Band Spotlight: Red Soul Mountain



As a current student of guitar teacher, Patrick Dugan, Stephen has the tools and discipline to follow through with his dreams. Stephen Giunta and his swaying, indie, slightly gritty and earthy band, “Red Soul Mountain” paves it’s own path. These talented kids were chosen by a Talent Scout to perform Sunday, March 9th, at Q Sports Bar & Grill in Darien, IL. Hats off to them!

It’s events like these that make me proud of what we do here at Musical Expressions.
To help everyone express their unique song…
Take a listen to this up-and-coming talent.
Again, hats off to “Red Soul Mountain”.

Amanda Riva

Web Content Manager/Blogger/Office Staff
Musical Expressions of IL, LLC.

18 Things Creative People Do Differently

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Last night, while perusing through my work (and not pleased at the amount I didn’t get done), I saw one of my close friends post a very interesting article about creative minds, and why we creative minds need to stay doing our important roles.

You may think (or not) that this kind of role is restricted to artsy types: painters, musicians, writers, etc… Au contraire! Many business men and women, engineers, and medical professionals need creativity to make the world turn just as much as Pablo Picasso or Niel Young. 

We are observers of the world. We love to surround ourselves with beauty and keep our minds fresh with new experiences, a different take on old ideas, intellectual stimulation, and getting out of our own minds a bit to solve problems. And there is heavy benefit to daydreaming or “being spacey”, by the way… despite what your peers, family or teachers may have said about you “paying attention.” (I certainly got slapped on the wrist in grade school for “not paying attention!”)

A very interesting and refreshing read with scientific research behind it…
a gem to anyone creative out there!


Read more here!


Amanda Riva

Staff/Web Content Manager/Blogger
Musical Expressions of IL, LLC.

All That Jazz


Great post, guys :)

Originally posted on WXRT:

Today is the anniversary of the births of two great saxophone players. Both men made major contributions to jazz. If you’re looking for something to stretch your musical horizons, these two would be a great place to start. A great introduction would be checking out the movie Round Midnight. Dexter wore the hats of musician and actor. Watch these videos, and if they spark your interest, download, get the cd’s, or if you have a turntable, this stuff is magnificent on vinyl. And while you’re at it, check out Jazz Transfusion with Barry Winograd on XRT, 11:00 Sunday nights.

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2nd Annual Bring A Friend Prize Winners…2014!


Drawing names out of a hat… friends and family having a wonderful time together… new students signing up… it was a win-win for everyone!

This year’s Bring A Friend week was a mega hit…
…and tons of great kids and adults participated in our raffle!

Here are the winners of the prizes for Musical Expressions’ 2014  BAF week!

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Prize #13: Plush Bear
Winner: Ashyln B.

Prize #12: Plush Dog
Ellie H.

Prize #11: $10 iTunes Giftcard
Winner: Destiny B.

Prize #10: Tranformer Kite
Winner: Nathan R.

Prize #9: Dragon Kite
Winner: Andrew S.

Prize #8: Wonderloom
Winner: Amy S.

Prize #7: Giant Plush Frog Pillow
Winner: Gretchen S.

Prize #6: $15 iTunes Giftcard
Winner: Aditi P.

Prize #5: $15 iTunes Giftcard
Winner: Bina B.

Prize #4: Art Gear
Winner: Hannah P.

And our top three winners are…

T H I R D   P R I Z E :
“Despicable Me” 1&2 DVD Set

Winner: Erin A.

S E C O N D   P R I Z E :
Mini table-tennis/football table
Winner: Jordan R.

F I R S T    P R I Z E :Android Tablet
Winner: Andrew Biddison

We thank you ALL for participating this year!
We hope to bring in more awesome prizes and keep this wonderful tradition of sharing the music open for a very, very long time!


Amanda Riva
Web Content Manager/Blogger
Musical Expressions of IL, LLC.


Katarina Performs for AIM


Katarina C., one of Amy Dickman’s piano students, was invited to perform in the Honor’s Recital by ISTMA, the Illinois State Music Teachers Association, for her Achievement In Music exam score, which was a perfect 100%!

What is AIM?
(Achievement In Music)

“ISMTA has developed a nationally recognized curriculum that focuses on comprehensive musicianship skills for students of piano, organ, voice, and strings. As students progress from beginning through advanced levels, they receive a rich training in performance and theory.

Yearly examinations give students the incentive to set goals and experience the rewards of musical accomplishment. Even if you choose not to enroll students in the examinations, AIM materials will prove valuable. The repertoire listed in the syllabus is categorized according to grade level and musical period. Supplementary materials provide teaching guidelines for the technique and theory portions of the program.”

What an accomplishment!
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Katarina will be performing Sunday, February 23rd at the Steinway Piano Gallery in Hinsdale.
She goes on at 3PM sharp!
120 S. Washington St,
Hinsdale, IL

If you’re in the area, come out to see Katarina work her magic!
Congratulations again, Katarina!



Amanda Riva
Web Content Manager/Blog Author
Musical Expressions of IL, LLC.

Kyle: Gamer…Pianist…Winner!


Ah, yes!

I was enthralled to see the note on my desk that one of John Melnick’s piano students, Kyle, is a fan of the infamous Professor Layton games… I almost fell out of my chair! Not too many people have heard of the game series. With it’s intense story line, challenging puzzles and adventures, this game has enveloped my family…even me! Even more, it’s magical and entrancing… the player gets to be Luke, The Professor’s sidekick, in every mystery. The music is also extremely beautiful in this game, and it’s no wonder that Kyle chose to play it for the “All Saint’s Catholic Academy” talent show.

And won!


Though Kyle is only in 7th grade, he’s mastered the beautiful game’s theme song, winning the musical division of the school’s talent show.

We couldn’t be more proud of him!

To hear the theme song, click the video below.

Keep it up, Kyle!


A Musician’s Thoughts on a Winter Day

Readers, it’s time for revival.

The other day I woke up a bit late and missed class. To my surprise, a surge of thought about work and passion came to mind, and fought head to head. I thought I’d share my thoughts for those in a creative rut, or deciding whether to create when the creativity strikes, or focus on daily work.

Here’s to anyone in a rut, a struggle, or needing their passion!

“I sit now in a house that isn’t mine and feel the sunshine staring at me through the window. What to do next. It’s always on my mind. To find the time to care for my creative self. The pace of this world is fast and never ceases. How to fit, how to run, and how to put together all the pieces to make my world spin a little longer, to sing a song… dear life, I can’t find mine!”

“I know it exists, and I persist, blanketed by veils of my own understanding. And understanding of sorts that I swim through, relive every moment I can to revive myself. My world is a beautiful one.”

“So what’s next?”

“I woke up late, and it’s later now, so for today, that time is lost in the air around me. Groceries and necessities are paid in full and I need nothing more. My work stares at me like a shadow on the wall.”

“But oh, how I can’t ignore the passion to create!”

“My work gives me taps on the shoulder, not reminding, but stinging. Work, I will get to you, but please be quiet, as I am in my better world. I have to be careful with balance, I know… but how careful, really? Can I not go free and do what my passion tells me to do? After all, isn’t it myself I need?”

“I am all I have after all, and what good does it do to ignore myself? Caught between tides, an ocean of two realities – needs, and higher needs. Can I hold my mind in place long enough to work?”

“Or will the numbers and words fall off the page, my scribbles spilling and my ideas floating away in the air, frantically trying to get them back?”

“So what’s next?”

“Mind over matter, I always know. There’s a part of me, though, that I need not ignore because if I do, my work will kill me. The chill of the sunshine will burn me.”

“Passion is what I need, and today will be wasted if I don’t pay attention.”

Amanda Riva
Office Staff/Web Mistress
Musical Expressions of IL. LLC.