Tag Archives: music


Phoebe has been part of a little violin duo for a year or so, and we decided it was time for a music video.  Presenting, TWIST:


Tis Over

Evaluation and Concert Season is officially over. I can’t remember a year when I felt more relieved.  Maybe because this season was double duty!

We celebrated by going to Panera Bread and Kung Fu Panda 2.  That’s what it’s all about when you’re in kindergarten and 3rd grade.  I fell asleep right after the Panda was returned to the jail with the All-state Ox and the crocodile.  I don’t know how it ended….

Lolly choked a little during her piece, but earlier that week received “solid” scores on her evaluation, and that after staying home sick the day before.  Phoebe just killed her piece! I was so proud of her I started crying…it’s been a LONG year.  Phoebe is getting to the age where I do not blog about everything she is going through, so I’ll leave it at that.

We haven’t practiced for 48 hours, and it feels so good.


Some Sunday Inspiration for you:

Technically, video taping is probably not allowed in church, but I had someone sneak a video…after all, it was my Mandolin debut.  Everybody else did pretty good too. ; )  Our arrangement was inspired by the Lower Lights.

Concert Week

This past week I have been exhausted every day.  I think having 2 concerts in one week took it’s toll on ME! The kids were fine of course.

Lolly did her best despite a little bout with strep days before the concert and a very challenging section of her piece.  Her face was priceless when she didn’t quite nail the tricky part on the first try. (Got it on the repeat! YES!)

Phoebe didn’t play a solo, but rocked her duet.  I finally saw some confidence return in her.  We have had a rough 6 months practicing the violin.  For the first time in almost 4 years of daily practicing the violin, I have had negative thoughts: What did we get ourselves into?  Thankfully I’ve learned that with every high in life there is a low, so I haven’t completely freaked out.  I’ve been taking music study one minute at a time.

Voice Over

There are a few branches of the entertainment business that I would love to branch out too, but I haven’t been able to find the time and energy and wherewithal to just go for it.

One of these branches is voice over work.  I have just recently spliced together a little reel of some voice over stuff I have done for on-camera work, but it’s just sitting on my hard drive as a garage band file right now. I’ve done diddly squat with it.

This past week I was contacted by a composer and engineer who saw me in concert in November, who needed a singer for a project he was working on.  His company gets hired by clients to compose music for a variety of projects.  For this particular project, the client presented the commercial to them in comic-book strip form (this is often the format I am given before an audition to get a feel for the spot…a storyboard), and gave them the lyrics for the jingle and the vibe for the vocal artist.

5 composers then compose the jingle and present it to the client.  In theory the client loves one and chooses it!  I was hired to learn and record one of these jingles.  I got there and was handed a lyric sheet and no sheet music.  I am SO not accustomed to learning by ear, but after singing it through with the composer about 20 times, I felt I had it, and we went into the studio to record it.  The whole process took about 45 minutes.

One of his fellow composers had a last minute cancellation of his vocal talent, so I then had to go record his.  I was handed the exact same lyric sheet, so I had to wipe my brain free of the first melody and learn a second melody, again by ear.

I had such a fun time singing, recording and getting to know these guys! I want to do more of this work! MORE! MORE! MORE! I don’t even care if it’s not picked and I don’t end up with residuals, I just want to learn new stuff and practice recording!

Speaking of recording, I recorded this last week too, thankfully all of this before this nasty sinus infection I have hit me!

little flower

The kindergarten concert was a breeze compared to last week’s 3rd grade presentation.  First of all I washed Phoebe’s cream sweater and tights with a red dress, and the outcome was a pale pink that I think went pretty well with the pink dress, but was completely unintentional.

After that, the strep throat hit.  Check out that nasty white spot back there.  Thankfully we had a few days at the beginning of the week to rest up and pump the antibiotics in the system, before Thursday’s evaluation.  At my kids school they are evaluated twice a year by a panel of instrumental teachers.  They get scores on a variety of technical and musical points and written feedback on their progress.  To quote her teacher: “It wasn’t her worst evaluation, nor was it her best.”  I am pretty sure it was her worst as far as how Phoebz felt about it.

All day long she was on my heart, and I braced myself for which Phoebe would exit the building at pick-up. My instincts were right, she had nothing positive to say about her evaluation experience and was very down about her performance.  I had to power her through to Friday though, because her concert was the very next day.

I kept telling her that her concert had nothing to do with the judges or her teacher, that it was about her and her music.  She put forth her best effort (this time I might go as far as to say that she looked much better than she sounded), and felt much happier after the concert compared to her evauluation the previous day.

Today my camcorder bit the dust before I had a chance to upload this performance, and I think Phoebe and I are totally okay with that.

I’m a flutist

She touched the necklace (that I originally bought for me to wear in support of her on concert days) around her neck, and rubbed the silver flute charm between her fingers and said: Mom, this is my necklace now, I want to wear it every day because….I am a flutist.

*NOT pronounced flautist, as many people think…it’s flutist….  Dr. Holmes told me so:

Valerie Holmes, Flute, Suzuki Flute, Recorder
Solo recitals and concerto appearances in France, Taiwan, Republic of China, New York, West Coast U.S. Winner, Artists International Competition; New York debut, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. D.M.A., Manhattan School of Music; M.M., B.A., San Jose State University. Teaching Certification, Columbia University Teachers College. Flute studies with Louis Moyse, Carol Wincenc, Harold Bennett. Suzuki Certification, University of Eastern Tennessee. Faculty, Special Music School; Lucy Moses School; French Conservatory of Music; Brooklyn-Queens Conservatory of Music; Nyack College. Prep Center faculty since 1989.

I was so proud of her today.  After months of practicing, she played her pieces in the right order, stayed focused the entire time, and obviously felt great about it-just look at the expression on her face!

See for yourself: