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Community Talking about Music

Share the magic of music

Contribute to a world of shared imaginationin music!

The Amateur Music Network is an open invitation for us all to build human connection through the joy of music. Listening, playing, learning, or sharing music in whatever way you are inspired—the AMN community believes that music changes lives and creates a better world. If you believe that too, and you are able to help us offset the cost of providing workshops at low cost to all who wish to participate, please donate generously today!

As always, we thank you for your support as we continue to offer opportunities for musicians and music lovers everywhere.

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Talking about Music

Gratitude for music in 2022

Destiny Muhammad says it best! We are all so grateful for music in our lives.

Once again, AMN is so thankful for all the wonderful folks who have made our workshops so vibrant and nourishing in the past year. From extraordinary mentors like Destiny to all the folks behind the scenes who make the workshops happen, THANK YOU!

As you know, AMN is not just workshops! We are grateful to all the musicians who are reaching out to find one another through our listings. And grateful to be part of a larger community of organizations and individuals who support music and music-making. To all our partners, sponsors, and friends who support our work and engage with us to make it happen. THANK YOU!

AMN needs your help.

 

AMN aspires to bring musicians from around the world together—to make music, to connect, and to share the transformative power of music. Our participants and mentors hail from across the globe, and we are connecting people one by one. Now we need your generosity and support to continue to bring high quality mentors into the living rooms and practice spaces of amateur musicians. We are committed to broadening our reach—but we can’t do it without your help.

Please join us by donating what you can to this enriching effort. We know we can do it—together!

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Community Vocal and Choral Music Workshops

Family Sing 2022 with Valérie Sainte-Agathe

Valérie talks about bringing the Martiniquan tradition of Chante Noel to our family and yours!

Join us for our second annual FAMILY SING holiday sing-along with the world-renowned San Francisco Girls Chorus!

SFGC Artistic Director Valérie Sainte-Agathe will lead the in-person and online choirs in holiday favorites and new-to-us music that will warm our hearts during the holiday season. Invite your family and friends to attend at the Kanbar Center for the Performing Arts in San Francisco, or sing together online. This is a great way to connect with loved ones who live far away! Invite family and friends from wherever they are to join via Zoom and let the joy of singing together kick off the holiday season. 

Attend online or in-person at Kanbar Center
44 Page Street, San Francisco

IN PERSON: Adults $25, youth ages 10-18 $12.50
IN-PERSON FAMILY PACKAGE: Bring the whole family for $50
ONLINE ONLY: $15

Categories
Chamber Music Jazz and Beyond - Non-Classical Music Vocal and Choral Music Workshops

The magic of singing together

Anyone who has sung in a vocal group or a chorus knows the feeling: something is just special when we sing together. There’s a marvelous sense of reaching out, of connecting with other voices to make a sound that is more than just our single notes, a sound that merges and grows, with multiple melodies blending into a harmonious whole. Whether it’s a circle of friends singing folk music in our living room or professional singers in a concert ensemble, it’s that elemental joining of voices that, for me, brings emotion to the fore.

We’re so in luck to have Dashon Burton back with us on October 16 to lead a master class on ensemble singing. Dashon is an acclaimed soloist who is equally practiced in singing with others: He is part of Roomful of Teeth and Kaleidoscope, two of the top vocal groups working today!

I can’t wait to get Dashon’s perspective on the singing of two groups in our master class: the Drew School Singers who will sing the luminous 16th century madrigal O Occhi Manza Mia by Orlando di Lasso, and the women’s choir Conspiracy of Venus who will sing A Place Called Home by rock goddess PJ Harvey.

I caught up with Conspiracy of Venus founder and leader Joyce McBride to chat about the group and about her musical path writing and arranging choral music. Music is so much about connecting, about blending our minds and sounds into one. It’s what we aspire to in life as well as in music, don’t you think?

Enjoy the interview and then join us for Dashon Burton’s vocal chamber music master class workshop on October 16!

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AMN mentors Chamber Music Jazz and Beyond - Non-Classical Music Workshops

Destiny Muhammad and the Jazz Conversation

There’re still conversations in … music that are still alive. And so in this new millennium, what do I have to say as a participant in all those conversations?

– Destiny Muhammad

AMN Founder Lolly Lewis sat down with Destiny over Zoom to discuss the possibilities of AMN’s new workshop format, about Destiny’s devotion to the jazz tradition, and much more.

Lolly Lewis: I’m so excited about our workshop. You know, it’s been a year since you did that wonderful online workshop for AMN talking about the roots of jazz harp. And how great that you’re coming back with your trio to kick off our new series. This is going to be an opportunity for people to play with a professional ensemble in the comfort of home: you will be playing live at the wonderful theater at Drew School, and our participants will be at home with their instruments playing along with you. It’s going to be a new and innovative workshop model that we’re very excited about.

Destiny Muhammad: As am I! It’s definitely very innovative. And, you know, it’s going to be exciting for all of the participants who will have that opportunity to play and to actually interact with us, with Q&A happening during that time as well.

LL: People are very inspired by your devotion to the jazz tradition and the fundamentals of this music. That you really have a passion to convey and to bring people along with the joy that you find in music. I think that’s just so infectious and people really respond to it.

DM: I keep going back to the fundamentals. I can’t speak for everyone else but for me, the fundamentals have always been my launchpad. And when I have those and I feel them, not just in my hands but circulating throughout my DNA, then I feel like I can go anywhere with the music. And so I love the fundamentals. I just keep coming back to those ABCs of jazz.

LL: I think a lot of people who aspire to learn to improvise might feel like oh, I just have to jump off this cliff and do something that’s out of my comfort zone. But what you’ve just said has really sort of turned the light on for me, because if we get into [the fundamentals] we’re not jumping off anything; we’re going from a place of simplicity. And then it can grow and develop and that’s where the skill comes from.

DM: That’s why, even after 30 years of being a musician, I keep going back to the listening. I still need to listen, and then apply it to my instrument. I really encourage folks to really listen.

And I remember being a shorty in the music and hearing the word conversation said to me over and over again, and I didn’t really get it. And then it started to click… I liken it to European classical music where you’ve got chamber music, and you’ve got a cellist and maybe a violist and a violinist and everybody has to be strong in their understanding of the music. And then they come together and they’ve all been studying a particular song or suite of music. But everybody’s strong enough where they’re playing and listening, and their portion of the conversation is shared. And so [in the trio], we’ve all been independently what they call shedding. And then we come together with our own understanding of the music so we can bring that conversation. What is it that I have to say, in [Miles Davis’s] All Blues on my instrument? I’m feeling like I have something to contribute. What do I have to say as a participant in those conversations?

And so that’s what I see when I’m listening to each player. Each one is bringing all of their life experience. This is the thing that I want to share with the participants: bring all your life experience, whatever that is. Here’s the music. Miles wrote it, but what do you have to say?

LL: And that conversation is going to be so fun for people, not only to learn from you, but to really feel like they’re part of the ensemble and that they’re welcomed into that music experience.

DM: It would be wonderful to see you there in the virtual house!!P

Listen to the whole interview and join us on September 18th!