Music Education

  • Music Teacher Gifts and Violettes by Becky announce Youth Music Composition Tie Winners 2019

    We are proud to present our Youth Music Composition Competition students.

    Remember to get your spring Music Teacher Gifts from

    Presenting 1st Place Tie Winners:

    Richard Ren, 15, with Piano entry from New York

    Music gifts Richard Ren, Piano Composer, 1st Place winner

    Richard loves to compose music because it allows him to express himself and be creative. He has been composing since he was nine years old, and since then, he has composed multiple solo, chamber, and orchestra pieces and has won the Music Teachers National Association award, a New York State School Music Association honorable mention, and 3rd place in the 2019 Golden Key International Piano Composition Competition. His pieces have been played by his school’s orchestra, in local music festivals, in a Long Island Composer’s Alliance concert, and will also be played at the Ehrbar Hall of Vienna during the summer of 2019. He loves to play piano and guitar in his free time and also has an interest in science, technology, politics, and animation.

    About his work, he writes,

    "Usually, my composition process begins when I sit at the piano and start having fun improvising various ideas, melodies, and harmonies. I was able to combine a lot of the ideas that I improvised into one beautiful, flowing piece. The various ideas and motifs in the song seemed to tell stories of various adventures and experiences. These adventures, connected together with legato phrases in a smooth, romantic, soft style, seemed to tell a long, winding story about a river’s journey, so I called it “The River’s Memoir.

    "The River's Memoir" by Richard Wren

    Music Teacher Gifts can include Music from our sponsors, Performers Music, and Sheet Music Plus or bags, scarves, card sets, prints from or


    Presenting 1st Place Winner: Emily Singleton, 16, String Quartet from Florida

    music teacher gifts Emily Emily Singleton Composer ,1st Place Winner

    Emily Singleton is a composer and violist from Gainseville, Florida. In 2016 she made her debut as a composer with the premiere of a trio for violin, viola, and piano, at University of Florida. Since then she has had her work featured by Interlochen Center for the Arts’ World Youth Wind Symphony and Advanced String Quartet Program, Gainesville Civic Chorus, Alachua County Youth Orchestra (ACYO), MATA, and Face the Music. She is currently principal violist in the ACYO and was selected as a member of the 2018 National Association for Music Educators All-National Honors Ensemble.

    Singleton has been awarded titles from National Federation of Music Clubs, Florida Federation of Music Clubs, Florida State Music Teachers Association (FSMTA), Sacred Music Florida, Technology In Music Education Foundation, Music Teachers National Association, and MATA. Among these titles includes winner of the FSMTA's 2018 Intermediate Strings Concerto Competition. Her primary instructors include Paul Richards, Stephen Fine, Jorge Peña, and Benjamin Reiter.

    Singleton is actively involved within her community presenting at local events, health care facilities, retirement homes, hotels, and schools. These efforts have been awarded by organizations such as the FSMTA, which presented their community service award for 9th graders to her in spring of 2018. She aspires to make a career in teaching, performing, and composing, and hopes to encourage audiences to appreciate and supprt living artists.

    Her program notes for her composition:

    Program Notes
    This work as a whole focuses on specific colors as seen in an
    urban environment, with natural and artificial embodiment of
    color around every corner. Commissioned by MATA,
    premiered by Face The Music at MATA Jr. Festival 2018.
    I. Prussian Blue
    Prussian Blue incorporates tremolo shimmers, sappy glissandi,
    and somewhat blues-style chromaticism to portray the imagery
    of blue within the context of everyday encounters: puddles on
    sidewalks, ice hanging off roofs, paint on buildings, the collage
    of fabric on busy streets, and the sky above.
    II. Carmine Red
    Carmine Red is a fast, lively miniature that captures the character of
    the color red through syncopation, agitated melodies, and breathless
    textures. Red has been historically associated with sacrifice, anger,
    love, danger, and courage, coming together to form a symbol of
    passion. This reflects the dedication of city-dwellers to their work,
    the busy flow of traffic, and urban night-life.
    III. Icterine Yellow
    The color yellow may represent optimism and amusement, betrayal,
    duplicity, and jealousy, or joy, virtue, and nobility. Due to the many
    interpretations of this color's character, Icterine Yellow takes on a
    wandering nature, drifting through the city's many alleyways, dabbling
    in moments of laughter, pranks, and confusion, lost in the city, as it
    seeks to find its place of rest in a role of honor.
    IV. Ochre Orange
    Orange is a color of oddity, celebration, and folly. This final
    movement, Ochre Orange, is a playful miniature that reflects the
    variety of cultures and holidays celebrated in a large urban
    environment and peculiar characteristics that may be imagined in
    the color orange. The mischievous and careless nature captures the
    joy found in this combining of traditions, celebrating the acceptance
    of diversity and providing an exciting close to the work.

    "4 Urban Miniatures" by Emily SingletonKeep Tuned for the next blog.We will present more winners sponsored by our Music Teachers Gifts web site.






  • 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 Teacher Cat - A - Palooza

    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."

    Music Teacher, cat humor Practice Tip: Just Do It                    This is our most popular card.

    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

    Link to cards on web site.

    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 or call 865/850-9220.

    We have been attending new kinds of events, and have learned that music teachers and

    Music Teacher, Cat Practice Tip: Mindful Repetition is more effective than mindless repetition. Leave a small space between repeated phrases. Set your intention before you play.        This tip is one of my favorites, submitted by a music teacher.


    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.

    Gift ideas for music lovers

  • Kiwanis Helping Children - Not just any Business Club

    Or What Does a Guitar Purse Have to do with Kiwanis?

    My Kiwanis Business Club has helped me use my Guitar Purse to raise money for local charities. In addition, they have generously donated to my "pay it forward" business, Violettes by Becky, work. Kiwanis is an International Business Club with a mission to help children, in particular children's education. This is not a story about the facts and figures of Kiwanis, as you can google that. It is about my own local group.

    We meet once a month for lunch on the third Tuesday at Noon at The Egg and I in Bearden, and

    Guitar Purse, Kiwanis, Business Club Volunteering to serve at "Reach Them to Teach Them" event.

    have an officer's meeting once a month (which includes all the members that want to come). The restaurant meeting includes a speaker from a local children's education or charity group. They usually present to us because they would like a monetary donation, hands on help or both. Members of other local Kiwanis Clubs often join us at the luncheons.

    Kiwanis, Business Club, Guitar PUrse Target Golf Fundraiser for Joy of Music

    Kiwanis is a parent group to the high school Key Club. We are specifically affiliated with Bearden High. We make donations when they are needing funds, and pitch in with our volunteering efforts when needed. My Kiwanis group enjoys working together at events such as Reach Them to Teach Them (Inspiration for school teachers), Fantasy of Trees (Children's Hospital), the Llama Races (funds for Southeast Llama Rescue and an elementary school in La Guardia, Bolivia), Homework assistance, backpack and stocking stuffing activities.

    In order to have money to donate, we mainly park cars at the UT football games, but also sell a few Xmas wreaths.

    For my Violettes by Becky business charity, music education, I organized a fundraiser for the Joy of Music School, and Kiwanis showed up with elbow grease! it was a golf event at Target Golf in Karns.

    In addition, Kiwanis helped me set up a stand at our football parking, letting passers by pay $1 to hit golf balls into a baritone

    Guitar Purse, Business Club Kiwanis Hitting Golf Balls for funds during UT Football tailgating.

    bell, which enabled us to donate over $200 to the Joy of Music School. (I continue with the bell game when I attend Guitar Purse vending events to raise money for the Violettes youth music competition. I hang the bell from my stand for a ball toss. People  of all ages love the challenge).

    I worked on a fundraiser for the Tuesday Morning Club, who gives music scholarships to high school music students. Kiwanis made a generous donation to the effort.

    So if you would like to have fun working with a business club for local children's charities, attend one of our meetings. Contact me that you would like to join us for a lunch meeting, and Kiwanis will buy your lunch. Send a note to Becky Chaffee at Please note that we are now accepting corporate memberships, where your business can send different representatives to meetings and volunteer activities.



  • Annie Moses Band gives Back to Music Education

    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! 

    Music Education Annie Moses Band Photo taken from their web site at

    Gifts for Musicians

  • Music Education at Work - Our Songwriting Contests for Kids

    Songwriting Contests for Kids shows Music Education in Action

     More Bios and songs from Impressive Violettes Youth Competition Children from 2015. Violettes by Becky is a Gifts for Musicians company, giving back to youth music education.

    Entering a songwriting contest for kids, gives a child a goal, then an accomplishment to be proud of. The process is so much fun, it is hard to realize that they are getting a music education. Actually, I tried writing several songs myself last year. I have great fun with the words, but turned it over to a professional with the music. I did try first though! So I know how really really hard this is. Just playing with the words in song, I learned a lot about what might and might not fit easily in song form. However, I couldn't produce any version to satisfy myself.

    Note the ages and years quoted are from last year when they entered.

    Songwriter Contest, Music Education Ms. Campbell         Songwriter Contest

    Aelish Rose Campbell, age 10 from Texas with "Happy Me"

    Aelish has been singing and writing her own songs for years. She studies piano and songwriting with Julie Bonk in Dallas, Texas. Her other interests include cello, horses, wild cats, playing with her friends, drawing, and travel. She is homeschooled.

    Happy Me! (This and That)

     I'm alright, I got this and that.
    I'm alright, I got my shoes tied...
    I got my smile ready to go,
    I got this and that,
    in my head for so long.
    Just Let It Glow,
    Let it flow,
    Let it grow.
    I'm alright, I got this and that,
    I'm alright.
    Got my shoes tied,
    got my smile ready to go
    I got..this and that,
    in my head for so long
    just let it Glow!
    just let it flow,
    just let it grow,
    I'm  alright, I got this and that
    I'm alright.
    I watch the sunset
    as I rise up, from the depths
    I got this and that,
    In my head for so long...
  • Music Education Empowers Creative Kids

    Gifts for Musicians

    What has Music Education Done for You?

     More Bios of Impressive Violettes Competition Children from 2015

    Violettes by Becky is a Gifts for Musicians Company, giving back to youth music education.

    Note the ages and years quoted are from last year when they entered.
    Music Education Music Education Nathanael Fleming

    Nathanael Fleming, age 14 from Pennsylvania plays piano, and started composing 3 years ago. He started working with a little waltz, and is currently working on a piano concerto. Aided by listening to works of great composers and studying from several wonderful piano teachers, he has experimented with different music styles, including classical, jazz, religious and baroque. Nathanael’s works include sonatinas, symphonies, rags, hymns, minuets, string quartets and scherzos. He has won numerous awards for his compositions. He entered a sonatina called “Little Dance” in the Violettes Competition. Nathanael says, “I am delighted to serve the Lord Jesus Christ with my talent of composing.”

    The “Little Dance” sonatina (his competition piece) was composed around February of 2014, though the fourth movement was composed much earlier.

    Here is a sample movement from his composition.  

    Continue reading

  • Music Composition Competition by

    Music Composition Competition for Youth held by

    Notable Judges Validate Children's Music Competition Entries in Addition to the 1st Annual Competition Itself

    Our two volunteer judges both have extensive experience working with children in their music endeavors. Though they both come from classical beginnings, they currently represent very different musical arenas, and therefore have different judging perspectives. An enormous thank you to these judges who took great care in commenting to each student.

    Judge Number 1: Grammy Award winning Maestro Lucas Richman is Music Director and Conductor of both the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra (KSO) and the BSO in Maine. Read further about him at

    Judge Number 2:  American Composer, Writer and Trumpeter Paul Brody is based in Berlin. He appeared in an April 2014 German Time Magazine for his latest album The Rose Auslander Project with his band, Sadawi, and has numerous recordings by the Enja and Tzadik Record Labels. He has written and produced programs for NPR and WDR and SWR in Germany, as well as hosted his own radio program in Berlin. He has toured the world extensively as a jazz and klezmer musician.

    So you want to know the winners??? ViolettesbyBecky sorted thru the judges comments to decide the final placement decision and honorable mentions.  Keeping in mind that I didn't want winners to all be the same instrument (there were numerous pianist entries), it was a tough call. Choosing placement between creativity and technicalities was not easy. However, the 1st place $100 prize winner was unanimous. I want to thank and encourage each and every child for their awesome efforts. A Certificate and judges comments will be forwarded to each of the students. 1st Annual Youth Composition Competition Winners:

    1st Place: $100 David Ghesser for Piano Composition

    2nd Place: Helena Abney-McPeek for String Quartet

    3rd Place Tie: Leon Yu and Griffin Koelbel for Piano Compositions

    4rth Place: Juliana Lynch for her Beautiful Voice and Song with Piano

    Honorable Mention: Jill Collis for her fiddle tune and Ben Noah Shifrel for Piano Composition and Becky’s pick for presentation, Christopher Moore


     Note to students and parents - I notice the judges leaned to the older children for awards. Please spread the word of music-themed gifts so that this competition can grow and afford to have more prizes for age groups and genres. We are continually updating our Personalized Presents section under "Music Gifts and Cool Crafts".

    Check back to our blog in the future. We will feature music entries and bios  of these wonderful children in future blogs. Also, there will be press announcements in your local papers. Thanks for your support.

    Violettes supports Music for Children causes and is currently working on a fundraiser for the Knoxville nonprofit Joy of Music School who provides music lessons and instruments to needy children.


    Becky Chaffee


    Giving Back to Children’s Music Causes

    For Growth in Brain Development, Spirit and Health

    Remember to like us on facebook! And sign up for our Newsletter, either on facebook or on our website to receive news of future Competitions.

    Becky's Music Competition

    "I am inspired by my awesome Composition Competition Students!"

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