Monday, December 31, 2012

Interested in Making Music?

It is wonderful if you or your child is interested in playing an instrument!  If your child (or you) have been seriously considering a specific instrument, then that is the instrument you should pursue.  If you attempt to try another instrument before progressing to the one you really desire, then you might cause a lot of frustration that may turn into aversion.  Aversion may not always happen, but you have to consider the risk if you insist your child begins playing a different instrument before the one he or she really wants to play.

As with anything, conduct some personal research before you dive in.  Look up the history and invention of the instrument on Wikipedia, search on YouTube to see people playing the instrument.  If you know anyone personally who already plays, ask them to tell you about it, how the sound is produced or even to play a song for you.  If after all your research and self-education, your child (or you) continue to show an increasing interest in the instrument (note: voice, i.e. singing, is an instrument, too) then you need to begin to search for all your options.

There are many local music stores available where you can rent, rent to purchase, or buy various instruments who also provide music instruction, maintenance and repair specific to that instrument.  Shop around for the best offers.  Remember: you're in the driver's seat.  Personally, I recommend dealing with a local store for several key reasons.
  1. You have a physical location where you can return the instrument for maintenance or in case you want to return it.
  2. You have real people who can assist you through the process with personal customer service.
  3. They are more likely to offer other financial options in regards to strict renting, renting towards purchase, three-month trials, etc. instead of just out-right purchasing.  
  4. You are able to view and try the instrument before you make a commitment.  If you find an instrument online, like at Craigslist, Amazon or eBay, you don't truly know the condition of the instrument before you purchase it.  With Craigslist, you might not be able to return it for a refund or repair.  
 With children it can be difficult to discern when the time is right to pursue musical instruction.  I will approach the issue with my own children in the following manner.  If they express a serious interest in a particular instrument over a significant amount of time, say one year, for example, and they show enough discipline in other areas to where they can sit still for instruction and practice at least 5 days faithfully most weeks, then I will feel that they are ready to begin.  This would be the case where a financial and time investment needs to be made on my part.  When, and if, that time comes I would allow them to pursue whichever instrument they are inclined towards.  We would see if there are three-month rental trials available and test it out.  If my child practices on his or her own initiative, then we would continue for a year and maybe switch our payment options toward a rent to purchase.  I should not have to pressure my child to practice if he or she is truly interested in the instrument.  It should be something he or she enjoys doing.  

Likewise you must find a teacher who's style and personality are a good fit for you and your child.  Oftentimes students who are interested in the instrument will become averse to it if the teacher doesn't suit their personality.  As a parent, I would observe the lessons in the beginning to see how the teacher interacts with my child.  If it something doesn't seem to be working well, then we might need to change teachers.  Every individual student and teacher are unique and switching teachers should not be taken personally.  Your child needs a teacher who has mastered the instrument themselves, who is excited about your child learning the instrument, who can diagnose problems and explain concepts in the way that your child will understand, who can motivate your child to continue, and who can make your child feel at ease.  Observing the lessons in the beginning can help you determine if your child and that teacher will make a good match educationally.

I hope that this proves helpful to some of you parents out there who have children discussing musical instruction.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Reviews: AARP Volunteer Appreciation Dinner 2012

The following are handwritten comments I received from guests attending the Appreciation and Recognition Dinner hosted by AARP Saturday night, December 15, 2012.  The evening was moderated by Tobias Tillmon in the Marriott Atlanta Century Center Hotel.  I was contracted to play background music while the guests arrived to take their seats and also while they enjoyed the first dinner course.  For the former time allotment I played traditional Christmas carols.  For the later, featured selections, I performed three movements from The Solo Partita in D Minor by Johann Sebastian Bach entitled, Allemande, Corrente, & Giga followed by two Christmas carols arranged by Marilyn Carlson entitled Coventry Carol and, finally, Sweet Little Jesus Boy.


"How blessed you are.  God has given you a talent.  I so enjoyed your music.  Good luck and God bless." 

"Meggan, Please continue to share your God-given gift with others!  Truly a blessing for me tonight and as the weeks will go by."

"Meggan - Your talent is remarkable.  All of the selections, but especially the last, spoke to me.  You and your music became one.  It was very touching.  Thank you for sharing with us."
Ginny Reid

"Meggan Anderson you and your instrument were truly one.  Keep up the work."

"Awesome. I am so pleased to have had an opportunity to be able to witness this performance.  Continue to stay on your path.  Thank you!!"

"Great Job!  I love the presentation that you gave prior to beginning.  Not often do you get a chance to get the background story before hearing the selection.  *The last selection was moving - Thank You!"

"I truly enjoyed your music.  I know you are extremely talented and I would like to hear your music again.  Let me know if you will be available." 
Shirley Hunter

"Beautiful, precise playing!"

"Dear Meggan, Your violin playing is simply beautiful.  Your playing seems to be very effortless but your talent demonstrates that you have put a lot of hard work in developing your skill in music.  I appreciate hearing you share your talent.  May God continue to bless you."
Thomas Walter (I hope I read the name correctly. :-)


Thank you, Tobias Tillmon, for contracting me to perform for your event.  It was an honor and joy for me to do so.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Studio Reviews: Vicki Johnson Art Opening 2011, Norcross Welcome Center

August 3rd, 2011 Vicki Johnson sat outside under a tent in the hot and humid Georgia heat to paint a portrait of the Welcome Center in the City of Norcross on Lawrenceville Street. She did a beautiful job. Inside were displayed just a few samples of her gallery of paintings. Most are acrylics or oils on canvas or wood mediums in the impressionist and romantic styles and all are lovely. There were hors d'oeuvres from The Blue House Cafe just around the corner on North Cemetery Street accompanied by solo violin music in the background provided by Meggan Anderson.

The following are written comments the guests graciously provided.

"Thank you Meggan. Great." - M. Sudderth

"Thank you Meggan for the beautiful music." - Grace

The music is very beautiful and enchanting!
Keep up the good work.
Golden strings!" - Aleem & Chantez

"The music was DIVINE
. . . a rare treat . . .
your talent is amazing.
Thank you for sharing your 'gift'!" -Beth Gayle

Your violin speaks to the heart.
Your talent is amazing." - Richard Gayle

"Music was really beautifully done! Thanks! :-D" - Anonymous


If you are interested in providing your guests with solo violin music for your next event, large or small, comment on this post below or email me at and I'll be glad to speak with you on the services I can offer.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Anderson Music Studio Handbook

Welcome to The Anderson Music Studio!

This handbook is a resource guide for all things concerning 
any musical instruction I provide.

If you have any questions regarding the following information, please feel free to comment on this post, call (770.841.5547) or send me an email ( Your personal information will always be protected from public view.

Thank you for perusing.

A Letter to Parents & Students

Dear Parents and Students,

Music is defined as a pitch in time. But the whole of music cannot be confined to a simple mathematical equation.

Music is an expression of the soul. Through music one can engage in the highest of all exercises, the worship of the Holy Creator, Redeemer God. Music can proclaim critical truths from God's Word, it can make Scripture memory easier, it can comfort the hearts of hurting and doubtful people and it can communicate the entire gambit of human emotions across all languages, nationalities, ethnicities, cultures and ages. It is a gift from God by which the musician can glorify God in return or bless others in ministry.

Sing to Him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.
Psalm 33:3

Music is just as much a discipline as reading, writing and arithmetic. And just as other disciplines require skill, though there may be a measure of talent or gift involved, so does music require the learning of particular skills to execute proficiently. Talent allows the assimilation of such skills to come easily, but correct, regular practice is needed for adapting these new skills until they are effectively mastered. Not every student needs natural talent in order to become a fine musician. All that is required is patient, disciplined practice and a skillful, caring, thoughtful, attentive teacher. I look forward to providing you with such a teacher for as long as you would allow.

It is my desire
to provide a comfortable and safe learning environment for each student,
to teach and encourage each student to the best of my abilities,
to be sensitive to the learning needs of each student,
to help each student set realistic goals for achievement,
to adjust the teaching to the goals of each student,
to treat you with respect,
to exercise justice,
to be flexible to the needs and circumstances of each student in terms of scheduling and other emergencies, etc. that arise,
to always remember that all things are done "to the glory of God" from whom and to whom are all things.

I consider it a privilege to work with you.

Meggan Anderson

Services & Payments

Private violin instruction begins at $20 for one half-hour lesson, $28 for a forty-five minute lesson or $35 for one hour lesson.

General music instruction in areas of literacy, theory, sight-singing and ear-training, composition and arranging are available for $10 for one half-hour and $20 for one hour. This instruction may be given to individuals or groups.

These rates are effective for lessons given in my home. If you are interested in brief, 2 to 6 week courses in general music instruction, other teaching locations will be strongly considered.

Payments for each month are made at the first lesson of every month. This method of payment allows for paper conservation, reduced confusion regarding payments and ease for lesson scheduling.

There is a First Month Trial Offer by which a new student pays for 3 lessons and receives the fourth free. This is to allow time for the student, parent and teacher to decide whether it is desirable to continue. There is no initial obligation, no commitments and no signed contracts. It is important to find a teacher with whom the student and parent are comfortable and that may take some time.

If a lesson needs to be cancelled or rescheduled, kindly give 24 hours advance notice to avoid financial responsibility. In the event that a student will be absent from a scheduled lesson, given prior knowledge, a credit will be made toward the next month for that missed lesson. If prior notice of 24 hours has not been given, payment for that lesson is forfeit.

Exceptions to avoid financial responsibility for missed lessons include: personal and family emergencies, contagious/serious illness which require medical attention, inclement weather and threats to national security.

In the event that a student discontinues lessons any payment credits will be promptly refunded. The parent and teacher are free to discontinue lessons for any reason at any time.

Schedule, Absence & Tardy Policies

The Music Studio offers lessons Mondays through Saturdays. Specific day and time arrangements for each student can be made once contact is established. Lessons can begin at any time during the course of the month or year.

It is optimal to schedule lessons once weekly. In this way, the student is given sufficient practice time between lessons to establish a regular daily/weekly routine and schedule for each individual family and home. Other scheduling arrangements can be made for special auditions, performances, and vacations. I am also available to teach lessons twice weekly, if that is desirable.

Please remember to notify me at least 24 hours in advance if you need to cancel or reschedule a lesson in order to avoid financial responsibility. For sudden illnesses and emergencies in less than 24 hours, a courtesy call would be greatly appreciated. If a lesson should be missed for an emergency, the student will not be financially responsible (see Services & Payments).

If a student is tardy for the lesson, please note that there may not be the opportunity to have a full lesson and it may have to end at the normal time. If I am able, I will do my best to accommodate the situation at hand. It is my goal to be respectful of your time and end each lesson as scheduled.

Should the road conditions become severe, all lessons for that day would be cancelled or postponed at no charge.