Gifts for Musicians
More Phenomenal Students or Gifts for Our Children, Violettes by Becky Youth Music Composition Competition
AmazingPhenomenal Students ---
How do You Supplement Your Child's Education?
Gifts for Our Children
My son was reading before Kindergarten (Reading Harry Potter in Kindergarten). He could do all times tables in his head in Kindergarten. (He learned by quizzing his older sister for her tests). My daughter was just as smart, but with a slightly different set of talents such as language and management. (My son didn't talk until he was almost 3. It was a little scary). How would you (or did you) supplement your children's public school education? Honestly, what I did was give them what I always wished I had had. (Isn't that what everyone does?) -- And also what was available and feasible in our city. Since I was a pre-teen, and saw Suzuki violinists on TV, I wished that I could do that. In high school, I begged my parents to let me go to jazz camp. Going to the camp turned out to be pointless without the proper background. (At that time the camp was chaos with no sessions for beginners.) So my kids took classical and jazz violin and piano. Gifts for our children! But as they got older, they both got busy with their own interests such as acting, school clubs, volunteering, sports (basketball, football, golf, soccer, tennis, frisbee,
Anyway, what fun to be able to compose. These brilliant talented students are lucky to be able to have fun becoming skilled in this art. The judges and I really enjoyed listening to the entries. At least locally, competitions for kids that include music composition seem to often have no or maybe one entry.
Two phenomenal composition students. Congratulations!!!
Fiona Abney-McPeek, 15, enjoys playing violin with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra and with a chamber trio. She has studied composition with Elliot Cless, Teddy Niedermaier and Tonia Ko and is in her fourth year of participation in the Composition Seminar of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras. Fiona also volunteers as a teaching assistant in the Chicago Math Circles, and she is active on her school's science and math teams. (This year she and a teammate built a musical instrument for one of her Science Olympiad events.)
Fiona's Program Notes for her Brass Quintet Composition titled, "Unstable Equilibrium"
"Unstable Equilibrium" is inspired by the intersection of order and disorder --- the inevitable imperfections in even nature’s most orderly creations, and the hidden order behind what seems like pure chaos. Neither orderly, nor disorderly, this piece finds stability in the fact that it is constantly evolving. It is not confined by form, melody, key or rhythm, yet it never gets out of control, developing organically as a self-contained system. Unstable Equilibrium opens with a stable, yet slightly bouncy motive whose 3-eighth-note idea makes a little rippling wave through the ensemble. This idea of waves, or ripples, disruptions in something otherwise orderly, appears throughout. The waves lengthen in duration and amplitude near the beginning of the piece, and appear at the end in the form of ripples moving up in register through the ensemble and transitioning into an off-kilter version of the original motive.
Alexis Cai is a 7th grader at Foothill Country Day School in Claremont, California. She has been studying classical music since age five. Alexis is a skilled pianist, flutist, a classically trained singer, and an aspiring young composer. She has been composing since age ten, and is currently studying with Mr. Charles Davis at Upland Music School. She has won 2nd place in music composition category in the California State Reflections Arts Program. Two of her solo piano pieces were featured in Claremont Symphony Orchestra’s annual Concert for Young People. She also composes choral music for her school choir to perform in both spring and winter concerts. Alexis has been a flutist with Claremont Youth Symphony Orchestra for three years. She is a pianist and flutist in Chamber Ensemble Program at the prestigious Colburn School in downtown LA. Over the years, Alexis has won multiple prizes in piano, flute, and composition competitions including: Lansum International Music Festival Competition, San Diego Flute Guild Festival Competition, and John Child Walker Music Competition. As a winner of 2018 Claremont Youth Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, Alexis had her orchestral debut in February 2019, performing 1st movement of Mozart Piano Concerto no.23 with Claremont Symphony Orchestra. Recently, Alexis is accepted into Juilliard 2019 Summer Performing Arts “Young Artist Program” in Geneva, Switzerland. She will be joining talented young musicians from around the world, and studying closely with Juilliard Faculty to take her musical artistry to the next level.
Piano Composition by Alexis, "Koi Fish"
Happy composing you two. Thanks for sharing your work with us. We hope to see your work next year again.
My kids have both finally rewarded me for my efforts in the way I would want - With music gifts of their own doing. For Xmas, I got a recording of my son playing his newish ukulele and singing (with girl friend back ups) and for Mother's Day, I got a recording from my daughter playing violin in a trio with her boyfriend on the piano. The best gifts ever!
Practice Tip Cards are Hit with Music Teachers
Definition of Palooza is: "an all-out crazy party; partying at one place with a ton of people like there's no tomorrow."
That's what Violettes by Becky has been so quietly doing. One year ago, I started painting music themed art. People loved it. Even more, they loved when I put titles to the art. It turned into over 50 Greeting Cards , posters and even a coloring book in one year. The cards mostly illustrate music practice tips. But the sets of eight cards expanded as I received requests.
So, currently in addition to getting 8 of the same cards in a set (as in number 1 below), the following sets are available:
1. Whimsical with humorous or serious "PRACTICE TIPS" on the backs. (We take requests).
2. "Seize the Opportunity to Play" (best gift with people playing in interesting places - subtitle on back)
3. Asian collection (A set of 10 cards with instruments from 10 different Asian countries, and description on back)
4. Appalachian Assortment
5. Beer-Guitar (Adult Tips "Have Foam with Your Music") and Banjo Moonshine Designs.
6. Tips for Playing in an Orchestra
7. In Progress - Voice Tips
All cards can be purchased as 11 by 17 or 16 by 20 inch posters at the link below.
If you have any requests or questions, do not hesitate to email RMChaffee1@comcast.net or call 865/850-9220.
We have been attending new kinds of events, and have learned that music teachers and
Grandmothers of young musicians are the biggest clients. Recently I attended the ETSBOA, the East Tennessee School Band and Orchestra Association. Folks love the cards and posters with cats and dogs so much. One gentleman came up to my vendor table and said, I am a dog person. What dog cards do you have?
Now we are creating a "Musical Pet Series". So stay tuned.
Future Violettes by Becky vending events:
Turkey Creek, Knoxville Hallmark store will be holding an event featuring Violettes very soon.
- Feb. 25 Relix Theatre, Wild Women Don't Have the Blues
- March 3 at Sherrill Hills Retirement Home from Noon to 3PM
- April 5 and 6, Nashville, Tennessee Music Teachers Association (TMTA) State Convention
Please visit our Music Teacher Cat - A - Palooza today.
Have Some Fun with our Music Purse - Unality Test
Or, Not too early to look for Gifts for Musicians
Need help deciding gifts for Musicians or for yourself!? Find out what Kind of Guitar Purse (or Violin Purse) you should sport with this all too fun test!
If need Gifts for Musicians this holiday season, take this test for each to help with your purchase decision. Share your Answer on Facebook to get your $10 Off Coupon.
We have a Cool Guitar Purse - Un Blog Series, and have learned that all our music purse accessory owners are Fun People. If you want to stand out when you go out, don't forget your Violettes Guitar Purse or Violin Purse or Piano Purse.
Go ahead - make a Fashion Statement today!
Don't forget that our Music purses also make perfect music gig bags for spare strings, gloves, picks or rosin or fill with concert tickets as a gift! Wonderful Gifts for Musicians!
Cool Music PURSE - UN No. 8, Darlene Boardman Piano Purse, Violin Purse, Uke Purses - Gifts for Musicians
Ms. Boardman is a charming smiley lady, and she's crazy over the Violettes line of Purses.
Being a pianist, violinist, violist, composer, arranger and vocalist during her lifetime, she can't get enough of Violettes Purses. I called her for a phone interview. She says that when she gave one of her Ukulele purses away as a gift, she missed it dearly even though she has another with a different painting. I told her I feel the same way about them, but I am getting over it for the need to earn a living.
We are always excited to see Darlene and her husband, Charlie. We are so lucky that they stop at Violettes whenever they come to town. Darlene grew up in Monterey County, California, but now lives just outside of Charleston, South Carolina. She grew up in a family that naturally played music together, then raised the same kind of family. She says, when she was small, she thought that everyone practiced piano every day. She first sang on the radio at age 4 on a religious program with her older sister.
Darlene continued reminiscing for me, and said she played violin in the Monterey County Symphony. She was hired by the Pacific Grove Simmer School of Music to stage a musical production for baton twirlers. It was so much fun! She not only choreographed the baton twirlers, but wrote, directed and produced the show. Her Mom made costumes and her Dad recorded the musical soundtrack. She chose "Cinderella" because even the youngest beginners had an important role and all levels of ability could be incorporated. So it was fun for all.
She is very proud of a high paying job she had for a while, Directing the "Army Language School" Men's Choir in Monterey.
Darlene claimed 2 of our lovely Ukulele Purses painted by talented artist, Laurel Hooker.
Darlene is fun spirited and artsy. She used to love to make charcoal portraits of people and says she would love to paint her own guitar purse; but now her eyes are failing her to do this kind of thing. She asks me to come visit, but not without my flute. Her husband and daughter were/are also flautists. They moved onto a golf course property, but don't play golf. She says Charlie loves it. He can peek outside at the golfers in the morning to know what weather to dress for. I say, Darlene - tell me more about how cool you are for my blog. She says, "I get cool in the winter, and in the summer I stay inside to remain cool." So there you have it from one cool woman. These Violettes Purses are such fun Gifts for Musicians. Darlene keeps a Violin Purse, a Piano Purse and a Ukulele Purse for herself, and gives the rest for gifts. She is a Coachella Fashion queen!
Sarah Potenza (of NBC the Voice Fame) is a Cool Guitar Purse - Un Too! (Cool Music Purse - UN No.7)
She calls herself, "The Boss"! You know she's cool! And she owns a Violettes Guitar Purse. We are talking about gifts for musicians from Violettes by Becky. But, let's talk about gifts from musicians! Ms. Potenza brings us her sweat from over 7 years of pounding the roads with her band, first as "Sarah and the Tall Boys", and now as a star from NBC's The Voice...
"I’m a songwriter who writes stuff that’s indie, soul, folk, blues…" her bio says. Her new album “My Turn” will be available in the Fall of 2015 and she is currently on tour in a city near you! And Violettes can proudly say, we donated to her Kickstarter Campaign. She has a gift to share with us! Along with her sweet husband Peter Ian.
I had a great chance to ask Ms. Potanza a few interview questions right here in Knoxville at our WDVX Blue Plate Special, but I was quite sick with a sore throat, and I told her so. It didn't faze her - she said no big deal, let's get a photo, "I just won't rub my eyes". She and her husband, Peter Ian, seem to love posing as you can see! Then she promptly used hand disinfectant. (I sure hope she is not sorry that she was near me!)
So, though we didn't get an interview of dear Sarah, we did get her essence of cool!
If you want cool Gifts for Musicians on your list, click this LINK!
Cool Violin Purse - un No. 5 Receives one of Violettes' Gifts for Musicians for Xmas from her Sister
Introducing Emily Rapavi -
Emily has been playing the violin since she was 9 years old. Today, she spends her time Celtic fiddling, playing in a philharmonic orchestra in Washington D.C. and going to orchestra concerts. Her favorite composer is Mozart.
Emily’s style always reflects her love for music. Emily loves wearing her stylish and beautiful Violette! Her rosin, shoulder rest, strings and all she needs for practice and concerts fit in it. She loves her Violettes by Becky Music Purse!
Emily went to JMU where she studied Communication sciences & disorders and Music. A great experience she had in college was playing in the Celtic fiddling group. During the week, a bunch of college students would get together and have exciting fiddling sessions just for fun.
Emily also loves to travel. She has been to all over the U.S., Central America, the Caribbean, and Europe. Her most recent trip was the trip to Italy and Greece with her sister Nicole. They visited the Roman Forum in Rome and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. They rode a boat to Greece and enjoyed exploring Athens. She hopes to travel to Asia one day.
Purchase our handmade Violin Gifts here.
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!
During the CMA Festival, you wish you knew the closest beach to Nashville?!
There is a lot to see and do in Nashville, TN - even if you've missed the CMA Festival. I do everything to avoid loudness and crowds. The feeling in downtown Nashville at the CMA festival is like I imagine that of New Orleans during Mardi Gras. Though it was beautiful out, it was hot and loud with a lot of beer drinking in the streets. Where's the beach?
My recent trip happened to be during the CMA festival, but we found some gems a little bit away from downtown. Even though there were at least seven free stages with music and many more paid concerts to attend, I wandered with a friend into a few new spots. I have visited most of the standards: Top Ten Things to do in Nashville
National Radio Show with ViolettesbyBecky.com!
Becky is very excited to present her gifts for musicians on a National Radio Show. The program will be aired during the week of May 18 on Dr. Carson's "Women in Business" program. The schedule for the program will be posted at: http://www.radioearnetwork.com/ on May 16.
Becky has been in a number of newspapers and on several snippets of television appearances, but this is a full fledged 25 minute appearance on the awesome Dr. Gayle Carson Show. Please be kind - this was my first interview of this kind. It is unedited! My gift is creativity. My weakness is on-the-spot verbal skills - I guarantee that I will improve by leaps and bounds on the next interview!
Dr. Gayle Carson CSP CMC is President of the Carson Research Center. The Center provides management consulting and executive coaching, to senior executives. Dr. Gayle touts herself as "S.O.B." which stand for Spunky Old Broad. She is the Author of "Winning Ways: How To Get To The Top and Stay There," and "How To Be An S.O.B. – A Spunky Old Broad Who Kicks Butt." She gives "boomer" women 13 tips guaranteed to send their life on an upward spiral of happiness and fulfillment.
Violettes Testimonials - for more testimonials, see our Testimonials Page.
- Maggie O'Connor says, "Becky, I absolutely love my (Violettes handmade violin) purse, and I get compliments on it every time I wear it! It is so well made and I love the beading/embroidery details and the use of fabrics. It is a very high quality product. It also has lots of compartments, and I was surprised how much I can fit in that little purse!"
- NBC Voice Star, Sarah Potenza, says she loves her "Peace Power" Guitar Purse (Photo coming).
"My beautiful black and blingy Violette was MUCH admired on stage during the holiday concert season, and I look forward to using it as my "gig purse" for many a concert/gig in the future. A true marriage of textile art and function!"
- Ruth Brons, violist West Orange, New Jersey Owner of Things4Strings
- Mark Rubin, great American Folk Musician, was so thrilled with Violettes, we had to run and get a video camera!
SHOP Here for a Violin Purse or Gig Bag SHOP Here for a Guitar Purse SHOP Here for a Piano Purse
SHOP Here for Handmade Violins/Cellos/Basses or Violin Gifts
Introducing the Flute Purse
If you are looking for flute music, this is not the place. Check Fluteworld.com. However if you are looking for an extravagant gift for a flautist, or avid flute fan, or a proud Mother of a flute player - you've found it!!
This hand made work of art could be a show piece in your music room or a whimsical flute gift. It is elegant for wearing to the symphony, but so practical it can be used as an every day purse!!
Let me tell you a little bit about it, and why it does cost more than flute music:
1. The outside of the purse is artsy including trill keys and a low B key. The left hand pinky key is an ax. Did you know that musical instruments are sometimes call an ax? I will tell you where this term comes from below.
2. The purse was made to be large enough in diameter to hold credit cards... But if you can't live without your cell phone, there is a back pocket that can be attached in the back, or left off.
3. There are rubber feet at the bottom so you can set it down with out it rolling away.
1. The inside has a wallet for credit cards and money. It is attached with a ribbon, so that it can't fall out or be lost.
2. There is also a key hook attached inside with a ribbon.
3. There is plenty of room for a brush and pencils inside.
4. Last of all, if you really need to carry flute music, you can make copies and roll it up to take it with you in the flute purse.
1. The flute purse can probably fit a piccolo inside if you put a foam padding above and below the piccolo. The case will also fit a flute. For an extra $50, we will put appropriate padding and a second safety closure to make it a flute case.
2. The purse base is PVC Pipe rather than the usual cardboard that purses are constructed from. So it can double as a self defense tool.
Why the Cost?
Materials alone are $75. And it takes several days to make. It is a hand made work of art, folks.
What's Up with the Ax?
The ax makes the Flute Purse even more of a conversation piece. The is a slang term ax is most often used when someone talks about going to practice there instrument. My research shows this is where the term came from-
Back, perhaps in the 1940's, saxophones were to loud to practice in the small houses. So, the musicians would go practice in the woodshed. The term "Shedding" evolved from "Woodshedding" to mean practicing. Soon it follows with reason that one brings an ax to the woodshed, so the term ax evolved during the jazz music era. The term caught on with all instruments, and is still used today.
Sooo, when you are ready to learn your flute music, I hope you don't forget your ax!
Go to Violettes Homepage HERE
Go to Flute Purse Page: HERE
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