergone background checks, the facility has been inspected, and all of the necessary requirements have been filled at the city and state level.
If a studio has the proper licensing & certification to be in operation, the information should be made very clear on their brochures & website. As well, the licenses should be displayed in the reception area of the facility.
2) Teacher Credentials
Are the teachers degreed? Do they have teaching and performance experience? You're paying tuition and are entitled (and should demand) that the instructor is qualified to be working with either your child or you.
3) Tour the Place
Are studio tours available? This should be standard but, unfortunately, not all studios offer this. Quite simply, you should have the option to tour the studio, meet with the owner, and make your decision.
4) Payment Policy
Be sure you know what the payment policy is; this information should be made available to you from the beginning. Paying month to month is fair and reasonable. There are some studios that require you to pay for 6 months (or more!) in advance for lessons. But keep in mind that if you do pay month to month, fees may be applied for late payments.
Speaking of paying...what are the studio's prices? Be sure to price around and take into consideration the following:
flexibility (Is there a cancellation policy? 24-hours' notice is reasonable, but some studios are more strict and require several days notice or don't even offer make-up lessons.)
qualifications of teachers
Best of luck on your journey to becoming a music maker!
Owner, Bella Angel Music
Nathan was sitting in Bella's waiting room, waiting to take his drum lesson. He was walking around the studio, giving me feedback on how best to arrange any new drum books that come into the store. I liked his ideas, so I said that (who knows?) maybe he could work there some day.
He asked me how busy we were and how many phone calls he would have to answer, what he would have to do, etc. He was full of questions and very serious. He then told me that he was in "desperate need" of cash and wants a job. When I asked him why, he said he needs the cash to buy Easy Mac microwave mac-n-cheese.
Did I mention Nathan is nine? =)
Ahhh...the power of man-n-cheese.
Last week, a simple song request turned into so much more. My student Kelly brought in sheet music for “Through the Eyes of Love.” You remember it? It’s the one from the movie Ice Castles and was made famous by Melissa Manchester.
Kelly asked me to play the song and, when I did, I was transported back in time…
The day was August 6, 1988…my brother Richard’s wedding day. I was excited on so many levels. Rich and my (now) sister-in-law Nancy asked me to stand up to their wedding, which was my first time as a bridesmaid. Imagine how thrilled I was when they also asked me to play “Through the Eyes of Love” at the ceremony.
The entire summer leading up to that day, I practiced and practiced. I was nervous and wanted to do a good job. I also was honored to have been chosen to do this. I remember standing at the front of the church with the bridal party. When it was time for me to play the song, I walked to the piano and played it. Not one mistake. When I finished I caught the faces of a few people in the congregation, and they were beaming. And I realized I was beaming too. Snippets of the rest of the day are forever in my heart and mind: my date Brad asking to me to dance to every single song the DJ played (I had told him the only way I’d take him is if he danced with me); my mother telling me that she got emotional when my brother Richard made a sign of the cross before the ceremony started; Rich and Nancy dancing to “Crazy for You” (Madonna) at the reception; and much more.
And now here I am, 23 years later. The memories are vivid, intact, and comforting.
Ahhh…the power of music.
Had a moment of clarity last night after speaking to one of my students.
Nicole is 12, very shy, and a WONDERFUL piano player. She learned "Harp Ballad" on her own, figured out the notes, timing, etc. I asked her to play the song for one of the other teachers at the studio; she said she didn't want to because she was nervous and she might make a mistake.
We talked for a bit. I offered lots of encouragement and some advice and explained that she should be proud of her hard work. When others listen to her play, they want her to succeed and do well. They are probably thinking to themselves, “Gee, I wish I could do that.”
When I asked her what was the worst thing that could happen, she thought a moment, smiled, and said, “I’ll make a mistake?” “Yes,” I said, “that is all that will happen.”
When it was time to leave, I asked her to think about playing her song for someone else next week. I cannot force the issue but have a feeling she will be fine with this. We’ll work on this every week. It’s not about “taking a chance.” It’s about believing in you and showing others what you can do.
Thank you, Nicole, for reminding me of a valuable lesson.
Bella Angel Music
...is a leader in the music business, providing music lessons and beautiful music to Chicagoland since 1986.
Bella Angel Music, LLC / 7601 Madison, Suite E, Forest Parkl, IL / 773-745-9100
Copyright 2008 - 2017 Bella Angel Music. All rights reserved.