Photographer Katie Fisher was on hand at our Summer Recital to get photos of all our student performers. Here’s a sample, and you can see more photos on our Facebook, Instagram, and Google Plus pages!
Photographer Katie Fisher was on hand at our Summer Recital to get photos of all our student performers. Here’s a sample, and you can see more photos on our Facebook, Instagram, and Google Plus pages!
We had a fantastic time at the Summer Recital on June 10! Congratulations to all the students who performed! We had an entire “mini recital” of our piano students who showcased what they’ve been learning in their lessons, after which our guitar and ukulele students took to the stage for performances in a wide range of styles. Some great singing too! We’ll see you at the next recital!
Here are some photos from our November 19th concert at the Point Loma Assembly with Italian Classical Guitarist Flavio Cucchi and our own Alex Meyers. It was a great show that was enjoyed by all that attended!!!!
Look for his next album of Chick Corea’s “Children’s Songs” on the Naxos label out in January 2018
Paper Moon Music and Rock and Roll San Diego present an evening with Italian classical guitar maestro Flavio Cucchi on Sunday, November 19th at 7:00 pm at Point Loma Assembly. Don’t miss this eclectic program of classic and contemporary works from Vivaldi to Chick Corea and beyond! Tickets: $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Purchase tickets at: flavio.brownpapertickets.com
We are very excited to announce that we are helping to bring Italian Master, Flavio Cucchi, for a night of classical guitar music on Sunday, November 19th at 7:00 PM at Point Loma Assembly. Paper Moon’s own instructor, Alex Meyers, will perform a Vivaldi piece with Flavio. More details to come!!!!
San Diego doesn’t have much in the way of seasons, but you can definitely feel that autumn is in the air – it has cooled down a little and students are starting to come to their lessons with pumpkin spice lattes… Our piano program is going full steam now that students are back in school. We now have a piano in each of our lesson rooms and students of all ages are learning to play. Our recital in January will be our most varied yet! Here’s hoping you have a great fall, and keep practicing!
On Sunday, September 10 Paper Moon Music brought the incredible flamenco guitarist Adam del Monte to San Diego. Joined by Asaf Kofler on 6-string electric bass and Diego Alvarez on cajon, the Adam del Monte Trio performed all original, highly complex, jazz-inflected modern flamenco. These guys are playing at the highest level and it was a privilege to be able to bring them to a local audience. The Tango del Rey venue in Pacific Beach is perfect for a flamenco show with its Spanish/Moorish design and feel. Local bass player Sam Johnson was our sound engineer and did an outstanding job not only with the sound but with some really great lighting that set the mood for the whole show. We also had local painter Rebecca Grohowski displaying her wonderful flamenco-inspired artwork and local luthier Len Laviolette showcasing his handmade guitars! We can’t wait to bring Adam back to San Diego for another concert and perhaps a masterclass. Stay tuned for more events like this in the very near future!
We’ve been seeing a lot of new banjo students at the studio lately – seems like the banjo is still gaining popularity! Our banjo instructors Joe and Dillon are keeping busy with lessons and gigs around town. This Wednesday, March 15 you can see our instructor Joe Amato play banjo with the San Diego Dixieland jazz group “Dapper Dixie”. This concert is FREE and right down the street from Paper Moon Music at the Point Loma/Hervey Public Library at 7pm! Come out and support local San Diego musicians and old time music! 3701 Voltaire St, San Diego, CA 92107.
Paper Moon will be hosting a workshop and concert by 7-string guitar master Julio Lemos from Brazil! We are partnering with BRAPA Brazilian Portuguese and Arts to bring Julio to San Diego. Join us on Saturday, April 15. More information to come!
If you have free time during the day – or even a long lunch break – come on in to our studio for a mid-day music lesson! We have expanded our availability to accommodate those who have different schedules: retirees, college students, home school kids, and those who have a random day off during the week! Contact us to get started!
It’s a rainy day in San Diego – perfect for staying home and relaxing. A few years ago a lot of parents were playing Mozart for their babies, hoping it would benefit their brains in the long run. Studies of this have produced contradictory results, but we think EVERYONE should listen to Mozart at all ages! Listening to music engages the brain, but playing and studying a musical instrument can benefit your cognition in many more ways. But if you can’t play music, listening is the next best thing! Here’s 2 hours of Mozart for your rainy day:
Many parents who are looking to start their child on their first instrument often ask us, “what’s the best instrument to get started on?” The answer, of course, will vary depending on the person. But in general, stringed instruments like the guitar can require a squeezing that can hurt the fingertips depending of the tension and height of the strings and the student’s finger sensitivity. Even adults who begin playing a stringed instrument can experience soreness in their fingertips (and even their wrists). For this reason, the piano offers an easier alternative for the fingers and you will often see recommendations to start your child in piano lessons at an earlier age than, for example, the guitar. But don’t forget that EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT! The most important thing is that your child be excited and interested in his or her instrument – enthusiasm is golden! If your child is drawn to play a certain instrument over another, a little bit of discomfort in the fingers (at first) won’t be an insurmountable obstacle. Have your child take an intro lesson on a variety of instruments and see what they like the most.
Our music lessons studio is located in the Loma Portal area of Point Loma, very close to Ocean Beach, where our friends at Te Mana Café run a great Hawaiian-themed coffee shop and cafe. Our guitar and ukulele instructor Alex Meyers performed there last month, playing classical and latin guitar pieces on their outside patio. It was such a success that we’ve booked another event for Saturday, December 10 from 4 to 8pm. This time, we’ll have several music teachers from our lessons studio perform for the public in a wide range of musical styles. We are also inviting students to perform with us as a warmup for our next student recital on January 15!
A recent article from the Guardian shows that when it comes to brain training, there’s no substitute for learning to play an instrument.
We love coming up with chord-melody arrangements of popular songs. Our newest installment is Leonard Cohen’s classic song “Hallelujah”. This song is so well-known that an entire book has been written about it. Here’s the basic info from Wikipedia:
“Hallelujah” is a song written by Canadian recording artist Leonard Cohen, originally released on his album Various Positions (1984). Achieving little initial success, the song found greater popular acclaim through a cover by John Cale, which inspired a cover by Jeff Buckley. Buckley’s version is the most enduringly popular and critically acclaimed cover of the song to date. It is the subject of the book The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley & the Unlikely Ascent of “Hallelujah” (2012) by Alan Light.
For the entire Wikipedia article on the song, click here.
Check out our new version of this tune and go to the Video Lessons page for the sheet music!
Join Paper Moon instructor Alexander Meyers for a FREE performance of South American guitar music this Saturday October 15 at Te Mana Cafe in Ocean Beach from 4 to 6pm. Listen to music from Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina and other latin American countries arranged for solo classical guitar, including favorites by Jorge Morel, Luiz Bonfa, Dilarmando Reis, Baden Powell, Jobim, and more!
Te Mana is right down the street from Paper Moon Music and serves Hawaiian-themed food, is a full coffee bar and serves beer and wine.
Te Mana Cafe: 4956 Voltaire Street
Come by the studio this week and pick up some FREE guitar magazines! We’ve got hundreds of old back issues of Guitar Player Magazine and Acoustic Guitar Magazine, and more!
We’ve been offering piano lessons here at Paper Moon for more than 2 years, and they’ve proven so popular that we’ve built a new piano room and welcomed on a new piano instructor! Izabela Jodkowska is a classically trained pianist and graduate of Poland’s Music Institute of Bialystok. We are excited to have her join the Paper Moon Music team, contact us if you’d like to start learning piano!
In just one week we will be welcoming contemporary classical guitar master Christopher Mallett to San Diego for a solo guitar recital at Point Loma Assembly. All in attendance will be eligible to win a FREE MONTH of music lessons at Paper Moon Music. Buy a ticket on the homepage!
Sunday, August 21
Point Loma Assembly
3035 Talbot St
San Diego, Ca.
Researchers are learning more and more about what makes someone an expert in their field. It turns out Malcolm Gladwell’s “10,000 hours theory” is not entirely correct. Writer Jenny Luna explains:
If you want to become a better runner, the obvious answer is to run more. Practice, practice, practice. Well, maybe not. It turns out that more time laced up, running longer distances, may not be the best way to improve. These days, many athletes are ditching long runs for interval training—and for good reason. Pushing the human body to maximum capacity, for shorter amounts of time, forces it to adapt quickly and could even change its physiology in the process.
Interval training helps the cardiovascular system by improving the body’s ability to use oxygen and insulin. It makes arteries more elastic than slower-paced exercise does, and some say it helps burn belly-fat. It isn’t just for athletes: Scientists in Denmark have found that patients with Type 2 Diabetes who did intervals of intense walking had enhanced fitness and better blood-glucose levels compared to a control group that walked at a moderate pace for an extended period of time.
If you’re not one for getting sweaty, running isn’t unlike the many other hobbies at which you might be desperate to improve. There’s tons of emerging science that can help show you how to get better—and that explains what separates the good from the best. On this week’s episode of the Inquiring Minds podcast, musician and neuroscientist Indre Viskontas talks with Swedish psychologist Anders Ericsson about what it takes to become great… Read the full article here.
Here’s an interesting podcast we came across recently, where the hosts take a popular song and discuss its musical characteristics in detail to get at what makes the song unique. Pretty fun to listen to for musicians! Look for it on iTunes or go to www.Tuner.show
We recently put together an easy/intermediate arrangement of the classic jazz tune “Moonglow” for guitar. This is a “chord melody” arrangement where the melody and chords are combined together. You can find the sheet music on our Video Lessons page, and the video features a view of both hands:
Congratulations to all students who performed at our summer recital on Sunday, May 15. Once again we had performers of all ages playing a wide range of material, from the theme from Star Wars and Endless Summer, to classics by Stevie Wonder, Pink Floyd, the Gipsy Kings and The Beatles! Keep practicing and we’ll see you at the next recital!
Last month we welcomed to San Diego one of the world’s most incredible flamenco guitarists, Jose Antonio Rodriguez. It was an honor to meet and to host this great artist, we very much hope to bring him back for more shows in the future. If you missed the show, here are a few clips from his solo performance:
Join us on Saturday, January 30 at 7pm at Point Loma Assembly for a solo guitar concert by Spanish flamenco virtuoso Jose Antonio Rodriguez – a renowned flamenco artist in his native Spain. This is a rare opportunity to see an artist like this up close! Tickets are $25 and available here. Contact us for more information!
Playing the guitar requires hand-eye coordination, creativity, memory, intuition, improvisation, and countless other functions of the brain. Anyone who has ever tried learning the guitar knows just how difficult it can be, and even professional players struggle sometimes. It seems that common bond goes beyond the frustrations of playing, however. In fact, according to a scientific study, all guitar players’ brains share a special chemistry.
One of the findings concluded that guitar players have the ability to “sync” their brains, and essentially read each others’ minds while playing and even anticipate what is to come. This all has to do with neural networks and brain chemistry, which explains the phenomenon of a band seemingly being a single functioning unit, and perhaps even makes it clear why there are so many successful bands made up of family members. In other words, the closer the brain chemsitry, the better the band chemistry.
According to Mic.com, researchers found that “when a guitarist shreds, he or she temporarily deactivates the brain region that routinely shuts down when achieving big-picture goals, signaling a shift from conscious to unconscious thought. And when mere mortals (non-musicians) attempt a solo, the conscious portion of their brain stays on, which indicates that real guitarists are able to switch to this more creative and less practical mode of thinking more easily.”
It seems obvious that musicians are more artistic, right-brained people, but these studies show just how special guitar players are in particular. According to a Vanderbilt study, guitar players are better than other musicians at understanding a song via observation or listening than just reading the sheet music.
In the end, it all happens in the brain, but for guitar players, it seems their brains are just a little different. As if we didn’t already know!
Paper Moon Music instructors Scot Taber and Joe Amato play together in a guitar duo they call Paper Moon (naturally). They have just finished an album of classic tangos, recorded at Signature Sound studios and mastered by Peter Sprague. Check out some clips below and you can see them perform around San Diego!
In a span of 14 months — from January 1965 through March 1966 — Dylan created three classic albums in a row: Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde. As you might imagine in such a flurry of activity, a lot of ideas never made it out of the studio……
This is Part 1 of a very fun to watch electric guitar documentary featuring interviews with Les Paul, BB King, Joe Satriani, Stanley Clarke, Phil Manzanera, John Mclaughlin, George Benson and many others.
Paper Moon will be welcoming the flamenco guitarist Joaquin Gallegos in January for a workshop in traditional flamenco and to perform for us. Stay tuned for more information. Here he is playing with percussionist John Martin:
If you haven’t seen these videos by Howard Goodall, do yourself a favor and watch all 6… very informative. Also check out his other 4 videos titled “How Music Works” which is more technical. “The Story of Music” is a great place to start!
Jason McGuire is a great flamenco guitarist residing in the Bay Area – you can see terrific videos of his playing on YouTube. Paper Moon Music was proud to host a flamenco workshop by Jason in August and we look forward to welcoming him back in the near future. In the meantime, he has been recording an album with his trio (flamenco guitar with drum kit and upright bass!) called “Tres Ratones Ciegos” (Three Blind Mice), and he needs some help getting the album mixed, mastered, and manufactured. Check out his Kickstarter campaign and consider contributing to it, there are some great rewards for doing so (including a discount on an annual membership from his flamenco guitar lessons website)!
Here’s an article by Guitar Player magazine:
From the New York Times music pages….
What an educational weekend we had at Paper Moon Music as we hosted a 3-day flamenco guitar workshop with the incomparable flamenco virtuoso Jason McGuire. This was an opportunity for flamenco guitarists to hone their craft and work on playing for dancers over a 3-day period – we also hosted a concert with his wife Yaelisa and local flamenco dancer Reyes Barrios and singer Jesus Montoya.
This from the Washington Post:
Parents who have patiently sat through countless music recitals and questioned their sanity at encouraging all those trumpet or violin lessons need do so no longer. Even ear-splitting dissonance has an upside.
Music training not only helps children develop fine motor skills, but aids emotional and behavioral maturation as well, according to a new study, one of the largest to investigate the effects of playing an instrument on brain development.
Using a database produced by the National Institutes of Health Magnetic Resonance (MRI) Study of Normal Brain Development, researchers at the University of Vermont College of Medicine analyzed the brain scans of 232 healthy children ages six to 18 specifically looking at brain development in children who play a musical instrument. (The original study did not indicate specific instruments.)
“What we found was the more a child trained on an instrument,” said James Hudziak, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Vermont and director of the Vermont Center for Children, Youth and Families, “it accelerated cortical organization in attention skill, anxiety management and emotional control.”
The cortex, or outer layer of brain, changes in thickness as a child grows and develops. Previously, Hudziak and colleagues Matthew Albaugh and Eileen Crehan found relationships between cortical thickening and thinning in various areas of the brain responsible for depression, aggression and attention problems. This research, announced last month in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, was different.
“I wanted to look at positive things, what we believe benefits child development,” Hudziak said. “What I was surprised by was the emotional regulatory regions. Everyone in our culture knows if I lift 5-pound, 10-pound, 15-pound weights, my biceps will get bigger. The same is true for the brain. We shouldn’t be surprised we can train the brain.”
Because the study’s participants were all mentally healthy children, Hudziak thinks the positive effect of music training on those who are not could be significant.
“A kid may still have ADHD,” he said. “It’s the storm around it that improves.”
Inspired by his own research, and having never learned to play an instrument, the 56-year-old Hudziak decided to take viola lessons last year.
“I had this passion for health promotion in children, it seemed silly not to do it myself,” he said.
Though music isn’t his only health-related extracurricular activity — Hudziak also engages in regular exercise and meditation — he believes the viola lessons contribute to his overall wellness. They have not, however, contributed much to his overall playing ability — at least not yet. The sanguine psychiatrist had just one word for his viola skills:
Chances are if you’ve ever seen an electric guitar, you’ve seen a stratocaster, or “strat” – the most popular and versatile electric guitar. Check out this segment from an NPR radio broadcast which traces the history of this legendary guitar!
Paper Moon Music is welcoming back the fantastic classical guitarist Flavio Cucchi, who played at our studio a few years ago. On November 9 we will be co-sponsoring his return to San Diego with a concert at the Junipero Serra Museum in Presidio Park. Flavio will be performing pieces written for him by the great pianist Chick Corea. Joining Flavio will be Paper Moon Music instructor Scot Taber! Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door, call 619-255-9594.
We had a great time hosting Sante Fe flamenco guitarist Joaquin Gallegos at Paper Moon Music on Sunday! He will return to San Diego this Winter, so stay tuned for more information on another workshop. Joaquin has studied with the gypsies of Sacromonte in Granada, Spain as well as with some of the biggest names in the world of flamenco like Manolo Sanlucar.
A few weeks ago, we had the honor of hosting the great Brazilian guitarist Alessandro Penezzi for a rare concert performance here in San Diego. We have transcribed one of his exercises, this Velocity Drill which is based on the phrygian scale:
This new movie looks great, about a topic we are constantly talking about!
New research is finding that music is great for your brain in more ways than we previously thought, check out this animated TedTalk!
We here at Paper Moon Music are proud to be presenting a concert from one of Brazil’s greatest contemporary guitarists, Alessandro Penezzi, along with choro violin expert Ted Falcon. We’ll be hosting them at the Point Loma Assembly, (where we have our student recitals) Sunday, August 10 at 7pm! These guys are amazing musicians, check out the video below to see! You can buy tickets in advance for $15 on the homepage of this website or $20 at the door. See you on Sunday!
Congratulations to all those students who performed at this summer’s Guitar Gathering! We heard some great performances of classical guitar pieces, rock songs, flamenco, gypsy jazz, and even “Cripple Creek” on banjo! It’s great to see so many students of all ages playing music from so many diverse styles! Stay tuned for our next recital and keep practicing!!
Join us this Sunday Feb 23 for an intimate classical guitar concert with acclaimed virtuosos Fred Benedetti and Robert Wetzel – the Odeum Guitar Duo! Show beging at 7pm, please purchase your seats in advance as seating is limited! You can get a ticket on our homepage. Meanwhile, enjoy this video of the Odeum duo performing Fernando Sor’s Fantasie Opus 54:
Two years ago we had the great honor of having Adam del Monte perform a concert for us at the studio. Many of our students have benefitted from his online flamenco guitar lessons. He truly is one of the best flamenco guitarists out there, and this January we’ll be bringing him back. This time, we’ll be hosting the concert at a larger venue where we are currently hosting our student recitals. This should be a great show, and Adam will also be performing some of Rodrigo’s “Aranjuez” concerto with his wife on piano! Stay tuned for more information on buying tickets, etc. Adam also is a master of classical guitar, here he is playing Tarrega’s “Capricho Arabe”:
One of the most difficult techniques for beginning guitar students to learn is the slur; or, as we guitarists like to call them, hammer-ons and pull-offs. The motion itself is easy (except for pull-offs to fretted notes, those require some practice) but playing slurs to a specific rhythm is much harder. We’ve just posted a video/pdf of a rumba study for slurs, which also includes arpeggios and plenty of right hand strumming work. You can download the tablature/sheet music on our sheet music page.
Every 5 months or so we have a Guitar Gathering at the studio, where students can perform on their own or with their teacher in front of an audience. It’s a great way to meet other students and get your feet wet performing. We’ve held these at our studio since the beginning, but now they’re getting so big we have to move them to a bigger spot! On Sunday, July 21st at 3pm, we’ll be at Point Loma Assembly (3035 Talbot St San Diego, CA 92106) for the next Guitar Gathering. It’s free and open to the public; we’ll have students playing all kinds of music from classic rock to bossa nova, flamenco, country, and more! We always notice how much progress those students make in the weeks leading up to the recital – it’s a great motivator to practice! We hope to see you there!
Last month we had the great Fred Benedetti come by the studio for a solo guitar concert. To demonstrate the variety of sounds a guitar can produce, he brought along a flamenco guitar, a classical guitar, a baritone guitar, and even a ukulele. We hope to have him back soon, here he is playing “Classical Gas” on a baritone guitar:
Check out this 12-year old from Spain playing Paco de Lucia’s “Entre dos Aguas.” This is from a Spanish television show called “Little Geniuses,” and you’ll see why:
Check out this very cool video to see how a flamenco guitar is made. From the filmmakers:
Pieces of wood, love, knowledge and 299 hours of work, condensed in a 3 minute film. The new episode from the series ‘The Art of Making’, titled ‘Alma Flamenca’, is available for you to enjoy.
The ‘Art of Making’ series of films, aspires to display and highlight certain people, which go against the spirit of today’s pessimism and desperation. They dare to dream and create with zeal and imagination. Armed with passion for knowledge and emotion, they attempt to combine the precision of science with the elegance and resourcefulness of art. We thank them wholeheartedly for their contribution.
We’ve just booked the great Fred Benedetti to return to Paper Moon Music on May 26! This time, he’ll be presenting solo flamenco and classical works. Tickets will be $15 per person – we’ll be posting up more information about how to reserve your seat as the even draws nearer…….
A recent documentary by Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters chronicles the history of the famous LA studio Sound City, where some of the most successful albums of the 20th century were recorded, from Fleetwood Mac to Nirvana. The film played for only one night in San Diego at the Landmark Hillcrest theaters, but you can view it on iTunes and VHX.
Lately, we’ve been getting a lot of our classical students on the book of 20 studies from the great classical guitar patriarch Fernando Sor, which were selected, edited, and published by Andres Segovia in the 1940′s. The book is still in print and is a terrific collection of pieces that focus on different aspects of your technique…. highly recommended! Here’s a sample of 4 of the studies played by Segovia himself:
Unfortunately, music education is one of the first things to get cut from many school programs… if only more people realized that the benefits of music go far beyond learning a mechanical skill. Check out these kids from a slum in Paraguay who are discovering the life-changing power of music. This is a trailer from an upcoming documentary about how they are turning garbage into music:
Welcome to our new blog…. here we will be posting all kinds of material on playing and studying the guitar, stay tuned!