I am SO excited for today’s giveaway! Many of you have been blessed by the beautiful piano music of my son, Joel. He has released four albums and has performed his wonderful music at our conferences every year. For many years, so many of you have written me requesting that Joel release a book of his sheet music for you and your children to learn and perform. I am thrilled to announce that Joel has just released his first book of sheet music! It is the full collection of sheet music from his second album, “A Thousand Dreams in One Life”. We will be giving away three of Joel’s new PDF printable books of sheet music (PURCHASE BY CLICKING HERE), and three of Joel’s mp3 albums (PURCHASE BY CLICKING HERE), exciting original piano instrumental recordings. Before that, however, I asked Joel to share about his music and this new project:
Joel, you have been writing and producing your lovely piano albums for many years now. What made you decide to produce this sheet music?
Since I came out with my first album in 2009, “The Night As Bright As Day”, I have been so blessed to share my piano compositions with so many people. I have often had moms come up and tell me that my music plays a vital part in their day-to-day world. Many moms use my music as background accompaniment to homeschooling and reading, others have shared that they use it to relax in the midst of busyness. Many people have shared with me how they use it to help their little ones go to sleep at night!
I have always felt grateful that my music has blessed so many families in those ways and others, and I have wanted to find a way to make that experience even more collaborative. I know so many families out there are sending their kiddos to piano lessons, and I have been approached countless times by people asking me to release the sheet music for my albums. The timing has finally worked out for me to prepare this music, and I am excited that many other people will now be able to be even more immersed in my compositions!
What place did music play in your own education as a child?
I think I was probably singing before I was speaking! Music was always integral to our world at home. From a very young age, we had music constantly as a backdrop to our daily lives; listening in wonder to Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” concerto is one of my earliest distinct memories. We listened to background music while homeschooling in the morning. We danced to fun upbeat music in the afternoon (probably to help get our energy out!). We had classical music at dinnertime. And we had soft, comforting music as a backdrop when we went to bed at night. That immersion in the world of great music, even before playing an instrument or understanding music theory, created a love deep in my heart for music.
Because of moving many times, I was never fully classically-trained in piano, my main instrument. However, because we had so much music in our house, and because we were encouraged to sing often and perform music, I developed a fantastic ear for listening and repeating. I learned to hear something and then sit down at the piano and repeat it. Having music as such a constant, vital rhythm of our daily lives was one of the finest gifts I could have asked for as preparation for becoming a composer.
Listen to one of Joel's beautiful songs off of his second album below!
For the past few years, you have been composing and orchestrating music. What does that mean?
Being a composer simply means that I write music. A composer can write music of almost any genre—and oftentimes when I work for other people I am asked to write in wildly differing styles! Composers learn and grow the most by emulating other great composers—Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms, Bach—I often study their writing to learn how to write my own. As a composer, I write for many different reasons. Sometimes I am writing for myself, which means that I have a theme that is important to me and I work on it as a personal project that I hope will eventually get performed. More often, I am asked to collaborate with others. My main work in the past couple of years has been as a composer for film. When I am asked to work on a film, I collaborate with the director and producers of the film to write a “score”—the entire music for a film, which people often hear when they listen to a movie soundtrack—which is synchronized with the film for dramatic effect. When I do that kind of work, I am deferring my opinions so that I can help support the vision of the film. Sometimes, the best kind of film music is the music that we don’t notice, but it evokes deep emotional responses in us in relation to a movie.
When I work as an “orchestrator”, that means I am assisting another composer. My job as an orchestrator is to help their music sound bigger, richer, and to help the music be more effective for the purpose to which it is intended. Instead of writing music, I am “enhancing” the music—adding instruments, enriching the harmony—I help construct the walls and roof for the frame of a musical house.
(Above: Joel conducts for a recording session, in Tijuana, Mexico)
What suggestions do you have for parents to encourage a love of music in the home?
Immersion, immersion, immersion. There is no replacement for having music as an important daily rhythm. Your children must learn to love music before they can want to perform music or learn an instrument. I would suggest starting with the best classical composers—Beethoven, Bach, Schubert, Mozart, Haydn, Brahms, Chopin—there are countless others I could mention but that’s a great start. If you have music of your own that you love, whether popular music, worship music, or anything else, your children will learn to love music because they see you loving it first!
Once your children have that love for music, then they will be more prepared to start learning the difficult task of performing music on an instrument. Learning an instrument is a challenging, long-term journey for anyone, and if your kids already love music without even trying, it will make it easier for them to learn an instrument when they do have to “try”.
Kids are imitators in the best way. They learn by copying the adults they respect in their lives, especially their parents. If they see you loving music and reveling in it, they will learn to do the same! The best advice I can give is to show your children the importance and beauty of music by example.
As mentioned before, we are giving away three of Joel’s new PDF books of sheet music and three of his mp3 albums. Make sure to enter right away, as this Raffle Copter will only last 24 hours!
If you haven’t already, go right away to “Like” Joel’s Facebook page (CLICK HERE to visit Joel’s page). That is where Joel regularly updates his fans.
To buy Joel’s new book of sheet music, CLICK HERE!
To buy Joel’s albums, CLICK HERE!
Don't forget Storyformed launch! Another fun day at: http://storyformed.com/storyformed-launch-day-two/