Music Training Prepares Cool Piano Purse -un 40
Piano player and music community leader, Ms. Vicki Carr, purchased a number of Violettes by Becky Grand Piano Purses as gifts. In our interview, she tells how her music background influenced her career. In "retirement", she has recently written a children's book called " Lydia Becomes a Flower Girl". It takes the reader through the steps of wedding prep with some family dynamics to add a little crisis. The book is currently being illustrated. It is the first of a two-book deal with the publisher.
Grand Piano Purse for Gifts
1. Violettes: Are you originally from Texas? How many kids do you have and do they live in Texas also?
Ms. Carr: I am a Texan by birth AND by choice. Having spent career time in New York and Los Angeles, I am very happy in East Texas, which is more Southern in its way of life than West Texas, where I grew up. I have one son who lives in Arkansas, just 50 blocks from us (Texarkana straddles the Texas/Arkansas border), and two step-daughters who are west coast dwellers.
2. Violettes: How did you become involved in music growing up? What kind of lessons and teaching methods did you have? What kind of lessons did you give your kids? Did you teach them yourself?
Ms. Carr: Growing up in Abilene, TX, I had the advantage of training through the music prep program at McMurry University, just a few blocks from our house. Students majoring in music ed taught me and developed my interest in music. The earliest method we used was from Shawnee Press: the Fred Waring piano series, which my parents bought in a complete kit. Because of that training, I demonstrated an unusual sight-reading ability as a youngster, so I was granted opportunities to play in public at church and as church and school choir accompanist. By the time I got to college at Hardin-Simmons University, it was obvious that music would be my path.
My son is a gifted musician, learning mostly by influence from me, rather than lessons. Ironically, he has decided to major in elementary education with a music emphasis, and has recently begun weekly lessons with me.
3. Violettes: You used to have a job in public relations? Tell us about it.
Ms. Carr: My music training opened a number of doors for me, career-wise, leading me into show management, event production, promotion and publicity. My understanding of musicians and performers allowed me to work with major theme parks, specialty shows, and PR agencies, over the years while in Dallas and Los Angeles.
4. Violettes: In Texas the music programs for schools are supposed to be very strong
Pianist Vicki Carr
there. Do you know the details of how they became so strong? Is it just that someone decided they would fund them or?
Ms. Carr: The Texas education system does promote music excellence. The University of Texas Interscholastic League competitions are keen - partly because of the size of the state and number of participants that must be culled to the all-state level. Like Tennessee, Texas is known for its professional musicians, so our education system, by and large, presents opportunities for training and exposure to keep that image alive. I wish I could say it is as important as football, but you know better than that!
5. Violettes: You were on the MTNA Board or something similar? How did you become involved in that? Are you still involved?
Ms. Carr: I serve as president of the Wednesday Music Club, the oldest service organization in our city. I know it sounds like little old ladies in white gloves, but it is far from it. Our club exists to encourage, support and expose musical talent in our area. We are affiliated with the Arkansas Federation of Music Clubs (for which I serve as vice president), and the National Federation of Music Clubs (for which I serve as a scholarship chair). At each and every level there are many scholarships awarded for a wide variety of talents.
6. Violettes: Did you say your teaching studio is in a piano gallery?
Ms. Carr: I maintain a private studio within the Texarkana Academy of Musical Arts. We are located in Central Mall, which gives our parents plenty of parking and plenty of ways to spend the length of their student's lesson time. There are eight teachers at TAMA, and we offer lessons in strings, piano, voice, brass,reeds and percussion. We were selling pianos, but we just really needed the floor space for recitals and large group rehearsals, so that is no longer part of what we offer. Several times a year we do a faculty showcase, as several of our teachers are solo performers in addition to being excellent teachers.
Ms. Carr shares valuable music training with her son.