Annie Moses Band gives Back to Music Education
This entry was posted on September 10, 2015.
Interview with the Classy Annie Dupre
of the Famed Annie Moses Band
Violettes, a Gifts for Musicians Company, who is giving back to music education causes, is grateful for the generous donation by the stylish inspirational Annie Moses Band of a 10 day Summer Camp Session for their Fine Arts Summer Academy (FASA) in Nashville, Tennessee. The donation will be 1st prize for the Senior Songwriter winner in the 3rd Annual Violettes by Becky Youth Composition and Songwriter Competition. Students enter the competition on-line with score and recording from all over the country and receive instructional professional feedback from volunteer judges. The Annie Moses Band consists of "songwriters, singers, and musicians, combining technical skill with exhilarating showmanship". Showmanship with a capital S! The band consisting of 6 sisters and brothers has been loved by audiences of all ages for over a decade.
Their new album, "American Rhapsody", is released today, Sept 11, 2015.
1. Violettes: There are a lot of families that like to play music together. How is it that your family reached such a high level and has such a unified feeling of music. Even how you move and react to each other on stage has unified magic. How did that come about?
Ms. Dupre: My siblings and I have been playing together since we were four and five years old. We were homeschooled growing up so our mother has been a big part of our music education. She led the way in our practice and set the bar for excellence. Our parents are award-winning songwriters and Daddy began arranging music for us when we were very young. So we learned early on how to work together to make something exceptional happen on the stage. Most importantly, we love making music together!
2. Violettes: How is music integrated in the family? While music lessons are often pushed on kids, your family seems to embrace music with joy. What would you recommend to parents who know the value and beauty of music in one's life? How can they bring that into their kids' life without making it a duty?
Ms. Dupre: All too often music is considered an “extra-curricular activity”. Children are left to practice on their own with no reward in sight. Imagine being part of a football team that never played a game! And yet for many young musicians, performing is never a priority, and even if it were, the pieces they are learning are not ones they find exciting.
A few good guidelines I would suggest to parents with musical children:
1. Practice with your children. Make practice time a period of love and affection where you are both striving for the same goal.
2. Speaking of goals - set one! Organize a dinner party and have your child perform a song or help them plug into a band. Camaraderie is the single most important part of getting children interested in music.
3. Find a good teacher. A good teacher sets a high bar and gives thoughtful, meaningful counsel. They also know where to go and what to do i.e. competitions, festivals, jam nights, etc… And always remember - the best teachers serve your needs as a performer so have a vision for yourself as an artist and be sure to communicate that vision to your teacher!
4. Find the joy. Are you unhappy with your music? Is there something that you want to do musically (songwriting, improv, etc…) that you aren’t doing? Seek out the things you want to do with your music and make them a reality.
3. Violettes: You are obviously giving back to music education with your Fine Arts Summer Academy music camp (FASA). What "feel" does the academy camp have? I have been to summer music camps that feel like a college, choosing classes to attend each day versus camps that are more intimate with activities for getting comfortable with our groups... When a student leaves the academy, what would you like them to take with them? Of course the love of music, but what about their view of music making and daily life with music? What will they gain from the academy?
Ms. Dupre: Great questions! FASA is an intensive multi-week event that specializes in on-stage experience. Over 200 performers come from as far away as Asia and Europe to perform on some of Nashville’s biggest stages, including the Grand Ole Opry House. Our goal is for FASA students to leave energized and excited about their music and where it can take them. Believe it or not, the world of music is fun! At FASA, we tailor-write and arrange shows specifically for the students who come, so beginning, intermediate, and advanced students can perform on the same stage in the configuration that best fits their skill level. Students who come to FASA make life long friends because the work is intensive and the reward is astronomical. We demand a lot and give our all! That’s the essence of FASA.
4. Violettes: Annie, Your web site mentions "Juilliard-honed chops to Nashville-styled music-making". Is that an organic combination? Are there points where the Juilliard training and Nashville style have differences? - Like maybe the idea of how an instrument should sound to a classical musician is different to a bluegrass or jazz musician?
Ms. Dupre: Our music is an amalgamation of the genres we love. While we were raised studying classical music on our instruments, we are also eclectic songwriters, arrangers, and vocalists. So when you hear Annie Moses Band music, you’ll encounter a plethora of styles and sounds from folk to jazz to classical.
For us, classical technique is a foundation for crafting and honing our own music. In our new album, American Rhapsody, you’ll hear moments of classical string quartet, but also soulful electric guitar, fiery mandolin solos, and everything in between. We love variety and strive to own each moment creatively. It makes for a powerhouse show!