This month, we spoke with Sage, who we’ve had the pleasure of watching grow up over the last few years. He’s participated in many recitals and masterclasses, and we’ve watched him go from just singing, to playing part of the accompaniment himself, to fully accompanying himself on the guitar at performances. Sage is also learning Ableton so that he can improve at the electronic side of music. All this, and he’s on a breakdancing performance team, too! We can’t wait to see where Sage’s music career is headed, but in the mean time, here’s his Student Spotlight interview to enjoy.
MM: How did you get started with music? How long have you been singing and playing guitar? What interested you about guitar? What made you want to learn Ableton? Do you use your guitar or voice in Ableton at all? How does voice, guitar and Ableton compare and differ in learning them, and in the kind of music you like to make?
ST: My mom put me in the singing class with Molly’s Music when I was 6 years old. Two years later, my mom’s friend asked me one day, “What is your favorite class of all?” My mom was also interested in knowing the answer since she really didn’t ask me before putting me in the class and I said “Singing.” Then my mom put me in guitar class when I turned 8 years old. Two years later, it turns out that I really like guitar. It is neat to be able to hear what I can create (and my family really enjoys listening).
I started learning FL Studios on the side and I like electronic music, so I decided that I wanted to learn Ableton. I am going to put my voice and guitar into Ableton as a song very soon. Learning each o them is different because one is in front of a computer, which I love, but I also love plucking the strings of the guitar to make music, or pressing the keys of the piano and experimenting with sounds from my own voice.
MM: You’ve been a regular attendee at our recitals now–do you have any favorite performances? Do you share your musical skills with family, friends, or your community in other ways? How?
ST: My favorite performance was my most recent one because I am getting better at the guitar. I do sing for my grandparents, aunt/uncle, parents, and for my homeschool friends, and I would love to do more performances. I am trying to start a band too.
MM: How does your family support you with your music? What kind of influences do they have on you genre-wise?
ST: My family is very supportive. That is the best part because my mom and dad have very different tastes. We love coming together as a family to decide upon a choice of song.
MM: Who are a few bands/artists that have inspired you, and why? Any favorite songs – and what do they mean to you?
ST: Favorite artists–I like all types of artists. My favorite song right now is “24K Magic” by Bruno Mars. I also like the White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army.”
MM: If you were stuck on a desert island, what single album would you take with you?
ST: The answer to what music I would bring if stuck on an island, for my mom would be any album from the Beatles, and I would say “…some of the songs from the Beatles I would take with me, along with electronic music.”
MM: How often are you making music right now? What are some of your shorter term goals for the next few recitals this year, or longer term goals with music in general?
ST: I make music every day. I would like to be better at playing guitar and singing at the same time. I also play piano and would like to sing and play piano at the same time too. I would like to put both of those into electronic music somehow.
MM: What are some of your hobbies, talents and interests outside of music? School subjects, books, sports, shows/movies?
ST: Hobbies/Talents/Interests: Video games and technology. I really like virtual reality technology. I am on a performance team for Breakdancing. I tap dance and I like playing volleyball. My favorite “home” school subject is science.
MM: Can you share about a technique, skill, or song you struggled with, and how you are overcoming or have overcome it?
ST: I didn’t think that I could play guitar and sing at the same time for the last few songs, especially with “Let It Go” by James Bay, but I practiced every day. I watched some YouTube videos, and Molly G. really helped me with the notes.
MM: What advice would you give to other students just starting out? What about ones like you who’ve been at it for a while?
ST: Advice for students starting out: Don’t be scared to look online for help or to ask your teacher for help. All the teachers with Molly’s Music have been nice and I have learned a lot from them. For students who have been at it a while, I would say that they might like learning about different instruments to learn to play more than one instrument because I found that they all connect in one way or another.