Sunburst Summer Guide - How to keep the music going through the summer! 

Sunburst News

–May 2017–

In this Issue:

  • Practicing over the summer

  • Sunburst Rocks this the summer

  • Summer Camps

  • Summer Lite Plan Reminder

  • Taking Your Instrument on a Plane

  • Alex at Burghsong 

Important Dates:

  • Friendship Folk and Flower Festival - Friday Main Stage - Sat, May 13th, Time and Location TBA

  • Summer Kick Off Party @ Sunburst - Sat, May 13th, 7pm

  • K-5 Fun Fair @ Liberty School - Monday Main Stage Group - Fri, May 19th - Time TBA

  • Spring Recital Concert @ Sunburst - Sat Jun 10th & Sat Jun 17th

  • Sunburst Rocks Season Finale @ Hard Rock Cafe - Sun Jun 11th 3-5pm & 5-7:30pm

Sunburst Summer Guide

Everyone’s flipping their thermostats from heat to cool, which means summer is about to be upon us. What does summertime mean for music students/parents/enthusiasts? We’ve put together this handy guide to help you navigate the warmer months without losing any of the great progress you’ve made!

The 2017 Sunburst House Band rehearsing for some shows this summer!How to keep practicing over the summer:

  1. Keep your schedule! It’s well established that more frequent practices of shorter duration are better for making progress than fewer longer sessions. Like exercising, eating right or memorizing Hamilton lyrics, consistency is key. Try to keep your practicing set for the same days and times even though your calendar has been turned upside down.
  2. Give yourself a “summer goal”. Summer generally means more time to do the things you love, less stress and more relaxation. When it comes to practicing music, having a goal is always important because it gives you a bigger reason to sit down and play. A good summer goal could be something you’ve always wanted to do but never really had time for, such as...
    1. Learning to play and sing 6 Bob Marley songs
    2. Playing on the back porch for 25 minutes every day
    3. Learning how to write and record a song with Garageband
    4. Playing the Harmonica daily
    5. Learning the rest of the words to Will Smith’s Miami (editor’s personal summer goal, checked off in August, 1998)
  3. Going on Vacay? Take your music with you! OK, so bringing an instrument on airplane is not always the easiest but it’s totally worth it. Most vacations are filled with so much more downtime than regular life, and having an instrument on hand can really make the trip–especially if it leads to sing alongs! See sidebar for instrument specific tips.
  4. Get inspired! Summer is a great time to go out and see music with tons of outdoor concerts, street festivals and bands on tour. Whether you’re into big name acts, great indie bands or the amazing local scene in Pittsburgh (including Sunburst instructors galore!) there is a ton happening here this summer. Being a musician yourself changes the way you watch performers, you can really get a lot of great tips just be observing–try to get up close.

CBGB posterSunburst Rocks this Summer

CBGB’s, the star nursery of the late 70’s and 80’s 

Our summer theme for Sunburst Rocks Main Stage and Emerging Artists this year is CBGBs. An exploration of all of the great bands and music to come out of the historic NYC venue including The Ramones, Talking Heads, Blondie and the Beastie Boys. Students will learn about the scene and help choose songs for their showcase in August. 

Sunburst Rocks Main Stage

  • Mondays 5-7pm
  • Fridays 4:30-6:30pm
  • Saturdays 1-3pm

Emerging Artists

  • Thursdays 5-6:30pm

Still Time For Summer Camps

Rock, Write, Rap, Rehearse and Recite! 

There’s still time to sign up for our summer camps! Discounts available for multiple camps and for inviting a friend. Check out for full details. Here are the camps:

  • Night at the Hip-Rock Opera: Vol II - Our create-your-own-rock-opera themed summer camp, this year with an emphasis on hip-hop. June 19-23rd.
  • Warped Summer - Our punk rock and DIY music scene boot camp. June 26-30th.
  • Camp Studio - Our recording studio and songwriting camp where students work together to create an album from scratch. August 7-11.

townsppl press shotSunburst Founder Alex Stanton to Perform Burghsong at Sunburst

With Rachel Kilgour, Saturday May 20th 7pm

Come hear Alex Stanton take the stage solo at Sunburst for the nale of the 2017 Burghsong season. Tickets for students are just $10, pre-order at or at the desk. Alex is a folk-pop singer and songwriter and his music can be found at His second full length album is getting set to be released this fall! 

Summer Lite Plan for Travelers

Traveling this summer? Keep your spot and keep making progress with our Summer Lite Plan! 3 lessons each in July and August at a discounted rate. Ask for details...

How to Take a Guitar on a Plane

overhead guitarTaking instruments on vacation with you is a great idea (see lead article number 3), but flying with your prized instrument can be daunting. However, it’s your right according to the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 section 41724, page 74 (print this out and take it with you!). Here’s an instrument specific guide:


  1. If possible bring a guitar that’s not the crown jewel of your collection, and ideally something that would be only a few hundred bones to replace. Not to scare you, your guitar will be fine, and people fly with the real thing for gigs and stuff all the time.
  2. Detune your guitar (all the strings by about a whole step due to the change in pressure).
  3. You need a hardshell case, it’s bulky but hey, it can also store some of your socks around the headstock.
  4. Don’t forget a tag with your contact information.
  5. Keep the guitar with you as long as you possibly can, your goal is to put it in the overhead compartment, try to board as early as you can to do this. If overheads are full ask the flight attendant to put it in the coat closet. If they won’t it’s going to be gate checked which happens and isn’t the end of the world.
  6. Consider flying with a ukulele instead, same chord shapes, fits in the overhead.


  1. Where are you going? Is there a piano? They’re heavy so easier to check ahead of time.
  2. 49 Key instruments with a hard case can be carried onto the plane just like guitars.
  3. Try a roll up piano! Not great in terms of action but super portable.


  1. Drummers who are traveling for a gig are in a pickle and need to have serious flight cases for their gear and have it all checked.
  2. Drum students who’d like to practice on vacation should bring a pair of sticks and a few practice pads.

Coming in June, our Explore Class Now for 4-5 Year olds. 

We're introducing a new version of our Explore class for the 4-5 age range. Explore is a beginner program that allows kids to learn the basics of 5 different instruments–as well as music fundamentals–in a group setting. Stay tuned for details...

explore png

As always we love to hear your feedback about the newsletter, or anything else for that matter. You can reach us at (412) 475-8280 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Thanks for reading and being a part of things at Sunburst. If you love your lessons at Sunburst, please leave us a review on Google and Facebook, it really helps!

–Sunburst Team