2.4.2014 – Whoa… it is 2014.

Wow, Happy New Year everybody!  That happened fast.  Then January happened fast 🙂

IMAG0107This picture is a beautiful view of Lake Michigan taken from the bluff in Port Washington, WI.  At the time it just reminded me to be thankful for a seemingly simple thing; which actually is a wonderful horizon that I took for granted.  Right now, it signifies the clean slate of 2014!  (although I picked a picture with some trees in it because it is already February)

AN EXPERIENCE WHICH SEEMED LIKE MUSIC THERAPY:  So far in 2014, I had a great time playing with Jaems Murphy at The Alexian Village in Brown Deer in January!  This was a great way to start the new year 🙂  We played in the form of a wonderful piano and guitar duet.  I play soft and subtle piano to back up Jaems’ fluid soloing on guitar.  Also… I get to solo as well!

This gig was very satisfying because it was to entertain some older folks.  I absolutely love the life the music breathes into human beings.  Personally, my grandfather has developed dementia, causing him to not remember me; but more importantly makes his personality pretty stagnant.  When my father and I bought him an iPod and uploaded my grandfather’s favorite music from his thirties, he immediately became more lively, smiled at me and started bobbing his head.  At one point, he even moved his hand around as if conducting or dancing!  This is the experience I believe we gave the audience at The Alexian Village.  Proof?  I distinctly remember one woman celebrating one of Jaems’ solos by enthusiastically saying,

“now THAT is what I’m talkin’ ’bout!”

Self executed experience (that relates to) music therapy right there at it’s best.  We are looking for more gigs… dot. dot. dot.

1536449_10100572719208603_68959963_nA WORLD PREMIERE: Later in January, I was involved in the world premiere of a marimba trio by a great percussionist and composer, Ivan Trevino.  Check out Ivan’s website: http://ivandrums.com/  This new work for marimba trio, “Open Your Eyes,” is a product of a Kickstarter project called “Wisconsin New Works for Percussion” led by Jordan Kamps and Colin O’Day.  Read more about it here and keep your radar out for the recording we will be producing as well as future commissions that will be part of this project!  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/455362507/wisconsin-new-work-for-percussion-project?ref=live

PERCUSSION ENSEMBLE GOING TO STATE: And now February has started.  I just heard some exciting news about the newest percussion ensemble work of mine “Spaced In,” which was commissioned by the Adna Pirate Percussion Ensemble in Adna (Chehalis), Washington.  They entered solo & ensemble with this work and made it to State Competition!  Congrats to them and look for a post about this subject… 🙂

COMIN’ UP: Other than that Mike Neumeyer has some background piano appearances comin’ up, marimba presentations, appearances with The Vedic Eden and Jaems Murphy,  “Voirimba! 2014,” “Mike Neumeyer & Friends #9,” and more…too much to list right here.  Please read for more posts on these subjects!

Gosh I love Music. 🙂



2 thoughts on “2.4.2014 – Whoa… it is 2014.”

  1. Hey!
    I was very interested in the Lorde cover you did, so I decided to check out your website. I came across this post and wanted to say first of all, thank you for performing music that was age appropriate for the residents at the nursing home. That is incredibly respectful and I am sure they loved it!
    I am currently finishing my degree in Music Therapy (about to start my internship! The final stage!) and I wanted to clarify something. Music is an incredible tool that can reach the depths of the brain that no other stimulus can. However, music therapy is so much more than playing a song for someone.
    To be music therapy, the one administering music (music therapist) needs to have assessed each individual for their strengths and areas to be addressed. For individuals with dementia, areas to be addressed could be: memory recall, awareness to self, reducing anxiety and stress, positive change in mood, and social interaction. Music is used intentionally to address these goals. The music therapist documents the individual’s progress and designs treatment plans based on responses given. To call it music therapy, one must have completed a 4 year bachelor degree, internship, and become board certified (MT-BC).
    As you saw, music elicited a strong response in the resident. However, it could have been a negative response (reminded of a spouse no longer with them… etc) and one must have the training in how to deal with that situation if it arises.
    On a side note though, it is cool to see that you got to see how powerful of a tool music can be. I am sure the residents enjoyed the entertainment you provided!!
    I have attached some links incase you are interested.




    1. Melissa,

      Thank you for reading! Thank you for the comment and thank you for the resources! Congratulations on the last steps toward being completely certified! I don’t know about going back to school, but maybe in another life I could earn the degree and work in music therapy!

      For now, I will continue to explore how powerful of a tool music can be! For instance, how that “Royals” video may bring some more awareness to the marimba and guitar combination! 🙂 Have a great day Melissa!

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