Students at CCMG have so much to share with us, this page to highlight them! They are often not only great musicians but composers, artists, dancers, writers. Our teachers at CCMG create a safe space for students to express themselves. Here are some of their stories!
Students who want to be highlighed please use this form here: https://forms.gle/xwGZXnhbwTGdvqhQ7
I wanted to learn piano for a long time. But once I got married, I could not take the piano with me. So I didn’t play for about 15 years. Once the kids got older and I had more free time, I began itching to play again. I bought a piano and I decided I had to learn a ragtime song. They are just so fun. But I struggled. As a self-taught piano player, I’m sure I lacked a lot of technique and basic skills. I kept asking my husband for lessons but he just encouraged me to keep trying. What I didn’t know, is that he surprised me with piano lessons for Christmas. I was thrilled yet nervous. Will I be the only adult learner amongst the children? Will I disappoint/shock my teacher with my poor hand position/technique? But Stephen Evans was great! To this day he has never said anything negative about my playing. He encouragingly says, “Let’s try it this way” or my favorite, “Great recovery!" My first attempt at a rag song took me 8 months to learn. But now, after over a year with Stephen guiding me, I’ve learned so many rags (Scott Joplin is my favorite) and Disney rags too! I just get so much enjoyment out of playing.
I took "Introduction to Piano" during the summer of 2016 at the community center. Stephen Evans was my teacher and afterwards, I began taking piano lessons with him and my best friend. I played through all the introductory books and once I finished I could play songs of my choice. I mainly like to play songs by Queen, but I choose other songs too. Stephen has been a great teacher because he gets me through rough spots in my songs, and encourages me to keep practicing. The next song I’ll be learning is Bohemian Rhapsody.
Moraga Student wins American Protege Competition
Gets Christmas wish of playing as a soloist at Carnegie Hall
Performance Delayed until December 2021, due to Covid-19
[Moraga, CA]: 16 year old flutist Arhan Misra has put his pandemic time to good use. His dream was to perform at Carnegie Hall. Through the pandemic he has been taking lessons with Monica Williams a teacher at the Contra Costa Music Guild. He has been working hard polishing the famous French piece ‘Concertino’ by Cecile Chaminade. Arhan first performed the piece he submitted for the competition on a virtual recital hosted by CCMG.
In addition to practicing and performing with CCMG, Arhan continues to provide weekly virtual concerts for residents at the Aegis Living Center in Moraga. Arhan says, “I like to not only perform but share stories about the music with the residents because performing is about more than playing music, it’s about telling the history and background of it as well. It is nice to continue to perform during this time.”
“Arhan is a student that plays with such passion, it was not a surprise he was awarded second division and will perform at Carnegie Hall. I am so proud of him performing weekly so that isolated seniors can have live music,“ says Monica Williams, Arhan’s flute teacher at Contra Costa Music Guild. “Lots of activities were cancelled, but music was not cancelled. He is an inspiration to all, When life gives you lemons make Lemonade! He does not get to perform at Carnegie Hall this Christmas, but he will perform there next Christmas. It is a reminder that good things are on the horizons.”
"I have been playing piano for 6 years i My teacher Stephen Betz has been there every step of the way during my piano journey. Working on challenging pieces helps me with stressful situations all the time, and playing them can release a lot of tension. When I play this section I think of a fight coming to an end and the victory well deserved!"
Henry Dhanalal loves piano! He has been working hard during this pandemic! Henry is a student of Stephan Betz. Great work Henry!