- We would like to welcome new office manager Brandi Cowan and several new instructors we’ve added to our schedule! We’re very excited to have Emily Zook, Payson Lyon, and Ryan Byrne joining our schedule. Keep reading to find out more about them.
- Congratulations to instructor Alla Ousley on the arrival of her family’s newest addition!
- We LOVE pictures, and we absolutely adore pictures of our students and their pets! Do you have an awesome picture of yourself practicing your instrument? Does your pet practice your instrument? Email them to us and you just might see your picture featured in our monthly newsletter! Info@KnoxvilleAcademyofMusic.com
- Now is a great time to take double lessons over the summer, call today for availabilities!
New Faces at K.A.M.
Originally from Lee County Virginia, Brandi’s papaw J.W. began her interest in the fiddle and in Bluegrass music. Once away at college, Brandi found her calling helping others and in August will be graduating with her Practical Nursing License. Brandi has taken lessons in both fiddle and banjo, and although she doesn’t play much right now, she is looking forward to picking her instruments back up after August. When she has free time, she can be found taking her dog to the park, reading, and spending time with friends and family. Brandi is looking forward to getting to know our students and sharing in their musical progress.
With a Bachelor of Arts in Music and Communication from The Master’s College, Emily has been playing the piano for fifteen years and loves teaching others how to play. She began piano lessons in second grade, and grew to love them. In high school she realized that she wanted to spend her life teaching piano and helping others discover their passion for music. During college, she learned that hard work, determination, and focus were necessary to succeed. Emily studied primarily classical music, but also learned how to teach a wide variety of genres including blues, jazz, lead sheets, pop, and rock. Since she has been trained classically that is her favorite style to teach, but she introduces her students to more modern genres as well. As a piano teacher, she enjoys imparting what she has learned to her students, and hopes to motivate each of them in music and life. Emily believes piano lessons are more than just helping a student play the notes written on a page, it is an investment in the student which builds their confidence, character, expression, and inspiration.
Payson enjoys writing performance pieces, playing, and teaching guitar, bass, and ukulele, which he has done over forty years. He has performed both as a solo artist as well as in conjunction with others, and has performed both original pieces as well as cover songs throughout his career as a musician, instructor, and band leader. He has designed and taught music therapy for special education programs, and has led group music therapy sessions for psychiatric patients. His strongest asset is his passion for helping people learn, as well as having the ability to tune into individuals specific learning styles. He has a number of materials he has created or collected over the years to teach theory, scales, fingerboard anatomy, and basic chord forms and uses these in conjunction with the Hal Leonard Method books. As students begin to master chords and rhythms, he likes to let them choose their favorite music to learn with and if need be, helps transpose the music to make it more easily playable for the budding student. Payson likes to know where his students want to go with their playing and he assesses their technique and musical understanding as progress is made to meet the goals of each of his individual students.
Ryan Byrne has been the bassist for Nashville recording artist / singer-songwriter Stephen Cochran since October 2006 and has toured the USA multiple times, opening for or otherwise sharing the stage with such artists as Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Lee Brice, Toby Keith, Big & Rich, Clint Black, Trisha Yearwood, Charlie Daniels, The Steve Miller Band, The Marshall Tucker Band, 38 Special, Jackyl, The Gin Blossoms, and many others for crowds upwards of 50,000 people. Ryan also toured internationally with Cochran and has performed live for several regional and national television appearances including FOX News Channel’s 2008 New Year’s Eve special live from Times Square, NYC! He also works as a freelance musician and has performed with actor/musician Larry Bagby, Steve Rutledge, Courtney Dickinson, Tom Dixon, Marion Grace, and more. Byrne is also the founder and bassist of New Hampshire indie-rock band, Nostalgic Distortion which he formed on the campus of Plymouth State University in Plymouth in 1994. Nostalgic Distortion (ND) was most active from 1994 – 2004, playing small pubs, clubs, and bars around New England and self-releasing three albums on their own vanity label, Dissonance Records. Ryan is looking forward to passing on his knowledge in music and performing skills to his students.
Alla Ousley (piano, voice) is back from maternity leave, on our schedule again, and is excited to get back into lessons! Her new availability is Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 3:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.
Famous Musicians Born in June:
Curtis Mayfield – June 3, 1942
Tupac Shakur – June 16, 1971
Les Paul – June 9, 1915
Carly Simon – June 25, 1945
Richard Strauss – June 11, 1864
Gretchen Wilson – June 26, 1973
Did You Know . . .
Taking a summer break is the most common reason children stop studying a musical instrument. What often happens is this, without the weekly lessons the students often get out of the routine of practice. Without regular practice their skills atrophy. With this loss of skill many students are reluctant to resume lessons. Students may feel regret or even shame about their loss of skill; may dread facing their instructor (especially if they like and respect the instructor) feeling that they will disappoint them. For this reason I strongly encourage students to continue their studies through the summer.
– Jeff Comas
Is Your Favorite Instructor Almost Sold Out?
Alla Ousley (piano, voice) is back from maternity leave and ready for new students! Call today to get on her schedule.
Dave Campbell (drums, voice, more) is almost SOLD OUT on Mondays & Fridays, and has availability Tuesdays at 11:00 am!
Doug Bowling(guitar, Childbloom®) is SOLD OUT on Mondays after 3:30, but does have a few Wednesday spots available!
Emily Zook (piano) is now accepting students, call today for your prime time spot on Emily’s schedule, they’re going fast!
Jamie Seiple (drums, bass, voice) is almost SOLD OUT on Saturdays and Tuesdays. Call now to book your Thursday time!
Jim Cooper (guitar, beginning piano) is SOLD OUT on Mondays, and has just a couple of spots left on Wednesdays!
Kendall Calkins (piano, voice) is SOLD OUT on Mondays with a just few spots left on Wednesdays & Fridays.
Michelle Quimby (guitar, Childbloom®, piano) is SOLD OUT on Mondays & Saturday, and has just four weekday spots left!
Payson Lyon (guitar, bass, ukulele) is almost SOLD OUT for Saturdays, but has a few availabilities Mondays and Tuesdays!
Phil King (piano, voice, violin) has just a few spots available on Monday, Thursday, and Friday before he is SOLD OUT.
Ryan Byrne (banjo, bass, guitar, ukulele) is now accepting students on Mondays and Thursdays! Call now for your spot!
Susan Nielsen (voice, piano, violin) is SOLD OUT on Tuesdays, and has just a couple of spots available Wednesday & Friday!
Travis Strike (guitar, bass) is almost COMPLETELY SOLD OUT – has just two late evening spots Tuesday and one Friday!
Celebrating Student Achievement • The Musical Ladder System®
Knoxville Academy of Music is the only music school in the Knoxville area that gives their students the opportunity to earn special color wristband bracelets (kids and teens love them!), trophies AND certificates for passing musical tests with the Musical Ladder System®.
Do other area schools offer trophies and certificates? A few. But none of them inspire their students with smiling faces by giving them full color, really cool “Musical Ladder System®” wristbands that they can show off to their friends.
More importantly when our students have a test coming up, they practice more, their parents are proud, their teachers are proud, and everybody wins!
This newsletter will regularly feature the significant achievements our students receive outside of their classes at KAM. If you or your child has received any personal or musical recognition, recently accomplished something great, or are playing publicly, we would love to know! Please share it with us by emailing us at Info@KnoxvilleAcademyOfMusic.com with the word ‘Achievement’ in the subject line and we’ll make sure to put it in our next newsletter!
K.A.M.’s Featured Student – May/June 2016
Featuring Sam S.
What instruments do you play? I play mandolin, tenor guitar, ukulele, bass guitar and a little guitar.
Favorite Foods: Bacon and seafood. But not those things in the shells that taste like salt water. Those are nasty especially on pizza.
Who are your favorite musical artists? The National, Andrew Bird, The Twilight Sad, Arctic Monkeys, Bloc Party, U2, Beirut, and Sufjan Stevens.
What are your other hobbies besides music? I like to read and write poetry. I also enjoy literature on artistic philosophy and theology.
How long have you been taking lessons? I’ve taken mandolin lessons for I think three years. Before that I took guitar and piano lessons.
Coolest thing you’ve learned in the past 3 months? I’ve brought my bass guitar in recently, which is really fun. I’ve been learning basic scales and stuff on that.
Do you have any performances coming up? Besides Knoxville Academy of Music recitals, no.
What made you interested in taking music lessons? I forgot why I started when I took piano years ago. Guitar was just because guitars were cool. I started mandolin lessons because I went through an Irish music phase and liked the mandolin’s sound.
Have you recently achieved something great? I’ve been working on a Senior Thesis project at school. . . I’m writing a series of poems