Joliet library performance sets stage for young music students
BY DENISE M. BARAN-UNLAND Correspondent September 27, 2013 2:02PM
Isaiah Feliciano, 16, of Plainfield, an aspiring music pastor, will perform Oct. 3 at the Book and Bean Cafe inside the Joliet Public Library. | Supplied photo
If you go
What: King Music & Art Studio “Book and Bean” performance
When: 6:30 to 8 p.m. Oct. 3
Where: Book and Bean Cafe, Joliet Public Library, 3395 Black Road
Etc: Vocal, piano and acoustic guitar performances by students of King Studio, Joliet
Contact: 815-725-9834, 815-355-7119, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Updated: October 30, 2013 6:35AM
Gianna Totani, 10, of Joliet, a piano and vocal student under Heather King of King Music & Art Studio in Joliet, enjoys singing and playing country, blues and pop music.
Totani is one of 18 students ages 6 to 17 who will showcase their talents Thursday at the Book and Bean Cafe inside the Joliet Public Library at 3395 Black Road.
“My goal is to perform by singing and playing the piano,” Gianna said. “This brings me closer to my goal.”
Move over, stuffy piano recitals from childhoods past. Heather and Caleb King, lead vocalist and pianist for the Christian rock band Daniel’s Window, are combining their teacher vocations with their past stage experiences to give students community performance experience that goes beyond the traditional annual music recital.
“By challenging our students to take their abilities into the public, we give them concrete goals to achieve,” Heather said. “We are offering them the possibility of inspiring others by providing an environment where they can experience fear and overcome it, as well as allow them to shine under the spotlight.”
Grappling with the combination of fears, insecurities and technical abilities onstage can overwhelm any musical performer, experienced or not, Heather said. It’s something she has felt on numerous occasions.
The difference between her and the students, Heather said, is that she has encountered that situation so many times, she knows how to control and channel those heightened emotions into her performance in a “positive and exciting way.”
“From that experience, we challenge our students to take those same steps in the real world with their music,” King said. “It honestly does not matter what level of skill they possess, only that they step onto the stage to share their abilities with others. Music is meant to be experienced.”
Moreover, Heather hopes that providing young musicians with real-life opportunities to showcase their music will help them and their audience validate the arts, which often don’t receive the same respect as, for example, sports.
“We want the public to see what the young musicians in their community are doing,” Heather said. “These are the people who will soon be forming bands and making local, regional and national music. Supporting music at this level encourages growth and development. Without this process, we’ll all lose out on something vital and special.”
In addition to Heather offering private lessons in piano and voice and Caleb teaching private piano, guitar and bass guitar, Caleb also teaches group lessons in art.
Both Heather and Caleb’s teaching approach is traditional: recognize notes names, count basic rhythms and play a variety of music from classical to pop.
Vocal lessons include the range of correct breathing and vowel pronunciation to “how to rock the mike when you’re in front of 500 people,” Heather said.
Art students explore mediums such as watercolor, oil, paint and pastels.
“I’d say we’re a pretty fun pair of teachers,” Heather said. “We’re relaxed and try to bring out the best in our students.”
Isaiah Feliciano, 16, of Plainfield, vouches for it as he encourages anyone with an interest in music to seek out the Kings. Feliciano takes acoustic guitar lessons from Caleb and vocal lessons from Heather.
Feliciano uses his musical gifts to lead worship for his youth group at First Assembly of God in Joliet and assist in the church’s praise and worship band. He hopes to eventually write and perform his own music as a music pastor. He believes music is a powerful way to connect people with God and to each other.
However, Feliciano won’t share ahead of time what he will perform Thursday.
“You’ll have to come out and hear it,” Feliciano said.