We're guessing that
you already know that we play cello and piano. <smile>
So our goal
is to share some things about us which you might find interesting
if you were in the process of becoming our friend, which we hope you
are doing! We hope you'll tell us about yourself,
too, perhaps by directing us to your blog, or by sending us an e-mail.
Or, if you like, visit this site's FORUM, and
take a few moments to introduce yourself!
[We know that what
we've written here is, well, a little bit long. We suggest that
you read a paragraph once every two or three times you visit the videoblog.
That way, you'll get through it in a few months. We're sure
the time will just fly by... We'll try to get to know
you a bit at a time, too! <smile>]
As of the date of our putting up this videoblog (Spring, '08), we're
ages 22 (Johnny) and 19 (Chris). Our emphasis has been classical
music, but we are also quite devoted to such genres as Gospel music,
jazz, ragtime, and Boogie Woogie, among others. Our earliest
musical mentors were Disneyland's two superb, long-time ragtime pianists,
John Hodges and Rod Miller, who are still two of our dearest friends.
(Of course, some in classical music circles consider this
early mentoring to be equivalent to our having been raised by wolves...
<smile>) On the classical side, we are students of the
fabulous pianist and teacher, Robert Hamilton, and were for many years
the students of the long-time President of the American Cello Congress,
As to our education...
We're a Christian home schooling family, so the educational side of
our life has been ... well, easy is actually the word which
comes to mind (which seems like a very strange thing to say
about something which has required a lot of work,
but...). Our family's first job was to discover "the law
of our make" (as Mark Twain put it), to discover who each of
us kids was created to be. This meant looking to such things
as what each of us is passionate about, finds profound joy in pursuing,
and what our gifts are. We were both really Blessed in this
regard ... the answers to such questions are not always obvious, even
when people are making a serious effort to discern them. But
with us, things were clear from the time we were very young.
Having settled that, it was pretty easy to make choices about,
for example, what things we should study, and when we should study
them. We spent time in prayer, and only studied things we felt
genuinely led to study. The process has been sort of
like having a Boss who has hired you to do a job you are perfectly
suited for, and then lets you know what studies you should pursue
to be as successful as possible in doing that job!
Sometimes this has meant working with professors at our local university
(which we each started to do at quite a young age with our piano and
cello teachers, for example); sometimes it has meant seeking out other
people with expertise; and sometimes it has meant doing a lot of study
on our own. It's been pretty similar to what most adults seem
to do with regard to their professions ... we just started into this
part of the process really early.
In our experience,
this approach to education has meant that everything we've studied
has felt purposeful, and we haven't wasted any time studying things
which are nothing to do with us. (So that we're not misunderstood
about one very important point... The fact that we were born
to be involved with the beautiful music in people's lives does not
mean that our education has ignored such domains as math or science
or history or literature, or other important areas! These "other"
domains inform all of us, of course, no matter who we are
in the process of becoming! But, when we study such
things, we are differently motivated, and our attention is often drawn
to different aspects of a domain, than, for example, a person who
was born to be a mathematician or a scientist! This is all pretty
straightforward stuff... I mean, for a person who wasn't created
to be, say, a musician, well, there's (usually) not a lot of point
in putting in hours and hours every day in an attempt to learn Beethoven's
Appassionata Sonata. The Appassionata is a great thing to learn,
no doubt about it, but every human should be studying things which
are great for them to learn! (For those who might like
to pursue this subject, we suggest that you read a terrific article
our Dad published about 15 years ago, when we were very little.
It's called "A HOME*schooling Inquiry:
What is Your Child's PURPOSE?" You can find it here.)
Between the two of
us, during our "younger student" years, we managed to win
just about all the major piano and string competitions held for youth
in our home state, which is Arizona, U.S.A. Chris was the youngest
winner of our State's most prestigious all-instrument competition,
held for the past 48 years by the Phoenix Symphony Guild; Chris was
also the only individual ever, in the history of the Phoenix Symphony
Guild's competition, to place both first and second overall
(in the finals of the 2004 competition, the Grand Prize round) with
two different instruments. We've also managed to do well at
international competitions, again with both instruments. (Most
recently, Chris was co-bronze medalist of the 2007 Bosendorfer/Schimmel
International Piano Competition.) Mostly, though, we're not
much into competitions. When we were quite young, a Mom of a
musician-friend of ours commented that, "The problem is that
kids spend too much time playing against each other, instead
of with one another." Generally speaking, we agree
with her. We'd much rather play music with
our friends, which we do a lot, instead of competing against
them. We'll probably enter an international competition from
time to time, into the future, though, since we've found that they
are among the things which help to keep us focused and working very
hard to play our repertoire as beautifully as possible. We find
competitions to be not only motivating, but fun, usually
... maybe partly because we don't get too concerned about outcomes,
and because we enjoy meeting and listening to the other competitors.
We both have competitive sides to our personalities, but we don't
get all uptight about the process. We've never been pressured,
competition-wise, by our teachers or parents, and we seldom generate
pressure internally. (If participating in competitions is
about pressure, or makes a young musician unhappy or tense, or there's
a preoccupation with "results," our view is that it's just
not worth it, and should be avoided.)
When we say that we
seldom generate pressure internally... We know many, many musicians,
young and old alike, who generate a lot of pressure, not
only with regard to competitions, but also performances.
It's possible that, in part, we don't "do the pressure thing"
because of the way we're constructed (back to Mark Twain's lovely
phrase, "the law of our make" <smile>). But
there's also a thing we've learned about pressure.
We feel it's become one of the most basic things about us. If
you have an "issue" with pressure, as a musician, or in
other areas of your life, perhaps this will be of interest to you...
About eight years ago, we went with our Dad to get flu shots.
For Chris, as a little boy, getting a shot was definitely
a pressure-filled event. He'd always insist upon going first,
so that he wouldn't have to watch shots being given to others
before he got his. Well, on this particular day, as
The Shot-Giver was doing that "squirt the shot to get air out
of it" thing (which he was doing, unconsciously, right in front
of Chris' nose, which wasn't helping with the nervousness thing...),
Chris asked The Shot-Giver, "How's your life going?"
(This was fairly typical behavior on Chris' part ... he usually puts
his attention on others, even when he's got a bit of stress going
on in his own life.) The Shot-Giver looked quite surprised,
that this very little boy, who hadn't done much but sit and shake,
up to that point, was asking him that question. He set down
the shot, and said to Chris, "Well, since you asked...
I just bought a keyboard! I'm so excited about
it ... I've wanted to play piano my whole life! Now I just need
to find a terrific teacher!" Chris replied, "Why,
I'd be happy to teach you!" The Shot-Giver, said,
"Oh, so you play? How long have you played?"
Chris said, "A little over nine years." (Chris began
formal piano lessons three days after he turned two, and was, from
the first moment, able to keep up with a class of mostly-seven-year-olds.)
The Shot-Giver, startled because Chris looked at most maybe
eight years old, said, "How old are you?!" Then they
really started to talk. One thing led to another, and the next
thing we knew, we'd been invited to perform at The Shot-Giver's Church!
Well, we showed up
on the appointed Sunday morning. We'd never heard of a COGIC
Church before. It's the 5th largest denomination in the United
States, but we hadn't heard the acronym "COGIC," which stands
for "Church of God in Christ." It's a predominantly
African-American Church. We hadn't been to an African-American
Church before. We'd attended quite a few churches, and had already
played music at a number of others, but we'd never before encountered
anything like what we experienced that day! When we first got
out of our car, quite a distance from the sanctuary, we could hear
Black Gospel music ... it was loud, even while we were
still in the parking lot, quite far from the singers and musicians!
The experience we had at that Church that morning (and, uhm ... afternoon
... Black Churches tend toward services which are "a bit"
longer than we'd been used to <smile>) was off-the-scale wonderful,
from our points of view. Every moment of that service was about
Praise and Thankfulness, expressed openly and joyfully.
The word we'd heard most, in the churches we'd attended before, had
never been "God," or "Jesus," but rather "Shhhh!"
<smile> It was amazing to us to hear someone
call out, in an obviously heartfelt and fervent way, right in the
middle of the service, "THANK YOU!"
I mean, we'd always been taught by our parents to be polite and say
such things as "thank you" to people, like to our teachers
at the end of music lessons. And of course we'd also been taught
to give thanks to God, for giving us life, and for all the blessings
we've received (not the least of which have involved our music!).
But it had never really occurred to us to say thank you to God in
the way people were doing at this Church! We'd given thanks
to God while at churches we'd attended, of course, but not in as fervent
a way as we've always felt inside, not right out LOUD in
the middle of a church service, even while the Pastor was
preaching, for Heaven's sake! <smile> And how
utterly, completely startling ... when we started to play
music for the congregation, classical music, which had always
before, in our experience, been met with a try-not-even-to-cough silence
(!), people would call things out ... right while we were
playing ... the most memorable was when someone called out,
"PLAY it, boy, let Him USE you!"
(If it isn't obvious to you, these were not things said in an "under
the breath" fashion, quietly... <smile>)
It was the most comfortable and "at home" our family has
ever felt at a Church, and it's been "our" Church ever since.
(Well, sort of ... the Church split in two, the way so many churches
are wont to do, and our family migrated to the "new" Church,
Divine Word Ministries.) Our pastor, Michael Collier, and his
wife Rhonda, are two of the people we admire most in the world.
Among other things, Michael, in addition to being an inspired preacher,
is a wonderful pianist (almost shockingly so, given how ooold
he is!), and Rhonda has one of the best, most moving voices
we've ever heard. (We'll be blogging about the Collier family
... they're amazing!) [Uhm ... concerning our reference
to how ooold Pastor Collier is ... we're just backing up
our Dad here <grin> ... all the guys in the Church get referred
to as Pastor, or Brother, or Elder, or Deacon ... but early-on, Michael
gave Dad a "special designation," which is what he's ended
up being called: "Geezer." So Dad and Michael
go back and forth about the subject of who's "older," age-wise
or other-wise. And since we know Michael will be reading this...
But back to the subject of "living with pressure"...
That cry, "PLAY it, boy, let Him USE you!,"
quickly worked its way deeply into our hearts. At the Church,
we learned what "anointed" music is, music which
lives as a function of God's Grace. It's anointed music, of
course, which is, for example, so healing. It began
to occur to us that if a person in our audience needed to hear someone
make a mistake, and then recover from it ... well, how much more wonderful
to play that role, to be the one who receives an anointing
to make a mistake, recover, and then move on as beautifully as possible,
instead of (merely) playing in, say, a note-perfect way. Similarly,
how much better, during a particular competition, to understand that
someone may really need to win the competition (waaay
more than we would need to do so), perhaps for reasons we'd
have no way of knowing! (Perhaps they need a bit of encouragement
in their life, right that moment, and it might be wonderfully heartening,
from their point of view, to beat us! <grin>)
Our job is to play with all our heart and soul and might, and it's
GOD's job, not "ours," to have things turn out
in the best possible way for all concerned, and to use our playing
toward the most wonderful possible ends! Once you know, deep
inside you, that your efforts will be used in extraordinary ways,
even beyond what you might imagine... Well, that's a very
good reason, isn't it, to select gorgeous repertoire (the repertoire
you feel moved to play, because it resonates with everything
in you!), to practice it hard, to take our lessons very
seriously, to be as diligent as possible, so that we can eventually
bring everything we possibly can to our playing! It's phenomenally
motivating to think that, from time to time, an anointing will be
present, and that someone will be Blessed in some way by the music
And then... We get to perform! We
perform a lot. We
made a choice, early-on, to limit our geographic range to our immediate
part of the country, the Southwestern United States. We've performed
at a wide range of venues from Los Angeles and Palm Springs to many
locales here in Arizona. We made this choice in order to keep
our primary attention on our early development as musicians, which
has meant being home a lot, spending as much time as possible
with teachers, and practicing! But now that we've gotten
to a certain level of development, and our practice habits are very
well established, we're thinking about taking people up on some of
the outside-our-region invitations we've been getting.
We have been soloists with orchestras from time to time, which we've
very much enjoyed. Probably we'll continue to accept invitations
to play with orchestras, once in a while, even though its not among
our highest priorities, goal-wise. Chris' first experience as
a soloist was part of his grand prize when he won the Phoenix Symphony
Guild's competition ... he played the first movement of Dvorak's wonderful
Cello Concerto with the Phoenix Symphony. We were next co-soloists,
a little over a year ago, with the Mesa Symphony. In the first
half of the program, we played Mozart's fabulous Concerto for Two
Pianos; in the second half, we performed Mozart's extraordinary Sinfonia
Concertante (which was written for violin, viola and orchestra ...
we re-wrote it for two cellos and orchestra ... hmph, what was Mozart
thinking?! ... it's a much more gorgeous piece when
two cellos are playing the solo parts <grin>). One of
the best things about performing with the Mesa Symphony (which recently
changed its name and is now known as The Symphony of the Southwest)
was that it meant working with our favorite conductor, the passionate
and inspiring Cal Stewart Kellogg! During the past year, Johnny
was a soloist with the Scottsdale Symphony, playing Tchaikovsky's
Variations on a Rococo Theme, which is a stunning part of
the cello's repertoire. And, in May of this year ('08), Johnny
will be playing Gershwin's spectacular, gorgeous Rhapsody in Blue
with The Symphony of the Southwest. Usually, when one of us
is a soloist, and the other is not, the non-soloist "sits in"
with the cello section of the orchestra. This has been at the
request of the conductors involved. Although becoming a full-time
member of an orchestra isn't among our goals, we really enjoy being
part of a terrific orchestra from time to time. We grew up playing
in two superb regional youth orchestras here in Arizona, the Metropolitan
Youth Symphony and, later, the Phoenix Symphony Guild's Youth Orchestra.
We had great experiences with both, which we truly cherish!
(We very much encourage young musicians to play in youth
orchestras, and we also strongly urge communities to support
their youth orchestras, as well as their adult orchestras!)
From the time we were little, when our family would visit Disneyland,
our Disneyland ragtime-piano-playing mentors, John and Rod, invited
us to "show everybody what we were playing." So we'd
sit down at the little white upright piano at Coca Cola Corner (as
it used to be called), and play music for whatever crowd happened
to have gathered there. People would be sitting at their umbrella-covered
tables with their hot dogs and sodas, relaxing and talking with one
another, and we'd get to be part of the entertainment for a while.
As you can imagine, this was fabulous fun when we were little kids
... I mean, there were people there from all over the world,
and in no time, when we'd start to play, lots of people would hop
up from their chairs and come gather around the piano to watch and
listen. (We got to know so many terrific people that
way!) The environment was totally "no pressure," and
everyone did a lot to encourage us. There were always
"regulars" who were there, John and Rod's long-time fans.
Rod was hired by Walt Disney himself (which was, of course, a looong
time ago!), and both he and John performed at the park for decades
before their recent retirements. They're both absolutely incredible
pianists (we plan to share some terrific video of their playing on
the videoblog), so of course they had legions of fans and,
whenever they played, new people would simply flock to the
piano! Because of the extent of the encouragement we received
there, as well as the sheer inspiration, our parents took us there
as often as they could. As the years went on, and as we improved
as pianists, John and Rod would invite us to play for longer and longer
stretches at a time, culminating in one special evening when Rod said,
"Okay, I'm going to dinner ... you guys entertain everyone
while I'm gone!" Usually, we'd play classical music there,
but we'd of course play some ragtime, too. It was there that
we learned that, even if people say they prefer certain sorts of music,
and claim that they usually don't like other types of music, just
about everyone totally adores any music which is
gorgeous, and which is played with passion and enthusiasm! And
we learned how wonderful it is to play music for people who are standing
or sitting right around a piano! What incredible fun,
to be able to talk with people, and really spend time getting to know
them, in between performance pieces! Sooo many settings
in which music is played are, by contrast, well ... sterile!
Too often, the musicians, and the music, are up on a stage,
distant from "the folks." (In a way, people might
as well be watching on TV!) Waaay more fun to have
a three-year-old be able to walk right up next to the keyboard, get
wide-eyed, and maybe reach over and play a note or two right in the
middle of the piece! <grin> And, whew ... in
such a setting, where people's attention is romping all over
the place, and where families are often practically exhausted by the
time they sit down for a break, and a bite to eat ... well, ya better
be "on top of your game," musically speaking, and playing
with everything you've got, or people won't even notice you're there!
It became an incredibly fun challenge for us to play so well, and
with such passion, that people's attention would just leap
to the piano! We feel that every young classical musician should
be required, as part of their training, to play in a place
like that. It really does break a person of any tendency they
might have to play in an "automatic pilot" mode, or in any
other way which is dull or (merely) "technically excellent!"
It's important to us
to share with you "where we're coming from" with regard
to the types of places we most love to play music ... really anywhere
people can "gather 'round" and be close enough to actually
feel the music when it's being played, where people can not
only participate directly with the music, but with one another, and
with us, creating relationship and community in the process.
Hopefully, that's the direction music and musicians will increasingly
take as we move into the future, moving into a more organic role in
people's lives, with "live" music increasingly happening
right in the middle of life! We've become very
determined to create settings like that all over the place,
and to encourage other musicians in doing so, too!
Some time back, we were invited to "sit in" and play music
with a fellow during one of his regularly-scheduled evening performances.
He was playing at a coffee shop here in Arizona. It's a big
building (it was originally a bank branch office), and seats a lot
of people. By about 9 p.m. on our first night there, quite a
crowd gathered (isn't text-messaging wonderful?!), so we were asked
if we'd be willing to hold some performance evenings of our own there.
We ended up playing there as often as six evenings a month for a year
and one-half, and eventually had over 400 "regulars" who
came to hear us play, many of whom brought family and friends on any
given evening. The place was open all night on the weekends,
and when we were there on one of our regular Friday nights, we played
from 8 p.m. to (usually) well past midnight.
The place became a remarkable community gathering place ... for entire
families; for many who were dealing with such things as serious illness
and loss of loved ones; for music students and teachers ... the experience
was in the tradition of "gathering around the piano" to
be inspired and moved by beautiful, excellently-played music, in an
intimate and informal setting where conversation and the development
of friendship was encouraged. We'd get a very wide age range,
from very young to quite elderly. One thing which really amazed
and delighted us: as word got around about how fun these evenings
were, some of the Valley's best jazz musicians and singers, most of
whom are about 40 years older than we are, as well as some very fine
classical musicians, a total of over thirty musicians and singers
in all, came in to "jam" with us. One of our favorites,
Buddy, is one of the world's leading jazz tuba players, whose music
you'll eventually get to see and hear on this videoblog ... he's a
fabulous musician ... and, what an amazing experience, to
have a superb jazz tuba player who can improvise right into our playing
of classical music, as well as play jazz with us! Another is
a fellow with a gorgeous voice ... with over a four-octave
range ... who is also among the world's very best "slap bass"
players. You'll meet Igor here, too! Or ... well, let
us know if you'd like to attend such an evening, and we'll let you
know what our current schedule is (we now hold such gatherings at
a variety of places...), and meet them "in person!"
Of course, we realize that may be easier for some of y'all to do than
for others, but our "Evenings" are well worth traveling
to Phoenix for, if you don't live in the region! Consider yourself
During these gatherings, we do everything we can to express our appreciation
for our beloved mentors, John and Rod, by inviting youngsters who
are studying music to "show us what you've been working on!"
So lots of youngsters, and a few older folks, too (!), have
sat down at the piano and played. We've had some awesome young
singers come and join us, too ... we have fun being their
accompanist, if they didn't think to bring one along with them. <smile>
(All the adults who are present understand that it's
their job to encourage such kids!) So many
youngsters find the (very often dreadful, in our view) "recital"
format to be an unpleasant place to showcase their developing skills.
But in an informal setting, where the emphasis is on "sharing
your music with friends," well, there are a lot of kids who just
thrive in such an environment, just as the two of us did
when we were younger! As we said, we now create these "gather
around the piano" events in a variety of places ... private homes,
church fellowship halls, schools, etc. ... our "Civilized Evenings,"
as we call them, invariably allow everyone present to harken back
to "the olden days," when families and friends would gather
around a piano for joyful evenings of fellowship. We're very
committed to creating spaces such as this ... we think of them as
"hubs," which allow people to come together at a central
location. In the process, a new and wonderful relationship between
music and community is created!
We are very committed to bringing the profound beauty, and
the benefits, of classical music to the widest possible audience.
Lately, people have been introducing us as "Classical Music's
Ambassadors to Youth," since they know we spend a lot of time
with kids, and are very committed to that (!). We intend
to vastly expand the audience for classical music, so we
spend a lot of time reaching out to children (e.g., by doing
programs in the schools), but also to others who, in this day and
age, have been almost untouched by classical music. In this
sense, we are interested in, and have put a strong career emphasis
upon, the democratization of classical music. This
is one reason we've spent so much time, during recent years, learning
about "modern technologies" ... we've worked on web sites;
managed a series of video broadcasts of Chris' piano performances
(which were transmitted from our living room to a theater-sized screen
at the University of Utah), which accompanied a ballerina at four
of her (live!) performances (a totally cool experience!);
and we produced our first DVD, entitled "Classical Music and
the Beautiful Music in *You*," which is designed to introduce
children to classical music, but which has also been extremely popular
with older audiences. And now there is the amazing technology
which allows videoblogging, a Forum, and polling capacity! (We
find these things so exciting, and we look forward to being
partners with many of you in such pursuits!)
Recently, we've been in the process of a major recording project.
We've already recorded 24 (mostly major) pieces (piano, cello, and
cello-piano), which we'll be placing onto the videoblog, as time goes
on. About a year ago, we met the most amazing person.
He was brought, by a mutual friend, to hear us play music, and ...
well, he liked what he heard enough to ask if he could participate
in a recording process with us. He's guided us, on the "sound"
side, ever since, starting by turning our living room into a sound
studio. Heh ... he's a fellow who is very passionate about classical
music, and about doing a superb job of recording classical
music ... and we don't think it even occurred to him that
we might have other uses for the living room! <grin>
His name is Jim Vogler ... he's the fellow who, for ten years,
recorded the Chicago Symphony, under Solti, all over the world (!).
He has also recorded individuals such as Horowitz and Brendel.
Our friendship with Jim, and the delightful collaboration which has
ensued, has been a major blessing in our lives, starting with that
first evening when he arrived at our home, handled "set up,"
and began recording our playing ... he arrived at 7 in the evening,
and our session completed at a little after 5 in the morning ... it
would no doubt have gone longer, but our neighborhood birds were starting
to get a bit loud, intruding upon the recording process! The
first phase of the project lasted over seven months ... sooo
many all-night sessions! The results will be shared here, on
this videoblog, and of course at YouTube, and also on a series of
One very exciting idea which "crossed our screen,"
recently ... it was suggested that we should do a European tour, performing
on cello and piano in a number of countries. We don't know,
yet, what will come of the idea, but it's of course something we'd
love to do! After all, that's where most of the music we play
came from! The idea was raised by a new friend of ours, the
world's leading "studio" cellist, Ray Kelley. Ray
has been the principal cellist in over 600 major movies, and his CD
discography, over 200 strong, includes collaboration with artists
before the time of Frank Sinatra, with Frank Sinatra himself, and
with just about every major artist since Frank Sinatra!
Ray owns a recording and distribution company in Germany, and has
expressed a desire to have "his" audience meet the two of
us. (We'll be blogging about the way in which we met Ray, which
was amazing ... it was one of those "how did that
happen?!" situations <smile> ... we thought we were taking
a detour, driving back to Phoenix from a trip we'd made to
Los Angeles, and ended up playing for Ray and his wife, Cheryl, at
their home in Palm Springs, California. He even let us play
his cello, one of the world's great instruments, which was made in
1694 (!) ... imagine that, a cello made when Bach
was nine years old! For any of y'all reading this who
are cellists ... if Ray ever offers to let you play his cello, we
really really really suggest that you take him up on it (!) ... what
a wonderful instrument! I mean ... our cellos
are truly special ... but ... WOW!
Although we'd like
to travel, from time to time, including to Europe and other special
places, our main goals are local and regional. We hope to play
music for generations of people right here in our very own community,
and in our region of the country, in much the same way that Albert
Schwartz, our pediatrician, who we admire immensely, has taken care
of generations of children.
In addition to playing music for people, we've also been in the process
of founding a nonprofit corporation, Young Musicians in Service to
America, which is devoted to the development of excellence and service
in young musicians. For example, it will be teaching youth how
to go about performing in such settings as hospices, elder care centers,
pediatric wards, and prisons, places where the beauty of classical
music is simply needed, and can make a tremendous difference
in the day-to-day lives of a great many people. We've done a
lot of playing music in settings such as those, and invariably find
it deeply satisfying to do so ... and we believe that it's
extremely important for young people to know that, aside from the
ability to "entertain" people by playing music, there's
a service side of the musical experience which is not only
incredibly powerful, and profoundly valuable, but is a very
good reason to keep improving your musical skills and play your instrument(s)
for the entire course of a lifetime!
Oh. Almost forgot. We've got a few students,
too ... cello and piano, of course, but also violin. (Why, exactly,
people keep sending us violin students is a bit of a mystery,
but there you have it. <smile>) As we said above, we love
working with kids, and seem to have a bit of a knack for it, although
our schedules don't give us much time to teach, so we've had to limit
the number of students we work with. (<sigh> Waaay
too few hours in the day, have y'all noticed that?!)
You might also be
interested in, and could ask us about, The RiceHouse Beautiful Music
Group and The Rice Brothers Barnstorming Orchestra... <smile>
The other thing we'd like you to know about us ... aside from "everything
to do with music," which is the main reason we've put up this
videoblog ... is that we're utterly committed to family.
We hope that, one of these days, you'll get to meet our parents.
Their names are John and Jean, and they're both quite wonderful.
We do as much as we can together, as a family ... we're quite committed
to that ... it's something we enjoy on such a deep level.
Our Mom once said to us, back when we were really little, that she
feels that one of the most important things in life is to see how
big you can get your idea of "family" to be. It's
in that spirit that we welcome you to our videoblog ... we hope that
we'll become friends with you, and that over time, that friendship
will grow into thinking of one another as family.
We very much look forward to meeting you. We hope you enjoy
the time you spend here, and that you find it valuable.
And we hope that all your days are deeply Blessed, and unfold in the
same way that the world's most beautiful music does...
With love to all of you from both of us,
Johnny and Chris