Piano and voice students had the experience of a lifetime as they embarked on their summer project for the 7th year in a row
with music instructor, Katie Ann.
Music artist and educator, Katie Ann, is teaching a lesson on inspiration, courage, and empathy to her students this summer by creating a three-part community outreach program to benefit the Music is Art foundation, the wonderful WNY organization founded by Robby Takac of the Goo Goo Dolls.
Collectively her students recorded a class CD comprised of them performing piano and voice songs they have tenaciously studied throughout summer. The recording session took place at Robby Takac's recording studio, GCR Audio.
Each student personally requested their summer performance song so their piece has special meaning and is enjoyable, which helps inspire the dedication needed to master a song.
It was a blissful activity for the students to record in a rockstar's recording studio. With that joy also comes intimidation, a fear musicians plant at an early age. It takes practice to overcome the obstacle of stage fright. Katie Ann teaches her students to gain confidence by focusing on what they want their song to embody instead of how others will critique.
Katie Ann advises her students using a puppet show analogy; "This is your "puppet show". You can't worry about what other people are going to think about it. Instead you must focus on how you're going to present the "puppet show" and being in character to preserve the ambiance your song entails."
Confidence is one of the greatest lessons the students walked away from their class recording session with, that and happiness. The day ended with proud smiles on all of the students faces.
"I'm so proud of my students for taking the initiative to learn music but more importantly to allow themselves to be vulnerable and courageous by allowing strangers in our community to benefit from their skillful playing. They've been very dedicated to learning music this summer, when there's a million other things they could be doing."
Enhancing the magic of the day, writer, Francesca Bond, from the associated press came to the private recording session and interviewed the students. It will be exciting to hear what she has to say about the day when the story runs!
This activity was the perfect ice breaker for the students to gain momentum for their final two performances to conclude the summer project with Katie Ann.
The second part of the program is Katie Ann's 7th annual Class Recital and Record Release Benefit. This free benefit is open to the public and takes place on Friday, August 24th at 6:00pm at Ashker’s on Elmwood, located at 1002 Elmwood Ave. in Buffalo. During this event, Katie Ann's students will perform their summer jams as they release their class CD, all while raising funds for MiA. The class CD will be available at the event and is complementary to the public with any monetary donation. Ashker’s will also graciously donate a percentage of the restaurant’s proceeds from all sales during the recital that evening. A donation jar will be available that night at Ashker’s and throughout the following week to continue collection donations. Again, you are warmly invited to join us during this lively music event and share in the excitement. A response is not necessary but is always encouraged and appreciated by Katie.
The grand finale for Katie Ann's music students is their BIG summer performance at the 16th Annual Music is Art Festival! This year’s festival is on Saturday, September 8th and Katie’s music students will perform starting at 5:45pm in the Kids Village. The festival takes place at the Riverworks Entertainment Complex, located at 359 Ganson St. in Buffalo. At the festival, the students will not only perform but also present their cumulative class donation raised from their summer program personally to Robby during their performance! As always, you are kindly invited to join us during this vivacious music event and share in their enthusiasm.
As you can imagine, these events offer an incredible experience for Katie Ann's music students to learn and grow with their musical talents while developing into active members in the beautiful Buffalo community.
"It is my goal that by participating in these rich experiences, they will acquire a passion and gratitude in using their creative skills to give back to their community and at the same time get to feel like a rockstar throughout the journey."
More information about music lessons with Katie Ann here.