Violettes By Becky

  • Music Lesson Art Cards, Gifts and School Charity in Knoxville News

    Music Lesson Art Cards, Prints, Purses

    & Music Education Commitment

    on Cover of Local Newspaper Section

    Music Lesson Art Cards and other music gifts created by Becky have earned kudos from the local newspaper! Because few read a long blog, we posted an insert from the continued page of the article below. Thank you to the Knoxville News Sentinel and Reporter Margie Hagen!

    Peruse thru our Music Lesson Art Cards at this link: HERE. Large prints of any of the cards are available, many are listed HERE. Please note we are building a new web site where all cards and prints are listed. They are easier to see, understand what we have available and find what you want at This site is not yet set up for purchasing.

    Purchase our Birthday cards, and a $1 per card donation goes to the local school music department. It's not too late to sign up for our youth music composition competition or to purchase holiday gifts!

    We love requests for our music lesson art cards. That is, send us what music lesson or practice tip you'd like to see illustrated Becky style. I currently have a list, but if I love your idea, it gets pushed to the top. Give us pictures of your pets to be painted into the cards if you have a fun musical animal card idea. Even give us photos of your student(s) to be painted into a card if you have an idea that Becky uses.

    In addition to the Music Lesson Art Cards, Becky created a line of local flavor for the Knoxville Hallmark store.

    Music lesson Art Cards Music Lesson Art Cards, Prints, Purses and Charity Earns Local Kudos
  • Sisters Win Violettes by Becky Youth Competitions

    2017 Annual Violettes by Becky

    Youth Composition Competition
    Sisters, Helena and Fiona Abney McPeek Both Win First Place


    Repeat participants in the Violettes by Becky Youth Composition Competition, Helena and Fiona Abney-McPeek have both placed before. This year they have something special to celebrate, as they both have our 2017 first place prizes.


    Violettes by Becky Youth Composition Competition Senior Division -

    Youth Competition Winner

    Helena Abney-McPeek writes, "I started playing Suzuki violin when I was 4 years old.  From the very beginning, I was interested in composing, and I have several pieces for violin and voice that I wrote when I was maybe 5 years old.  Currently I'm 16 years old and a high school junior.  I sing in the a cappella choir at school and play violin in the Chicago Youth Philharmonic Orchestra.  I'm involved in the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra's Composition Seminar and have composed for my high school's musical.  I'm also involved in the Computer Orchestra (an electro-acoustical ensemble) at my school and have composed a piece that we will perform in our concert next month. My other interests include math, computer science, science, writing and acting."
    Violettes by Becky Youth Composition Competition Junior Division -
    Youth Competition Winner

    Eighth grader Fiona Abney-McPeek has been involved with music for much of her life.  She started playing violin when she was a todder. Soon after, she began her first compositions, which she played on violin with her family.  In addition to playing and composing music, Fiona participates in her middle school's Mathcounts, Science Olympiad, robotics, cross country and track teams.  She currently plays in a youth orchestra, sings in the school choir, plays chamber music with her friends and participates in a composition workshop.


    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Violettes by Becky sent some questions to Mom for the blog to learn about the family of these amazing young ladies.

    Helena has entered the contest 4 times, and younger sister,  Fiona, 3 times.

    Youth Competition training A memory treasure for the McPeek Family
    Photo shows Helena, Fiona and Mom playing violin trios about 9 years ago.  Mary Sara McPeek, Mom, picked up a bit of violin from sitting in on the kids' lessons. Mrs. McPeek says, "with my (limited) experience on other instruments, I could hang in there and play duets and trios with them when they were little".
    "My husband, Mark, and I have a lot more musical enthusiasm than actual developed skill.  Mark has basically no training and doesn't play any instruments.  I am a musical dilettante with little formal training (some flute, mostly self-taught on piano, and some choral experience).  When the kids were little and the pieces were easier, I frequently accompanied them on piano.  The kids left us in the dust musically a number of years ago.  For example, Helena and Fiona both have perfect pitch and can sight-sing together in perfect two-part harmony (or more than two parts if there are others available).  My singing ability is much more limited, and my husband works hard to keep his part.  However, the kids still graciously and enthusiastically allow my husband and me to sing along with them, and they are encouraging when I try to play the piano with them while they play violin or sing."
    Youth competition contestants with family "A family portrait taken shortly after my kids had performed at my sister's wedding 1.5 years ago."
    In addition to caring about music, we are a family of math and science lovers.  Helena and Fiona are both very interested in areas such as computer science, physics, robotics, math and environmental science.  My husband has expertise in physics, I have expertise in statistics, and we both are academic researchers in statistical genetics/computational biology.  As a result, our family tends to talk a lot about interesting and puzzling science, math and technology problems as we sit around the dinner table.  There will sometimes be robots, hovercraft, or wheeled vehicles being built or programmed in our house, generally by the kids and their friends, with us parents helping to find supplies.  We also love to travel and to do fun stuff outdoors like hike or play ultimate frisbee.
    Congratulations to these wonderful young ladies and their family.
    Registration is currently accepted for the 2018 competition. Inquire with any questions to
    Music Lessons Popular Music Art Prints and Note Cards
  • Youth Composition Competition by Music Gift Co.

    Violettes by Becky, Music Gift Co., Presents

    our 5th Annual Youth Composition Competition

    Music Gift Co., Violettes by Becky, gives back to Youth Music Programs, and creates some of its own Youth Music Programs.

    Register now HERE. There is a $15 entry fee**.  Send Score and MP-3 or You tube by Feb. 14, 2018 to  (Registration after Dec. 31 goes up to $20) Note that you can register by paying early, but submit entry on Feb. deadline.           Thank you.

    This year, there is only one category and one age range for judging purposes, unless something surprising happens.

    Music gift, Piano Gifts, Violin Gifts I had the pleasure of presenting Elise with her check in person. And a special music gift, a Violettes by Becky Viola Purse too.

    Judges are past winner, Elise Arancio and University of Tennessee, Knoxville Composition Professor Andrew Lloyd Sigler. See more about judges at the bottom of this page.

    Thanks so much to our volunteer judges!


    Prizes are - 
    First place: $100
    Second Place: $50 gift Certificate from a Sheet Music Store
    Third Place: A set of Violettes by Becky Music cards.

    1. Entries must be amateur composers who are ages 10 thru 18 on Feb. 14, 2018. For judging,  (Students must still be in High School).
    2. Compositions/Songs must be between two and five minutes in length.
    3. Collaborative work accepted (partner must be in same age group). It will be the responsibility of the entry writer to divide the prize. No songs under professional contract may be entered.
    4. Submissions must consist of a score, and an MP-3 (or MP-4 or Memory Stick) or video. For ages 10 thru 14, score is not required, but will be given more weight in judging.
    5. Top 30 entries in each division will be judged by two independent professional musicians. Students of judges may not enter. (In the case of over 30 entries in a division, Violettes will use a committee to choose the top 30). Each student in top 30 will receive at least one feedback critique from judges.
    6. Register to enter by Feb. 14, 2018. Registration after Dec. 31, 2017 goes up to $20. You can register and pay early, then send entry on deadline.
    7. Compositions/Songs are due by February 14, 2018. Submit to Violettes "Contact us" email or
    8. Winners will be announced on April 15, 2018.
    9. Registering for the competition means that you agree that your work is original and that you hold all rights to the composition/song.
    10. Entry constitutes permission to use winner's names, likenesses, and voices for future advertising and publicity purposes without additional compensation.
    11. Submission constitutes entrant's agreement to release, indemnify and hold harmless Violettes and judges from and against any claim, including, without limitation, of copyright infringement or other misappropriation, arising from any acts or omissions in connection with the contest or its operation.

    12. If you are interviewed by the press as a result of this competition, you are required to tell the press, they must mention and thank the company, ", Gifts for Music Lovers" in the press release for conducting the competition.

    **If you can not afford the entry fee, we can waive your fee. Also, please note that this competition is a labor of love, and the fee does not begin to cover the labor involved. Support us if you can with purchase from Violettes by Becky. Everyone needs to give gifts. Thanks.

    Please keep informed by signing up for the Violettes Newsletter.

    Judging Criteria

    • Judging Criteria for the Compositions will include up to 5 points assigned to each of the following 3 categories: 1. Originality/Creativity, 2.Technical Proficiency 3. Orchestration and Overall Effectiveness
      (Note that the majority of entries are entered on just one instrument).


    Andrew Lloyd Sigler is Assistant Professor of Composition at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville where he directs the composition program and teaches audio recording, film scoring, theory, and orchestration. He will be assisted in judging by some of his composition students. His web site link is

    Elise Arancio is a seventeen year old composer based in Atlanta. In 2014 she made her
    debut with the premiere of her string orchestra piece Fly By Night at Emory University. Since
    then she has attended summer programs at Interlochen Center for the Arts and the Curtis
    Institute of Music, where she has participated in masterclasses with composers such as Joan
    Tower and John Mackey. Her piece On the Line was a winner of the 2016 National Young
    Composers Challenge. The piece Kuma Lisa, premiered at the Curtis Institute of Music, earned
    an honorable mention in the Tribeca New Music Young Composers Competition and the
    NextNotes High School Composition Competition and her piece Nyctophobia was a finalist in
    the 2017 BMI Student Composer Awards. In 2017 she served as a judge for the Violettes
    Composition Competition, and she currently studies with Richard Prior of Emory University. She
    is also an active violist currently studying with Yinzi Kong of the Vega Quartet.

  • Goodwill Vintage Fashion Design Challenge

    Becky Chaffee Makes Whimsical Cello Outfit Design

    Becky Chaffee, Owner of Violettes By Becky has been chosen as one of six designers for Goodwill Fashion Design Challenge, one of the company's biggest fundraisers of the year in Knoxville, TN. The Thursday Sept 21 event is typically sold out with over 400 in attendance. Many are unaware that Goodwill gives classes to help folks become employable with food service cleanliness training, nurse assistant training, computer classes... In addition to the training, folks receive certificates which also help folks become employable.

    The evening includes shopping at a visiting high end boutique, a dancing group, and dinner at the downtown Knoxville Holiday Inn. Here is the link for tickets.

    The Goodwill Vintage Fashion Design Challenge show will present designs by the chosen 6 to be voted on during intermission by the audience. The popular vote is only one sixth of the points to win and unknown prize. Additional criteria include:

    • 2. Incorporation of repurposed materials from Goodwill Industries-Knoxville (minimum 90%)
    • 3. Level of complexity
    • 4. Attention to detail and finishing
    • 5. Functions for runway show (not inappropriately sheer or fragile, model can walk, not prone to “wardrobe malfunctions.”)
    • 6. Creativity (interpretation of theme, unexpected or nontraditional use of materials)
    cello End Pin, Cello Lessons, Goodwill Fashion Design Challenge end pin above the model's foot.

    Becky has chosen a design in keeping with the "In Living Color" Theme for this Year. A list of material reuse is at the bottom of this page. Here are sneak preview of the cello entry with a list of materials reused below.

    Note that we have made cello purses with re-purposed goodwill materials in the past, as some of the bling is not even available at local stores, and if they were, the prices are much better at Goodwill.

    Goodwill Vintage Fashion Design Challenge - materials listed below.

    • Two Pairs stiletto shoes: used a stiletto heel and silver strip from shoe soul for end pin at back center of dress. Large jewel strips are from both pairs of shoes for cello end pin on leg, cello string ornamentation on top front center and rest as bling décor. Use all straps from shoes for cello strings on hat, note stems, and to hold tail piece on leg.
    • Hangers – to curl the ends of scroll and scrolls on cello purse and to hold back of cello “shawl” in place. Used a complete hanger in “shawl” for shape. Also used a hanger for the cello bow.
    • Corrugated hose –front of dress cello curves (Bottom part of cello shape)
    • Rubber hose fit perfectly into corrugated hose, but is stiffer, so it is use to continue edges of cello “shawl” up the back.
    • golf green for stiffener in purse, head piece scroll, tuning pegs on hat, some music notes and for green frog on bow.
    • record to support scroll in hat
    • bicycle Helmet – used helmet padding for hat to protect head. The padding is under the belt buckle glued to bottom of hat to balance it on head.
    • Jump rope is used for cello neck “strings”.
    • 3 Belts, 2 black and one yellow--Yellow belt to hold fascinator hat on. --2 black leather belts – used two leather ends of belts for: one belt buckle for model leg as cello tail and end pin piece and buckle piece for cello fingerboard dress front center.  Other belt buckle is to balance record on head for fascinator hat. Elastic Belt Centers -- to close back of dress.  -- and remaining elastic was cut into strips to hold tail piece of cello onto leg, to hold notes onto shoe and for ring.
    • two purses – beads from one purse are used on f holes and as center front décor. Used magnetic snap from one purse and strap from another for cello purse.  Used strips from both purses for note stems. Leather strips from purse for note stems. Used strips of one for inside back cello lining under gold netting.
    • Pillow – used thin case for lining of corduroy, and stuffing for stuffing of the yellow corduroy dots and some of the music notes.
    • shell necklaces – smashed shells and sprayed them silver to glue onto notes on back. The silver notes on the back top and silver of the stiletto heel end pin needed to be tied together for the eye to move across the dress.
    • Buttons from coat for notes - I have replaced all the buttons on this coat and returned to Goodwill including the broken button.
    • Car Floor padding – used to help with stiffness and shape of back of cello “shawl”
    • Four different curtains were used for fabrics: burgundy, gold, brown, and white sprayed gold

    It was a fun experience, but I do not own a form to build the outfit on, so my model visited once a week for about 5 weeks. The style and method that I chose for this piece was a time consuming arduous task. I pulled 5 all nighters because I have trouble stopping when I am in the middle of art. In addition, I changed my design plan ideas several times during the making.

  • Music Funds for Local Schools

    Introducing the "Fundraiser Rap"

    When I was interviewed by a local TV news anchor, she told me that she would much rather purchase the earrings than the standard cookie dough that our local band sells each year.This school music fundraiser is quite an experiment. I will write about it at a later date.

    At this point watch this video written by myself with a few add ins by rapper, Brady Moldrup. Brady is a Freshman at UTK majoring in theatre. He performed and filmed this with his room mate in one evening for the project! isn't he fantastic?!!


  • Flyer for Public School Music Fundraiser

    Music Fundraiser for Public Schools

    Contact Becky at

    Our Knoxville Music Fundraiser information is below. Note that Oak Ridge and Maryville Schools are welcome to participate. Represent your own school with your purchases, or pick a "buddy"school. Teachers are welcome to email us at for wish list requests that you might want purchased for your class. I suppose private music teachers can do this too! Let your students know.

    Jewelry (some music-themed) made by Becky especially for the fundraiser will also be available. See sample photo on our ==>>> facebook event page <<<==. Open first post to see jewelry sampling.


    Music FUNDRAISER for Knox County School Music Department

    • Come on out to purchase fun greeting cards, matted prints or posters.
    • 50% of profit will go to each Knox County School Music Dept. (Schools that are well off are encouraged to choose a “buddy school” to represent).
    Non-specified and Corporate donations will be given to the Knox Co. Music Department Admin. to use where most needed. At this time, $1,000 has been donated.
    If everyone purchases just one card for $2.50, we can raise money.

    Violettes by Becky creates witty whimsical music-themed cards and prints great for music teacher’s walls, dorm, music or children’s rooms. Purchase early Holiday gifts. Hand written greetings are a lost art!

    Finally a GULTEN-FREE school fundraiser with NO Calories!!! Except for the FREE DONUTS!

    Many of the prints are based on serious and humorous music practice tips for instruments, voice, playing in a band or orchestra… Others are just fun prints. Over 100 designs to choose from.

    Music Fundraiser, violin lessons, gift ideas for music lovers Popular Music Art Prints available at Music Fundraiser as cards or Prints!

    Random drawings of art supply give-aways donated by Office Depot.

    Free Krispy Crème donuts for buyers at each location while they last.


    Three SATURDAY dates and locations to choose from:

    1.  Sat. Aug. 12, 9AM to Noon, Farragut Farmers Market, 12740 Kingston Pike

    2.  Sat. Aug. 19, Noon to 5PM at Knoxville Soap, Candle & Gifts - 5201 Kingston Pike (Bearden)

    3.  Sat. Aug. 26 Downtown, 9AM to 5PM, 17 Market Square - Entrepreneur Center (near Tupelo Honey across from Tomato Head)


    ·        Teachers wish lists available at event locations.

    ·        Violettes by Becky will donate 20% of other sales - jewelry, purses, T-shirts…

    View complete set of designs available for purchase at in the “other music gifts/note card” section. Large prints of any of the designs are available.

    ·         Rain alternative announced on Violettes by blog if necessary.

    Request a copy of event flyer to be emailed to you , write


  • Current Music Lesson Art Prints and Greeting Cards

    Violettes by Becky Music Lesson Prints and Greeting Cards

    Catalog of Available Music Lesson Prints for Reference

    Contact Becky at

    Because we are having a fundraiser for Knox County Schools Music Department, below is a reference to all our original music lesson art available as Note Cards and 11 by 17 or 16 by 24 prints.  Don't forget we LOVE requests. Don't hesitate to email or call with questions. (

    Before we start, I will show several of our currently popular prints. Please note that what is popular is tied to what audience we are dealing with - general public, music lovers, music genre, students or parents, piano teachers, general music teachers...

    Also note that many musicians, most local, but not all have contributed to this list. Most of contributors listed at end.

    Music Lesson Popular Music Art Prints

    General Instrument Practice Tips

    No. 1: Practice Slowly.

    No. 2: Warm Up with Long Tones.

    No. 3: Practice with the Metronome.

    No. 4: Only Practice on Days that You Eat. (Cat in the Fiddle Print)

    No. 5: Warm Up with Scales and Arpeggios.

    No. 6: Love Your Axe.

    No. 7: Practice Before the Dog Eats Your Music.

    No. 8 Just Do It.

    No. 9:  Play Music You Love   (Used to be No. 10)

    No. 10: Train Your Ear

    1. With Intentional Listening
    2. Mimic (or Copy Cat) what You Hear.
    3. Play It in Different Keys

    No. 11:  Record Yourself.

    No. 12:  Practicing Difficult Passages (when just practicing slowly isn’t enough) – vary the rhythm patterns of the passage.

    No. 13:  Practice Backwards

    For a difficult passage, start with the end of the phrase and add previous note, one at a time.

    No. 14:  Sleep On It.

    No. 15: Listen to Yourself for Tone and Intention

    -Know what makes your tone.

    -Know which notes on your instrument are sharp or flat and how to adjust.

    Perhaps reshape your embouchure, change your wind speed or finger pressure (depending on your instrument); even learn alternate fingerings.

    No. 16:  Mindful repetition is more effective than mindless repetition. Leave a small space between repeated phrases. Set your intention before you play.                                            Submitted by cellist Alicia Randisi-Hooker.

    No. 17: For Flute Players

    Space in the Face     (Attributed to Jill Bartine)

    Don’t be sharp on high notes:

    Aim the airstream to the floor. Drop jaw, open teeth, and open the mouth cavity as much as possible.

    Practice Tip No. 18: Practice BEFORE Performing in Public Places (not While)

    1. Xmas Practice Tip: Hoard Cookies Before Practicing.
    2. Chanukah: Practice Because Your Mother Tells You To, Oy Vey!

    Practice Tip 21: When Practicing a Phrase Repeatedly, slow down enough to play it correctly 5 times in a row before speeding up. (You don't want to learn it wrong.)

    Practice Tip 22: Express Yourself (Wild West)

    Practice Tips: No. 23 “Have Foam with Your Music!” caption from Ian McClure

    Practice Tip No. 24 Resolve Your Blues In the Final Four Bars

    Practice Tip No. 25: Relax – Piano Teachers say “Drop Your Shoulders”, relax arms wrists, fingers. But if thumbs or wrists droop, watch out for alligator bites!

    Other Instruments: Recognize body stress points – shake out muscles when they tense, hold instrument ergonomically; perhaps learn yoga or meditation.

    Practice Tip No. 26: More Cowbell

    Music Lesson No. 27: Practice Makes Permanent, Practice Perfectly

    28: Push Music Phrases Like Spreading Frosting – continuous…

    Music Lesson No. 29 Bone Tone  Tah, Too, Toh, Not Tuh (says 27, change to 29)

    Music Lesson 30 Shape Your Phrases: Interpret Phrases and shape Them.

    (ML 31 Flute angel below in excuses)

    ML 32: Set Practice Time Goals (from Mary Ann Fennel)

    ML 33: Revert to the Masters

    ML 34 (Below in excuses)

     Music Lesson Excuses

    Music Lesson No. 31: Flute Angel, “I Played It Perfectly at Home”.

    ML 34  Excuse No. 12 “My Grandmother Died Dyed.”

    ML 35 Excuse No. 2  “I should have practiced scales!” (from Stacy Nickell)

    ML 36 Excuse No. 11 “My Mother Drained the Bacon on it.” (from Brenda Goslee)

    ML 37 Excuse No. 3: “My Mother Forgot it.”

    ML 38 Excuse No. 4: “I didn’t Practice because my Father was sleeping.”

    ML 39 Excuse No. 5: “I tried to practice. My brother was playing video games.”

    ML 40 Excuse No. 2: “I did practice. I practiced in Virtual Reality”.


    ML 41: Trumpet Lip Slurs: Keep the air constantly flowing. Change speeds, but the flow must never stop. Always produce the most beautiful sound that you can create.


    Tips for Playing in an Orchestra

    Orchestra Playing Tip No. 1: Put Your Ears out on Stalks

    Orchestra Tip No. 2: After an erroneous note, DO NOT make a face. It’s best to make it obvious that it came from your neighbor.

    Orchestra Tip No. 3: Listen to recordings and live performances of your orchestra music. Notice how your part fits and blends with other parts. Color me Card

    Orchestra Tip No. 4: Be Ready to Play when the Conductor Lifts the Baton

    Orchestra Tip No. 5: Play for the team. Always be mindful that you’re part of a collective sound. Never try to stick out. Listen to the players around you and blend in terms of sound and intonation.

    • From New York Musician and Education, Timothy Judd

    Orchestra Tip No. 6:  Only Leave Your Cell Phone on if its in the Right Key.

    Orchestra Tip No. 7:  Feel the Rhythm. Don’t Rush Fast Passages - Note subdivisions within main beats. Metronomes are good. Metronomes are fun.

    Orchestra Tip No. 8: Practice as if You are Performing. (Every note should have good tone, dynamics and phrasing.)


    Adult Practice Tip Series (currently sold separately)

    Pick Banjos, Not Fights

    Crazy for Dulcimers

    Brown beer guitar cards: “Have Foam with Your Music”

    Blue Beer Bass Guitar:  “ Resolve Your Blues in the Final Four Bars”.

    More Cowbell

    Winolin: When You just Need to Unwind (with Saint-Saens Syrahpy Red).

    Winolin 2: “How does a Violin Player Pour Wine?” (Sarasate Red Zigeunfandel, made from Gypsy Wine)

    Seize the Opportunity to Play, "Gift Set" of 8 cards (plus several extra available):

    Watch out for the “Bana..” Banana in Bassoon on elephant

    Rain Song Gone Awry

    Cloud Conjurers

    Chickens Chillin' with Chopsticks

    Tea Anyone?

    Bird Yoga

    Play and Bear It

    Garden Ensemble

    Additional Seize Opportunity:

    Mockingbird Air Guitar

    Singing Lesson Series:

    1. Sing with Resonance (1A).
    2. Sing with Resonance (1B).
    3. Sing with Joy (adult)
    4. Sing with Joy (children)
    5. Know Your Range.
    6. Break a Lip.
    7. Send Your Voice to the Back Wall.
    8. Relax and Plant Your Feet Solidly.
    9. Use a Natural Volume when Singing Just Like Speaking.
    10. Sing songs “on the Vowel” –maintain the vowel as long as possible and just touch the consonant.
    11. Find a comfortable vowel to vocalize on, and sing a simple song on a vowel that makes your voice feel good….
    12. Try to comfortably expand your ribs from the back of the sides. Keep shoulders and abs relaxed. Think “No work”.

     TIps for Playing in a Band

    1. Medleys have a lot of Tempo Changes. Be Prepared for them.
    2. Play Musically, Not Mechanically
    3. When Caught in a Whirlwind of Notes, Don’t overlook Dynamics.
    4. Know who has the Melody and Play under the Melody unless it is You.
    5. When Playing Fast Rhythmic and/or Syncopated Music, take extra care to hit Notes Precisely on Time.
    6. Interpret Phrased and give them Shape.

     Tips for Playing in an Ensemble:

    1. Keeping in Tune is Key
    2. Familiarize Yourself with all Parts.
    3. Communicate with Your Audience (Verbally or/and Nonverbally) in progress.
    4. Communicate with fellow musicians.

    For Elementary School Teachers (this is a link) - IN Progress

    1. Criss-Cross Applesauce.
    2. For Recorder – “Use Your Paws, Not Your Claws” from Sarah Davis
    3. “Put the Beat in Your Feet” from Tracy Doty Ward

    Also see “Voice Tip” Series

     Music is the food of Love Series:

    1. Music is the Food of Love, Feed Your Puppy 2
    2. Music is the Food of Love, Feed Your Friends- “If its lentil soup, we’ll have bass.”

    Flutist Yogini Series

    Flutist Yogini 2 – Downward facing Dog

    Just Do It Series

    Just Do It 2 Ukulele Moon Cats

    Asian Instruments (10 cards)

    Musical Animals

    1. Catchamouse Tango
    2. “Raising Cool Cats”
    3. “Times, They-are–a–Changing”
    4. “What does a Cat Sing in the Shower?”
    5. “Stayin’ Awake”
    6. ”You Can’t Teach an Old Dog New Tricks, But You Can Teach Him New Songs.”

    Many, but not all folks who contributed are listed here:

    Jill Bartine, Flautist, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra (KSO)

    Judy Bartine, Flordia Voice Teacher (Jill's Mother-in-Law)

    Robert Bonham, Maryville Piano Professor Emeritus, Trillium Trio

    Paul Brody, Composer, Trumpet Player, Writer, Berlin

    Sarah Davis, Retired Knox County General Music Teacher

    Mary Ann Fennel, Violinist, KSO

    Brenda Goslee, Piano and Organ teacher

    Denise Griffin, Amazing Brainstorming Non-musician Friend

    Kelle Jolly, Knoxville Jazz Singer

    Ian McClure, Colorful Cellist

    Stacy Nickell, Cellist, KSO

    Alicia Randisi-Hooker, Cellist, Trillium Trio

    Pam Robertson, Composer and Piano Accompanist

    Susan Shor, Violist, Oak Ridge Symphony

    Tracy Ward, Sequoyah Elementary School Music Specialist

    Sandy Wells, Tennessee Valley Ensemble Band Conductor

    (and a couple teachers I met at state music teacher convention)


  • Making Rachel Barton Pine's Violin Purse

    Style - Solving Problems While Making a Violin Purse

    Rachel Barton Pine orders Violet Violin Purse from Violettes by Becky Taylor Roman Photography

    Making Rachel's Violin Purse was a long process with many construction problems to solve. This record of the construction will remind me not to make the same mistakes in the future. Because she wants the purse as an everyday purse and to hang from her wrist, there were new challenges. The fabric must be ultra sturdy. It was my choice to use a thin leather. I don't have a professional leather machine. If I were to get more orders  like this, I might hire a professional with a leather machine to sew parts of the bag. It was a joy that her favorite color is purple! I couldn't meet her request for sequence around the edge of the purse, so I hope she likes bling!

    Please excuse the lengthy videos. I edited them a little, but the whole while I was holding my cell phone in my hand to video myself!!! And I am a relatively quiet person, not used to all the talking, especially when I stayed up most of the night many times (had little sleep) working on the Violet Violettes Violin Bag.

    Thanks for watching.


    Becky Chaffee

    Rachel Barton Pine, orders violet Violettes Violin Purse Becky Chaffee awestruck with renowned Violinist, Rachel Barton Pine
  • Music Education Pays Off -Youth Music Competition Winners

    Students Take Music Education Seriously

    1st Place winners of the Violettes by Becky 4rth Annual Composition and Songwriter Competition are presented below. Bios and photos of students and honored teacher, Ms. Helen Hayes will follow soon. (I have temporarily posted old photos from students who have entered previously). I apologize for the lack of communication for the past few months. Our wonderful practice tip Greeting Cards and Prints have been occupying my time.

    Check out the 2 minute card/poster samples video here (divided into 8 segments) :

    Cards  video can be purchased HEREAny of the cards can be ordered as posters.

    1st Place for Senior Composition Competition:

    music education, violin lessons, violin teacher Music Education is taken seriously in this family. Sisters Helena (right) and Fiona are both 1st place winners this year.

    Congratulations to Helena Abney-McPeek from Chicago, Illinois who won $250.

    Ms. McPeek had a the added bonus of a skype lesson from the generous judge, Andrew Sigler. Mr. Sigler's bio can be found on our blog.

    Helena's winning composition, "By the Seashore", can be heard here:







    1st Place winner for the Junior Composition Division:

    Congratulations to Fiona Abney-McPeek (Helena's sister) from Chicago, Illinois for her winning composition, "Curiosity".

    (I'm sorry, I couldn't get the music to load here).

    1st Place for Senior Songwriter Competition:

    music education, violin teacher, violin lessons Carli won guitar (from US Music Corps.) for second place last year.

    Congratulations to Carli Ann Tuttle from Florida who we understand will be attending Belmont University for a Music Business Degree next year.

    Her winning entry, "Piece of You" is heard here:









    1st Place for Junior Songwriter Competition:

    Violin Gifts, Guitar Purse Gifts for Music Lovers Emma Rowe receiving her certificate last year.

    Congratulations to Emma Rowe from Knoxville, TN for her song, "Case Closed".

    (This file would not load).







    Honorary Mention to Piano and Composition Teacher Ms. Helen Haynes from Missouri who had the most students enter the competition. We are still waiting for results from the Junior Composition Judges, However I'd like to post the music from one of her students here, Maya Wood.

    END of Blog


  • Music Teachers Extravaganza

    Music Teachers Love Them

    Music Teachers Music Teachers Unite: Play Under the Melody

    Whether you are a music teacher or looking for a music teachers gift, we are getting an overwhelming response from teachers that love our new Music Tip Prints and Greeting Cards.

    The prints make great posters for offices, and the greeting cards are blank inside and great for sending notes to students. The sets make fun gifts.

    I, Becky, have been painting whimsical illustrations of tips for practicing musical instruments, and for playing in a band or orchestra, and more. Not only that, but I love requests for tips. If I use your request, I'll send you free greeting cards when the project is complete.

    I have only just begun to create videos to show the prints available. Please let us know what you think, and whether you are a music teachers, music student or other.

    There are many more to come. The video below might need to be slowed down al little, which you can do yourself. (Ask us how if you need help).

    Peruse all cards and purchase HERE. Feel free to contact us with any questions.

    If you know music teachers that would like these, we can give a discount for large orders to teachers. In addition the cards and prints are great for music department fundraising. Contact us at for fundraising opportunites.

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