On Friday I was lucky enough to be able to play my harp and banjo at the Wellspring Op Shop at Iluka. I feel very fortunate to have had an opportunity to play there. The people who run this Op Shop work very hard and do amazing things to support our local community.
In spite of rain threatening for most of the morning while I was there, I managed to avoid being rained out and met many lovely local people who came up to chat and listen to the music.
The Op Shop is open Wednesday 9am – 12pm, Thursday & Friday 9am – 3pm and Saturday from 9am – 1pm. The Food Pantry is now open at the new time of 9am – 2pm each Friday.
Being the last day of the school holidays meant that there were many children and families from all over who were out and about and keen to come and say hello. That was great and it really made my day. I hope I see more of those happy faces this term for music lessons. Term 4 lessons start from 14th Oct through to the 20th December.
Lessons with StringSong Music are available Mon-Fri from 10am to 7pm. I teach from my home in the Lower Clarence Valley or via Skype (Singing, Bass, Banjo, Celtic Harp & Autoharp, Flute, Guitar, Keyboard, Mandolin & Ukulele). I offer Casual and Ongoing rates for half an hour or 1 hour.
If you are interested in learning more you can contact me via my Contact Form.
Have you ever thought to yourself “I love that cool groove, maybe I should learn the Bass Guitar”? If so then you’ve come to the right place.
Here are 10 reasons why playing bass is a fabulous musical pursuit:
1. The bass guitar has a rich sound that cannot be replaced by any other instrument.
2. It is versatile and adds depth to all musical styles and all bands need a bass player.
3. You can be both a percussionist and a note player all in one.
4. Without the bass player the band can and in some cases does loose their way.
5. The bassist and drummer can lead the band and keep the groove in place.
6. It is as complicated or as simple to play as you decide.
7. The bass can sound great whether you are a beginner or an experienced musician.
8. It is way more portable than a double bass and has a very satisfying sound.
9. You can be creative in developing your own runs and patterns.
10. There is so much music available to play on bass.
If you are interested in
making an inquiry about Booking Leeann for Music
Lessons in the Lower Clarence Valley or via Skype
(Singing, Bass, Banjo, Celtic Harp & Autoharp, Flute, Guitar, Keyboard,
Mandolin & Ukulele) or Performances please use Leeann’s Contact
The Celtic harp is one of the most relaxing and endearing
instruments both for player and the listener. When listening to this particular harp it is easy
to understand how the gentle sounds of the instrument help people to feel peace
and calm. The harp is both inspiring and interesting to people everywhere and
it is a gift to others when someone shares its beautiful sounds. Celtic harp
music has a rich history and touches each person deeply… it is music for joy,
sadness, love and rest.
Here are some more reasons to play Celtic Harp…
1. The sound and feeling from the harp gives the player a great sense of inner peace
2. Accompanying someone as they sing is easy
3. There is a wide variety of sheet music available for instrumental playing
4. You can play just about any style of music on the harp
5. Composing your own music on the harp is very pleasurable
6. It has been said that the sound of the harp’s strings being plucked can help to relieve physical aches and pain
7. Harpers have been known to help babies and people who suffering an illness to fall asleep as they listen to harp’s gentle sounds
8. Learning the harp engages the left and right hemispheres of the brain and strengthens body – brain connections
9. The satisfaction of being able to carry on ancient tradition which brings with it echoes from another time
10. Playing the harp is a highly physical activity and helps the player maintain cardio vascular health, as the harpers arms are always raised as they play which ensures healthy blood flows.
Leeann playing and accompanying herself as she sings ‘A
woman’s Heart’ at the Art n All That Jazz’ Art exhibition.
Norwegian Wood performed by Leeann Flynn on the Ukulele
The Ukulele is an instrument that appeals to all ages and is fun to play as your first instrument or yet another to tuck under your arm and minstrel your way down the road of life. When choosing your ukulele the first thing to consider is what size you want. Ukuleles more commonly come in four sizes: Soprano, Concert, Tenor and Baritone. Each size brings with it sounds that are unique to the particular size. As with string instruments in general, smaller sizes are sweeter and higher as opposed to the larger sizes being deeper and lower. Each instrument has it’s own rich sound and is worth experimenting with to know what suits you.
its effects on the brain are well documented; enhancing long and short term
memory, growth of new neural pathways and even pain relief. Playing the ukulele
relieves stress and helps you let go of your everyday worries; giving your
chattering mind a break.
Some more reasons to play the Ukulele:
and fine motor skills
skills of co-processing
sense of unity with the instrument occurs and a sense of being in your own
Social Engagement –
with and for others gives pleasure to the player and the listener.
I first became inspired to play banjo after seeing Billy Connolly and
Ralph McTell playing together, Ralph was playing his guitar tenderly and Billy
was of course playing banjo. After that I was hooked. Billy has been a great
example to me of someone who has a desire to play and who has doggedly worked
to master his skills, and make it all look like so much fun.
Here is a snippet of Billy talking about his experiences as a
beginner banjo player.
Billy Connolly ~ Cripple Creek
Here is Billy’s rendition of this well known Bluegrass piece. A
great example of claw hammer style playing.
The banjo can be a four, five, or six-stringed instrument with a resonator also known as the head or body (looks like a drum –which be plastic or animal hide). The banjo is believed to have been developed by early African Americans who brought it with them from West Africa in the 17th century.
4 String banjo is well known in Celtic, Jazz, Ragtime and Dixieland music. Here is a link to learn more about 4 String Banjo and its features.
5 String has become more associated with Bluegrass, Old Time, Mountain, Folk & Country music. This is a great site for learning more about buying your next 5 String Banjo.
6 String banjo, sometimes referred to as a Banjo Guitar or Banjitar has been around for about 100 years and plays much the same as a guitar lending itself well to blues, country, Dixieland, ragtime and modern music. Here is a link to learn more about what to look for when buying a 6 String Banjo.
The banjo is such a wonderfully versatile instrument. In more
recent times it has become well known in Bluegrass:
Earl Scruggs And Friends – Foggy Mountain Breakdown
however, any style of music can be played on the banjo. Historically speaking it grew out of the African American folk culture and today it has strong associations with: Old time, folk, traditional Irish, country, modern rock and pop, Dixieland, Jazz & Gospel and even classical music.
Here are some examples of how versatile and enjoyable it is to
Mumford & Sons – Little Lion Man (Live from Red Rocks)
Great example of styles old and new blended together
Dixie Chicks bluegrass melody
Great 5 string with fiddle
Tenor Banjo Dixieland Bill Bailey
Great example of this style
John Bullard – Telemann Aria I, Partita No. 5 (Classical Banjo: The
Perfect Southern Art)
Fabulous, so much early banjo was written for classical players.
92-year old banjo player blazes through a Jazz medley on his Vega
Banjo is an instrument for any age and any style…
Dirty Old Town – Leeann Flynn on Banjo Lessons StringSong Music
If you are interested in making an inquiry about Booking Leeann for Music Lessons in the Lower Clarence Valley or via Skype (Singing, Bass, Banjo, Celtic Harp & Autoharp, Flute, Guitar, Keyboard, Mandolin & Ukulele) or Performances please use Leeann’s Contact Form.
Here are some of the benefits I have personally experienced and researched:
1. The pleasure received from the instrument – playing music whether it be using your voice or any other physical instrument is a pleasurable experience which is different from merely listening to recorded music. Much has been written about the effect notes have on our physiology. String and wind instruments have a physical resonate through the body and have been scientifically shown to reduce stress levels, blood pressure and increase cardio vascular functioning
2. The joy of music can be shared with others – musical sounds provide a sense of well-being for the player and the listener
3. Developing skills of persistence – practicing, pondering and playing music helps the player to become more focused on skill development and mastery
4. Sense of self belief and confidence – learning music helps us understand our limitations and how we can overcome difficulty
5. Personal Achievement – pushing boundaries of self expression and mastery helps us to understand what can be achieved through perseverance
6. Physical well-being, Pain relief & reduction of blood pressure (W. A. Mozart, J. Strauss, and ABBA) Studies have shown the music of these artists to be of enormous help when played or listened to.
Playing an instrument can distract us from pain and induce pain relief
7. Stress relief – playing helps us to connect with ourselves and disconnect from our worries
8. Co-processing – when we are playing an instrument we are always doing more than one thing;
* reading the music (or remembering a piece),
* physically playing notes (left and right hand) –
* vocalist shape and use different parts of the left & right brain to create notes and sounds proficiently
* keeping time
* being aware of our surroundings, audience etc.
9. Strengthens right –left brain connections – physical and mental co-ordination. Musicians are always integrating body-brain functioning and fine motor skills requiring deep level thinking
10. Communication development – playing and listening to music means being able express emotion and technical skill, playing with others means being able to listen and share thoughts about performance and expression of ideas
11. Long term and short memory gains – strengthening neurological pathways, requiring students to be tolerant of repetitive activity and creating new neural pathways as this happens
12. Self expression – connects us with our creativity and individual ability to express ourselves and use of higher level thinking and feeling
13. Connecting with others– Music helps us to connect with others without words with sounds and silences and develops Team building skills
14. Empathy – helps us to be aware of deep feelings within ourselves and others and helps us identify with others.
15. Inspiration – the joy of music can be an inspiration for the creator as well as the listener
16. Versatility of being able to play solo and with others
17. Patience – allowing yourself and others to make progress at their own pace
18. Time Management – planning, practicing, organising thinking
19. Listening & Focusing – hearing yourself and others and reflecting on what is heard for self-improvement.
20. Community Engagement – connection with others around us, linking with people from all walks of life
Iluka/Woombah – is the name of the new place we now call home… Well we’ve now been here for a few months and loving the wonderful weather, the lovely people and the wonders of nature that surround us…
The other day I was out in the garden in our new home updating pics for my little ‘www home’ here and these guys happened along…
I certainly do miss all of my friends in the Macedon Ranges and I am hoping that people will be just as happy to come along and play music and enjoy our company as they were in Gisborne. Students are always welcome to make contact with me, Skype lessons are also available for past students or for those who cannot travel to access classes face to face.