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.
>>>>WATCH MY TV CLIPS ON THE GOOD DAY WEBSITE<<<<
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