Monday, June 24, 2013

First Day of 'Montecation!'

For those of you who know me well, you know that I pretty much have to schedule my sleep or I'd just work all the time... well, this week is MY week!  That's right, for the first time in, well, ever, I have a whole week to do what I want!  Of course, this means I'll spend the first half working on all the stuff I haven't had time to do normally... but still, I get to relax!  I'll be updating this blog a bit, as well as my teaching blog.  In the meantime, check out these words from the great trumpeter Wynton Marsalis:

1. Seek out the best private instruction you can afford.
2. Write/work out a regular practice schedule.
3. Set realistic goals.
4. Concentrate when practicing
5. Relax and practice slowly
6. Practice what you can't play. - (The hard parts.)
7. Always play with maximum expression.
8. Don't be too hard on yourself.
9. Don't show off.
10. Think for yourself. - (Don't rely on methods.)
11. Be optimistic. - "Music washes away the dust of everyday life."
12. Look for connections between your music and other things.

Also, Project:Accent starts next week!  For information, click HERE, and for the application, fill out THIS FORM!

Friday, June 14, 2013

As one chapter ends, another begins...

Well, I've officially completed my first year of teaching music at Joshua Academy!  I can't even begin to describe the feeling of watching my 6th graders walk across the stage, and thinking of how much they've learned about music, how much they've grown as people, and how my love for them and for teaching has grown as well.  Wow... And, on top of that, I've got a new room to teach in next year!  It's much bigger, has storage space (which I had none in my first room), and will be a perfect fit for Joshua Academy Music.  On top of that, the 5-6th graders MOVED MY ENTIRE ROOM for me yesterday!!!! I couldn't believe it; they carried all of the books, instruments, even my electric organ, all the way through the school, down steps, and into the new room, PLUS they organized the room for me!  I couldn't believe it.  I'm going to miss these bright ones, especially my 6th grade, very much.  They have definitely helped me develop as a teacher and mentor over the past year.

For that matter, this past year has most definitely been quite the whirlwind.  Thinking back to the beginning of June last year and thinking where I am now, how much I've grown in so many different ways, the things that have lifted my spirits and pushed me to become a better person, the things that tore me down to such a low point that it made me reevaluate my myself entirely... so many things to remember about this chapter in life.  But I can definitely say with confidence that I am a much better person in so many different ways because of my experiences, and I sincerely thank the people I have been blessed with in my life that have made it all worth the ups and downs.  I've made so many new friends and I have an infinite number of things to be thankful for.  So, for those that actually see this, thank you!  If I can figure out a way to blot out faces, I'll definitely post pictures and videos.

I am also going to start working on my teaching blog, and tying it in with Joshua Academy Music.  It'll take me a little while, but after it's done, I'll have example lesson plans, goals, music, and much more for everyone to check out.  In the meantime, check out what's there using the link above!  There will also be a place for those who would like to donate to Joshua Academy Music!

Also, more info about Project:Accent will be there!  Project:Accent is an opportunity for bright young students to learn fun music and play with others in a challenging and exciting learning environment.  Rehearsals are all in July, with a final performance July 31.  If you're interested, please let me know!

Here's some pics of my 5th grade Bright Ones, and my new and improved JAM room!  :-)


Friday, March 1, 2013

Official Announcement!!!!

Hi, everyone!  Today I am very pleased to officially announce that I am currently working on a new album!  I haven't completely decided what the name is going to be, but it will probably be something like 'Digital Eclecticity,' or 'The Electro-Trip,' or something like that.  Basically, my project this time around is very 'digital.' Lately I have been learning more and more about the creative potential of Ableton Live, and its incredibly facilitating ways of using VST's and other plugins to untap just about anything that is within the creative minds of artists.  The songs are so 'fresh,' fusing the line between acoustic and electric sounds in a way that compliments instead of making one or more instruments stand out.  You can definitely tell that I've been influenced by many different genres this time around, including Reggaeton, Panjabi, Dubstep, Electro-Funk, Jazz, and much more.  I've also decided to use a mixture of my own bass-playing experience and coupled it with a little bit of digital sounds as well.  It creates a really cool and full sound sonically.  So, you may be asking... 'Monte, where's our demo, or anything???'  Well, the answer is, it's coming soon, very soon, like within the next day or so soon!

It's been a very long time since I have been so excited about releasing an album.  There are so many new, awesome, and exciting new works that it's very difficult for me to pick a favorite, so stay tuned!

In other news, Skelton's Montourage is playing tonight at Deerhead Sidewalk Cafe!  Stop on by and hear some great music and eat some of Evansville's finest pizza!

Also, after reading what I've said about the new album, do you have any creative ideas for an album title?  If you do, send them my way, and if I choose it, I'll send you a free copy before I release it to the public!  Get those artistic minds working!  I think I may refine this song and put it on the new album as well!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

My goodness, it's been a while!!!

So sorry for taking so long to update, everyone!  Life has been so crazy hectic lately!  I'm going to try to get lots of good updates going so that you all stay up to date!  My performance calendar is pretty much up to date, so if you're wondering when I'm playing next, check that!

First off, I got a new phone, finally!!!!

That's right, the Galaxy Note II!  I love this phone!  Great battery life, incredible features, and, yes... it's huge.  If you haven't seen all that this amazing 'phablet' does, look it up.  You'll want one too.

Second off, I have had the opportunity to go to 2 incredible performances- one of Jeff Coffin , Felix Pastorius, Roy Wooten and the rest of the Mu'tet in Louisville, KY.  It was SO amazing!!!  Definitely made me go back home and practice.  Here's a couple pics from that:

They really liked my glasses, by the way.  :-)  Just saying.  Felix actually held my phone and was playing around on it; definitely made me happy!  

And the other was last night, watching Ladysmith Black Mambazo:

Incredible talent and heart that comes from those musicians.  It totally blew my mind!

That being said, I've been working on some pretty hot new music.  It's different than what I've ever done in the past; mainly because I have been delving myself into learning about the capabilities of Ableton Live, and with that comes lots, and LOTS of experimentation.  I will be posting previews on Soundcloud soon!  

So, between trying to get out to see groups, being a (now almost full time) teacher in addition to teaching 20 students privately, performances every single weekend since the beginning of January, booking future performances/upcoming projects and summer classes, working on fundraising for 'JAM,' working on new music, practicing, and trying to live a normal life including cooking my own food, cleaning, and maintaining my house, I hope you can pardon my blogging hiatus...  I'll try to stay up to date as much as I can!  More updates to come!  Also, I'll be updating my teaching blog today; check it out!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

First post in 2013! Updates!

I finally got my Gear page up!  I promise it'll be more detailed as time goes on, but hey, I'm a busy guy!!!! The diagram shows how I wire everything up to be able to do what I do in a live setting.  Here's a preview, but check out the page, right there on top:

January's going to be an insanely busy month!  I'm already getting together the things I need for my school year, and hopefully booking some more gigs into march and beyond.  I'd love to get a little tour together, so if you know of any places around Indiana/Illinois/Kentucky/Ohio that would like my music let me know!  Check out my Calendar page for more info!

I'm also thinking about putting together some kind of 'Music of the Month' or something to that tune together, possibly for either a monthly or weekly series.  Let me know your thoughts!  I know I know, I keep tacking more stuff onto my already insane crazy schedule... but when you have so much fun doing what you're doing, how can you help it? 

2013 is going to be a great year, but it comes with hard work, dedication, and patience.  Let's do it!

Also, I should be updating my teaching blog at some point soon as well; stay tuned for more info!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

It's Big Day Thursday!!!

So, after being a little under the weather (and quite lazy from being on Winter Break...), I'm posting again!  Mainly because there's a ton of things going on! First of all, here's the view from the front window of my house:

Yep, it's cold and snowy!  You all know this by now probably, haha.  So if you have to drive today and you're in the midwest, be careful out there!  Okay, enough said about the snow.  I'm excited, because today, I get to play my saxophone with the Temptations!!!  Don't know who the Temptations are?  I just cried a little for you.  Educate yourself:

Just, keep that playing while you read the rest of this post.  It'll make you happy.  :-)  Anyways... that's right, I'm going to be on stage with them at the Ford Center here in Evansville!  That's worth digging your car out of the snow and heading down there.  Don't worry, there will be many updates as I go, so watch my Google+ page!  If you don't have Google+, get it!  The link on the side will get you there. 

Also, what do you think about me start a live 'show' on Google Hangouts on music, jazz, or education?  Hangouts is such an incredible tool; the more I learn about it, the more I see many useful applications for it.  If you've never tried it, I suggest you check it out; it's definitely worth a look!  And if you can't find someone to hang out with, ask me!  

I have been working on my up and coming 'Gear' page, though very slowly.  I will have that up as son as possible.  Next performance after tonight will be with my band, +Skelton's Montourage, on New Years Eve, at the Holiday Inn Evansville Airport!  We will have 2 of Evansville's best singers joining us, and we'll be rockin'  all night long!  Let me know if you'd like details!  Until then, stay safe, and watch my Plus page for updates on today!   

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Special Thank You!!!

Special thanks to everyone who watched my performance during the AITP Music Festival yesterday!  I thought it went really well for my first time on a hangout.  I hope to do more in the near future!  Just in case you missed it, here is the link (My set starts around 2:01:00).

And the beat goes on!  Had my classes today which went really well, finalized a few things on the band side, now after school teaching, and hopefully a good workout to end the day.  Pushing forward to winter break in under 5 days!  I should have a couple more pages up on this site soon as well, including a 'gear' page so you see how I do what I do, and another page that will have some fun new info as well.   Let's keep on keepin' on!

By the way, here's a video that I showed to my bright ones today... definitely check it out; so very inspiring!