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.

Beats and Loops Resize90s Punk CampFunk Opera posterCamp Studio 1

sam bio picOur 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.

Please RSVP here if you’d like to participate!

 

Sunburst is welcoming 3 new instructors this month! Here's a little bit about each of them:

Ryan Hoffman squareRyan - Guitar and Uke Instructor

  • Fun Fact: I'm a runner
  • Favorite Genre of Music: Indie Rock
  • Why do you love music?: Music can be different things in so many different ways. It can be peaceful, energizing, or calming. It is a great way too of channeling your emotions.

 

Aaron SquareAaron - Voice Instructor

  • Fun Fact: I'm fluent in German
  • Favorite Genre of Music: Indie Pop
  • Why do you love music?: Music is a great way to meet people and connect with them! 

 

 

Matt Price Square

Matt - Drum Instructor

  • Fun Fact: I know how to juggle!
  • Favorite Genre of Music: Instrumental music from ambient electronics and progressive metal
  • Why do you love music?: Music is a universal language that is a tool for expressing the inexpressible.

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.

House Band

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.

Full information on how to prepare for our House Band Auditions can be found here.

We’d also like to say here that going through the process of an audition is a valuable skill-builder in and of itself, so we’d like to encourage absolutely everyone interested to audition.

There are a few shows left for the 2019 House Band, catch them this Friday 1/10 performing at Sunburst!

We’re super excited about the official launch of our new WSBR: Sunburst Radio program! In this program, students will learn the ins and outs of music production, recording, beat making, podcasting and more! Check out the first episode and sign up for a free trial of the class!

Learn more about our teacher of the month, Piano and keyboard teacher Max Somerville. Check out the new album from Max’s band Wreckloose here

maxteacher

What kind of music do you like to play?
When it comes to playing music, my favorite kind is the kind you play with other people! Whether it’s with a band of friends I've been playing with for years, or someone I've just met, music has always been my favorite form of communication. If I had to pick a genre though I would probably say funk/soul. It's just really fun to play!

How did you get into music?
My father is a pianist and a songwriter and he introduced me to The Beatles White Album when I was five. I dug it so much that I asked him to teach me the piano for the only Ringo Starr song on the album "Don't Pass Me By". But it wasn't until I was 14, when my friends told me they needed a bass player for their band (I truly didn't know what bass was at that time) that I really got into music. I started writing music for the group, and I realized I had an application for everything I learned so far. I used the piano as a tool to write music and it all just started making sense.


What's your favorite thing about being a teacher?
My favorite thing about being a teacher is getting to talk about, listen [to], and play music with so many people! As a teacher, I am still constantly learning about music, and many times, I find myself learning something new while teaching something I thought I already fully understood.


Any advice for aspiring musicians out there?
Be fearless! Know that you're capable of achieving anything you put your mind to. Music doesn't have many roadmaps, and that can be confusing and intimidating. But that's also why it's great. You really have the freedom to create and communicate in a way that's completely your own.

In addition to being our beloved office manager, Naomi is also an amazing singer! Here’s a little Q and A with her about her musical background:

NaomiWhat kind of music do you like to play?  

I am a vocalist who likes to sing pop, r&b and gospel music.

How did you get into music?

I have always been naturally drawn to music, I started off as a dancer in a dance company years ago.  As a child, I always sang at home, church and school choirs. I had a fear of singing front and center, so I started singing in choirs and small musical groups.  However, I did not come out of my shell until I was an adult. After I realized my potential, the doors began to open and opportunities started knocking on my door!

What's your favorite thing about being at Sunburst?

My favorite thing about Sunburst to having the ability to be surrounded by like-minded people, who have a passion for music and inspiring students to reach their goals no matter what level they are.

Any advice for aspiring musicians out there?

Be comfortable being uncomfortable, be confident with being uncertain.... but never give up when things get hard. Pushing through challenges is what makes you grow! So keep going and don't quit!

Now is the time to sign up for our winter recitals! Talk to your instructor about performing and stop by the desk during your next lesson to sign up.

We will also be closing each recital with a sing-along version of the classic “Twist and Shout” by Bert Russell, in the style of The Beatles via the Isley Brothers. This will require “all hands on deck”, so we are hoping to get participation from each instrument. Here's a link to the chord sheet if you'd like to get a head start. We also have some copies ready in the studio.

See you in December!