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Teresa Young, Cropped HS, by John LivzeyExplore my music teaching practice, my coaching practice, and browse blog posts that share a bit of my creative journey during the past three action-packed years.

Enjoy, and contact me with your interest in music lessons in North L.A.! (I’m in the Sherwood Forest area of Northridge.)

A few parent testimonials follow.

My children quoteTeresa’s patience, respect, passion and her infectious love for music are evident during every lesson. After the first meeting, my daughter knew immediately she wanted to pursue playing the piano. Teresa has been amazing in fostering this passion! Each week my daughter can’t wait to go back!!

I feel great quoteBeing musicians, we notice that our son’s musicality is growing. His musical coordination is already flourishing, which makes us all very happy!

Teresa is an amazing teacher with great energy, good will toward the children and parents, supportive, kind, and present. Being a parent herself, she is very much aware of the kids’ needs. She goes above and beyond…

I could see quote

Homage to a Beautiful Friend

I wrote this piece a year ago. My dear friend Ricardo Accorsi had just been diagnosed with ALS, and he and lovely Linda Parker had begun planning an extraordinary gathering and recording session for July 2014. They called the event—and their compelling song—A Perfect World.

FOR YOU, FOR ALWAYS

for Ricardo Accorsi

Ricardo Accorsi, by John Livzey

 

 

 

 

 

My life changed last night,
altered for always
by what you’re sharing now, in these hours,
with so many like me
who want you laughing
and living your sailor’s dream, the one
we’ve all tasted,
like sweet
contraband,
through
you.

What to think and feel
of the news you’re bringing,
and how you’re bringing it,
with such sleight of hand, focus,
and grace,
as you proclaim a celebration
of family, friendship,
and music.
Yes. We’ll create a way through tonight
and tomorrow,
for you, for all of us,
for someday.
For always.

ricardo-in-belize

Gregg Braden’s 15 Keys to “Conscious Creation”

An In-depth Summary and Review

Creativity MuseMy explorer friends Ricardo Accorsi and Linda Parker introduced me to Gregg Braden’s wild work. I took the extensive notes below at the end of 2014. I was reflecting on my year while listening to the final chapter of Gregg’s unabridged audio-book, The Spontaneous Healing of Belief, one of his many works.

I experience Gregg’s work as critically important, because:

1. he integrates the most exciting scientific findings of our time with ancient wisdom traditions,
2. he writes well, and
3. he’s equally powerful as a narrator/presenter.

This “triple threat” makes his work cutting-edge coaching in shifting beliefs and patterns toward consciously creating what we want. I’ve included a link to the audiobook above and in the final paragraph below.

As you read, imagine applying Gregg’s “15 Keys of Conscious Creation” to your life. My verbatim notes are in bold and regular type, and my comments are in green italics. Enjoy, and note that this is rich fare. Take your time. Take a break! Come back to it. It’ll be here. Continue reading

3 Easy Ukulele Songs Kids Can Play with Just 2 Chords

I wrote this article for takelessons.com, a great San Diego-based company and site for teachers of all kinds of disciplines.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo your adorable child has an adorable new uke. Pretend jam sessions were big fun for a few days, but now what? Like in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, it’s time to learn to play!

The Getting-Started Secret: 2-chord Songs

Kids can make fast progress and get hooked on their success with simple 2-chord songs in the key of C. And with you singing along, presto, the joy of family music-making begins! Deep in our collective past, music time was a very satisfying part of family life. We’ll connect you and yours to all that goodness with these 3 easy ukulele songs for kids.

C & G7Chord diagrams for C and G7 give you and your child all the info you need to get started. 1=left hand index finger, 2=middle finger, 3=ring finger. Voila! For now, make simple down strokes, or “strums”, on the beat using right index fingernail or thumb pad, whichever feels better. (For tips on tuning, check out this takelessons.com blog post on how-to-tune-a-ukulele.)

Row, Row, Row Your Boat

First up, this super-simple version of Row, Row, Row Your Boat only requires one switch from C to G7 and back to C. Bonus: it has a positive, peaceful message. So sweet and light, but actually deeply wise! The slashes after chord names show you where to strum.

ROW, ROW, ROW YOUR BOAT

C       /       /             /
Row, row, row your boat

/           /             /           /
Gently down the stream.

/           /           /           /
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,

G7     /       C       /
Life is but a dream.

Big Tip for Fast Success

Start beginners with just the C chord. Have the young player-in-training pat the beat on the body of the instrument when it’s time for the G7 chord. Kids like the percussive move, and it teaches them to do something different for a certain number of beats and then get on back to C. After C sounds good (press harder until it does), with ease in the transition from strumming to patting, and the percussive move has lost its initial pizzazz, add G7 to the mix. Sing along, re-connecting with the kid in you. Woohoo!

London Bridge is Falling Down

Next up, London Bridge is Falling Down is a great teaching tool. Its quicker tempo and multiple verses reinforce successful strumming and chord changes. G7 shows up regularly this time, moving the young player forward. Again, the enjoyment of your relaxed participation will promote regular engagement. I’m always telling kids—and their parents—that learning an instrument isn’t something you can “cram” for. It’s all about repetition, which makes the magic of skills development happen. Thus the importance of creating an environment in which regular playing time, even just 15 minutes at a time, is satisfying and fun.

LONDON BRIDGE IS FALLING DOWN

C           /             /         /
London Bridge is falling down,

G7       /         C       /
falling down, falling down,

C           /             /         /
London Bridge is falling down,

G7     /     C       /
my    fair  lady.

Build it up with silver and gold…
Gold and silver I have none…
Build it up with needles and pins…
Pins and needles bend and break…
Etc. There are countless versions and verses.

Three Blind Mice

Three Blind Mice is another perennial favorite, its carving-knife drama memorable and even scandalous to 21st century kids. Encourage the practice that leads to mastery, and remind beginners that they can always go back to patting the instrument for a bit when transitions are challenging. If you’re singing along, your purposeful, expectant pause for the next chord will prompt your young player-in-training to go for it. Then forge happily ahead. Again, keep it fun!

THREE BLIND MICE

C       /       /       /
Three blind mice,      

/        /       /       /
three blind mice,

G7     /             C     /
see how they run,      

G7     /             C     /
see   how they run.

C         G7         C           /
They all ran after the farmer’s wife,

C             G7             C           /
who cut off their tails with a carving knife.

C           G7             C                 /
Did ever you see such a sight in your life

C     G7     /       /
as three blind mice.

(And there are lots of variations on the next-to-the-last line. Did you ever see… You never did see… Choose the one you and your child like best.)

So there you have it, 3 easy ukulele songs that will get your young player making music fast. You’ll enjoy yourself, too, since what some folks say is true: the uke really is a happiness machine.

A Killer 2-chord Song, and Beyond…

Next time, a 2-chord crowd-pleaser that’s casual recital material, and 3 great 3-chord ukulele songs for kids in the key of C. Meanwhile, enjoy, and remember: your light-hearted participation will create unforgettable learning and life experiences for your child… and for you!

Explore Teresa Young’s music education offerings here and through takelessons.com.

Bodhi on Uke B&W