kikagaku moyoErnie’s Pick of the Month

Kikagaku Moyo - Masana Temples

Hailing from Tokyo, Kikagaku Moyo doesn’t take cues from past psych-rock tropes like heavy guitars, reverb-drenched vocals or thundering drums. Instead, employ an impressive array of sounds that feels like a new chapter for international music. “Masana Temples” is their 4th full length LP and has garnered them a significant amount of recognition stateside. Throughout the record, Kikagaku Moyo weaves through Thai-funk grooves, minimalist bass layers, and catchy hooks that invite the listener to interpret the lyrics to fit the mood of the song. “Dripping Sun” is a great example of all of the different territory they can cover in one song while still remaining cohesive and listenable. If you like what you hear on “Masana Temples”, check out “House In The Tall Grass” and take a trip to Baltimore on November 14th to see them on their fall US tour.


TL;DR: Japanese psych band that everyone can listen to.


Key tracks: Dripping Sun, Amayadori, Gatherings

https://www.kikagakumoyo.com/

SHUCSince 2010, the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition has honored the people and places that make Squirrel Hill a great place to live, work and do business. The Squirrel Hill Treasure Dinner has become an annual celebration and fundraiser for SHUC. Each year they recognize and congratulate individuals, businesses, and organizations that are integral parts to the community. We’re happy to announce that Sunburst is one of this year’s Treasures! The Dinner will take place on Wednesday, October 30th. You can learn more about this special event and the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition at https://shuc.org

FinOur October Teacher of the Month is guitar and music production instructor Fin! 

What kind of music do you like to play?

When I play guitar, jazz. I like learning old solos and trying to understand how my favorite guitarists thought about and approached their music. On the computer I like to compose hip-hop beats from old samples. I get a big kick out of finding music you wouldn't expect in a hip-hop/electronic song and turning it into something catchy and fun to listen to.

How did you get into music?

I started playing guitar when I was 10 years old and shortly thereafter got involved in an after school music program that focused on playing R&B and Jazz. The teachers there really got me hooked.

What's your favorite thing about being a teacher?

I really enjoy finding out what students are into. Not just what music they listen to but what T.V. shows they've been watching or video games they're playing. It helps me get a clearer picture of what and even how they want to learn.

Any advice for aspiring musicians out there?

Think long-term! No one gets good at something overnight!

Check out these hilarious music videos from this past summer’s Camp Studio! TacoVille? Don’t mind if we do!

 

IMG 0228Annina is our September teacher of the month! 

How did you get into music?

I always had access to music when I was a kid - my dad had several guitars and a solid record collection of classic rock, Italian folk, and Polka. It was sort of a tradition to put on a record or the radio while we cooked on Sundays. Lots of Tarantella and “when the moon hits your eye like a big (you know it)”. Learning an instrument was never a question and my parents were very supportive of me exploring my interests. I went from playing the violin, to the trumpet, to getting braces and quitting trumpet, to finally playing drum set and guitar.

What kind of music do you like to play?

Soul and R&B through and through–particularly that of the 80’s! My songwriting is inspired by current artists whose sound is reminiscent of that era like Emily King and Regine Chassagne.

What's your favorite thing about being a teacher?

Teaching is a whole lotta fun. Part of it is getting to know lots of different people and learning about their interests. Part of it is helping them explore the thing that makes them happy. It’s sort of a covert trade. I’m always learning something new about music, teaching, my students, and about myself.

Any advice for aspiring musicians out there?

I lean toward self preservation in my practice. Though I’m guilty of leaning in that direction too much sometimes, I think there’s something to it. In order for me to practice drum set or write a song, I need to be intrinsically motivated–it needs to feel fun. I spent a lot time in college feeling stressed out about the quality and accuracy of my playing to the point that it didn’t feel enjoyable anymore. So yes practice, and work toward your goals, but also take breaks and shift from your routine! Have fun!

Check out these tracks from two of our young music production students who go by Smiley_Face and Chillplay respectively:


We post these thing periodically over on our YouTube page, subscribe for updates!

Jordan MainGuitar, Piano, Music Production and Explore instructor Jordan is our Teacher of the Month for August! Here's a Q and A with Jordan:

What kind of music do you like to play?

"I would say my absolute favorite stuff to play is anything with a either a folksy or jazzy feel on acoustic guitar. I have a lot of fun mixing genres and playing around with lyrics."

How did you get into music?

"I started guitar lessons when I started middle school. I remember being really frustrated by how tough guitar was starting out, but I kept at it, fell in love with playing and performing, and here I am, enjoying it more than ever 13 years later!"

What's your favorite thing about being a teacher?

"I enjoy bouncing ideas around with my students. Everyone has different tastes and goals in music, and it's always a lot of fun to try something new or help a student find their own unique way to cover song."

Any advice for aspiring musicians out there?

"Never stop learning and keep pushing yourself. Sometimes music can be as difficult of a job as anything else out there. Sometimes it can feel like you aren't getting anywhere. Those are the times where you need to work your hardest, and each time, you'll be amazed at what you can accomplish."

Camp Studio 2019 is in the books! 

All of our campers did such an amazing job with their songwriting, performing, engineering and producing. Check out the finished album below: 

 

Our illustrious pop stars have done it again! Check out the performance from this year's Night at the Pop-Opera camp:

What kind of music do you like to play?

I love to play and sing jazz, pop, neo-soul, and R&B. Anything that has a groove has my heart. But if I could pull it off, which I cannot, I’d strictly only perform songs from the album “Miss E...So Addictive” by Missy Elliott. It is the best female hip-hop/r&b album to date—endless bops.

How did you get into music?

My mother was a classically trained guitarist and vocalist, and my dad used to play accordion in a Polka Band. Neither pursued music professionally, but they made sure all six of their kids had some sort of musical background. I started piano lessons and joined choirs when I was in the first grade. Once I was introduced, I instantly fell in love with music, to say the least.

What's your favorite thing about being a teacher?

I love building relationships with my students and helping them reach their musical goals. Kids are amazing! But probably my favorite thing is helping my high school students perform outside of Sunburst events. Seeing them succeed on a professional level is extraordinarily gratifying.

Any advice for aspiring musicians out there?

If you do not know how to fail, you will not succeed. The road to success is through practice, performance, and perseverance. Someone will always be better than you, so it is how you utilize and combine your own personal gifts to reach that crystallized vision. The best advice ever given to me was from my late mentor Geri Allen:

“This music journey is long range.

Some downs but mostly ups.

Longevity is the true measure of success. Never give up."

 

Check out Chloe's band Hunnycomb!

https://www.instagram.com/hunnycombmusic/