Camp Concert at Atwater in the Park

Summer Music Camp Concert

The Grosse Pointe Music Academy Summer Music Camp will perform it’s end of the week concert on Friday, August 8th from 2:00pm-3pm.

The concert will be held at Atwater in the Park; a new family-friendly, neighborhood restaurant and brew pub in Grosse Pointe Park.  The food is great so if you’re hungry be sure to give it a try!

The summer music camp concert will consist of rock music acts performed by 2 different bands from the group.

summer music camp group pic

Atwater in the park



Atwater in the Park

1175 Lakepointe St.

Grosse Pointe Park, MI

The Grosse Pointe Music Academy

Rock Band Recital Fail

Rock Band Recital Fail

Upon taking the stage, Henry, Grant, Stephen, and Griffin, also known as Rubber Band to the audience of the Grosse Pointe Music Academy Spring Recital, had no idea that their performance would be a viral Internet sensation. Watch this 60-second video to see what all the buzz is about!

The song being covered was Weezer’s “Undone – The Sweater Song,” and here is what the band had to say on twitter about the performance:

Thankfully, the great teachers and staff of Grosse Pointe Music Academy came to the rescue. Thank you Hans, Bobby, Dave, and Jake for for responding so quickly! After making sure that nobody was hurt or too embarrassed, everyone had a good laugh and Rubber Band continued on to play their performance pieces. Two days after posting the video, Grosse Pointe Music Academy began to recieve phone calls from several news agencies, including Yahoo News, Ellen TV, and The Huffington Post, who were looking to share the video on their sites and shows.

Grosse Pointe Music Academy offers group instruction to help bands enhance their skills as a group and polish their performances. As it seems so popular, perhaps we should add a master class on how to smash guitars and cause keyboard stands to collapse on stage!

Yahoo News Skype interview with the singer.

Music Together June 2014

Music Together June 2014: Gallop, March, & Shake This Summer!

Summer is not only our favorite time of year because of the beautiful sunshine and warmth, but also because we get to enjoy a compilation of many of our favorite Music Together songs from the different collections. We will be enjoying the “Summer Songs 3” collection including favorites “Shake Those Simmons Down,” “Singn’ Every Day,” and many more!

Have you ever wondered about the theory behind Music Together’s song collections? There are nine collections, not including the Summer Collections, and the music themes are organized to be in sync with the feelings of the different seasons. The summer collections, which are a compilation of favorites from across the nine collections, provide some repetition as that is beneficial in children’s music development. If you go through all 9 collections, your children will learn over 300 songs – what an impressive number!


Upcoming Events

Wednesday, June 11: In Grosse Pointe, Miss Emily will host a demo at the Grosse Pointe Music Academy at 9:30 am to preview the summer collection. Please let any friends looking for fun and educational activities know about it. Thank you!

Thursday, June 19: In Canton, there will be a make-up class for the Canton Thursday evening class at 6:45 pm. This is to make-up for the class cancellation early on in the Spring session.


Monday, June 16th & Monday, June 23rdIn Grosse Pointe, the 9:30 and 10:30 classes will continue to meet these two Mondays to make-up for Memorial Day and a class cancellation in May.


June 24 & 25 – Hummingbirds Music Together is beyond excited to have been asked to participate in Royal Oak Farmer’s Market Kids Club Live! We are joining together with many of our fellow metro-Detroit Music Together programs to provide free musical entertainment and to share information regarding musical development and our programs. Please stop by to say hello and join in to help spread the magic of Music Together.

June 27 – In Grosse Pointe, we are excited to be kicking off the Summer Sing & Sign events with the first event. Join us at 10 am for the interactive free session and then stay for a fun kids craft hosted by the Grosse Pointe Momprenuers.

Week of July 14: Summer Semester starts and goes for 6 weeks thru the week of August 18th. Click here to register for the summer session if you haven’t reserved your spot yet!


Wednesday, August 6: In Canton, we couldn’t be more thrilled that the Canton Public Library keeps inviting us back to host a fun-filled hour of music and movement. We will be taking sing-song trip to the Zoo and hope you can join us. We then plan to picnic afterwards at Heritage Park so all of our attending Hummingbirds Music Together families can keep the fun going!



It’s Time to Celebrate!

Congratulations to all of our Hummingbirds Music Together families that have completed all nine Music Together collections! It is a pure joy seeing you all encourage your children in both expressing themselves and in their music development! We will be recognizing the families in class and also giving them a special gift towards their continued music education. In addition to our amazing families, congratulations also are in order for Miss Hazima who has now taught all 9 collections! We are so thankful that Miss Hazima is a part of Hummingbirds Music Together and helps spread her love of music and learning with us in every class!


As we started out, the start of summer is one of the BEST times of year! We hope your family and friends enjoy the longer and much warmer days! Please do plan to join us for music class and our many different events throughout the summer to help keep your family’s musical journey going strong!

Thanks you!

Sarah Boyd, Hummingbirds Music Together Center Director

Hazimah Sovoda and Emily Schienke, Registered Music Together Teachers

Henry Bahrou, Grosse Pointe Music Academy School Director

3 String Guitars

 Three-String Guitars

3 string guitars

loog guitars

What originated as a Kickstarter® campaign, the Loog guitar has now been put into production, and people around the world are experiencing the benefits of this simple but brilliant idea.  The brilliance lies in the reduction of six strings to three so that beginners and experienced players alike can focus on a limited section of the guitar neck.  So, why limit the number of strings?  Beginners can more easily focus and can actually transition to a six-string guitar without developing any poor habits.  Even advanced players will benefit from seeing the patterns that develop from a smaller set of possibilities.  As a teacher and music academy director for over 15 years, I truly expect the three-string guitar to revolutionize guitar playing all over the world.  Its compact size allows players as young as four, and perhaps even younger, to start learning how to play guitar.

Watch this video to see the Loog in action!

Grosse Pointe Music Academy will stock and sell all models and parts for Loog three-string guitars.  We will also provide lessons specifically for the three-string guitar for students aged four and up.

Loog 3 string Acoustic Guitar

Guitars with fewer than six strings have been created before, so the concept of three strings is not entirely new.  What I feel is unique about the Loog three-string guitars is the creators’ commitment to guitar education, with the three-string guitar being the perfect step towards playing the more complex six-string guitar.  Another unique feature of the Loog guitar is that when you purchase any of their models, they are unassembled.  Not to worry though as they are very easy to put together and all models have interchangeable parts!  The Loog guitar also makes an excellent travel instrument.  I can’t wait to get mine!

Go to Loog I product page

Go to Loog II product page




Puccini’s Turandot

Puccini’s Turandot

at Michigan Opera Theatre

By Patricia Lawlis


Giacomo Puccini, as a 19th century Italian composer, was born into a world ripe for musical transition.  While the music of most Western countries continued to evolve by developing a strong tradition of symphonic music and by embracing the quartet, the operatic style of Italian music began to stagnate.[i]  This climate, as well as Puccini’s musical training in Milan, which was a center of new ideas in political and social life, is perhaps partly responsible for the changes in musical form that can be found in Puccini’s mature operas, as well as in his last opera, Turandot.

Puccini's Turandot

The operas that fall into the category of Puccini’s mature operas are the works that follow Manon Lescaut and La Boheme.  Fedele D’Amico, an Italian musicologist, defines the mature Puccini opera in terms of a work that embodies a specific Puccinian spirit, or “the spirit that makes his [Puccini’s] theater an authentic voice of the new society, so different from the Verdian voice.”[ii]  An example of a specific trait that marks the mature Puccini opera is the lack of morality found in the majority of his later characters.  In contrast to the operas of Puccini’s contemporaries, most notably of the time, Giuseppe Verdi, where characters tend to follow a set moral code, even if such a code is skewed towards a darker intent, Puccini’s characters, especially his female characters, act without any clear sense of morality.[iii]


Puccini’s last opera, Turandot, however, is a work that builds on the musical transformation of the mature operas and becomes a new style where “post-Verdian Italian operatic music, veristic and romantic, meets, and momentarily merges with, the surge of influences from northern and eastern Europe.”[iv]  Whereas the mature operas were notable for their lack of morality, in Turandot, Puccini sought to find a new extreme by writing an opera that would encompass both serious drama and comedy.


Turandot was an ideal piece for this musical experiment because of the source, a play written by eighteenth century Venetian, Gozzi, in 1762.[v]  Gozzi’s play is an adaptation of an ancient fairy tale in which a cruel eastern princess, Turandot, stipulates that her hand (and the throne of China), will only go to the man that can answer three riddles.  After the death of several suitors, the riddles are eventually answered by Calaf, the son of an exiled King, who wins Turandot’s hand, and later her love.[vi]  Gozzi’s writing style combines the serious drama that revolves around Turandot and her slain suitors, with comic aspects found from the many minor characters who mock the fallen men and the situation.  When Puccini saw Gozzi’s play in the summer is 1920, he was already known for writing one-act works focusing on either the serious/mystic or the comic, but the combination of the two sides of drama in the play inspired Puccini to attempt to combine the aspects into his own operatic rendition of Turandot.[vii]


In collaboration with librettists Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni, Puccini began work on Turandot, determined that the finished opera would be not only his most important work, but an opera of “legendary stature and philosophic implication.”[viii]  This desire was perhaps one of the contributing aspects that would make this final opera so difficult to compose, and ultimately result in an unfinished work.  Puccini’s need to make everything perfect drove him to take a more active role in the writing of the libretto than he had in any of his previous works, and as librettist Adami began to become famous in his own right, and had less and less time to devote to Turandot, Puccini took over the work with constant rewrites and personal dictation.[ix]  Louis Biancolli suggests that if Puccini has simply chosen to write the libretto himself, it would have simplified the process as his level of involvement only served to add another writer to the already complicated process.[x]


Perhaps the aspect that caused the greatest amount of difficulty was, very simply, the act of blending the comic and the serious in a new operatic form.  Throughout the composition process, Puccini attempted to “preserve something of the spirit of the old play and at the same time… attempting to add to it the softness and mysticism which he needed for his music.”[xi]  Ultimately, Puccini died in November, 1924 with the final duet for the opera still unfinished.  It fell to Franco Alfano to complete the work using Puccini’s sketches, but Alfano knew that he would not be able to capture Puccini’s desire that the final duet be, “a great duet… [in which] two almost superhuman beings descend through love to the level of mankind, and this love must at the end take possession of the whole stage in a great orchestral peroration.”[xii]  Overall, Puccini’s struggles with this work, his efforts to blend serious drama and comedy, were not to be realized with a final, ultimate love duet.  While the work is recognized as one of his masterpieces and an exhibit of Puccini’s ability to incorporate new and unique ideas into his music, without his ability to bring his vision of the final duet to life, the work remains an unfinished piece.


After being completed by Alfano, the opera was first performed at La Scala on April 25th, 1926.[xiii]  Michigan Opera Theatre will perform the opera this May, from the 10th through the 18th, under the direction of Garnett Bruce and with conductor Valerio Galli.  Ticket and other information can be found at







Biancolli, Louis, ed..  The Opera Reader: A Complete Guide to the Best Loves Operas.

New York: Grosser & Dunlap, 1953.


Earl of Harewood, The.  Kobbe’s Complete Opera Book.

London: William Clowes and Sons Ltd., 1963.


Puccini, Simonetta and William Weaver, eds..  The Puccini Companion.

New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1994.


[i] Simonetta Puccini and William Weaver, eds., The Puccini Companion (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1994) 39-40.

[ii] Simonetta Puccini and William Weaver, eds., The Puccini Companion (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1994) 143.

[iii] Simonetta Puccini and William Weaver, eds., The Puccini Companion (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1994) 114, 116.

[iv] Louis Biancolli, ed., The Opera Reader: A Complete Guide to the Best Loves Operas (New York: Grosser & Dunlap, 1953) 394.

[v] Louis Biancolli, ed., The Opera Reader: A Complete Guide to the Best Loves Operas (New York: Grosser & Dunlap, 1953) 389.

[vi] The Earl of Harewood, Kobbe’s Complete Opera Book (London: William Clowes and Sons Ltd., 1963) 657.

[vii] Louis Biancolli, ed., The Opera Reader: A Complete Guide to the Best Loves Operas (New York: Grosser & Dunlap, 1953) 389.

[viii] Louis Biancolli, ed., The Opera Reader: A Complete Guide to the Best Loves Operas (New York: Grosser & Dunlap, 1953) 390.

[ix] O Louis Biancolli, ed., The Opera Reader: A Complete Guide to the Best Loves Operas (New York: Grosser & Dunlap, 1953) 389.

[x] Louis Biancolli, ed., The Opera Reader: A Complete Guide to the Best Loves Operas (New York: Grosser & Dunlap, 1953) 393.

[xi] Louis Biancolli, ed., The Opera Reader: A Complete Guide to the Best Loves Operas (New York: Grosser & Dunlap, 1953) 393.

[xii] Louis Biancolli, ed., The Opera Reader: A Complete Guide to the Best Loves Operas (New York: Grosser & Dunlap, 1953) 392.

[xiii] Louis Biancolli, ed., The Opera Reader: A Complete Guide to the Best Loves Operas (New York: Grosser & Dunlap, 1953) 394.