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Relaxing Vibe Solos

During the last few years, I have improvised and written several intermediate vibraphone solos that have a relaxing affect. What really inspired these? Simply playing what I already have available in my toolbox and organizing those ideas!

Feels is another two mallet work (careful, it might give you the “feels”:)

Turn & Hop is a four mallet work directly inspired by fellow vibist Mateus Araujo from Sao Paulo, Brazil – please check out his Facebook page here Mateus Araujo Music – Mateus and I were having great conversations using the crazy internet machines, and this turned into a well of inspiration that hopped into a solo work which I dedicated to him and a friend, Michael Ferraro.

How do I write these? I simply envision the themes that I want to be present in the work, jot down some quick notes and play!  This method has created some great works that are intermediate (even easy) and approachable for a beginning percussionist.

Finally, it doesn’t have to be vibraphone!  Here is a work for marimba called Choral that now has a few different versions. I maybe tooting my own horn here, but I also envision them being like easy program or recital closers, kind of like Evelyn Glennie’s “A Little Prayer.”  A listener can probably tell that this marimba work has been improvised with a direct inspiration from “A Little Prayer’s” texture and chordal beginning.

Consider this video my blog/post closer. I hope you enjoy 🙂


Super Ways to Save up for Music Lessons

totally get it- music lessons are expensive. For many people it can be a struggle to afford their passion.  I have had students even approach me (in a cute way) saying, “your lessons are expensive!”  How honest and cute, but really – how do we fit this into our budget?

It all depends on what value you want to put on it!

But, fear not! There are some super easy ways to save a little each month to put towards your musical endeavors. You’ll be enjoying your lessons so much that foregoing a coffee won’t even seem like a sacrifice! Check out the infographic from TakeLessons below for some more ideas.

New Works Every Year through Music Education

What better way to create new music than through teaching endeavors?  If a teacher has to figure out a teachable  moment, then that small event can blossom into potentially entire piece of music!

This is what happens every year with myself and two groups with whom I work.  (not to mention in other areas, like private lessons)

The latest work included a good problem, many students were interested in playing mallet parts, but there were not enough instruments!  I also realized some students hadn’t played a lot of mallets.

Solution: have them play on one side of the instrument, so more students can share the instruments.  One student stands at the instrument “backwards” so that they have immediate access to primarily the accidentals, while another student stands at the other side normally.  I saw this idea used by Ivan Trevino – so I kept saying it was “trevino-y” – haha – but I know it has been used many times before as well.  This enabled me to have more students involved on less of these large and expensive instruments.  (many high schools won’t even have this many)

“Beyond these Blades of Grass” is symbolic of the relationships that you make with a team that you inevitably have to leave, and I love that composing for these students that almost immediately graduate helps me relate with this subject personally.  🙂

Please enjoy the latest from Mike Neumeyer Music!



Update: 2018’s work is in the making…

Maya No Maya

Maya No Maya is a group I’ve been playing with and is influenced by Hinustani Music.  Very relaxing and open, this music that we are creating also uses everything else we have learned from other styles of music too.

Here is a version of Norwegian Wood that we played at an East Side Chamber Players event in Milwaukee, WI>

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This is a relatively new adventure that will tell us what it wants as it grows.  We have recently had some appearance at Smith Bros. Coffee Shop in Port Washington, WI  and I’d like to thank Jeffery Newlin for capturing this footage here! 🙂

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We did release an album at the end of 2016 and we’d love to share this with you!  This is a nice collection of how the adventure started.

Finally, for this post – I’d like to invite you to our next appearance with the East Side Chamber Players coming up on April 1st and 2nd!  This will be with Michael Bettine, fellow percussionist and gong specialist.  Please see what he is about here:

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11th Annual Mike Neumeyer & Friends Show! June 19th, 2016

Click here to start looking on YouTube and watch some clips from previous Mike Neumeyer & Friends shows 🙂




You’ll see some funny things and some great collaborations and music!  This is happening again next week at Veterans Memorial Park in Port Washington, WI!



Here is a link to the facebook event

Come out and celebrate the release of some of my newest music 2016-04-16 23.01.40called “E-Miketronic Music” (my first electronic music adventure)  but more importantly, to cheer on solos and collaborations with a bunch of artists from the Milwaukee area that happen to also be friends of mine.  🙂



Looking forward!  See you there!




New Music from Mike Neumeyer Music coming out June 19th, 2016

“E-Miketronic Music” is my first electronic music release. Really it is my first venture into composing electronic music in general.

Some of these works are existing works that I have already written in an acoustic setting, but rearranged and often set to extra sounds and beats.

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Everything started with the track “Acoustic Drive.” It was my birthday and I was actually spending it alone! 🙁

(I didn’t mind) Mostly because I am happy when flow is happening and especially musical flow. 🙂 I had just started to record a loop early on a Saturday afternoon. Out of this loop (played on a five-octave marimba) I came up with many other ideas, including a groove, chord progression and a melody.

The piece evolved and so did my curiosity with electronic sounds and music. I had a blast and continued to work with 2016-04-16 23.01.40new works and existing compositions – experimenting with transforming them into an electronic entity. This was so fun and lasted over two years! 🙂 (one of my favorites is “Lands of a Timeless Realm” – which is exactly where I am when happiness and “flow” are happening, like during the composition process of these works)


So it is time to share it. hint hint 🙂 Totally share this with your friends if you enjoy it. I can’t wait to write more and this may just be the beginning…


New Success in 2016 – Oak Creek Percussion Ensemble and UWM Youth Percussion Ensemble

New Success in 2016 – Oak Creek Percussion Ensemble and UWM Youth Percussion Ensemble

Man, it has been a while!  I want to write a quick post to make sure I get rid of that weird Chuck Norris post.. haha  – sharing that was on my bucket list… please go back and enjoy it!

This year has been very fun and busy so far and one thing that popped up is Oak Creek Percussion Ensemble rocking out a new work called “Enter Stella’s World”  – Oak Creek went to Solo & Ensemble and earned the highest rating possible, making it possible for them to play again in State Competition!  Check out the video of the performance below! 🙂


Beyond that wonderful experience, I also had the honor of having the UWM Youth Percussion Ensemble play one of my works!  This work was “Spaced In,” originally written for a percussion ensemble from Chehalis, WA.  This time the work was expanded from a six person group to a nontet of percussionists.  (nine players!)  These players did a world premiere of this version of the work.  They are currently working on one that was written for them!  They did a fabulous job and it is a pleasure to work with that group. 🙂



Looking forward, as always, to what the future will bring with both these groups as well as other collaborations! 🙂  Bye for now!

Percussion Ensemble Works

Continuity of Soul & Spirit with Chuck Norris

Continuity – a fictional article by Mike Neumeyer

So, I was driving down the Autobahn and lost control of my Corvette. This ended up causing me to get into a terrible accident, which destroyed my body. Luckily, the doctors were able to hook my brain up to Chuck Norris’ body. Am I the same person that I used to be? In this extreme case it’s hard to convince myself of that, seeing my new face in the mirror everyday. Also, my new body can do some pretty intense roundhouse kicks that my old one could not. One thing I do have though is my old internal identity, including personal psychological states and memories. What it feels like in the end is that I’m myself trapped in Chuck Norris’ body. Therefore, still myself.

c1bc721d3538a5a62ec80a53d7414968I still think I am myself even though I have a different body, but if we evaluate this view in the context of “Continuity of Soul/Spirit” there are some problems. First off, the opinion I have melds with the “Soul/Spirit” view. The same soul with which I drove that Corvette off the road, still exists in my new, red bearded body. Therefore, I am still “I”. The problem is that we can’t ever perceive anybody else’s soul or spirit from the outside. Sure, Chuck Norris could take whatever body he has now (I heard he got the body of James Sage) and try to prove to the cast of “Walker: Texas Ranger” that he is still the same person, but they could not perceive if he is right or wrong by merely looking at him. There is no way to prove the “Continuity of Soul/Spirit” theory.

The “Continuity of Body” is another theory to consider. This doesn’t agree completely with my opinion. What it is to be “me” would be to inhabit the same or close to the same body. So, if Chuck Norris’ body was given my brain, in the view of the “Continuity of Body” theory, I would then be Chuck Norris’? I know I would not be myself. This is because what people will directly perceive is the most believable. They don’t care what I tell them, they just know that they recognize me as Mr. Norris. There are some arguments against this theory like if our body changes in a less drastic way, losing a limb perhaps, our personality doesn’t change. We remain the same person although the body we possess changes. Another thought is that we can separate our minds from our body, like when we wake up without opening our eyes. We know we are there, but we haven’t recognized that we have the same body yet. Ifl woke up in Chuck Norris’ body, I would start to have doubts.

One more theory to touch on is the “Continuity of Brain”. The importance of the brain as an organ compared with others is stressed in this idea. When one imagines how much a personality can change under great brain trauma, they can get to thinking that our identity is counting on the brain. In other cases, the perschuck-ffonality is not effected at all.

Therefore, the most important thing in this case is what intangible things a brain helps us have: memories, goals, desires, and beliefs. In this case, I have all the same internal identity traits along with my old memories. I just have Chuck Norris’ body! Well, then I’m still the same person.

Well, I hope Chuck Norris never finds me in his body, while on the other hand we could join together for some very good philosophical conversations. I believe that I would still be the same person, just not having the same body. Some people and theories would disagree with that, but at the same time no theories are guaranteed. All I know is Chuck Norris is supposed to be dead; it’s just that death himself is to chicken to confront Mr. Norris. I hope he doesn’t come after me…180329_chuck

Response from “Chuck Norris:”

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Getting Involved with Schools – All Parents on Deck

About a month or two ago, a random email came through my website. (well most are random, I guess) A woman needed a song transcribed; I love transcription work, so I continued to talk with her about project. Sharon Edwards-Billings started All Parents on Deck, an organization devoted to inviting parents to begin getting involved and to eventually stay involved with schools and community volunteerism.

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The minute I began to listen to the track, it gave me goosebumps and I loved the upbeat sound and message to it. I think within a day I had been singing the song and I had the melody down!

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Transcribing is a fun task for me because I have a pretty good discerning ear for harmony. Grad school and undergrad definitely put me through enough ear training and harmonic dictation tests! I feel good about transcription when I am writing down my own ideas or performances and being able to use those abilities to help someone else get their music out there is a great gig!

The part of this song that really gave me the warm feelings was the message. Just thinking about the many parents that I work with in school programs and people who volunteer at places I play makes me realize how much good there is in the world. The more of that good existing; the better the world will be! I have done numerous volunteer gigs, whether it is for the love of music music education, or humanity. Please folks! Listen to Sharon’s message at All Parents on Deck, and get involved!

Stay Tuned for a public posting of the recording!

Composition Collaborations

“Kollaboration is Key”

It is absolutely wonderful to have music that I write come to life when it is played by players who enjoy it.  This makes the audience enjoy it and the conductor enjoys it.  Did I mention I enjoy it?  How does this happen?  Part of it in my opinion is writing music that comes from the heart and that has memorable themes and moments.  What else?  Collaboration.

Steve-Darling-portrait-defaultI worked on a marimba/euphonium work three years ago with Steven Darling, up and coming euphonium player and winner of numerous contests and awards.  It was great to be able to ask Steve for his feedback and make sure the piece was idiomatic for his instrument, fun to play, at the right level for him at the time while also giving some adventurous challenges.

One of our premeire performances of our collaboration, “Mikayla,” has been gaining life on YouTube and folks looking for marimba/euphonium material are showing interest!  Recently it was performed by Don Palmire and DJ Palmire at The United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” – Percussion Plus Concert!

The reason these works are fun to play is because the players are consulted to make sure it ends up a mutually beneficial music making situation for all involved!

Oak Creek High School Percussion Ensemble rocks a brand new work written for them!

I was working with Oak Creek High School Front Ensemble during last year’s marching season… (in which the band did win 1st at State Competition in our division 🙂 🙂  and anyways, I did tell the pit ensemble I was writing a piece and I had them in mind.  “Would you be interested?” I asked.  The next time I brought i10661822_724093911004090_7274467303526826733_on a sample of what I had written in one night; they where HUDDLED AROUND MY PHONE!

That is all I needed to see.  The next few composition sessions were full of insightful decisions and themes representing inside jokes with the ensemble.  I knew their playing level from working with them, so writing for them was very fluid.  Then, I was able to widdle down even further with details from them during rehearsal!  Again, collaboration 🙂

So, along with The Oak Creek High School Percussion Ensemble commissioning and premiering “The Adventures of Megan Dutmeyer,” they also won the honor to play it again at State Competition at University of Wisconsin – Parkside!  That is happening tomorrow and I saw them today.  They are ready to rock.

Mike Neumeyer Music

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