First, we want to thank everyone for sticking with us during the COVID-19 pandemic! It has been and continues to be a difficult time for everyone. All in all–based on feedback from our students and instructors–our lessons on Zoom have been quite successful and they’re now a permanent part of our business model. However, Zoom lessons don’t work perfectly for all students, and now that Pennsylvania has moved into the Green Phase, we’ve made a plan to resume in-person lessons safely and at a limited capacity starting July 1st.
It is hard to find the words to express our sorrow and outrage at the continued racism that is being televised nationally and witnessed in many of our communities around Pittsburgh. We at Sunburst are standing together for Justice. From our admin team to all of our instructors, our intention at this moment is to listen to the voices of our students of color, and we are currently educating ourselves on how we can affect positive change.
I would also like to remind all of our students and families that music can be a great healing agent, and a source of unification, which is what the nation needs right now.
It’s that time of year again! We’re excited to announce our 2020 Spring Break and Summer Camp Lineup! At Sunburst, our camps are all about learning new and fun aspects of music-making, working together on multimedia projects, and performing in front of a live audience. This year our campers will create an EDM-inspired playlist of their own beats and loops, put together a 90’s rock show for the ages, write and perform a funk-rock opera, and record an album of all-original music in our recording studio.
Sign up before March 1st and get $50 off! We have multi-camp and referral discounts available, and financial aid as needed. Read about our camps and sign up here, and let our admin team know if you have any questions.
Our teacher of the month for February is our amazing voice teacher Sam!
What kind of music do you like to play?
I always sang really classical stuff in college, and that's still my go-to, but lately, I've enjoyed playing guitar and singing some more contemporary stuff, and seeing how my "classical" voice can be used in a popular music context.
How did you get into music?
I always loved singing, and when I was 13 I started taking voice lessons and never stopped. I went into college undecided about what I wanted to do, and I ended up majoring in music because it was the one thing I always came back to.
What's your favorite thing about being a teacher?
I love helping people discover their own potential. I know first hand how powerful it feels to have your voice to something you didn't know you were capable of, or to feel pride in something you've been working on, and as a teacher, I get to guide students through that experience and it's awesome.
Any advice for aspiring musicians out there?
When it comes to voice, there's a misconception that you need to have some kind of innate talent to be a singer or a voice student. Plenty of people, of all ages, start piano or guitar without knowing anything beforehand, and voice is the same way. Anyone can learn to sing, and it takes just as much practice and hard work as any other instrument to be good at it.
Sunburst is starting a songwriter video series where we’ll be featuring students of all ages working on their own original music. It’s a great opportunity for any of our students to highlight what they’re working on, and a great milestone to work towards. We'll be announcing our first shoot in the next month.
We are working on some new options for supplemental programs geared towards our adult students, and we would love to get some of your ideas! We’ll be hosting a focus group for our adult students on Saturday, January 25th from 3-5pm, and would like to invite any adult student to come and share their ideas.
Please RSVP by emailing, calling, or stopping in at the desk, and let us know if you have any questions.
The Sunburst House Band is an exciting opportunity for our most dedicated students to really get serious about playing and performing. Each year we hold an audition open to any students ages 10-17 to try out for voice, guitar, keyboards, bass or drums. Afterward our panel of judges will select the most advanced students for each instrument and draft a 6-8 person group for the 2020 Season.
The House Band meets once per week on Sunday evenings for rehearsals and performs upwards of 20 times per year at a variety of shows and events all over Pittsburgh. The band also records regularly and works on original material.