I'm sending this email to let you know how grateful I am for your support! And although it's been too long since I last wrote one of these news update emails, I want you to know I'm still thinking about you! Thank you for attending any of my performances in 2019, or just clicking on a link I may have posted. Feel free to get in touch and say "Hello"!
This year I was a bit compromised with a frozen shoulder for several months, but am now almost fully recovered and am able to tickle the strings like I used to! Also, I was married in May 2019, and took a fantastical honeymoon in London and Paris to celebrate with my husband Stephen Clark! In 2020 you may find my name written like this: Molly White Clark! Yay!
I'm grateful to all my students and families. Every day I get to participate in their learning, and I learn from them in return. I offered some new challenges for my students this year that many met with eager joy. Learning to play in guitar ensemble, for example, takes dedicated daily practice, and sometimes the watchful eye of a parent who might also be learning how to read music along with their child. In 2019, I started teaching several students via Face Time when they moved to a new city or country, or when they were too sick to attend in person.
This year I started learning more about teaching mindfulness through a program called Mindful Schools, a robust program training teachers to teach mindfulness to children, while also learning more about current science and research on mindfulness. I will be integrating these ideas more and more into my studio teaching in 2020. Here's a short video in which the brain scientist Dan Siegel, uses the hand as a model for the brain as he describes how to talk about difficult emotions with children.
Suzuki Music Program of LA
2019 saw the end of my first year and the beginning of my second year as Co-Director for this non profit program. In addition to offering high quality group music education, we also have a performance schedule. This year our performances included the LA Jewish Home for the Aging, the Avant Garde Senior Living & Memory Care, and for the fifth year in a row we participated in the Bach in the Subway world-wide event, celebrating JS Bach's birthday in March. I'm so grateful for this position: I get to watch and encourage young people as they find their joy in music and offer it up as a gift to others. Recently at one of the rest homes, a resident leaned over as we were setting up, to say "I love you!" Simple as that! Please get in touch if you would like our violin groups or guitar ensemble to play at your event.
Peach & Spoon
I'm excited to report that the Peach & Spoon Adventure curriculum written for pre-schools, was again brought into public pre-schools in 2019, through the wonderful work of Create Now, a non-profit organization that empowers youth through arts education and mentoring. This time my friend and colleague Elena Degl'Innocenti taught the curriculum, and 150 children took home the Peach & Spoon CD (which you can purchase here)!
New songs are in the works for a second Peach & Spoon album. I am fortunate to get to try these songs out in the best laboratory possible: Pre-Schools!!! I can't wait to share them with you in 2020!
Creative Song Writing
2019 was a year of work-shopping new songs. I'm happy to say that the Bushwick Book Club LA has been revived (each participant reads the same book and then writes a song inspired by the book), and I was able to participate in three events! Feel free to join in any month yourself by signing up on the Instagram Page. Here's a compilation video from the event at Stories Cafe in September. This Sunday January 5 will be the first event of 2020 at Molly Malone's at 7:30. See you there!
I am so grateful also to Christian Elder for asking me to score his short film called Polyvore. I look forward to encountering more such opportunities in 2020!
I have enjoyed performing with this diverse group of women fro the last 15 years or so. The Nevenka Eastern European Folk Ensemble performed two shows to full audiences at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Studio City in April, and then at Remo Auditorium at Cal Tech in September, as a part of the Pasadena Folk Music Society's monthly series. Here's a video of concert highlights. Look out for more videos to be released in 2020!