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September 2015 Newsletter

Music Lessons in Knoxville TN for Guitar, Piano, Voice, Drums & More

Knoxville Academy of Music | Musical Notes | Newsletter Banner Logo

September 2015


Director’s Announcements

Knoxville Academy of Music | Pet Pictures | Ollie Eating at Table

Does your pet play with your instrument? Does it eat at the dinner table? Play Cards? Go grocery shopping? We want your silly and cute pet pictures! Email them to us and you may just see your awesome pet’s picture featured in our next newsletter! Info@KnoxvilleAcademyofMusic

We would like to welcome Carter M., Abhi P., & Aditya B. to our Knoxville Bella Corda!

Don’t forget to vote Knoxville Academy of Music as YOUR Top Music School in Mercury’s Top Knox contest! Voting ends September 10th, and you can vote online at TopKnox.KnoxMercury.com

Not only do we offer Saturday classes, but now we’re opening earlier too! Call us today to grab a lunchtime spot starting at 11:00 am!

Knoxville Academy of Music | Join Mailing List

Getting The Most Out Of Practice

Chapter Three- Reading Music – Part 1 – Why Read Music?

I believe that learning to read music is an important part of becoming a musician. However, there are those who will point out that many wonderful musicians do not read music. I freely admit this is true, but there are also many great musicians who do read music.

Lets equate a wonderful musician to a fantastic storyteller. I’m sure that there are many fantastic storytellers, all over the world right now, that do not read or write language, yet still deliver a captivating tale. Their skill does not rely on reading or written language, it relies on an intriguing delivery of the message. A musician can learn to deliver an intriguing message through their instrument, with practice and experience. This is regardless of whether they learn their music by reading, or some other means.

Some even believe that reading music hinders creativity or “originality.” This idea is prevalent in popular music lore. Even Sir Paul McCartney famously fears that learning to read music would interfere with his writing of music. I once even bought into this notion myself, and resisted reading music through much of adolescence and early adulthood. If we listen to music do we care if the musician is literate? I don’t, I just like the music I like.

So why go to the trouble of learning to read music? Those of us that love to read  stories & books know that reading & writing have not stifled the creativity of our favorite authors. Playing music on an instrument is like telling a story. Reading music    is like reading a story aloud. Music notation is a way for one musician to write a  musical story, that another musician can read and tell to others.

Long ago, I came to think the idea of musical literacy as a hindrance to creativity as utter nonsense. Today I find that reading music and understanding music theory makes it easier for me to be creative. By the way, I think many are somewhat intimidated by the term music theory but it is really just an organizational tool.

As I played with more & more musicians it became apparent to me, that my musician friends who did read music were not uncreative. In fact the “educated” musicians tended to be just as creative, plus they generally played better and articulated their ideas more clearly. Some were even willing to teach me about things like music theory, and I became increasingly intrigued. Eventually this led me down a delayed path to college and the serious study of music (I dropped out of engineering school to play music at 19 years of age). It boils down to this; the skill of reading & writing music notation allows musicians to more clearly understand what they play, and to communicate with each other.

Okay, why don’t all musicians learn to read if it’s so beneficial? Well, a variety of issues surround the topic. As mentioned earlier, reading is not the only way to learn music, if you play an instrument enough you will become proficient. Most performers of pop music perform without written music, and play from memory. Also, unlike the skills of reading & writing language, reading & writing music is not necessary in our modern society. Thusly reading music is not a requirement in most school systems. Furthermore, the challenges of learning to read music vary with a student’s age, their learning style, and the commitment of the student and/or parent to learning.

I believe all people should learn to read music. I have witnessed, first hand, how learning to read music helps children (and adults): develop their cognitive abilities, improve their understanding of concepts such as time & space, pitch, volume, conservation, division & multiplication, and increase their attention span. To me it’s a vital part of music.

So how is all this related to getting the most out of practice? If you understand why reading music is beneficial it is easier to commit to learning. Children need their parents to commit to assisting the process. If you are committed, frankly, it is easier to learn. As with most learned skills, brief but frequent practice tends to be the best and easiest learning method. Next time, in Part 2 of this chapter, we’ll discuss how age relates to learning to read music. Till then, let it be easy.

Jeff Comas, Director
Knoxville Academy of Music

Knoxville Academy of Music | Director - Jeff Comas

Sports Corner

Over the summer there was a lot of optimism about the Vols season, some were even going so far as picking them to win the SEC East. As I write, UT’s opening game is just around the corner and there’s concern among Vols fans. Why? Injuries in training camp.

Three starters are already out for the season, and two others are out indefinitely. So, once again the Vols will be relying on inexperienced players in key positions. The biggest concern is the offensive line. There is more overall experience on the O-line this season than last. However, with Markus Jackson out for the year we’re not sure what we can expect. Will the dual threat of Josh Dobbs bail the line out again? Time will tell.

I’m sticking with last month’s prediction of 8 regular season wins. Coach Jones has recruited a lot of good talent and we should see another improvement in Tennessee’s record this year. I think they’ll win more than 6 but I don’t think we’ll see 10 wins this year, unless they get a lot of lucky breaks, and stay healthy.

– ‘Til next time, Go Vols!


Pets of K.A.M.

Knoxville Academy of Music | Pet Pictures | Deven Cs Dog with Piano

Deven C’s dog plays Beethoven!


Knoxville Academy of Music | Pet Pictures | Ollie Playing Cards

Misha B’s dog, Sir Oliver Rex, playing cards!


Knoxville Academy of Music | Pet Pictures | Wyatt with Drums

Christian W’s dog, Wyatt, rocks out on the drums!


Knoxville Academy of Music | Pet Pictures | Michael Bs Dog with Bass

Michael B’s dog slaps the bass!

Just for Fun

Can you guess which instructor is pictured below? We’ll give you a hint – He teaches drums!

Knoxville Academy of Music | Just For Fun | Guess Who

Knoxville Academy of Music | Group Make Up Lessons | September 2015

Around the Town – Resources for You

Guitar Repair:
Bryan Parris                                           (865) 403-0046
The Sound Doctor                              (865) 771-9863
Clayton Knight                                     (865) 237-5309

String Rental/Repair:
Wilhite Strings                                      (865) 670-1888
Brian Epp                                                  (970) 903-2173

Piano Tuning/Repair:
American Piano                                     (865) 671-3388

Amplifier Repair:
Wittman Amplifiers                            (727) 434-0327

Did you know . . .

The Knoxville Guitar Society has another great concert season lined up. The next concert is Irina Kulikova on Saturday, September 26th at 7:00 p.m.
  at the Episcopal Church of the Good Samaritan.

Tickets: $20 adults/ $15 members/ $5 students 12-18 /
Children under 12 free with adult admissions.

Knoxville Academy of Music will be giving away two tickets for each concert. Register to win by emailing info@knoxvilleacademyofmusic.com with ‘WIN CONCERT TICKETS’ in the subject line. We’ll have a drawing a few days before each concert!

Knoxville Academy of Music | Irina Kulikova Guitar Concert

Multiple award winning classical guitarist Irina Kulikova will perform a concert at the Episcopal Church of the Good Samaritan on Saturday, September 26th as part of the Knoxville Guitar Society 2015 – 2016 Concert Season.

Knoxville Academy of Music | New Students | September 2015 Newsletter

Knoxville Academy of Music | Referral Program Card (Master)

  VALID FOR 30 DAYS FROM 9/01/15
__  __  __  __  __  __  __  __  __  __  __  __  __  __  __  __  __  __  __  __  __  __  __  __  __  __

Is Your Favorite Instructor Almost Sold Out?

Alla Ousley (piano, voice) is accepting SATURDAY students and has a few spots on Tuesdays between 11:00 am -1:00 pm!

Andy Freeman (piano, banjo) only has 1 spot left on SATURDAY before he is SOLD OUT!

Chris Brock (banjo, guitar, more) is COMPLETELY SOLD OUT on Thursdays, and only has a few spots on SATURDAY! He is also now accepting students Monday from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm.

Dave Campbell (drums, voice, more) is almost SOLD OUT on Mondays, and is now available Tuesday from 11am -1pm!

Doug Bowling (guitar, Childbloom®) has just 1 spot left on Thursdays until he is SOLD OUT!

Jamie Seiple (drums, bass, voice) is now available between 11:00 am -1:00 pm Wednesday – Friday!

Jim Cooper (guitar, beginning piano) has just 2 openings Wednesday evening before he is SOLD OUT!

Michelle Quimby (guitar, Childbloom®, piano) has just a few openings before she is COMPLETELY SOLD OUT, and is now accepting students on SATURDAY, and from 11:00 am -1:00 pm Wednesdays!

Phil King (piano, voice, violin) has only 3 spots available on Mondays and isalready SOLD OUT on Thursdays!

Susan Nielsen (voice, piano, violin, viola) has 1 opening on Tuesday before she is SOLD OUT, and is now accepting students Mondays between 11:00 am -1:00 pm!

Travis Strike (guitar, bass) has just 4 available times before he is COMPLETELY SOLD OUT!

 K.A.M.’s Featured Student

September 2015 Edition

Featuring Christian W!

Knoxville Academy of Music | Featured Student | September 2015

What instrument do you play?
I play drums, and I am teaching myself guitar!

Who are your favorite musical artists?
AC/DC, Mr.Mocos, Johnny Cash, and Queen.

What are your other hobbies besides music?
Basketball, bike riding, building Legos, soccer, and flying my remote control helicopter.

Favorite Foods:
Mac&Cheese, hot green beans.

How long have you been taking lessons?
Almost two years.

Coolest thing you’ve learned in the past 3 months?
Learning to play Queen’s ‘Tie Your Mother Down’ with Mr. Jamie.

Do you have any performances coming up?
Possibly the talent show at the festival of trees, but always at least twice a week in our bonus room.

Have you recently achieved something great?
I adopted two kitties that did not have a home from Almost Home Animal Rescue. Frankie and Mikey are two brothers who are awesome – Frankie is learning to like the drums.

What made you interested in taking music lessons?
I got a small drum set for Christmas one year and wanted to learn more. I have since bought (um, well my parents bought) a bigger drum set!

Anything else you want us to know?
Mr. Jamie is the best teacher ever. Oh, and I have a dog named Wyatt.

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