Thursday, May 24

Music, friends and photographs.

Every Wednesday eve we head over to Ash and Em's house for lil't's music lessons. It is a fabulous affair that usually includes cups of tea, biscuits, lots of chats and a lot of music. I met Ash and Em through my mum, who does play readings with them, and I was super excited when they started their own wee music school. I had been looking for teachers that were self employed as I find it irksome that many teachers don't get paid their full dues or have appropriate autonomy when teaching for a school or institution. Initially lil't was just doing piano with Ash, but in the last few weeks has begun singing lessons with Em. Next term guitar and music theory will be added to her classes.

Cups of tea and biscuits form an important part of our time together. We share cooking tips and ideas and ecological awareness and a love of locally made goods!

 un-edited pic by Big T of lil't drinking tea.
Ash and Em have incredible and varied backgrounds in music, theatre, film and television.

 Ash is currently performing in a show where he breaks into renditions of Flight of the Valkyries on piano accordion, an instrument he has only learnt to play in the past few weeks. He has written curriculum for music teaching - theory I think, and is a most interesting and excellent songwriter, with an album or two under his belt. He also is quite the actor, though apparently untrained. Ash likes to teach a broad curriculum to lil't , which includes the use of percussion, improvisation, reading, mathematics and even good ole' fashioned scales.

Em has a background in musical theatre, film and television. She studied at NASDA and WAAPA. Em has been in some big shows, like Guys and Dolls and Jekyll and Hyde and bazillion films and adverts. She teaches singing and drama and has had several of her current students accepted into a BIG musical! Awesome! Em is an animated and exciting teacher with an immense understanding of the human body and the mechanics of singing along with being a kick arse actor and singer and is amazing with children, she should make some - with Ash preferably.

They both star in the excellent very short promotional film The Melbourne Appreciation Society.  They are both from New Zealand. Their music school Ash & Em's Home Studio is going from strength to strength as is lil't's progress! They are wonderful passionate teachers and our lovely friends.

Singing with Em

An instant rapport. Em is infinitely likeable and a total sweetheart.

In both Ash and Em's classes there is a lot of laughter. Music is such a joyous experience who wouldn't want their kid to experience that!
Em firmly believes that if she gestures emphatically enough the right sounds will come out. This is the big finale. It actually worked!

 Tallulah has had an affinity for music from a very young age, it may have something to do with me blaring Aladdin Sane and the likes in the car to cover up her crying as a baby! Grandma Mo bought her a weighted keyboard for her 3rd birthday and she has been able to jam it out with muso's since she was four. She has a great ear for pitch and is a very passionate and sincere songwriter! Lil t is by no means a prodigy, but I do think she will be a fine musician/singer/songwriter given half a chance and given her current dedication and love of music. It is a passion that I believe every child/person is entitled to enjoy and I have shared it with gusto. She is yet to appreciate Kate Bush the way I do but she is a firm fan of 'Daddy' Bowie.

 Are there any cultures on this planet without music or song?

  Piano with Ash

The vibe is very different with each of her teachers. Ash has a dry cheeky wit. Its all very business like when these two pals get together!

Ash has incredible patience, never condescending, and extremely aware of lil't's ability to understand concepts. So Rad Eh!

Lil't has made huge leaps since beginning lessons with Ash and Em, I am so proud of her and I think they are too!
So I got me a camera. A Canon Eos30D. I am thrilled to bits, and this is my first piece using it. Some of the pictures are kinda fuzzy, but they show the energy of the classes. I am looking forward to learning more about photography. Its something I enjoyed a great deal at Tech and Tafe and High school. My aim is to take fewer fuzzy shots and be able to concisely document my world in picture form. It's so much faster than painting!

For more info on Ash and Em follow these links Ash's Music Blog and Em's Acting & Singing blog.