I have always loved playing holiday music, and nowadays I enjoy teaching holiday music to my students each year. Last month I was privileged to visit “Good Day Sacramento,” part of CW31’s TV station in Sacramento, to play holiday music for their morning show. For me as a teacher, it was a joy to share this with my students. For me as a person, it was a dream come true.
On an early Sunday morning, my wife and I got in the car to drive to the TV station. Though we ended up staying there for three hours, my recorded segments were short (30 seconds to 4 minutes). All in all, we aired six segments, for about twelve minutes of air time!
What a blast! I loved getting a glimpse into how a live TV show operates. And of course, it was great to play music for everyone. As far as the holiday music played, each segment featured a different song, namely:
- Let it Snow (the weather truly was “frightful,” the coldest day of the year that I could recall, “but the fire is so delightful…”)
- Santa Claus is Coming to Town (this worked out perfectly because Santa Claus literally was at the studio!)
- What Child is This (a favorite of mine for most of my life, one of the inspirations for me to play piano)
- The Christmas Song/Chestnuts roasting on an open fire (I talked with Santa Claus about him singing this, but that didn’t happen, so I just did a short segment instead.)
- We Wish you a Merry Christmas
- Feliz Navidad (Santa sang along!)
One of the things I enjoy about teaching music is that I get to explain my process to my students. For this show, I didn’t use sheet music. Instead, I played from memory and improvised the chords. Also, because I didn’t know exactly what would happen when I got to the station (this was my first on air TV gig!), I didn’t decide which songs I was going to do until I got to the TV station and knew what to expect. I came up with the choices on the fly because they felt right.
The key to pulling this off was preparation. I have been performing holiday music for years, and many hundreds of piano shows have prepared me for my “big moment” on TV. Therefore I was fully prepared to play on cue with a huge TV camera and many people in the room staring at me.
I have always dreamed of being both a great performer and also of being on TV. Also, since I came to Sacramento and heard about Good Day Sacramento, I wanted to be on the show. Last month’s TV visit confirms to me that if you want something badly enough, you can get there!
I use this philosophy in my teaching. As a teacher, I believe strongly in the power of desire and encourage my students to follow their musical interests. I wouldn’t be doing music if it wasn’t for the love it, and I do everything I can to unleash this in my students.
What is it YOU have always wished you could do at the piano?
Are you ready to stop struggling and become the performer you have always wanted to be? Contact me today and let’s talk about how I can help you get there!