Expressions Music Academy July 2017

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Melody The Monthly

NOVI LOCATION: 43370 West 10 Mile Rd Novi, MI 48375 TROY LOCATION: 4000 Livernois Rd Troy, MI 48098 PLYMOUTH-CANTON: 9357 General Drive Suite 101 Plymouth, MI 48170

MY CALLING The Story of My Musical Journey (Part 2)

When I finally switched from studying clarinet to piano at age 11, it was love at first sound. I was lucky to have Paul McCaffrey as my instructor, a deeply musical man involved in many traveling musicals, including “The Lion King.”As I tore through the beginner method books, he instilled in me the nuances of dynamics and musical expression, though these were a little difficult for me to emulate on my plastic, 66-key toy Casio. Luckily, by the time I turned 14, I had proven my fervent dedication to the ivory keys, and I was upgraded to a full-size weighted digital number, damper pedals and all. It was a revelation. I continued with Paul for years, spending nearly every free moment in front of the piano, until I got into Rochester College in 2005, studying piano performance.The college music experience is transformative for almost any musician, and I was no different. I fully immersed myself into my studies, working to learn everything I could about my discipline. In tandem with my 20-credit class schedule, I was also teaching students at Faith Lutheran Church three to five nights a week. It was a lot. This passion extended into the vocal arts, as well. Even as a freshman, I knew I loved to sing, so I auditioned for the renowned a cappella chorus, sight unseen, with no previous formal training. Unsurprisingly, my audition did not go well; when it came to vocal sight reading, I had no idea what I was doing. But, a couple hours after I left, I sent an email to the director, making my case.“I may not have experience,” I wrote to him,“but I have passion, and I’m an extremely hard worker. I promise you won’t be disappointed.”

I’m not sure if it was the email that did it or the fact that I was a music major, but he decided to let me in.That chorus was the most exciting experience of my college career.We were an excellent group, if I do say so myself, with a big, powerful sound, especially for such a small school. I started as a second alto, moved up to section leader, and by my fourth year, I was the president of the chorus— the first female president in its history. People always laugh and tell me I have a very expressive face as a choir singer, and I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing! When I graduated in 2009, I was ready to take on the world. I immediately started the Novi Piano Academy in my dad’s home and dedicated myself to mastering the world of business.As the academy expanded and eventually turned into Expressions, I’ve become so incredibly busy that my own musical development has mostly taken a backseat —aside from the Rochester College Alumni A Cappella Chorus, which is my latest obsession. Music is stitched into every fiber of my life. Nearly everything I do— teaching students, talking with teachers, organizing recitals— is in the service of the art. But the most powerful musical expressions come to me on those meaningful occasions where I sit down at the piano bench in my home, put my fingers on the keys, and play, devoid of expectation, pressure, or stress.These are the times during which I’m most myself.

- Jessica Schatz

Novi Location: 248-773-8364 | Troy Location: 248-845-4611 | Plymouth-Canton Location: 248-480-9108 | 1


Get Poppin’


Popcorn is considered to be a fairly healthy snack by most experts, especially when compared to other salty treats, like corn chips. Unfortunately, microwave popcorn is another matter. Many popular popcorn brands use trans fats, which the Centers for Disease Control estimate are related to 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths annually. Additionally, a study from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health identified a connection between the chemical diacetyl, used to flavor microwave popcorn, and cases of lung disease in workers at popcorn factories. For popcorn lovers, the answer is clear: Make popcorn yourself! Pour ¼ cup of popcorn kernels into a regular brown paper bag, fold the top of the bag shut tight, then pop in microwave for about two minutes, or until popping slows to a second between pops. Voila! Fresh popcorn with no factory chemicals. If you’re craving some fun flavors, try these simple recipes.


“My daughter takes a private voice lesson every Tuesday

with Brianna, and she absolutely loves her. Rori has made tremendous progress with Brianna as her instructor. Even a former instructor of mine agreed and said keep going. Since Rori has begun voice lessons, she has seen a few other instructors, too. We would recommend Dawn and Valerie, as well. The experience at Expressions has been absolutely wonderful.” –Jennifer (mother of Rori)

Traditional Butter

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter, then drizzle it along the sides of a brown paper bag. Pour your already popped popcorn into the bag until it’s half full, close the bag tight, and shake vigorously. In no time, you’ll have perfectly buttered popcorn!

Cinna-sugar Bliss

This is a great recipe to satisfy your sweet tooth. Add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of sugar to 3 tablespoons of melted butter. Drizzle onto the edges of a brown paper bag, add popped popcorn, and shake well!

Sriracha Sesame Celebration

Here’s to the adventurous popcorn lovers! Combine 1 tablespoon Sriracha, 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Sprinkle half over popcorn and shake well inside of bag. Repeat with remaining mixture. Whether you’re preparing for a movie marathon or need an after- school snack, any of these recipes will be tasty alternative to the chemicals saturating microwave popcorn. Enjoy!


“I wasn’t sure how I would feel taking guitar lessons as an older person since it’s been 45 years since I’ve played an instrument. Everyone at Expressions made me feel very comfortable and welcomed me with much enthusiasm. Matt got me playing and reading music in no time, and I’m very excited about my musical future. This will help keep my mind sharp and fingers nimble, and I couldn’t be more excited.” –Rick M.

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The initial stages of learning an instrument are an exciting time for your child; it’s a period of rapid learning and new horizons. Besides unlocking deep neurological benefits, your child is developing skills and mindsets that will aid them for the rest of their lives, including patience, persistence, delayed gratification, curiosity, and problem-solving. In order to foster these mindsets and encourage playing music as a lifelong hobby, what you tell your child is important. It’s all too common to abandon musical pursuits after it becomes difficult or progress slows.

Make sure your child knows they’re allowed to fail. Struggle is a significant part of learning a new skill. Missed notes are expected. However, it’s key that your child views these missteps as learning opportunities rather than a convenient reason to quit. You may have the most talented child in the world, but you need to stress to them that consistent, hard work will outweigh talent every time. Efficient, regular practice will result in your child surpassing other students who only rely on raw ability. It takes no small amount of dedication to learn an instrument. Perhaps most importantly, it’s vital that your child understands that music is a long-term commitment. There will certainly be times when they become frustrated and discouraged. Let them; it’s part of the process. However, don’t let them quit at the first sign of trouble. Instead, let them learn the value of persistence. Breaks are okay, but you should get your child to commit to an instrument for at least a couples of years with consistent effort.

Laugh Break



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4 ounces dark chocolate pieces, melted 24 Ritz (or generic butter round) crackers

1 pint your favorite ice cream


1. Melt chocolate pieces in a double boiler or in the microwave. Stir until smooth and drippy. 2. Arrange crackers, bottom side up, on a cookie sheet. Use fork to drizzle melted chocolate over crackers, then place them in freezer to cool quickly. 3. Remove crackers from freezer and place small ice cream scoop in the center of 12 crackers. Press remaining crackers, chocolate side down, onto the ice cream scoop. 4. Freeze at least 4 hours before serving. Wrap individual sandwiches in plastic wrap to store in freezer for up to 7 days —but they’ll never last that long.

Recipe inspired by

Novi Location: 248-773-8364 | Troy Location: 248-845-4611 | Plymouth-Canton Location: 248-480-9108 | 3


43370 West 10 Mile Rd Novi, MI 48375


pg. 1

My Calling

Crazy (Healthy) Popcorn Recipes

pg. 2

Success Stories

What Your Child Needs to Know as They Start Learning an Instrument Ritz Cracker Ice Cream Sandwiches View of a Lifetime

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On August 21, 2017, the greatest show of the summer will take place in the United States: a total solar eclipse! This eclipse will be visible across North America, but the path of totality— the area where the moon completely covers the sun —will only fall in the continental U.S., leading this cosmic event to be called The Great American Eclipse. If you’re already in the United States, a day’s road trip is all you need to grab a front row seat for this rare astronomical occurrence.

life means you’ll have lots to do even when the eclipse is over.

Visit the official website of The Great American Eclipse at for everything you need to know about this once-in-a- lifetime sight!

Sandhills, North Platte, Nebraska

In the heartlands, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more perfect viewing location than the Sandhills of western Nebraska. With wide open skies, low rolling hills, and no towering buildings to get in the way, the Sandhills are sure to be a popular viewing spot.

The Museum of Idaho, Idaho Falls, Idaho

Columbia, South Carolina

The Museum of Idaho has been designated an Official NASA Observation Site, and the museum is hosting four days of awesome events to celebrate. Enjoy live presentations, technology demonstrations, and special exhibits as you prepare to watch the total eclipse with NASA scientists.

Need a place to watch the eclipse in the Southern U.S.? Then get yourself to South Carolina, where the state capital of Columbia is almost right in the middle of the path of totality. Plenty of hotels make Columbia a great viewing location for those who don’t want to camp out, and the vibrant city

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