It's an interactive concert, especially for ages 2-7 (and families)!
Come explore music & movement and laugh with Encore's band The Sunshines (made up of several of our instructors and a few advanced students). Your little ones will learn about music and discover many delightful surprises throughout the show.
Join us upstairs at Eagle Encore on Starlight Stage, 5/20, 2:30pm. It's free!
written by Danika Starrharrt
With a summer full of musical improv classes, here are 4 quick facts about what improvisation is and why it’s important.
1. It’s the “speaking” part of the musical language. Speaking is pretty important in our daily life, as it is musically in the life of a musician.
2. It’s a fun way to use theory in action. Why do we learn chords and scales and the circle of fifths? We see the reasons powerfully as we improvise.
3. Musical improv as a group is cooperative but meets everyone at their own level. It’s a way to make improvements on the exact areas each student needs in their technique, while the whole group still plays together and creates a song.
4. It’s how all the modern music is created, how a song forms. Classical and written music is wonderful, but if you want to be part of making the next pop songs, it all boils down to the process of speaking music.
Musical improv gets us out of our musical boxes and experiencing the “real deal” — and the best part? Anyone can do it! If you have the opportunity to learn it, you’ll be glad you did!
We are not a traditional, full-fledged dance studio...
Instead, our wonderful dance teachers provide some specialty types of dance classes.
Check them out in this handy guide below.
Encore's Summer Dance Programs
Quick Reference Guide
Summer-Long Clogging at Meridian
Thursdays, 4:00-5:00pm (ages 13-17) beginning level
Thursdays, 6:00-7:00pm (ages 8-12) beginning level
Summer Ballroom Workshops at Eagle
for adults (or parents + kids)
6/10, 10am-12pm: Ballroom Dance - Swing
7/8, 10am-12pm: Ballroom Dance - Salsa
8/12, 10am-12pm: Ballroom Dance - Waltz
Summer-Long Creative Concept Dance
Thursdays, 10:00-11:00am (ages 2-3) at S Meridian
Private Dance Lessons at Meridian
Ask about booking Lyrical, Ballet, or Jazz Dance lessons on your own schedule.
written by Danika Starrharrt
There's so much more to bringing music into the home than just "practice." Music doesn't live in a box, and neither do we need to operate in a "box" in the way we give music attention in our lives. Read on for a handful of fun ideas anyone can incorporate to bring music to life in the everyday.
1 Sing ascending scale when walking up stairs (how many steps up can you go/sing?) and descending scale when walking down stairs
2 Make a list of every different instrument you've ever gotten to try playing. Go on a hunt visiting friends' houses and music stores.
3 Play recorded instrumental music on speakers throughout the day, sometimes very familiar albums, sometimes songs entirely new to you. Let the music naturally fade in and out of your consciousness. From time to time, sing or pick up an instrument to play a few notes that work with it.
4 Trade the word "practice" for "play."
5 Use any voice recorder to play back yourselves singing and playing instruments. Sound your "best," sound your "worst" -- either way, laugh and talk about it. Make a list of how you'll try it differently next time.
6 Listen creatively to life. Ask each other fun questions like:
If that person was an instrument, what instrument would their voice sound like?
What genre of music does this rushing river sound like?
If that painting became a song, what would it sound like?
7 Listen intuitively to music. Ask each other fun questions like:
How many/which instruments can you decipher?
What personality does it sound like that [fiddle] line could have?
What story is the instrumental (non-lyrical) song itself telling? Tell the story as the song plays.
8 Simple harmonizing game:
Level 1: first person sings one note and holds it (when they run out of breath, start the note again). One by one, each next singer adds in on the same note. The goal is that everyone is singing the same note in such perfect tune that no one's voice stands out; it's as if it's all "one voice."
Level 2: First person sings one note and keeps it going. One by one, each next singer adds a different, harmonizing note. The goal is to find as many different notes as there are people and have them all build a chord that sounds pleasing to everyone.
Level 3: Same as levels 1 & 2, only instead of singing long tones, sing fun syllables (eg Hey, La, Be) in rhythms. Establish a steady beat, then each singer can use their own corresponding rhythm, or all keep to a unified rhythm.
9 Simple voice strengthening games:
1: Buzz like a bee -- the louder the better! Change the note to fly upward very high then drift downward very low, smoothly back and forth.
2. Vocal sirens -- whoop loudly up as high as you can slide, then slide back as low as you can go. Use each pure vowel sound ("ah/ay/ee/oh/oo") to help make all of your vowel shapes be flexible.
3: Sing tongue-twisters, opening the mouth wide to keep clear.
4: Lay on the ground, put a weight on your belly and laugh as hard and as deeply as you can. Be rhythmical. Don't stop until you feel physically exhausted, helping grow your diaphragm power.
10 Simple melodizing games:
1: Sing or use an instrument to play one note to start a short melody. Next player echoes it back, and adds one more new note to the end of the melody. The melody goes around, being built longer and longer until the whole melody can't be remembered anymore.
2: Take a poem and sing it as a melody. Think "popular song" and make it simple with a strong beat. See which poems you can sing to the tune of which existing popular songs.
3: Memorize phone numbers by singing them as pitches of the scale (eg 208-352-3042 would be: Re, rest, high Do, Mi, So, Re, Mi, rest, Fa, Re)
11 Place a quiet instrument in each room (kalimba, song flute, keyboard with headphones, etc) and encourage playing at any time of day.
12 Make a goal to own at least one instrument from each category of: "blowing" (whistles, woodwinds, brass), "plucking" (orchestral strings, guitars), and "striking" (piano, percussion). Check your online free classifieds and don't pass up the opportunity to acquire a new instrument, even if it's not quality enough to play, and just for the purpose to take it all apart or make art out of it!
13 Whenever you walk, walk in time to a steady rhythm and carry a melody out in your head (or aloud).
14 But then again, why walk somewhere when you can dance there?
15 Invite musician friends over to give concerts and have jam sessions in your living room or on the lawn.
16 Make your everyday conversations feel like music: choose "lyrical" phrases and use warm, pleasant tones.
17 Try to sing the note made by constant frequencies around the house or town, such as: a fan, a blender, a car blinker or horn. Then find the name of the note by singing it with an instrument or to a tuner.
18 When you count, count in sets of threes, fours, sixes, etc. It can help you internalize the form of measures (and, bonus: supports the use of multiplication!)
19 Find the Resonant Pitch of your shower (the note that sounds the loudest when you sing it at normal volume level) and while showering, make up songs that use especially that note a lot.
20 Notice steady rhythms in nature (water drops dripping, insects chirping), and add your own part.
There are countless ways to experience music. Let love and joy be your motivation to make a sound.
. . . And just like that, another day passes, and whether you realize it or not, it was packed full of music.
No matter what medium an artist ends up pursuing, an in depth drawing study will develop the artist eye like nothing else. Our lead drawing instructor, Lisa Cheney, offers multiple drawing based courses. Find a detailed look at each course here.
In the age of the rise of virtual learning and local business decline, we want to thank our community for the solid welcome and continued support we have received as Encore Creative Center in Treasure Valley!
It started out as a teenager's dream to have a wonderland of resources and creative teachers who really care and truly inspire and effectively enable. And a couple decades later it's alive and well through what we call Encore. Years of home studios, countless community events, hardcore training and artistic experience later, that dream has always been to enable more dreams, and that is exactly what our whole team is busy doing today. Opening our first commercial center in 2021 and a second one in 2022, nothing is holding back the momentum as we keep building. In 2023 we are grateful to be the creative hub that you can trust to empower your artistic and performance pursuits.
Tuition is our sole source of income to cover facility and showcase overhead, the solid instructor pay their experience deserves, and extensive amounts of art supplies, musical instruments, technologic equipment, and props and costumes. We are essentially self-maintaining -- with every need comes a means, and with every means comes a new need. It's a circle of life, in a way!
When you sign up for lessons or classes at Encore, you are not only leveling up you or your family’s skill sets, you are also part of the growth of something truly beautiful. Our MISSION is to bring down to earth community (joy) together with exceptional creativity (excellence), in many mediums and expressions under the same roof(s). (Joy and Excellence deserve to be paired up more often within the arts!) Our VISION is to refine our processes and expand our offerings and make it possible to eventually open our own performance venue and art gallery as well... but, one step at a time!
From desk staff to instructors to ownership we are working hard (and with joy) every day of the year to meet requests and make everything about Encore a positive place to be. We mean it when we say Encore is a family... and you are part of it.
As we continue to implement more facets of our vision, please continue to make your desires for our future known, people to people. (Read: if you ever say, "What do you think about _____?" I will probably say, "Oooooh...!") Your vision is part of our vision. Thank you for joining the journey as we continue to plant as a pillar in the community.
Keep creating and growing,
(your director at Encore)
Danika Starrharrt is a music educator, serial songwriter, parent, fearless entrepreneur, and a voice for mental clarity. She loves chocolate and long walks on the beach like every other blogger, and in her spare time she.... realizes there is no such thing as spare time and gets back to Encoring.