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EMUNAH MUSIC Little Neck, New York
Contact Details
Name:   Shoshannah Sarah
Phone:   2128027228
Email:   thehealingpiano@yahoo.com
Website:   Click here to go to my website
Facebook:   Click here to go to my Facebook page
Twitter:   Click here to go to my Twitter page
Last Update:    2014-08-13 10:50:19
Area
  
Queens, Long Island, Jerusalem

Description

Biography:

SHOSHANNAH SARAH BIO Shoshannah is a piano composer, piano teacher / therapist, nutritionist and recording artist whose work has led her from concert halls to multi-media events such as dance, theater, TV, radio and film. Her mission is to bring spiritual unity, peace, and compassion to the world through music. A recognized child prodigy, Shoshannah began composing and improvising on the piano at age six. By the time she was nine, Shoshannah was winning piano competitions and solo performing continually, including several performances at Carnegie Hall, Camay Hall, and Steinway Hall. Shoshannah went on to win major piano competitions for seven consecutive years, and seemed destined to become a serious concert pianist. Unknown to her teacher, however, Shoshannah had never stopped composing and improvising her own music. Her irrepressible creativity and diverse musical interests would soon inspire her to follow a unique musical path. That path would lead Shoshannah to the California Institute of the Arts, where she studied with Leonid Hambro, Mel Powell, Morton Sobotnik, and other highly acclaimed composers and pianists such as Aaron Copeland, Steve Reich, Earle Brown, and Bill Douglas. At the university, Shoshannah immersed herself in classical, world, and avant garde music, and further developed her improvisational technique. While still a student, she pioneered Cal Art's Creative Improvisation Piano Program, and was given charge of the Secondary Piano department. Today, Shoshannah has a revolutionary Music Therapy and Piano Teaching approach that she presently offers in Jerusalem and New York. After college, Shoshannah began touring extensively throughout Israel, Switzerland, and the United States, exploring her love of different musical traditions. Performing on piano, synthesizer, and percussion, she appeared and played with a wide range of masterful musicians, including Reb Shlomo Carlebach, Giora Feidman, Glen Velez, Laraaji, David Darling, Salieu Suso, Suru Ekeh, Sayyd, Ladji Camara, and Baba Olitunji. Settling in New York City, Shoshannah continued to compose, perform, teach piano, and produce commissioned works for dance, theater and film. She appeared in concert at such well-known venues as Lincoln Center,the United Nations, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Hall, and the Jerusalem Theatre. Shoshannah created her first piano solo release, "Sanctuary," a deeply evocative and healing solo piano work that explores the full range of human emotion with sweeping power and delicacy. Shoshannah's piano is both powerful and sublime, passionate and reflective. "Sanctuary" blends New Age, Classical, and Middle Eastern rhythms into such themes as hope, forgiveness, and compassion. These compositions are focused, highly visual, melodic and healing. A couple of years later, Shoshannah moved to Jerusalem and experienced a profound spiritual opening that transformed both her life and music. From that point on, G-d became the singular inspiration and focus of her creativity. She became the vessel through which Divine love flowed through as music. Effortlessly, Shoshannah's music began to change. It became simple and pure, flowing with a grace and gentleness filled with light. Her second piano album, "Gifts From Heaven," fills the listener with a mystical sweetness that opens the heart to receive Heaven's loving gifts for each one of us. The solo piano CD was inspired by the composer's experience in the Holy Land and its healing ancient melodies. Year after year, "Gifts from Heaven" is considered by fans as Jerusalem's most popular spiritual healing CD. "Tzaddik's Deli" located within Jerusalem's Old City Walls, continuously plays Shoshannah's music as thousands of tourists daily approach the famous steps that lead down to the Holy Western Wall / Kotel. Shoshannah's third piano release, "Soul Journey," is recorded live "in the moment" from a spontaneous outpouring of the soul. Nine inspired piano expressions reveal a rich spectrum of musical styles and moods, illuminating the spirit. Each piano improvisation expresses a unique story of the human soul journey. Bill Binkelman of New Age Reporter gave Soul Journey a 2006 honorable mention. Grammy nominated improvisational cellist, David Darling joins Shoshannah at the piano for her up-coming Soul Journey II. "Deepheart Awakening," a 2008 piano solo release and fifth to date, is described as Spiritual Cinematic Solo Piano. Each piano composition portrays an ancient sacred or historical experience, and brings it fully to life. "Deepheart" conveys spiritual messages from the ancient past with themes of hope, liberation, transformation, and redemption. Shoshannah's technically dazzling original piano ranges from uplifting and passionate dance rhythms to delicate and sublime melodies that soothe the soul" - Kay Gardner. "Deepheart Awakening" musical themes include Manna from Heaven, the Sea that Split, Clouds of Glory, and Hope. Shoshannah's next piano release, "Rivers Of Light," has been described as "rhapsodic, joyous and flowing, like an unending river of life force." Its gentle, uplifting momentum invites the listener to become a partner in creation, revealing the Divine Presence in our every action and relationship. Shoshannah's enchanting piano compositions personify the flowing of water through eternal light, bringing ultimate healing, peace and harmony to a world that was once broken. Today, Shoshannah shares her time between Jerusalem and New York. She has successfully produced four original piano recordings, and three new titles are planned within the coming year. Her diverse musical style combines a sacred tapestry of New Age, World, Classical, and a dash of Jazz that is deeply healing, heartful and uplifting. Shoshannah's piano compositions were chosen for the top 50 "Whisperings Piano Artists" of 2007. Shoshannah teaches piano lessons to children and adults, using an original approach that is creative, therapeutic and spiritual. She originated "Piano Therapy" and is currently writing a book on her therapeutic music learning approach called "Creative ImproviZation". Her piano lessons and piano therapy promote self-acceptance, inner confidence and creative process through soul connection. You may read her unique teaching and therapeutic approach at www.aish.com/family/heart/Spiritual_Piano_Lessons.asp www.thehealingpiano.com www.thehealingpiano.org www.shoshannah.yolasite.com

Video
 
Video:  
Date:  2014-08-13 10:25:16
Description:  Manna by Shoshannah is a piano improvisation from her album "Deepheart Awakening". It was originally on Shoshannah's very first recording entitled "Compassion" from her Sanctuary Cassette Tape.

 
Video:  
Date:  2014-08-13 10:22:48
Description:  Piano Composition "Test of Faith" by Shoshannah Full Version from Shoshannah's 14 minute composition "Hope" From her album Deepheart Awakening Zi Platano Video Photo Montage

 
Video:  
Date:  2014-08-13 10:19:53
Description:  Coming Home by Shoshannah from Shoshannah's album "Gifts from Heaven" Second round Coming Home with David Darling Grammy Winner of best album 2010 from Shoshannah's up-coming album "Eternal Love"


Testimonials
 
Name:  Shoshannah Sarah's Testimonials
Title:  Shoshannah's Student and Fan Testimonials
Testimonial:  Shoshannah, Here it is. I truly mean every word and wish I could write it as strongly as I feel it. Love, Jana I took piano lessons with Shoshannah for eight years. She was my first teacher. During that time I learned how to play the piano with great technique, versatility and feeling. I also learned a great deal of repetoire from Bach to Chopin to Gershwin to Billy Joel. However, most importantly, I learned how to be a true musician who thought deeply about all aspects of music. Not only did I grow immensely as a musician during these eight years, but what I learned in lessons with Shoshannah transferred into every area of my life. I gained an awareness and a confidence that was far beyond my age. I grew musically and I grew as a person. I learned how to look at life and music with only positive, optimistic thoughts... thoughts filled with love and hope. Shoshannah is one of the few teachers who truly understands and can teach what it is to be a musician and all of the emotions, thoughts and pressures that come with it. It is not enough to just play the piano brilliantly... one has to understand music as a whole and one has to know themselves. I was blessed to have that kind of education from a piano teacher and that experience has directly brought me to where I am today. I work as a professional musician in NYC. I often play in Broadway pits, conduct orchestras, conduct shows, do recordings, accompany opera singers, jazz singers and have occasionally played with rock bands. I studied music at Yale University. I have played at Avery Fisher Hall and worked with amazing composers and performers around the world. Currently I am Music Directing and Conducting a musical at Juilliard to celebrate their Centennial. I truly believe that so much of what I do has been possible because of my lessons with Shoshannah. I have the musical versatility and confidence to approach any kind of musical project. I often tell my colleagues that the reason I am so versatile in many different musical genres is because I had a great teacher who stressed the importance of complete musicianship. For example, I have a very strong sense of rhythm. This is because Shoshannah taught me African drumming patterns in addition to rhythm on the piano. Also, I can improv almost any type of music on the spot. This is because Shoshannah and I would incorporate theory and improv into almost every lesson. I don't know anyone else who was fortunate enough to have this type of experience so early on. It is very rare to find a teacher who can teach classical technique AND recognize the importance of being a well-rounded musician and a well rounded person. I am extremely grateful and thankful for my lessons with Shoshannah. It is a very rare day that goes by when I don't think or refer back to something I learned during my lessons . I love the times when I can share with others all of the wonderful gifts I was given by Shoshannah that I carry with me and that are still blossoming in me with every new experience. Jana Zielonka Debra Maho wrote: "In Gratitude to Shoshannah Sarah" It has been a great pleasure to be the music student of Shoshannah Sarah. As a highly unique, multi-talented individual, she is charting an innovational path in music education. Not only does she bring to her lessons her extensive background in music theory, rhythm, improvisation, composition, arrangement and pedagogy, but she utilizes and beautifully incorporates her knowledge of human psychology and spirituality to fully transform a musician's music-making experience. As a music educator and performer, she is able to convey and emphasize not only the technical aspects of music but its significant spiritual aspects as well. As an avid improviser, Shoshannah emphasized the importance of developing my improvisational skills, an area which she believed would open up every possible door that existed to my piano playing. She taught me the importance of having a balance of music and silence in my improvisations, of being with every note in the present moment, of keeping a simplicity to my ideas and of recognizing the very subtle changes in my improvisations as profound. Underlying all of our lessons together was Shoshannah's unique teaching methodology. From the outset, she insightfully analyzed my strengths and weaknesses as a pianist and knew exactly how best to teach me. Her method was not only successful but also incredibly enjoyable and meaningful for me. In addition to learning about the art of practicing, rhythm, improvising, composing and arranging, she helped me develop a very strong confidence in my innate creative abilities, an accomplishment that distinguishes only the very great of music educators. From Shoshannah I realized that a piece of music must be approached by asking and noticing what happens energetically. I discovered that music is very much about energy and that humility is the key. I learned that I am not the one that is controlling my improvisations and that it is not about my own ego or about being right. Rather, it is about what is coming through me from Hashem (G-d). When a musician performs from the perspective of being an unfilled vessel (kli), waiting and ready for Hashem / GD to fill them up from above, their whole energy changes dramatically and although this change is subtle, this subtlety is everything. Moreover, I recognized that with the energy of Hashem/Gd coming through my improvisations, my creative source is limitless. Similarly, I learned that being a great musician is a fine balance between being creative and being more exacting while one is already in a creative flow. If a musician gets stuck with trying to be perfect, they lose their creativity and they are more focused on being right than on being great. Shoshannah enabled me to realize that being truly great comes from my feelings and spirituality. In conclusion, Shoshannah taught me perhaps one of the most profound and significant aspects of music-making - what it means to be a truly creative person. A truly creative person is one who builds their trust in their own exploration process. With Shoshannah's guidance, I developed greater and greater confidence in my own intuition and creative process and found that with that attitude, there were no barriers to my continued musical development. I realized that ultimately, great music is predominantly the result of each musician's personal creative exploration. Shoshannah Sarah is a very special soul, a tremendous blessing to Jerusalem, and I am privileged to be among those who have had the pleasure of knowing and working with her. May Shoshannah continue to succeed in all of her endeavors with strength and joy and share her beautiful light with those around her. Devorah Maho, Yerushalayim Piano Lessons with Shoshannah Sarah Bella Savran Psychologist from Jerusalem Shoshannah is a blend of several qualities which make studying piano with her a wonderful experience. First of all, she plays beautifully, which in itself is inspiring to students at any level. Her playing has such a moving, spiritual quality that two of her CD's were chosen as the background music for a film that was recently made by a Jewish charity organization (Ziv Tzedakah Fund). Shoshannah has a deep knowledge of many different kinds of music and of many different aspects of music, and teaches them in a clear and interesting way. She is warm, supportive, encouraging and patient, at the same time she is always guiding the student to strive for a better quality of playing. She has the ability to be both clearly focused on what needs to be learned at any given stage, and flexible enough to go where the student wants to go. She keeps the lessons stimulating and fun by constantly finding creative ways to teach the various things that need to be learned. In short, I enjoy my piano lessons with Shoshannah enormously and am learning a lot from her. Shoshannah is a very creative piano teacher who infuses her lessons with spirituality. From her intimate studio, filled with a peaceful ambience, she gently guides her students through their lessons, offering constructive suggestions and inspiring them to extend their creativity to places they never knew existed. Shoshannah is open to her student's compositions and ideas and believes in the process as much as the final product. From the title of the composition to the chord arrangement, she cares about each aspect of her student's work. Shoshannah is truly that rare find the teacher as muse Shoshannah is a very creative piano teacher who infuses her lessons with spirituality. From her intimate studio, filled with a peaceful ambience, she gently guides her students through their lessons, offering constructive suggestions and inspiring them to extend their creativity to places they never knew existed. Shoshannah is open to her student's compostitions and ideas and believes in the process as much as the final product. From the title of the compostition to the chord arrangement, she cares about each aspect of her student's work. Shoshannah is truly that rare find the teacher as muse. Adam Goldman, 16 years old. Music is a big part of my life Sometimes it gives me my only purpose. Music will be in my soul forever." Russel Pasquale, 16 years old. I want to be a piano teacher, concert pianist, and play with a symphony orchestra. When I play piano, I picture images in my mind. Music calms me down when I am upset, cheers me up when I am sad, and is there to celebrate with when I am happy. The piano is the best thing that ever happened to me! Jennifer Fitzgerald,10 years old i love to play the piano i love to sing the songs it looks so pretty when the piano shines at me the piano is one of my best friends when I go to sleep i sing my songs in my head and everybody sings with me Bonni Abramowitz, 6 years old. What a feeling! All the words All the woe Washing off In the song A special place Where I could exult And find hope Where I could pray And I could soar feelings strong Did carry me aloft I needed some wings And found them Once again In the song Jack Linder, adult When I began piano, I wasn't very good at it. As I worked on it, it became easier and easier to play. I've been in three recitals already, and it doesn't feel that scary to me anymore. I even entered a competition and won the preliminaries. I dream of playing in Carnegie Hall, and the audience can't stop clapping for at least half an hour!! Jana Zielonka, 8 years old. i like the sound of music and i like practicing i like the sounds the piano makes - sweet music i like when shoshannah teaches me all kinds of different songs songs are high and low and fast and slow some music makes me surprised some music makes me happy i am very proud tto play the piano and be in the recital Bonnie Abromowitz, 5 years old. Music is the highest form of communication possible. Music is the connection between a person's body, emotions and spirit. If I didn't play the piano, I would be disconnected from my feelings. Free Improvisation is the real test - it tells what's truly inside of you. People may lie with their words, but music tells the honest truth. That is why I love to play the piano so much - everything comes from the heart! Michele Kaplan, 15 years old. I love expressing my feelings on the piano. The piano is like a partner to me - someone I can trust and share my feelings with. I love to create - improvising and composing about life at my instrument through my heart. Music makes me feel alive spiritually - I want to tell everybody about it!! Jennifer Pellitteri, 9 years old. Music is important to me because it makes me feel better about myself. When I listen to music, it helps me to forget about the things that make me feel bad inside. When I play the piano, I can use my mind, body and emotions at the same time. One of my dreams is to perform in famous concert halls throughout the world. Yoosun Chung, 16 years old. This year I'm really learning how to play my music with feeling. By playing pieces by Debussy, I'm learning how to be with every note at each moment. I want to be a piano teacher and set up recitals. I could videotape myself, and see how I can improve. Afterwards, I would do a concert and rent the videotapes to the public! Jana Zielonka, 9 years old. Look outside that window from within you and you'll find something meaningful that words alone are unable to express that which is music Renee Simon, adult The piano feels like a good friend to me because it's always there to keep me company. Music is special to me because it allows me to express myself creatively. I play the piano, violin, recorder, harp ,dance, make art and stories. It takes alot of practicing and energy to be a good pianist and I feel that I practice very well. Dorothy Hwang, 9 years old Playing the piano feels like doing my homework at the desk. The desk is like the piano,and when I write, it feels like I'm playing the piano. I like to play the piano, however I don't always like to do my homework. Yosuke Kikuchi, 6 years old. i like when people clap for me i like the sound of the high notes like when a rainbow comes out i like the sound of the middle notes like raindrops falling on my head i like the sound of the low notes like a giant coming near me i feel proud that i play music. Michele Braverman, 6 years old. I want to become a scientist to learn about dinosaur bones and other animals living in the past and the present. You can get very scientific about music - if you look inside the piano alot, you may know how to tune it and how the hammers and keys move together. My favorite composers are Mozart, Beethoven and Dvorak. Michael Zielonka, 6 years old. Sometimes I like playing the piano because sometimes I'm good at it. In school, I play piano for my class, and they like it. Ernie Choi, 5 years old When you play music, you can make up beautiful melodies. You have to move your body in special ways to make the sounds sound good. I used to be very scared that I wouldn't get my songs right, but now I'm finding that I can do it if I practice and believe in me Allyson Jaffe, 6 years old. Music is getting much easier for me. I'm able to move my arms and body better than last year. Moving my body helps me get more into the music. Playing my own creations feels best to me because I did it all myself. My family loves my piano playing and this makes me feel happy. Allyson Jaffe, 7 years old. To make beautiful music, I have to be completely there at the piano. So I have to be really good friends with the piano as if we are one person united. Takako Yabe, 12 years old. Singing and trailing my fingers along a glowing keyboard is one of the few euphoric diversions that makes me forget that I'm six feet tall. Jordana Landres, 14 years old. A best friend may turn on you, but the piano will always be there. It's there when you need it - if you have a problem and something is bothering you, you can play your feelings. When you're through you can feel much better. Don't forget the piano, or it will forget you. Christina Butta, 12 years old. I believe that I can be a great pianist because I can feel music in my bones. When I play the piano, suddenly I get so involved that I've forgotten all else around me, except myself in the music. I have ambition, talent, confidence and a good teacher. Jennifer Fitzgerald, 9 years old. My dream is to be a doctor and a pianist. To become a good piano player, it takes lots and lots and lots of practice, believing in yourself and a good teacher who teaches you HOW to practice. People who don't practice, fail and give up. People who do practice, succeed, have great pleasure, and maybe get a chance to play in Carnegie Hall. My teacher Shoshannah believes in me. Danielle Axelrad, 9 years old. I love the piano because how I play a song shows how I feel inside. Whether I feel happy, angry or sad, I can express the way I feel through my playing. I want to be a pediatrician and possibly dance and sing on Broadway. Lisa Lo Presti, 8 years old. I would like to play my own compositions in all different concert halls around the world. I think it will take a lot of work and conficence to be able to be well known. My own compositions come from my own heart and mind. Noone can take this away from you, but you can share it with everyone else. Florence Segura, 12 years old. When I play a song,it helps me think things out and makes me feel better if I'm hurt. When I grow up, I hope to be a school teacher while my kids are in school. When they're old enough to take care of themselves, I want to be a nurse to help others feel better. Michele Petrocelli, 7 years old. I used to be nervous to play in front of people, but now I'm not nervous anymore because I play alot for my family. The thing I like about playing in front of other people is knowing I have something special to share with them. Playing for others makes me feel important. Karen Walker, 12 years old. MY PIANO KNOWS Did you ever try to express yourself and not get the message through? This is why music is so important to me to express feelings with no need for words Did you ever try to look for understanding and it isn't there? My piano knows me inside and out So when I'm feeling the blues it doesn't shout When I think I have nothing Music gives me something I learn - I fail - then I succeed. Michelle Kaplan, 14 years old. __________________________________________________________________________________ MUSIC FANS: thehealingpiano@yahoo.com, 212 802 7228212 802 7228212 802 7228212 802 7228212 802 7228212 802 7228212 802 7228212 802 7228212 802 7228212 802 7228212 802 7228212 802 7228212 802 7228212 802 7228212 802 7228212 802 7228 Shoshannah's music truly has the power to heal - a generous donation of her CD's was gratefully received by terror victims of Israel, and her music is a source of inspiration and hope to them, as it can be for everyone." Reviewer: Mickey Weinberg Director of OneFamilyFund.com "Heavenly music touching the deepest and holiest places." Reviewer: Reb Shlomo Carlebach Z"L Prolific song writer,Label recording artist, Spiritual Teacher "HEALING AND SOOTHING EXPERIENCE: This CD has helped me move my myself on more than 5 occasions from a place of depression to a place of feeling bonded with the Holy One Above. Additionally, my daughter sometimes requests, relaxes and falls asleep to the comforting sounds of this music." Reviewer : Daniel Levi, Fan "One of the most talented and uniquely imaginative pianists and composers that I ever had the pleasure to work with." Reviewer : David Darling,Cellist for ECM,Narada,Hearts of Space Labels "Mesmerizing our television audiences with her golden sound, Shoshannah's mind-traveling music is very tender, very spiritual and very healing... a royal treat for the heart." Reviewer : Joe Franklin, Nationally Syndicated T.V. and Radio Talk Show Host, Channel 9 "Like voices from our past, Shoshannah's music resonates memory, dreams and heart." Reviewer : Steve Gorn, "World Music" Label Recording Artist "Shoshannah's music puts me in a place of clear simple light-being. It connects me with the gentler forces of nature as if the pianist was caressing water itself. This is heart-centered music with a playful spirit. I highly recommend it and I hope many will hear." Reviewer : Laraaji, "Ambient Music" Label Record Artist "A top notch pianist with music of exceptional divine beauty, Shoshannah is graced with an ability to express her emotions and prayers through the keys straight to the heart of the listener. Gifts from Heaven - music therapy for body and soul." Reviewer : Third Age Records, Jerusalem, Israel "After I finished listening to your music I had tears rolling down my face, not because I was sad, but becasue it made me feel so many different emotions. These emotions that I felt were one's that most people only dream about in this lifetime... your music has touched me down to my soul." Reviewer : Appreciative Fan, Queens Tribune "It really is too bad that we are only able to give a 5-star rating, when anyone who has listened to Shoshannah's "Gifts from Heaven" piano solo clearly knows this is a multi-star recording (yes, straight from the 7th Heaven). Thus, for us mere-mortals who have no connection beyond the seventh Heaven; I'll give it a ...7-star rating! I had the special privilege of not only meeting Shoshannah, but actually having a 2-hr piano/music lesson with her. After attempting to play the piano for 45 years, I so-o-o wish I could have comprehended and actualized the sheer beauty of the musical Kabbalah which flows through her and manifests itself through her fingers hovering above those 88 keys. Though I am an avid, and critical, listener of classical music, I highly recommend this recording; yes, even to those still stuck in the 18th Century! Her high-octave technique is truly remarkable and the weave and mixing of patterns and themes could possibly be a modern-day response of meditative emotions as fugue. It is truly amazing music which (as other reviewers have commented) I could [and do] listen to over & over & over again. Reviewer:Asher Wade, World Lecturer,Rabbi,Clinical Psychologist "Prayerful music about the universal oneness of G-d. There is meaning in every note." Reviewer : Chai Lights Magazine, Northridge, California "Shoshannah offers a musical sanctuary of beauty, harmony and love . . . An experience of pure joy and beauty." Reviewers : Sources Magazine and New Age Retailer "Shoshannah's piano style is both technically dazzling and emotionally compelling with wonderfully fluid changes connecting the flowing themes." Reviewer : Lloyd Barde, Backroads Distributors, Corte Madera, Ca. "Beautiful healing music by a masterful player with an obvious gift for letting the music come right on through." Reviewer: Susan Osborn, New Age Soloist for Paul Winter Consort "Very high music bringing forth one's spiritual nature." Reviewer: Tera Kota, African Reggae Star "A gifted tunesmith with a flawless technique.Inspired melodies with a "Tam' ... a taste of yiddishkite that flows in a modern musical setting." Reviewer: Jerry Sperling, Prolific Composer for Giora Fiedman "Shoshannah's evocative and expressive piano compositions range from gentle and pensive to exotic and dancelike. The breadth of her musical imagination and masterful technique is well shown on this album of piano gems..." Reviewer: Kay Gardener, Leading Healing Music Educator/Author,Label Recording Artist "Lofty and Magical!Shoshannah is a wonderful pianist, full of passion and love that comes across as you listen to her wonderful inspirations. Just heavenly..." Reviewer : Riva Schertzman, professional pianist of Riva & Aviva "Shoshannah's music has integrity. Everything has deep feeling as well as a calming effect, two elements that you wouldn't necessarily think can go together until you've heard this music. Most surprisingly, though, the third element present here is real pianism. Shoshannah is a pianist who can play in the virtuoso tradition, and with an incredible palette of tone color, yet never ever at the expense of the integrity that I mentioned earlier. These three kinds of playing--depth, calm and virtuosity--come together in a unique way..." Reviewer : Shlomo Schnall, Professional Israel Jazz pianist, Jerusalem "SHOSHANNAH'S MUSIC IS SIMPLY THERAPY FOR THE SOUL: Gifts from Heaven is truly a heavenly gift. I am so happy I bought this CD! I often listen to it for hours on end. She achieves just the right touch for me - lyrical and relaxing. I can't wait to hear her next collection of gems. Reviewer : Michoel Simpson, Fan "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Shoshannah does it again! Her music has thrilled me since my first listen. Her new Cd Soul Journey rocked me! I felt like i was being rocked in a loved ones arms. It's the kinda music that makes you want more and more and more and... " Reviewer : Shakti, Spiritual Author, U.S.A. "SOUL MUSIC OF THE HIGHEST CALIBUR:They say a picture is worth a thousand words, which is of course true, but the same can be said for music. The emotions, visualizations and truths music elicits is also equal to a thousand words. It is soul music of the highest caliber and takes you on a real journey of the soul. I recommend it to one and all. Reviewer : Avraham Arieh Trugman, Spiritual Author, Jerusalem "MUSIC THAT RELEASES YOUR ENERGY BLOCKS: Shoshannah's music is amazing, there is simply no other way to put it. I have never met anyone who did not connect with it. Your inner resources reveal themselves as the artist's gentle strains lead you deeper into your soul, toward tranquility and oneness. Certainly much better than any supplemental tranquilizer!" Reviewer : Sara Gold , Psycho-Spiritual Healing "Transformational and healing-it is the best album I heard ever." Reviewer : Rebbetzin Marilyn Levovitz,Fan "One simply marvels at the sheer beauty of the musical Kabbalah which flows through her and manifests itself through her fingers "hovering" above those 88 keys. Her high-octave technique is truly remarkable and the weave and mixing of patterns and themes could possibly be a modern-day response of meditative emotions as fugue. It is truly amazing music which I and my children (who are also her avid fans) listen to over & over & over again." Reviewer:Asher Wade, World Lecturer,Rabbi,Clinical Psychologist "BEAUTIFUL SOUL MUSIC INSPIRES!:A wonderful album, enjoyed by the whole family. We keep it in our permanent collection to inspire us and instill us with joy. Beautiful!" Reviewer :Jake White, Fan "Absolutely Beautiful, a pleasure to hear! This CD is enjoyed by all who come into my home. Actually, they usually ask me to order them one also. So, I am ordering 2, 4 or more at a time. I can not say enough good words, except it is a must have. Awesome work!!!" Reviewer : Patricia Skewes, Fan "IT SEEPS INTO YOUR SOUL! I first heard "Gifts from Heaven" in the Old city of Jerusalem. It was night and the sounds flowed in between the buildings and I stopped to enjoy it like one stops to smell the aroma of home cooked food. I followed the sound to the store, bought the tape and played it until it wore out. When I played the music loudly in my dorm room, on many occations my friends stopped in and asked about the music. They too were caught by the "aroma". Thank you so much." Reviewer : Suri Cohen, Fan "SOULFUL, PLAYFUL, DEEPLY PENETRATING:When I listen to the music, there is a deep inner calm. As if my body can lean into the vibration. Inspiring and opening, I've already started using it. As a professional television writer, I can put this on and let the music help me get access to my own inner voice. Thank you. Reviewer : Sara Cooper,Fan "When I want to be lifted up above the kitchen, when I want everyone at home to be happily serene and in touch with our feelings, I put on Shoshannah's music." Reviewer : Sarah Shapiro, Spiritual Author, Jerusalem


Blog
 
Date:  2014-08-13 10:50:19
Subject:  Shoshannah Sarah's Music Bio
Blog:  B"H MUSIC REVIEWS OF SHOSHANNAH Soul Journey is a collection of 9 absolutely divine piano improvisations. Shoshannah's music truly has the power to heal - a generous donation of her CD's was gratefully received by terror victims of Israel, and her music is a source of inspiration and hope to them, as it can be for everyone. ~Mickey Weinberg, Director of www.onefamilyfund.com "Heavenly music touching the deepest and holiest places." ~Reb Shlomo Carlebach, OB"M, Renowned Songwriter and Spiritual Leader. "HEALING AND SOOTHING EXPERIENCE: This CD has helped me move my myself on more than 5 occasions from a place of depression to a place of feeling bonded with the Holy One Above. Additionally, my daughter sometimes requests, relaxes and falls asleep to the comforting sounds of this music." ~ Daniel Levi, Fan "This is the most remarkable CD I own. It itself is a Gift from Heaven. Shoshannah touches the depths of the heart, and the heights of heaven. .. this music is much more than music...it is like a prayer, and as if God is singing to us through Shoshannah's fingers..as if we are hearing God lovingly playing the music of creation. Thank you, Shoshannah!" ~Susan Handleman, Fan "One of the most talented and uniquely imaginative pianists and composers that I ever had the pleasure to work with." ~David Darling, Improvisational Cellist, ECM, Narada, Hearts of Space Labels. "Mesmerizing our television audiences with her golden sound, Shoshannah's mind-traveling music is very tender, very spiritual and very healing... a royal treat for the heart." ~Joe Franklin, Nationally Syndicated T.V., Channel 9 "Like voices from our past, Shoshannah's music resonates memory, dreams and heart." ~Steve Gorn, Bamboo Flute, Label Artist "Sanctuary" puts me in a place of clear simple light-being. It connects me with the gentler forces of nature as if the pianist was caressing water itself. This is heart-centered music with a playful spirit. I highly recommend it and I hope many will hear." ~Laraaji, Electrified Zither, Label Artist "Gifts from Heaven" is healing, G-d infused music. All melodies have a balm-like quality: soothing, nurturing, and bringing a deep sense of peace and fulfillment." ~New Age Retailer Magazine "If you only buy one piano solo CD this year (Soul Journey), and you are hungry for something unconventional yet wholly accessible, I highly recommend you consider this album. " ~Bill Binkelman, Wind and Wire, New Age Reporter.com "Soul Journey" by Shoshannah was given Honorary Mention of the top chosen picks of 2006. "Deepheart Awakening" is a stunning listening experience and I highly recommend it! It is available from oysongs.com ~Kathy Parsons, Solo Piano Publications.com "A top notch pianist with music of exceptional divine beauty, Shoshannah is graced with an ability to express her emotions and prayers through the keys straight to the heart of the listener. Gifts from Heaven - music therapy for body and soul." ~Third Age Records, Mevo Modiin, Israel "After I finished listening to your music I had tears rolling down my face, not because I was sad, but becasue it made me feel so many different emotions. These emotions that I felt were one's that most people only dream about in this lifetime... your music has touched me down to my soul." ~Appreciative Fan, Queens Tribune "It really is too bad that we are only able to give a 5-star rating, when anyone who has listened to Shoshannah's "Gifts from Heaven" piano solo clearly knows this is a multi-star recording (yes, straight from the 7th Heaven). Thus, for us mere-mortals who have no connection beyond the seventh Heaven; I'll give it a ...7-star rating! I had the special privilege of not only meeting Shoshannah, but actually having a 2-hr piano/music lesson with her. After attempting to play the piano for 45 years, I so-o-o wish I could have comprehended and actualized the sheer beauty of the musical Kabbalah which flows through her and manifests itself through her fingers hovering above those 88 keys. Though I am an avid, and critical, listener of classical music, I highly recommend this recording; yes, even to those still stuck in the 18th Century! Her high-octave technique is truly remarkable and the weave and mixing of patterns and themes could possibly be a modern-day response of meditative emotions as fugue. It is truly amazing music which (as other reviewers have commented) I could [and do] listen to over & over & over again. ~Rabbi Dr.Asher Wade, World Lecturer, Psychologist "Prayerful music about the universal oneness of G-d. There is meaning in every note." ~Chai Lights Magazine, Northridge, California ______________________________________________________________ "Shoshannah offers a musical sanctuary of beauty, harmony and love . . . An experience of pure joy and beauty." ~New Age Retailer, Sources Magazine "Sanctuary/Deepheart Awakening" is both technically dazzling and emotionally compelling with wonderfully fluid changes connecting the flowing themes." ~Lloyd Barde, Backroads Distributors, Corte Madera, Ca. "Beautiful healing music by a masterful player with an obvious gift for letting the music come right on through." ~Susan Osborn, New Age "Soloist" for Paul Winter Consort, Healing Music Educator, Label Artist. "Very high music bringing forth one's spiritual nature." ~Tera Kota, African Reggae Star "A gifted tunesmith with a flawless technique.Inspired melodies with a "Tam' ... a taste of yiddishkite that flows in a modern musical setting." ~Jerry Sperling, Prolific Composer for Mr.Giora Fiedman "Sanctuary/Deepheart Awakening" evocative and expressive piano compositions range from gentle and pensive to exotic and dancelike. The breadth of her musical imagination and masterful technique is well shown on this album of piano gems..." ~Kay Gardener,Leading Healing Music Educator,Label Artist Your music is real soul music. It reaches to the deepest depths of one's heart and soul. From your neshoma / soul to ours. Many blessings Michele Garner Rockin' Rebbetzin WSIA 88.9fm "When listening to Shoshannah's music I can feel the presence of God envelope me with the warmth of Love, Peace, and Hope like a child feels from their loving father." Jon Nipp - Spirit Within New Age Radio Shoshannah is one of our most requested artists on our radio station...kol bramah..wmdi 107.9 fm lakewood nj. she can be heard on our popular 'night mix' world wide on www.newyorkjewishradio.com which plays the live stream from the radio station. Shoshannah is a 'musician's musician,' having trained under almost all of the great musicians of our time at the famous 'California Institute of the Arts. She is super sensitive and trained and knowledgeable in all kinds of deep inner/intra personal techniques. Shoshannah's piano music is deep...wide..and varied...like her. Her albums Deepheart Awakening and Soul Journey are our favorites. Having met Shoshannah through her CDs, we have gotten to know her personally, which has been one of the greatest assets of being her DJ. love, dj baba My live365.com Internet radio station, Smooth Piano & Keyboard, features specially selected solo and near-solo piano in the new age genre. Many listeners from around the world tune in to the station during their working hours for soothing background music. Others use the station for studying, relaxation and meditation. Of the thousands of stations on live365, Smooth Piano has remained in the top 100 based on total listener hours for the past several years. While I receive many music submissions from artists, composers and promoters, the songs must meet a certain criteria before I select them for uploading to the station's track library which currently numbers over one-thousand for 63 hours of continuous music before the playlist repeats. Generally, only a few songs from a particular CD are suitable but I occasionally find some where almost all of the tracks will be used. Shoshannah, A NY pianist and composer living in Jerusalem, is one of the few artists whose music is the quintessence of the station's format. Most of the tracks from her three latest CDs, "Gifts from Heaven", "Soul Journey" and "Deepheart Awakening" are spread throughout the playlist. The 31 songs composed, arranged and beautifully performed by Shoshannah are uplifting and most pleasant to the ear. Shaloha, Bob Engelbardt Smooth Piano & Keyboard Radio: http://www.live365.com/stations/lanikaijazz "Lofty and Magical!Shoshannah is a wonderful pianist, full of passion and love that comes across as you listen to her wonderful inspirations. Just heavenly..." ~Riva Schertzman, Prof. Pianist of Riva & Aviva, Chevra __________________________________________ "Shoshannah's music has integrity. Everything has deep feeling as well as a calming effect, two elements that you wouldn't necessarily think can go together until you've heard this music. Most surprisingly, though, the third element present here is real pianism. Shoshannah is a pianist who can play in the virtuoso tradition, and with an incredible palette of tone color, yet never ever at the expense of the integrity that I mentioned earlier. These three kinds of playing--depth, calm and virtuosity--come together in a unique way..." ~Shlomo Schnall, Professional Pianist, Jerusalem, Chevra "SHOSHANNAH'S MUSIC IS SIMPLY THERAPY FOR THE SOUL: Gifts from Heaven is truly a heavenly gift. I am so happy I bought this CD! I often listen to it for hours on end. She achieves just the right touch for me - lyrical and relaxing. I can't wait to hear her next collection of gems. ~ Michoel Simpson, Chevra, Ramat Bet Shemesh "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Shoshannah does it again! Her music has thrilled me since my first listen. Her new Cd Soul Journey rocked me! I felt like i was being rocked in a loved ones arms. It's the kinda music that makes you want more and more and more and... " ~Shakti, Spiritual Author, USA "SOUL MUSIC OF THE HIGHEST CALIBUR:They say a picture is worth a thousand words, which is of course true, but the same can be said for music. The emotions, visualizations and truths music elicits is also equal to a thousand words. It is soul music of the highest caliber and takes you on a real journey of the soul. I recommend it to one and all. ~Avraham Arieh Trugman, Spiritual Author, Jerusalem, Chevra "MUSIC THAT RELEASES YOUR ENERGY BLOCKS: Shoshannah's music is amazing, there is simply no other way to put it. I have never met anyone who did not connect with it. Your inner resources reveal themselves as the artist's gentle strains lead you deeper into your soul, toward tranquility and oneness. Certainly much better than any supplemental tranquilizer!" ~Sara Gold, Psycho-Spiritual Healing, Chevra "Transformational and healing-it is the best album I heard ever." ~Rebbetzin Marilyn Levovitz, Chevra SOULFUL, PLAYFUL, DEEPLY PENETRATING When I listen to the music, there is a deep inner calm. As if my body can lean into the vibration. Inspiring and opening, I've already started using it. As a professional television writer, I can put this on and let the music help me get access to my own inner voice. Thank you. ~Sara Cooper, Television Producer, USA "One simply marvels at the sheer beauty of the musical Kabbalah which flows through her and manifests itself through her fingers "hovering" above those 88 keys. Her high-octave technique is truly remarkable and the weave and mixing of patterns and themes could possibly be a modern-day response of meditative emotions as fugue. It is truly amazing music which I and my children (who are also her avid fans) listen to over & over & over again." ~Rabbi Dr. Asher Wade, World Lecturer, Psychologist "BEAUTIFUL SOUL MUSIC INSPIRES!:A wonderful album, enjoyed by the whole family. We keep it in our permanent collection to inspire us and instill us with joy. Beautiful!" ~Jake White, Fan _____________________________________________________________ "Absolutely Beautiful, a pleasure to hear! This CD is enjoyed by all who come into my home. Actually, they usually ask me to order them one also. So, I am ordering 2, 4 or more at a time. I can not say enough good words, except it is a must have. Awesome work!!!" ~Patricia Skewes, Fan "IT SEEPS INTO YOUR SOUL! I first heard Gifts from Heaven from in the Old city of Jerusalem. It was night and the sounds flowed in between the buildings and I stopped to enjoy it like one stops to smell the aroma of home cooked food. I followed the sound to the store, bought the tape and played it until it wore out. When I played the music loudly in my dorm room, on many occations my friends stopped in and asked about the music. They too were caught by the "aroma". Thank you so much." ~Suri Cohen, Fan, USA _____________________________________________________________ "When I want to be lifted up above the kitchen, when I want everyone at home to be happily serene and in touch with our feelings, I put on Shoshannah's music." ~Sarah Shapiro, Spiritual Author, Jerusalem KATHY PARSONS, SOLO PIANO PUBLICATIONS Soul Journey By Shoshannah "Soul Journey" is a gorgeous collection of nine solo piano improvisations by Shoshannah, a composer,pianist,educator and therapist. Classically-trained from a young age, Shoshannah won a variety of major piano competitions in her youth, and appeared to have a very promising career as a concert pianist ahead of her. However, she had never stopped composing or improvising her own music, and her creativity and interest in diverse musical forms lead her in other directions. When she moved to Jerusalem, Shoshannah experienced a profound spiritual transformation that changed her life and music, making her a vessel through which divine love flowed as music. Shoshannah's playing is effortless and fluid, and the music on this CD is versatile in mood, style, and ethnicity. Each track depicts a different aspect of a soul's journey, and the album as a whole creates a warm invitation to look inward and experience life's many joys and gifts. "Soul Journey 2" will be released very soon, in which grammy nominated cellist David Darling improvises to Shoshannah's piano music - this should be a real treat! "Emunah," is a graceful and pensive opening track that conveys a gentle sense of urgency. "Aliyah" is a thirteen-minute exploration. The title refers to Jewish immigration to Israel and the law that permits any Jew the right to settle in Israel and be granted automatic Israeli citizenship. The piece conveys many emotions, but there are feelings of peace, freedom, and movement throughout. Jazz influences can be heard, as can a series of harplike glissandos - a fascinating piece! "Eternal Love" is dedicated to the artist's mother and is much simpler in style. Full of love and grace, this piece is truly an outpouring from the heart and soul, and is a highlight of the album. The title track is serene and tranquil - a perfect peace flows from its elegant simplicity. "Into the Light" is a carefree and playful little dance that bubbles over with childlike enthusiasm. "Immersion" sparkles like light dancing on water, constantly moving and changing, yet deeply relaxing - another favorite. "Gratitude" has a warm, elegant flow and deep sincerity that touches the heart. "Gathering Sparks" is more energetic and complex. At almost eleven minutes, it has plenty of time to explore a variety of themes, some of which have a strong Middle Eastern influence. Shoshannah's virtuosity allows you to get so deep into the music that you forget that she is playing the piano - an amazing piece! "Sweet Return" closes the album with gentle innocence and sweetness. "Soul Journey" is truly a journey for the mind as well as the soul that leaves you feeling spiritually refreshed and inspired. It is available from cdbaby.com/shoshannah2.Recommended! Kathy Parsons, Solo Piano Publications 9/25/06 NEW AGE RETAILER GIFTS FROM HEAVEN by SHOSHANNAH We live in a world of tremendous complexity. A world of multi-voiced synthesizers and forty-eight track recording studios. A world where albums come mixed and layered and processed and homogenized like Wonder Bread. And then there's Shoshannah. Solo piano. Simple. Powerful. Tender. Exquisitely melodic. Listening to her Gifts from Heaven I am reminded of how soul-satisfying and moving a beautiful melody can be in the hands of a gifted pianist/composer. You can feel the love in every note. Gifts from Heaven is healing, G-d infused music. Conceived in Israel, several of the thirteen pieces are based on ancient Hebrew melodies. All of the tracks have a balm-like quality to them: soothing, nurturing, and bringing a deep sense of peace and fulfillment. Shoshannah's music evokes a classical old world beauty. It's elegant simplicity is the loving outpouring of a pure soul. The composer is a servant of the Divine. Shoshannah writes in her liner notes, "These melodies are filled with the message of love from Heaven's gates. They radiate light, joy, thankfulness, and praise. Close your eyes, listen, hum, sing, dance, and let music's splendor embrace your soul and lighten your heart." Excellent for in-store play. Gifts from Heaven> BILL BINKELMAN, New Age Reporter Soul Journey by Shoshannah An example of not judging a book by its cover, Shoshannah's piano album Soul Journey is not what one might expect given the CD's title and cover art. Anticipating a "typical" serene new age piano recording, I was blown away by the CD's diversity, complexity and depth, as it explored assorted nooks and crannies of mood and tone via the artist's approach to improvisational piano. If you only buy one solo piano CD this year, and you are hungry for something unconventional yet wholly accessible, I highly recommend you consider this album. Soul Journey is not experimental or disorienting, but it is refreshingly different, especially given the presentation of the album. Of course, some tracks follow the formula of this music, such as "Eternal Love" which is a gentle, soothing number with a slowly flowing melody and only a brief speed up of tempo and elevation of energy during the last third of the seven-plus minute track. Cuts like the opening "Emunah" and the next one, the near-epic length "Aliyah" (clocking in at a whopping thirteen minutes!) are the ones that made me sit up and take notice. The former is a moody introspective piece yet is also dramatic and fast-paced at times with plenty of minor key notes and chords. Shoshannah displays mastery of both the piano keys and the pedals. Her use of subtlety and nuance is a highlight, especially as she shifts gears loud to soft or fast to slow. In lesser hands, these changes of direction could be distractingly obvious and forced, but she manages to make the numerous transitions as natural as rain. "Aliyah" is simply stunning, opening with a burst of neo-Celtic melody and morphing into a jump boogie, but so quiet and restrained that it sneaks up on you, rather than shakes you. When she employs the lower register later, the cut takes on a subdued hint of the blues. Switching into a livelier mode, arpeggios of upper register notes sprinkle down like a sunshower. At the end, rolling chords cascade down on the listener one after the other in a celebratory fashion. Other songs include the title track, a lovely number that may not be adventurous but its quietness and serenity allows the listener to catch her/his breath, "Into the Light" a cheery uptempo affair (over nine minutes long) on which the artist plays around with refrains and recurring motifs but maintains an overall laughter-filled mood, "Immersion" which echoes the classical Romanticists interrupted by a brief flurry of darker dissonance before winding down with gentility and grace, and the warm and friendly closing song, "Sweet Return" reminiscent of Robin Spielberg's music. Also of note is the eleven-minute long "Gathering Sparks," a challenging examination of shadow and mystery, colored at times by Middle Eastern/North African melodic motifs. The song is undeniably lively and spirited but minor key notes dominate the track and keep the mood from being warm until the last third of the track when things gradually lighten (still at a fast tempo, though). I've refrained from drawing comparisons to any other piano artist (except for the brief mention of Spielberg) but that doesn't mean I don't hear echoes of some others on this CD. It's just that Shoshannah's approach is so unique that even if I am occasionally reminded of, e.g. Wayne Gratz, David Lanz, it's a fleeting association. Soul Journey is an imaginative and original recording and while not wholly "relaxing" per se (and I worry about people who buy it and are put off by its more energetic pieces and the complexity of some cuts) it's always engaging and inviting. Recording quality is excellent and Shoshannah never gets so flashy that the music's "spirit" is betrayed by an over-reliance on fireworks. I highly recommend this CD, especially if frequent solo piano offerings in the genre leave you strangely unsatisfied. Bill Binkelman New Age Reporter 9/26/06 Deepheart Awakening by Shoshannah Kathy Parsons, Solo Piano Publications "Deepheart Awakening" is Shoshannah's second solo piano release this year and her fourth album to date. It is quite different from "Soul Journey" in that more of the music on this new CD is composed rather than improvised. Shoshannah's 2000 release, "Gifts From Heaven," is her most popular release so far, but that could easily change with "Deepheart Awakening." Each composition portrays a specific Biblical or historical event, and much of the music has a cinematic sweep. A child prodigy who was classically-trained beginning at a very young age, Shoshannah's pianism is dazzling. Although her classical background is clear, her music is highly original with jazz influences and the occasional use of traditional Jewish themes and melodies. Some of the music on "Deepheart Awakening" is "reinvented" from Shoshannah's first CD, "Sanctuary." The music is very powerful, often soothing, and sometimes joyous, and it stands completely on its own with or without knowledge (or even interest) in the historical events being depicted. One of the wonderful things about instrumental music is that the music is open to each individual's personal interpretation and can "mean" whatever he or she wants it to mean. The variety of playing styles on "Deepheart" makes it fascinating from beginning to end. A pianist with amazing skills and a top-notch piano can make pure listening magic, and Shoshannah does just that. The CD opens with "Exodus From Egypt," an improvisational arrangement on Israel's national theme, "Hativka." It tells of the Israelite slaves coming out of Egypt into spiritual liberation. The piece has an infectious energy and sense of excitement. "The Sea that Split" has a feeling of urgency, describing the Israelites quickly leaving Egypt. Shoshannah very effectively uses a long series of glissandos to depict the parting of the sea and the people walking through the miraculous split in the ocean. "Miriam's Dance" is a lively and joyous celebration of new-found freedom. "Manna from Heaven" is a graceful improvisation. Gently flowing and absolutely gorgeous, this is one of my favorites. "Souls at Sinai" begins very quietly and simply, expressing the sounds of a "still small voice." The thirteen-minute composition builds near the middle, becoming more passionate and celebratory, and then trails off as quietly as it began. My favorite track is the title track, which Shoshannah calls "a transformational piece." It tells the story of Moses and the Israelites reaching out to the Heavens for forty days with "apologetic tears, which brings about the Divine forgiveness expressed through the receiving of the Tablets from Sinai." The piece begins almost as a whisper, with open spaces between the notes that are allowed to ring. The next section remains quiet, but is deeply personal and soulful. As the piece evolves, it becomes stronger and more confident, and then goes back to the previous melody and rebuilds strength, becoming beautifully flowing. "Clouds of Glory" is the second improvisation on the CD. The clouds referenced were used by the Israelites as a guide and compass showing them where to set up camp. The piece is gentle and light, with just a touch of bittersweetness. "Hope" concludes the CD with a fourteen-minute tour de force. Dedicated to the artist's mother, who is a holocaust survivor, the piece is a tribute to all holocaust survivors "with the idea that the soul has an eternal and Divine connection and its spirit never dies in spite of all the human horrific evil experiences." The music evolves through many themes and emotions, some triumphant, some tragic, all very deeply inspired. "Deepheart Awakening" is a stunning listening experience and I highly recommend it! It is available from cdbaby.com/shoshannah3. and oysongs.com/shoshannah. BILL BINKELMAN, NEW AGE REPORTER GIFTS FROM HEAVEN BY SHOSHANNAH In a recent email from the pianist Shoshannah, she wrote the following description of how Gifts from Heaven came about. "The main point is that I became a "klee"/vessel for the music to come on through me which was the gift from heaven I received. 95% of the work on Gifts from Heaven was getting myself and my ego out of the way and allowing the music to come divinely through me. The quality of the music contains the essence of what I am saying." What I'll offer in addition to her words is my opinion that this album would make a wonderful addition to your new age solo piano collection if you enjoy warm engaging music that, while accessible, never becomes too sing-songy, poppish, or commercial. Shoshannah walks the tightrope between the fl Shoshannah Sarah's Music Bio Shoshannah is a composer pianist, piano teacher - therapist, nutritionist, and recording artist whose work has led her from concert halls to multi-media events such as dance, theater, TV, radio and film. Her mission is to bring spiritual unity, peace, and compassion to the world through music. A recognized child prodigy, Shoshannah began composing and improvising on the piano at age six. By the time she was nine, Shoshannah was winning piano competitions and solo performing continually, including several performances at Carnegie Hall, Camay Hall, and Steinway Hall. Shoshannah went on to win major piano competitions for seven consecutive years, and seemed destined to become a serious concert pianist. Unknown to her teacher, however, Shoshannah had never stopped composing and improvising her own music. Her irrepressible creativity and diverse musical interests would soon inspire her to follow a unique musical path. That path would lead Shoshannah to the California Institute of the Arts, where she studied with Leonid Hambro, Mel Powell, Morton Sobotnik, and other highly acclaimed composers and pianists such as Aaron Copeland, Steve Reich, Earle Brown, and Bill Douglas. At the university, Shoshannah immersed herself in classical, world, and avant garde music, and further developed her improvisational technique. While still a student, she pioneered Cal Art's Creative Improvisation Piano Program, and was given charge of the Secondary Piano department. Today, Shoshannah has a revolutionary Music Therapy and Piano Teaching approach that she presently offers in Jerusalem and New York. After college, Shoshannah began touring extensively throughout Israel, Switzerland, and the United States, exploring her love of different musical traditions. Performing on piano, synthesizer, and percussion, she appeared and played with a wide range of masterful musicians, including Reb Shlomo Carlebach, Giora Feidman, Glen Velez, Laraaji, David Darling, Salieu Suso, Suru Ekeh, Sayyd, Ladji Camara, and Baba Olitunji. Settling in New York City, Shoshannah continued to compose, perform, teach piano, and produce commissioned works for dance, theater and film. She appeared in concert at such well-known venues as Lincoln Center,the United Nations, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Hall, and the Jerusalem Theatre. Shoshannah created her first piano solo release, "Sanctuary," a deeply evocative and healing solo piano work that explores the full range of human emotion with sweeping power and delicacy. Shoshannah's piano is both powerful and sublime, passionate and reflective. "Sanctuary" blends New Age, Classical, and Middle Eastern rhythms into such themes as hope, forgiveness, and compassion. These compositions are focused, highly visual, melodic and healing. A couple of years later, Shoshannah moved to Jerusalem and experienced a profound spiritual opening that transformed both her life and music. From that point on, G-d became the singular inspiration and focus of her creativity. She became the vessel through which Divine love flowed through as music. Effortlessly, Shoshannah's music began to change. It became simple and pure, flowing with a grace and gentleness filled with light. Her second piano album, "Gifts From Heaven," fills the listener with a mystical sweetness that opens the heart to receive Heaven's loving gifts for each one of us. The solo piano CD was inspired by the composer's experience in the Holy Land and its healing ancient melodies. Year after year, "Gifts from Heaven" is considered by fans as Jerusalem's most popular spiritual healing CD. "Tzaddik's Deli" located within Jerusalem's Old City Walls, continuously plays Shoshannah's music as thousands of tourists daily approach the famous steps that lead down to the Holy Western Wall / Kotel. Shoshannah's third piano release, "Soul Journey," is recorded live "in the moment" from a spontaneous outpouring of the soul. Nine inspired piano expressions reveal a rich spectrum of musical styles and moods, illuminating the spirit. Each piano improvisation expresses a unique story of the human soul journey. Bill Binkelman of New Age Reporter gave Soul Journey a 2006 honorable mention. Grammy nominated improvisational cellist, David Darling joins Shoshannah at the piano for her up-coming Soul Journey II. "Deepheart Awakening," a 2009 piano solo release and fifth to date, is described as Spiritual Cinematic Solo Piano. Each piano composition portrays an ancient sacred or historical experience, and brings it fully to life. "Deepheart" conveys spiritual messages from the ancient past with themes of hope, liberation, transformation, and redemption. Shoshannah's technically dazzling original piano ranges from uplifting and passionate dance rhythms to delicate and sublime melodies that soothe the soul" - Kay Gardner. "Deepheart Awakening" musical themes include Manna from Heaven, the Sea that Split, Clouds of Glory, and Hope. Shoshannah's next piano release, "Rivers Of Light," has been described as "rhapsodic, joyous and flowing, like an unending river of life force." Its gentle, uplifting momentum invites the listener to become a partner in creation, revealing the Divine Presence in our every action and relationship. Shoshannah's enchanting piano compositions personify the flowing of water through eternal light, bringing ultimate healing, peace and harmony to a world that was once broken. Today, Shoshannah shares her time between Jerusalem and New York. She has successfully produced four original piano recordings, and three new titles are planned within the coming year. Her diverse musical style combines a sacred tapestry of New Age, World, Classical, and a dash of Jazz that is deeply healing, heartful and uplifting. Shoshannah's piano compositions were chosen for the top 50 "Whisperings Piano Artists" of 2007. Shoshannah teaches piano lessons to children and adults, using an original approach that is creative, therapeutic and spiritual. She originated "Piano Therapy" and is currently writing a book on her therapeutic music learning approach called "Creative ImproviZation". Her piano lessons and piano therapy promote self-acceptance, inner confidence and creative process through soul connection. You may read her unique teaching and therapeutic approach at www.aish.com/family/heart/Spiritual_Piano_Lessons.asp Shoshannah has a private practice in healing therapies to heal a wide range of emotional and physical maladies. Her therapeutic practice includes progressive mindbody tools such as TAT and EFT energy therapies, emotional release work, Piano Therapy TM, and Dr. John Sarno's TMS mindbody education. For the past several years, Shoshannah has regularly volunteered her trauma healing services and has donated her healing piano music to Terror Victim Organizations in Israel.

 
Date:  2014-08-13 10:45:40
Subject:  Creative Improvization Principles (the first 5 Principles)
Blog:  CREATIVE IMPROVIZATION PRINCIPLES BY SHOSHANNAH B"H CREATIVE IMPROVIZATION SHOSHANNAH SARAH PRINCIPLE 1 Who can participate: From a complete novice to a successful professional. Tools: These principles were written for Piano Improvization, however any musical instrument will suffice, even drumming on a table, or using your own voice as an instrument. It is possible to translate the musical principles into another creative art form such as spontaneous art, film, video, movement, choreography, and life. 1. Be in the Spontaneous Moment ~Allow for unpredictability to take place each moment you are playing your instrument. ~Allow for notes that "don't sound correct" to exist within the space. ~Allow yourself to play what you didn't plan or intend to play. ~Allow the music to sound just how it is going to sound. ~Be with the sound whatever it is. ~If voices of judgment enter, throw them out the window immediately. ~Let go of trying to "control" your creative process. ~FLOW with the changes and work with what's there no matter what it is. ~Let go of your concern for the music to sound a particular way or like someone you know. ~Don't give up just because you played a note you can't accept. ~Let go of all pre-conceived notions. ~Even your pre-conceived notions about yourself. ~Be in the moment, accept the moment, right here, right now. ~Allow the improvization be a conversation with yourself. Questions: What was your experience simply "reading" the first principle of creative improvization? If you tried this principle out by improvizing: A. What challenges came up when you did this? B. What was positive about your experience? Anything in particular? C. Do you have any suggestions as to what to include to make this principle better for you? Constructive advice and appreciative comments are all welcome at this forum. Bracha Blessings of spontaneity, Shoshannah ______________________________________ CREATIVE IMPROVIZATION SHOSHANNAH SARAH PRINCIPLE 2 2. CHASE AWAY THE VOICES OF JUDGMENT AND SELF-CRITICISM The inner voices of the "Yatzer Hara" Getting in touch with pure creative process brings in spiritual light that is within us and all around, compliments of the Creator. We were all given two inclinations, the Yatzer Tov - the positive good and pure inclination, and the Yatzer Hara - the negative impure and destructive inclination. Whenever we attempt to bring in the holy pure light, the Yatzer Tov, we also attract the opposite forces from within us and all around, the Yatzer Hara. The internal negative messages caused by the Yatzer Hara within us and all around, often comes about as we spontaneously create music. This attempt by our Yatzer Hara seeks to disengage us from our creative process. Engaging in the creative process naturally brings in the light. The opposite forces of light seeks to destroy the light and bring in the darkness. This darkness is JUDGMENT. Pure Creative process manifests energetic flow, and light connection to Creator. It is a profound healing force if used properly with pure intention. Judgment and self-criticism manifests energetic blockage, and absense of light connection to Creator. When one is in the midst of judging, the creative improvizational process gets stuck. Creativity is about energetic flow and the release of light. Judgment is about stuckness, blockage,negative energy,and limitation. Judgment is often caused by trauma whether small or large, long ago or recent. From trauma comes negative limiting beliefs that often prevent us from feeling good about ourselves and succeeding in life. Improvising music from a place of judgment (ego), imposes limits and barriers to the unlimited creative process. The inner voices of judgment need to be recognized and thrown immediately out the window. There are many ways to accomplish this feat: spiritually,energetically,cognitive-behaviorally, primally,educationally,through pure will,etc. Examples of self-judgment that frequently come up during creative process: Oy! I made a mistake. That was the wrong note! I don't know how to create I didn't mean to play that note I give up... I just can't do it I have no rhythm I have no technique so I can't improvise I don't know enough theory to improvise I'm not talented enough to do this It sounds terrible! I don't sound good like him/her If I can't sound like him, I can't dare improvise I don't deserve this Its not realistic I have to learn for years before I can do this I just don't have it in me My teacher/brother/parents/siblings were right about my lack of talent and ability I'm just not the improviser or creative type What do I play now? I ran out of ideas I can't play that idea again, I already played it I don't know what I'm playing but it must not sound good! It all sounds the same My playing sounds horrible What are they thinking of me? They probably don't like it. I'm probably making a total fool of myself! I didn't work hard enough to be good enough! They told me to stop singing/playing when I was a kid and they must be right! I just don't have what it takes. Its too late for me anyway. I started at too late an age. Only children learn well and quickly. My hands lost the ability to move fast enough I'm tone deaf This is so embarrassing! ________________________________ CREATIVE IMPROVIZATION SHOSHANNAH SARAH PRINCIPLE 3 3. There are no mistakes, no wrong notes...only creative opportunities. That's right folks, there are no wrong notes in Spontaneous Improvization. We often perceive the notes we play as the wrong ones, sounds that our ears don't accept, notes we didn't intend to play. Many of us automatically react by quickly lifting our hands away from the keys and stopping the improvization cold in its tracks, as if we did something terribly wrong. This perfectionistic route is one of the quickest routes to defeat, stopping the flow of creative process. Playing notes and harmonies we didn't intend to play sometimes sound tense, dissonant and wrong. It is important to stay open and accepting of "different" sounds, as they are part of music too. All of music (and life) is tension-release. We are either moving toward a more resolved consonant sound, or we are moving toward a more unresolved dissonant sound. Even when we are playing music that is completely harmonizing, one sound will be more resolved than the other, creating tension-release. When Claude Debussy's "Afternoon of a Faun" was first premiered, the whole tone scale was completely new to the ears of the audience. People were accustomed to hearing music in other scales, so the whole tone scale sounded wrong to them. Due to uncomfortable feelings of unfamiliarity, the audience started rioting by throwing tomatoes, breaking glass, and walking out in the midst of the concert. Today, this famous and well-loved Debussy piece is very easy on the ears and pleasurable to hear. A.INCORPORATE the "mistake" into your improvization. Think of the unintended tone as a passing note to an intended note. ~ If we play a note that we didn't intend to play, we can decide to incorporate the unintended sound within the music. One idea is when we come upon a note we didn't like the sound of, we can remedy the situation by simply playing or singing the next higher or lower pitch. This way, we are able to view the unintended mistake as a passing tone that was on the way to a more consonant tone. Since all of music is a journey of tension-release, then the perceived wrong note can be thought of as a "tension tone" that is simply passing to a "resolution tone". REPEAT THE UNINTENDED TONE: ~ Another concept that I find works well, is to simply "repeat" the alien pitch, rhythm or harmony. This creates an illusion for the "out of place" tones or rhythm to be more acceptable, as if they were purposefully intended to be a part of the music. It also gives us a second chance to accept it, and to do something with it. B. IGNORE the mistake: ~We may choose to ignore the perceived mistake and simply continue on. This is a wonderful exercise for those of us who are seeming perfectionists. C. A Mistake is a CREATIVE OPPORTUNITY and life itself: ~A third idea is to completely go in the same musical direction of the "perceived wrong sound". In order to do this, we must be willing to change our previous direction and instead go with the flow on our own unpremeditated soul's journey, wherever it may take us. When we play a sound we don't like , we can perceive it as another part of our exciting creative life journey. A major aspect of the improvizational process is to allow ourselves to journey into uncharted territory. By doing so, we are free to flow and go wherever the wind may take us. We are on a creative exploration with new undiscovered opportunities that await us. And guess what this sounds like?... Life itself! D.Improvization is not about editing, planning or composing. It is about being in the creative process EACH PRESENT MOMENT: ~A reaction that we commonly experience is to automatically get busy fixing what we perceive as a wrong note. However, improvization is not the appropriate time for "editing" the music. Editing occurs AFTER the creative process, and not during it. After our improvization, we can always choose to edit and move into "compositional" mode if that's our direction. In that case, we improvise to "collect" many musical ideas that we can later use for a planned out composition. Improvization is a complete act in its own right and it does not have to be a preliminary step to composing. However, if one is into composing, then improvization creates an endless flow of new ideas that one can use for a methodically worked out composition. Right now allow yourself to experience spontaneity each present moment , without concern for the future. You are being, right here, right now. Sitting in a chair analogy: The improvizational process is not about moving toward a goal, it is about being in process that may or may not take you there. In analogy terms, Improvizing is not about walking directly over to the chair on the other side of the room in order to sit in it. It is more about being in each glorious moment as we are walking toward the chair, whether we end up sitting in it or not. Improvization is not about pre-determined goals. It's about a spontaneous creative process. We are on an unknown journey. We don't know when and where we will arrive, until we actually do. If we are improvizing for someone else, then the audience hears the improvization at the same exact moment that the performer plays the music. This helps to create a bonding experience of synchronicity and oneness. May you be blessed to flow in the light and simcha/joy of your deepest hopes and dreams! Stay tuned for principle 4! Love, Shoshannah Sarah _____________________________________ CREATIVE IMPROVIZATION Shoshannah Sarah PRINCIPLE 4 4. Let go of control and perfection. Allow your improvization to flow, blossom and grow. The Need to control each note you play is in complete opposition to spontaneous playing and to the expression of your higher soul. Control and perfection presupposes that WE are the ones making the music happen. Our fifth principle explains otherwise. Needing to keep a tight cap .. is about EGO (Easing Gd Out). Control keeps us falsely safe and familiar. Improvizing is about going on an exciting journey of the unknown. Be willing to take a risk. Improvizing is about being willing to move out of the box and into the unfamiliar. Improvizing is about playing music that may be unpleasant and unexpected to the ears. Improvizing is about allowing the expression of our dark side to also be expressed for the ultimate purpose of transformation. If you have a strong need to control and to make things perfect, you may have a challenging experience with this improvizational process. For that reason alone, taking up the art of creative improvization has great therapeutic power and opens up many roads not traveled. It uncovers parts of yourself and possibilities you never knew existed. The very first healing step in the popular 12 steps is about letting go of the idea that we are the ones in control, and having faith in our higher power to move us up. The need to be perfect and be in control exists on a completely different vibrational frequency than being in touch with the improvizational creative process. Ultimately, we begin to realize that there is something much greater and more valuable inside of us to be realized and shared. Imposing pre-determined control and perfectionism when improvizing is an expression of fear and a lack of self-acceptance. Expressing ourselves without continually editing ourselves along the way marks the beginning of sharing our true selves, our higher soul. Our higher soul lives on the frequency of love, acceptance, humility and altruistic light. The true story of renowned pianist David Helfcott reveals a father who abusively controlled his son and every detail of his life, especially in connection to his piano career. David then internalized his father's extreme critical perfection by sabatoging himself at college by attempting to perform the most difficult Piano Concerto that exists. David's drive for perfectionism and proving himself caused him to loss consciousness in the middle of performing Rachmaninoff's 3rd Concerto. The result was a nervous breakdown, living in mental anguish and trauma, in a mental institution. He didn't touch the piano for more than a decade. Thank Gd, the ending is happy and today, David is an active and self-satisfied concert pianist. The opposite of control and perfectionism is letting go. Letting go means allowing the musical process to flow, however it moves and grooves. Letting go means taking an unknown journey for the music to open, develop, sprout, blossom and grow. Some methods of composing and creating music are compatible with having self-willed control of the music. This book is about the creative improvizational process. When we improvize, we are opening up a vast reportoire of musical concepts and ideas that spontaneously emerge, and so we need to stay open and willing to take a journey into the unknown. If we are busy with making every note, harmony and rhythm perfect, then we are missing the music that's evolving naturally toward us. Receive each moment as it comes, and embrace all imperfections. One of the best tools for composing new music is to first improvize the music and tape it. We can then pick and choose which improvizational themes we would like to use for our new composition. We do not need more musical knowledge and technique in order to improvize right now. We can improvize as we are, right this minute. Our real work is to accept the music that comes out of us, and to believe in our greater potential for growth. In the same way that we are imperfect human beings, so is our improvization. The more we are able accept the darkness within, the more we are able to grow deeply into our inner light which is the expression of our higher soul. As we continue to improvize, we discover our inner voice of truth. SUGGESTED ASSIGNMENT: Turn on the recorder and try to improvize without any pre-conceptions. What happens when you let go and improvize without judgment and pre-conception? Are you able to chase away the critical voices that may prevent you from continuing to play your improvization? Now listen back to your recording. Can you find musical themes, melodies, rhythms or harmonies that you like or are you busy negatively judging your improvization? Can you change your focus to finding the positive in what you hear? Are there any musical ideas that you would like to hold onto and use for a composition? ___________________________________ CREATIVE IMPROVIZATION Shoshannah Sarah PRINCIPLE 5 5. Be a Klee, not a Me. A definition of Klee: Klee is the hebrew word for vessel or light receptor. Acting as a klee gives one the ability to elevate that which it receives and to become a true partner in creation. In order to receive properly, one consciously makes themselves bittul, which means nullifying one's ego. As a klee, we receive nourishment and in return provide it a sanctuary. Within this nourishment is a soul essence that sends creative heavenly light into the olam/world and feeds the soul. Some examples of being a Klee is in the act of eating, drinking, smelling things that were created before humans were created, such as a plants, flowers and animals. Another example of being a Klee is using an inanimate object for a higher purpose, such as praying at a table. Our highest receiving is the great light from our Creator. That is the source of everything and our very souls within. Becoming a true Klee brings in the light. It also helps create music that is pure and filled with this divine light. The nullifying process called Bittul, empties out our ego and the automatic impulses that are begging to be in control of the music. Acting as a receptive Klee allows our true sincerity, passion, and creativity to be expressed as a pure instrument of the Divine. As a Klee, we are connecting to our deepest inner spark, our neshama / soul. We are allowing our soul's inspiration to come through us from a higher source. We become in essence, instruments of the Divine, through music. When we are making music from the ego space of "me", there is no place for "we". "We" is about a creative continual and active partnership between ourselves and the Divine. Behaving as a "we" opens up heaven's gates, that creates Ahavat Chinam, unqualified love and unity for one another. There is a divine spark within us that is all-knowing and pure. The Divine is both transcendent and imminent. It is closer than the very air we breathe, and at the same time, uncomparable to anything else that exists. The Divine is in everything we experience. Our ability to create in an unlimited way is possible by acting as a Spiritual Klee. By tapping into the One divine source that continually creates all and everything, we tap into the most truthful and magnificent reality that exists. We connect to the inner essence of our soul. Being a Spiritual Klee opens us up to a wellspring of unlimited source. We have the potential to receive, create and share pure honest music that is in the eternal realm beyond time and space. Whether we begin our journey through music, which brings us to source, or we tap into source, which brings us to our creative process, we are taking part in fixing ourselves and healing the world around us with divine love. We become partners in creation, a "we" instead of a "Me" that becomes a "one". Playing music from this space of oneness allows for a plethora of beauty to emerge into the universe. The higher music emanated from above has the power to flow through us if we allow it. It is an inherent part of ourselves, a gift from above that is within us...our neshama/ soul, our nesheema /our breath, our very essense of life. We may choose to tap into the One divine energy that is eternally within, everywhere, at any time, in any way, past, present and future all at once. Our soul's mission is to empty and free ourselves of any limiting false beliefs/ego which may be getting in the way of our creative process. By easing out our negative beliefs, we ease in our higher selves. By easing out our yatzer hara / negative inclination, we ease in our yatzer tov / positive inclination. Our higher selves emerge naturally and flow into being as we ease out the voices of criticism, judgment, low self worth, pride, and limiting false beliefs. From the point of creation, we were gifted with inherent self-worth and so it is our inherent right to reclaim the self-worth we have been given. It is the time and opportunity for us to return back to our essential soul and to be partners in the greater symphony of creation. We can choose to transform our creations into personal and sincere prayer. We can play music to heal ourselves and others. We can be a true gift to the universe. We can heal the false and stuck beliefs we have about our ourselves by uniting with a creative force that is greater and within our deepest selves. Through the deepest darkness comes the greatest light. As a spiritual klee, musical creation can initiate authentically from the deepest place in our heart and soul, filling the universe with love, light and oneness. Creating becomes an infinite and eternal experience. 5:58 AM •Like •· •Comment (1) Post a comment... Kathryn Toyama Kathryn Toyama Oh, Shoshannah! This is so wonderfully positive... and so valuable for nuturing the pure creative energy in us all. I cannot express how much I appreciate your beautiful light and contributions to heal the spirit :o) Thank you! ~Kathryn ... Show more

 
Date:  2014-08-13 10:43:19
Subject:  Creative Improvization by Shoshannah Sarah
Blog:  CREATIVE IMPROVIZATION by Shoshannah Sarah Be in the unpredictable moment Chase away the yetzer hara / critical voices There are no wrong notes Don't control... let go Be a *klee, not a me Make space for un-intenionality Ingest each sound fully Allow for spaces between the notes and phrases Match the music to your feeling Transform with the music Go on a journey Realize each new idea and build slowly Repeat and returdn to the short phrases you create Flow with the changes whether gradual and abrupt Play your instrument in all possible ways Allow yoursel to be just as you are and feel Express impermissable feelings through music When playing together, listen intently and share the space Record yourself, listen back, internatlize &re-create anew Spontaneous ImproviZations live only once! *Klee means to be a receiving vessel in order to allow the light from a higher source to express itself through you. Shoshannah Sarah - Composer Pianist - Recording Artist, Piano Teacher, Piano Therapist, Mindbody Therapist

 
Date:  2014-08-13 10:42:05
Subject:  5 Ways to Connect through Music by Shoshannah Sarah
Blog:  MINDBODYSPIRIT MUSIC CREATIVITY, HEALING and SPIRITUALITY FIVE WAYS TO CONNECT THROUGH MUSIC Shoshannah Sarah 1. Connecting with your musical instrument as it being a soul extension of your body;Becoming ONE with it. 2. Connecting with your instrument creatively and therapeutically as a tool for self-expression and self-discovery 3. Connecting with your instrument creatively and intellectually by gaining musical knowledge and mastering your ability to create, play, record, perform. 4a. Connecting with your instrument creatively and therapeutically as tefillah (Prayer) aimed toward spiritual-expression. 4b. Connecting with your instrument creatively and spiritually as a receptive klee (vessel) for music to come through you from an unlimited source. 5. Connecting with your instrument as a therapeutic tool to help heal one's self-esteem /limiting beliefs/ problems/conditions by getting in touch with one's inner divine knowing and self-worth through creative process in conjunction with special mindbody therapies.

 
Date:  2014-08-13 10:38:40
Subject:  The Art of Practicing by Shoshannah Sarah
Blog:  THE ART OF PRACTICING PIANO Shoshannah Sarah Most piano teachers do not teach their students how to practice, but simply expect the student to practice and have their assignment ready by the next lesson. This can be a tragedy for the student on two counts. Practicing incorrectly can often create major frustration for the student in his/her attempt to accomplish a perfected and comfortable performance. In addition, the pressure put on a student to have a piece prepared in a time-bound manner causes many unexpected pitfalls for the new and curious learner. Eventually many students can begin to lose interest altogether in learning the piano, and recall their experience of piano lessons as hopelessly unsuccessful. One of the first signs of frustration is when a student becomes lax in preparing for a piano lesson, and even begins to call and make seemingly viable excuses to miss lessons. The ultimate purpose of practicing is to play a piece of music with comfort and familiarity without mistakes if possible, and with purposeful expression. If one has not learned how to practice, most students will approach 'practicing' at the piano by playing the piece from beginning to end over and over again; this is not practicing. One can call it playing, but it certainly is not practicing. Allow me to address what happens when one practices incorrectly. I will then continue by explaining what correct practicing habits are all about. Now listen to this point closely: the problem with practicing a piece of music from beginning to end repeatedly is that even though the strong spots become stronger, the weak spots become weaker! The next question posed would be how does one recognize a 'weak spot'? In short, there is a tinge of anxiousness in the body when playing that particular spot. What typically happens with a weak spot one is anxious about is that the pianist plays that weak spot wrong or incorrectly in some manner, and then tries to play it right immediately afterwards. Every time the pianist plays the weak spot incorrectly and then corrects it immediately afterward, they are actually forming the terrible habit of playing the spot wrong first before playing it right. Therefore, this habit of playing this particular phrase wrong and then playing it right immediately afterwards becomes a set pattern, embedded in stone. Let us understand more about the 'weak spot'. A weak spot is defined as a note, chord, rhythm or phrase difficult to play properly naturally. Sometimes the problem is simply due to reading the notes, chord or rhythm incorrectly at the start. In a very short period of time, the weak spot itself becomes an anxiety spot. In addition, approaching the weak spot becomes a source of anxiety. Thirdly, even if one succeeded in playing the spot without mistakes, the anxiety travels to the spot immediately afterward, quickly creating a mistake or anxiety in the new area. In no time at all, a weak spot incorrectly played with anxiety over and over becomes a bad habit difficult to change. A weak spot can begin as simply as flubbing up one little note, and can quickly expand into a few measures of music. Anxiousness in the heart occurs by the very trepidation of coming toward the note itself, therefore spreading the bad news. In addition, the after effect of getting through a weak spot correctly often creates an opening for a mistake occurring immediately afterward. Where a student formerly had only one note to contend with, they find themselves uncontrollably manifesting many more mistakes to overcome without relief. This all occurs under the guise of 'practicing' under pressure in time for the next lesson. Although goals are certainly important, treating piano lessons as another deadline to be met in one's life takes away the fun aspect to learning an instrument, creates unnecessary pressure for the learning student, and affects his ability to learn at a natural pace slowly and carefully. It is important to allow the student to become a 50/50 partner with his teacher in the development of his piano program in every aspect of learning. Personal goals and performance and recording projects are excellent motivators, however, such projects demand a sufficient amount of time, whatever that may be. 'Time pressure' greatly affects the delicate and careful learning process of practicing. Practicing under a pressure cooker may help with motivating one to practice, however, the quality of that practice will be less than satisfactory. Learning to have the self-respect for the long short road of the time that things take is crucial. Learning not to judge oneself harshly because you "didn't get it yet" is a preliminary step in the art of practicing properly. Teachers who are reading this hopefully can understand the importance of continually reminding their students not to judge themselves negatively when they make a flub, when they learn something new or are not completely prepared, or when they take more time to learn something. With this thought in mind, it is best to leave a lot of open space for the student's progress by the time their lesson comes 8 days later. Sometimes, a student can take a week to learn something, and sometimes it can take 3 months. Many years ago, I had a brilliant student named John who encountered this phenomenon of incorrect practicing habits. In the midst of explaining to him the 'Art of Practicing', he found a perfect phrase to explain the phenomenon of a weak spot that spreads its wings backward and forward from its original source of contention. He called it "The Movable Mistake". Thanks to John, I have been using this phrase with my students ever since to explain what occurs when one practices ineffectively. Isolating the weak spots: The first main point in correct practicing is consciously to isolate the weak, anxiety producing spots. Separate them out and define them as such. If it is not easy for you to determine where you feel a tinge of trepidation when playing a note or phrase, then simply finding the places that are not played very well can do the trick. Sometimes, an area of music is played with ease and flow but unfortunately practiced with the wrong notes or rhythm. By the next lesson, the teacher should inform you that you played the spot incorrectly. Playing music incorrectly becomes a habit that needs to be broken. Simply note that this mistake now falls in the category of being an anxiety spot. This is one of the many reasons that consistent piano lessons (not less than once a week) are essential. Once you have done your prep work in isolating which are your weak spots in the piece, you are now ready to do the work it takes to not only correct them, but to transform them from weak spots to strong spots. How do we do this? The first step: The first step is to play the weak spot over and over again at a slow pace. Do not play the spot at the normal or at a faster tempo. Speed is never a problem, so practicing slowly is the key. Practicing fast only creates more anxiety spots whereas practicing slowly builds the muscles necessary for control in tackling the music, and encourages one to be careful and sensitive in his playing. How long does over and over again mean? There are many variables; however, a safe bet is to play the spot a few minutes for 15 or 20 times. It is essential to repeatedly practice each hand separately, and afterward with both hands together. What is so important about practicing with separate hands? Biologically speaking, the brain cannot simultaneously concentrate on both hands at the same time. The brain can only move its attention very quickly from one hand to the other. That is why it is so helpful to memorize, without looking at the notes. If one hand is in the very least 'memorized', the other hand is free to receive its cognitive guidance from the brain. There are many more things to say about the brain and the learning process, but that will have to be for another time. Now back to practicing. Last, you were just practicing a weak spot repeatedly at a slow pace. I now suggest you practice starting a couple of notes back, ending with the weak spot as your goal. After doing this, now practice starting from the weak spot and continuing a tiny bit past the spot. Again, repeatedly play hands separately, then play hands together, and always slowly. Considering you have chosen a piece at your present level, you shouldn't have more than a handful of anxiety weak spots. Although this form of practicing is very concentrated and focused, the actual time it takes to work completely through a single weak spot can be anywhere from 2 to 10 minutes in a single piano sitting. If it takes you 20 minutes, that is what it takes you and that is fine. You may decide to practice with Primary Focus on one weak spot on a given day, but after 2 or 3 days, you may allow that spot to move into the practice category of Review. Sometimes the spot is very challenging or the way of previously playing the spot is hopelessly ingrained. In such a scenario, you would want to spend more days in the primary focus mode. In addition, learning some practicing tools to overcome certain piano passages comes in handy. Primary Focus is different from Review. In PF you are diligently working through a spot with all the steps involved, which takes some time to do. In the Review process, you simply go over the spot about 3-5 times with hands together slowly. Review practice is very important. Without it, the weak spot can temporarily return. Learning and undoing old patterns of behavior take time to internalize and for the body motor memory to grasp it. Whatever the conscious mind perceives quickly, the unconscious is slow to grasp. Making complete repair has a lasting effect when it is able to seep down into the unconscious realm. Therefore, consistent repetition and review are paramount. A student may decide to be motivated enough to spend the entire practice session working through all the weak spots. If we estimate 2-5 spots, we are talking about anywhere from 5 concentrated minutes to about 45 minutes. Each day afterward that this student tries to practice, the time for each spot becomes less and less until they all fall into the category of review practice. So far we have basically discussed how to undo weak spots, and turn them into strong spots. We have not yet fully addressed the general protocol for correct and expedient practicing. The reason we started with weak spots is that we want to get them out of the way before we do an overall practice session. Overall Practice Session: An Overall Practice session works in a similar fashion to undoing weak spots. We start with the first measure or phrase and play it repeatedly, about 5 times or 10 times. Each hand is played separately, and then together, always at a slow pace. Now play the next phrase, or one to two measures, and do the same thing again. Do this process, even though you think you don't need to. Keep in mind that this form of repetition is vastly different than playing a piece of music repeatedly from beginning to end. The third step is to take the second phrase you practiced and begin by starting a note or two before. This way you are practicing "going into" the second phrase. Now back up enough so that you are practicing the first phrase or measure into the second phrase or measure. In essence, you are moving forward and then backwards. This idea will be more apparent in the following paragraphs. After you have finished repeated practicing of the first phrase, then the second phrase, then a note or two before the second phrase until the end of the second phrase, and then moving further back in notes from the beginning first phrase until the second phrase, you will now have done a complete cycle. Your next complete cycle will be with the next two phrases, in a similar manner. Once you have productively practiced two complete cycles, I suggest you then repeatedly practice those entire two cycles from beginning to end slowly and carefully. Scan for any possible anxiety areas that may have inadvertently popped up. Work through them immediately. Insisting on practicing slowly builds the slow muscles in the hand and builds immaculate control in one's playing. You may continue this trend with the remaining set of phrases, following the same outlined procedure. An organized approach is practicing forward in order, and then backward in order. An approximate example of this goes as follows: phrase or measure 1-2, 3-4, 2-4,1-4, 5-6, 4-6, 3-6, 2-6, 1-6, 7-8, 8-9,7-9,6-9, 5-9,4-9,3-9, 2-9,1-9, etc. This particular order of practicing makes it less necessary to repeat so many times and even sometimes to skip playing hands separately when the numbers move backward. You will find that in no time at all, your practicing will bear sweet and perfect fruit. Students who used to practice 5 or 6 hours, now only need to practice 1 hour to accomplish the same feat. Hard to believe, but it is true. Some Special Practicing Methods: Memorization via Silent Practicing and Motor Memory: Memorizing a piece of music is essential to performing it confidently. One of the most productive methods in becoming intimately familiar with a piece of music is through silent practicing. Silent practicing means practicing the notes without producing sound. One can silent practice on a cardboard keyboard, on a keyboard without using sound, or even on a table top . Long ago, when concert pianists were traveling for weeks on a train in order to play a concert in the next city, they used to take along a "real keyboard which was silent", and they practiced their pieces this way. Once one eliminates the sound, one can concentrate on playing the piece with the exact rhythmic movements and fingering of the hand. This method is effective because the motor memory, meaning the physical muscles and movements of the fingers, has the deepest capacity for memorization. As a matter of fact, my favorite University Piano Teacher, Leonid Hambro, once told me about a true story, which proved that the motor memory in the fingers is the greatest memorization tool available. This is an extremely helpful tool when it comes to preparing to perform a piece in public. A pianist can become stage fright and temporarily lose their capacity to think. Therefore, it is important to have tools that assist the pianist in getting through the part they may have forgotten. One factor that assists the memory process, is knowing the cognitive theory understanding of the piece, meaning the pianist theoretically understands which chord they need to go to next, in case they blank out on stage. Another contributing factor in memorizing music is through the visual photographic memory of the written music. A third is the aural memory, which is about the ear's memory of the music. The test that was given to the group of concert pianists to prove that the motor memory was strongest went as follows: The pianists fingers were tied very tightly and criss-crossed over one other. Now keep in mind that as a second nature habit, pianists' fingers silent practice all the time by moving their fingers in mid air or on their lap, while thinking through a piece of music in their mind that they regularly perform. Walking into the test, they were certain that unless they were drugged, they would be able to easily remember the pieces in their mind which they normally perform. After all, they have confidently played their pieces numerous times in concert. Once the hands were tied in such a way that the fingers were crossed over and also couldn't move, their fingers actually became tongued tied! None of the pianists could get through any of their pieces! They were absolutely dumbfounded. The test proved successful, demonstrating the power of the motor memory and silent practicing. Preparing Ahead of Time: Another fantastic method related to the motor memory, is the concept of preparing ahead of time. Preparing ahead is a sure fire way of being in control of every note one plays. The way this is done is by the hand quickly getting to the place it needs to go before the time it needs to be played, without actually playing the sound of the notes. One is simply getting their fingers in place, without the necessity of making the sound. Although one can use this technique for an entire piece of music, it is especially useful when it is difficult to get to a certain place in the music on time, or the chord is awkward to play. After practicing the method of preparing ahead of time, one can then graduate to playing the sound after first touching the key ahead of time. In no time at all, through doing this practicing method, one can easily get to the difficult note or chord without preparing for it at all. This is by far, the best method of practicing a piece of music in order to obtain the utmost control and precision. Specialized Practicing Methods: Some pieces have certain challenges that can precipitate the need for using specialized practicing methods. The scope of this article cannot cover the multitude of methods available, so I will briefly mention a few of them. One favorite method is playing dotted rhythms. This practicing method is especially useful in playing runs and helps a running passage sound like smooth silk. Sometimes the challenge involves the manner in which one's hand approaches a particular key. Examples include brushing a key, slapping a key, landing on a key, and pushing off a key. Another technique is playing inbetween or very close to the black keys, assisting efficient and quick movements between them. A third hand technique is playing with either a low or a high wrist to obtain the desired result in terms of dynamics, tone quality and phrasing. A fourth method is utilizing specific movements with the elbows and the wrist to produce the desired tone quality, efficiency and ease are very helpful tools in producing melodies with a beautiful tone, and creating a correct volume and tone balance between the melody and the accompaniment. A fifth technique is making swaying movements in the body, when playing, or moving the entire upper torso in the direction of where the music is going. Movements in the body when playing the piano help promote deep concentrated feeling and expression, spiritual connection and control. Positive reasons for playing a piece from start to finish: Each day at the end of your practice session, play through the entire piece or section from start to finish. Now don't worry, I am not giving you bad practicing habits! Doing this is more considered "playing", than "practicing". Playing from beginning to end has its merited place: playing the music through to its entirety, at the end of each session will give you vital information as to how far you have come and which areas need more working through. Sometimes by playing the piece through you may discover an anxiety spot of which you were not previously aware. The other advantage is being able to perceive the music in its entirely rather than in isolated parts. Playing through the piece gives you the artistic opportunity to color your palate with ideas of expression. The color palate of expression for practicing a classical piece will be different from that for popular music or your own original composed music. The basic color palate of expression for classical music is 1. Dynamics; the variation of soft and loud, 2. Tempo; the variation of fast and slow, 3. Phrasing: the variation of connected and disconnected notes 4. Timbre: the variation of tone quality. The next time you are at your friendly piano, determine which parts will remain in the category of Primary Focus, and which parts will graduate to Review. Go through the parts you review and then spend most of your time on practicing a new spot, or on old spots that need more work. Consistent Practice: Now a word about consistent practice. Consistent day-to-day practicing, even as little as 10 to 15 minutes a day accomplishes more than playing for many hours one day a week. The brain needs a lot of consistent repetition in order for it to play something with natural and complete ease. Always remember that it takes repeated attempts during several sessions for the brain to internalize what it has learned. This practicing process seems as if it can be too concentrated, cognitive, laborious, or take too much time to do. However, it really isn't that at all, even though it seems at first glance. When you begin to witness how quickly you are able to play the music piece you are working on, you will be very inspired to use this practicing approach all the time. You may even find ways to apply it to other things you are doing and learning in your life. You deserve a break today so repair a spot today... in your music!

 
Date:  2014-08-13 10:37:34
Subject:  Tambourine Mag: Shoshannah's Music & Lessons as a Child
Blog:  TAMBOURINE INTERVIEW on Shoshannah's Childhood Years and more! Tambourine "TURNING KEYS INTO LIGHT" Volume 1 Issue 8 CHANUKAH 2006 Tambourine had the unique opportunity to interview internationally acclaimed composer/pianist/recording artist Shoshannah, also known as Shoshannah Saráh and Shoshannah Shoshannah. We focused on her early beginnings with music and creative exploration. I was fascinated by what I learned about Shoshannah Shoshannah's development as a musician that led her to a successful music, therapy and teaching career. –DG. You can read about and hear her music at www.CDBaby.com/all/thehealingpiano. Shoshannah can be reached through SMC Records at TheHealingPiano@yahoo.com and welcomes your correspondence. T: Shoshannah, what are your earliest musical memories? S: At the tender age of two, I used to regularly play the pots and pans in a semi-circle on the kitchen floor. There were no "pots and pans" teachers around at that time to learn from… T: You mean like "Mommy and Me" type introductory music classes for tots, right? S: .Yes, except my sound exploration was something I did entirely on my own. I used to take a metal fork and strike it on different surfaces in the house exclaiming, "Listen to this sound!"… "Now listen to that sound!" I was completely fascinated with rhythm, colour and timbre...how everything had its own unique sound in the universe. Even though I must have driven my mother to another planet with the loud noises I made daily for long periods of time at the pots and pans, she knew one thing for sure: my daughter is going to be a musician. T: When were you first introduced to the piano? S: When I was six years old, my parents purchased a new Sohmer console piano which is still miraculously in tip-top condition. I graduated from improvising rhythms on the pots and pans to improvising on the piano. It was definitely a step up! My parents were told that six was too early an age for me to start piano lessons, so they acquired a piano teacher for my older brother. T: Did your brother also become a professional musician? S: My brother ended up learning guitar on his own, and became an aspiring singer-songwriter. He later became a successful physician. He gave many beautiful performances that brought people to tears. He was my greatest childhood inspiration. T: Do you want to say more about being inspired in those early years? S: Sure. I was completely in awe and greatly fascinated by this gigantic ebony and ivory object called "piano". First thing, I plugged in the radio and I tried to pick out the melodies I was hearing. I would then turn the radio off and work on that particular tune, adding new ideas along the way. Often the music would transform into something completely new and original. Within a couple of months, I taught myself how to play this gorgeous sounding instrument, the piano, quite comfortably. I figured out chords, and how to play melody with a full, harmonizing or syncopated accompaniment. After all, I already had experience with rhythm at my previous instrument, "the pots and pans"! I naturally created piano technique exercises, and so my playing abilities at the piano flourished. I composed many melodies and fully arranged them. I was truly inspired and motivated! T: I have heard stories from adults that disliked piano lessons during childhood, mostly because of their teachers. Do you think traditional piano lessons would have inhibited this innocent early musical exploration? S: Absolutely. I fervently thank my mother to this day for NOT giving me early bird piano lessons. Instead, she allowed me the opportunity to first explore music freely on my own accord. These first two impressionable years stimulated my current approach to creating music and formulating a creative approach to piano education and music therapy. By exploring the musical creative process between the ages of six and eight, I am now able to feel at home with composing and producing piano CDs of original music. Allowing a child to fully access their creativity can be a truly profound experience. I've seen it with my piano students and it's a real life-changer. T: Did you have other family members besides your brother who were creative musicians or performing artists? S: I remember meeting my cousin Zero Mostel at a very early age backstage. My family was personally invited to his "Fiddler on the Roof" Broadway show. The first time I met him, the cat caught my tongue! And then there was dad's brother Simon who was a professional jazz drummer. Dad told me how Simon used to frequently jam and fill in for the famed Gene Kruper. He was that good. I found out a few years ago that Jerry Seinfeld is my relative, but we haven't met yet. It was my father who had great impact on my creative explorations even though he wasn't a musician. Dad would sit with me at the piano and write poetry lyrics to my newly composed melodies. I even remember a love song he wrote for my mom to a melody I composed. I used to improvise background piano music to the different stories he would recite. T: It sounds like you had an especially creative and supportive connection with your father. S: Dad was my creative playmate, mentor and support. He taught me how to paint on canvas with oil, as he was a painter in his leisure time. He showed me how to dance to Sephardic Middle-Eastern melodies. At age eight, he joined me in making up an entirely new language called "Mashy." I called it "Mashy" because I wanted mushy conversations with the people around me. I made up the phrase "Mashful mashful mevu" which meant "I love you very much". If dad ever wanted me to do something for him, I told him that he first had to say those magic words, but also it had to be said with great expression. If he didn't say the words with great expression, then the rule was that it didn't mean anything without it. All through the years into my adulthood, dad used to end all his letters and phone calls to me with this Mashy phrase, and of course, with great expression! T: What a cool dad! S: That's not all. Finally, Dad used to be my supportive audience and lovingly listen to me play for hours on end until he would fall asleep on the living room couch. He would suddenly awaken in and out of his slumber as I continued to play, and he would profess, "You play like an angel, so beautiful, play more, play more"... T: It's no wonder that you thrived with your music… S: …and I did play more, thanks to my greatly supportive parents. By the time I was eight years old, I had written a prolific amount of piano themes in different styles that I performed and recorded. All of the music that I played and created until now, was figured out on the piano "by ear". I did not know how to read music yet. T: So, who was your first piano teacher? S: Like clockwork, my mother found a piano teacher for me as I turned eight years old. My first teacher would write the letter names underneath the music notes, which to me, was like cheating. He also taped the letter names on the piano keys. My inner senses told me (even though I was very young), that this was an inferior way to learn piano. I literally went through a handful of teachers in half a year's time, rejecting one teacher after the other. T: What was your mother's reaction? S: My mother was so incredibly wonderful because she totally trusted my instincts about this and continued her search for the proper piano teacher whom I would finally approve. Mom really took my music seriously and made everything happen. Thanks to Mom, she miraculously found the president of the National Federation of Teachers, Mrs. Bertha Lang. Mrs.Lang recognized my innate talent immediately and gave me the piano education and performing experience I never would have had otherwise. At my first lesson, she immediately called my mother over to say, "Your daughter is a great talent, and I am going to turn her into a fine concert pianist." I never forgot those precious words. Here was a teacher who truly believed in me and in my music potential! T: What did she think of your improvisations and the prolific amount of compositions you wrote? S: She could have continued nurturing my creative process, but instead she chose to concentrate on the technical and fundamental aspects of music that I had not developed on my own such as reading music. Mrs. Lang was a dedicated and highly competent piano teacher who taught me the piano classics for nine years, which paved the road for my entrance into music conservatory. T: Did reading music come easily to you? S: No. For me it was very difficult, slowed me down, and created much discontentment inside. All week long I continued to compose and improvise at the piano, and then at the last minute, I would cram in the classical music that Mrs. Lang gave me to learn. Although I was constantly cheating with the practicing assignments she gave me, I somehow got by, due to natural abilities. Her goal was to have me perform on stage. With focused dedication, I was able to stick with the program and excel at reading music quite comfortably. T: When did you begin performing? S: Mrs. Lang entered me into various auditions and competitions from which I received seven consecutive superior ratings. Within six months time, I was playing "Fantasie Impromptu" by Chopin, in Carnegie Hall. T: Wow. S:<>And that was the start of my career. I had two more golden opportunities to play Carnegie Hall, once more as a child, and once as an adult right after college. In my early years, it seemed that I was playing one magnificent concert hall after another year after year together with other children who had won piano awards. T: How did you like playing classical music as a youngster? Especially considering that you had already made up your own music. S: Well, excelling in classical music was a necessary step toward developing a technical command of the instrument and gaining a fundamental knowledge of music that I had lacked. However, being a young child learning how to play what my teacher wanted did not give me the enthusiastic joy I had experienced spontaneously improvising at the piano on my own. T: How did you handle those feelings? S: I continued to create music on my own, and slowly began formulating alternative ideas to teaching piano. By the time I was twelve years old, I started teaching piano to the other children in the neighborhood for 10 cents an hour. Any time I had a friend over, I taught them piano. I even gave my dad a couple of piano lessons! I had developed a strong philosophy and an organized plan to implement my new ideas. Many of my teaching and music therapy ideas that I have today stem from these early beginnings of teaching piano as a youngster to the neighborhood kids. Teaching piano is still my greatest love today. T: That's incredible. I can't believe that you covered so much ground until only twelve years of age. Moving on, what are some of the highlights from around your college years and then some? S: Let's see… Free associating... At college, I had the opportunity of a lifetime to learn piano for several years from renowned classical pianist, Leonid Hambro, Z"L. I also learned the great value of rhythm-making from African Master Drummers Ladzekpo Brothers, Baba Olitunji and Ladji Camara. Another highlight was getting put in charge of the secondary piano program at Music College and being given the rare opportunity to create an original music improvisation therapy program there. Then I graduated college, and loved every minute of it. I had a specialty in piano pedagogy and music therapy. After college, I started an improvisational ensemble called "Intuition" and I released my first CD "Sanctuary"…What else…oh, I had the joyous opportunity to perform and concert tour with Reb Shlomo Carlebach, Z"L, beginning in my teenager years. That's some highlights. Life was definitely exciting then. T: What inspired you to get into another aspect of your work, music therapy? S: Whenever I cried for whatever reason children cry, I used to sit on our living room couch and singsong my crying. Quite naturally, my whining tears turned into a newly composed melody. I would then go over to the piano and discover the crying melody at the piano and turn it into a song. Very early on, I had experientially discovered the value of music as something innately therapeutic. T: That's amazing. Shoshannah, can you briefly tell us the different things you do today in the field of education and therapy? S: I have an esteem-effective, creative healing approach to piano lessons for both children and adults, and a music therapy approach that I call "piano therapy". My approach for children and adults in piano lessons and piano therapy combine the creative, therapeutic and spiritual. You can read about this approach in Mishpacha Magazine, or on the Aish HaTorah site at: www.aish.com/family/heart/Spiritual_Piano_Lessons.asp. In addition to teaching piano and giving "piano therapy" sessions, I also work as a Certified Experiential Therapist assisting people with their emotional and physical maladies. I work a lot with victims of terror and have a regular clientele as well. My aliyah to Israel was largely influenced by my desire to give my time and energy to help terror victims. Some of the other therapeutic approaches I practice are: Meridian Energy Therapy (TAT, EFT, MFT, ET), Trauma Clearing (ATT), Primal Integration (Bill Swartely), and Dr. John Sarno's TMS Mindbody Program. I try to tap into the natural spiritual resources a person has. I have to tell you that it is an absolute gift from Heaven to have the opportunity to bring out the best in others and to assist them in their healing process and creative journey. T: Let's talk about being in Israel. As a singer-songwriter, my own creative work took on a life of its own only after I began living here. How has living in the Holy Land influenced you, Shoshannah? S: My aliyah to the holy city of Jerusalem has been a truly profound one, and I am flourishing like never before in my life. Since living here, my ability to connect spiritually is something I could have only imagined in a colorful fantasy story, except it's actually true! Being connected to an eternal and vital life energy force here has given me a special koach (strength) to experience a healing wellspring of creativity. t:="">Keeping that in mind, what could you say to religious women who want to bring their creative expression out into the world? ..[if !supportLineBreakNewLine]--> ..[endif]--> S: What a great question. I believe that realizing our own Divine power and unique life mission through our neshama (soul) and allowing these holy sparks to emerge through us and be expressed in the world is the ultimate route to creative expression. T: How do we get there? S: Each and every one of us was divinely given the midda of self-worth. If we are unable to deeply realize this basic inherent truth, then we need to clear our internal self-judgment pool. I teach my students that the opposite of creative flow is judgment. When we heal our feeling selves and start to clear away negative obstacles in our pathway, we can then realize the many gifts we have and share them with the universe. I experience the meridian energy protocols to be incredibly effective tools in quickly clearing even the most major traumas in one's life and removing the obstacles to our soul flow. After all, we are eternal partners with the Creator on an important and holy mission. Being able to tap into our soul in a pure way opens doorways to healing, light and creativity. T: Give us an idea about the personal steps you have taken to get there… S: The process of getting in touch with my feelings has been a tremendous opening for me to creatively flow with my music. My late teacher and mentor, Alec Rubin, Z"L, a renowned pioneer in the human potential movement, taught me how to give voice to each spontaneous moment of creativity through the deep expression of feelings. Getting deeply in touch with my feelings prepared the path to getting in touch with my soul. Coming home to my soul has connected me to the most important aspect in the creative process. Allowing the healing gifts inside me to flow from a Divine source has given me an unlimited creative potential and an unbounded loving energy to give others. Discovering my roots has brought me to the realization that my innate gifts are from GD for the purpose of bringing healing, love and compassion to the universe. T: What would you like to tell our readers about your latest CD that you released this past year (2006)? S: My third and newest CD, "Soul Journey", is piano music that is spontaneously improvised from beginning to end. This CD returns to my original roots in two significant ways. First, each piano improvisation expresses a different aspect of the human soul journey experience. Secondly, the "Soul Journey" CD reflects my tender beginnings at the piano when I was freely and creatively exploring my inner sanctum through the vehicle of improvisation. Whereas my first recording, "Sanctuary" was very much in the "classical composition" vein and closest in influence to my experience learning with Mrs. Lang, "Soul Journey" is a "coming home" to my early soul's essence and creative spirit. T: So, "Gifts from Heaven" CD is actually your second album? S: Right. In between "Sanctuary" and "Soul Journey" CD, is "Gifts from Heaven". The Gifts CD was greatly inspired by a profound visit to the Holy Land in 1992 when I re-experienced my ancient roots. My Baal Teshuva experience was so electric, that playing the piano transformed into a heavenly experience and personal expression of praise and gratitude. T: I imagine that what you're saying could be inspiring to women who have put their creative talents aside. What was that experience like for you? S: My playing became simple, pure and "light as a feather". I felt as if my hands were gracefully floating on top of the keys, allowing the music to come through me from a higher source. I felt my spirit reborn through the piano. Piano became my personal prayer through and to the Divine. T: Sounds like "Gifts of Heaven" can inspire others who are on a spiritual journey. S: Baruch Hashem, it has been considered by many to be a spiritually healing album. Not surprisingly, this CD became known as many women's favorite musical accompaniment to having a baby. T: Could you share some of your future goals with us? S: Here's a little bit of what's up ahead: "Deepheart Awakening" piano CD is cinematic 'spiritual theme' music. The original compositions and arrangements visually depict Biblical and historical events that musically transform slavery and oppression to hope, light and geula (redemption). "Deepheart" will be out early 2007, B"H. I dedicate it to my teacher, renowned pianist Leonid Hambro, Z"L, who unfortunately passed this last October, and will be eternally missed. "Soul Journey II" contains the piano music from "Soul Journey", together with Grammy-nominated improvisational cellist, David Darling. David improvises deeply beautiful cello tracks with my spontaneous piano tracks. He is in the studio finishing up his part right now as we speak! B"H. "Unconditional Love" CD is a synthesizer grooving track for exercise and musical improv. My most exciting project to date that everyone keeps asking for is "Rivers of Light". This healing piano CD is the long-awaited sequel to "Gifts from Heaven". "Rivers of Light" has already been conceived and composed and waiting to be born at the right time on the right piano…B"H, soon! T: I really loved listening to the pre-studio version of "Rivers of Light" and am looking forward to its debut! Shoshannah, thank you for sharing your time with Tambourine and b'hatzlachah with all of your current and future productions. S: And Devora Gila, Thank You for your generosity in giving the spiritual women of Israel an amazing avenue to share themselves with the public eye. It's a special and rare opportunity to share my personal life experiences with everyone out there. May we allow our creative channels to flow, to be expressed…and may we have the merit to share our many beautiful soul-gifts and light up the world. Shoshannah Saráh is an internationally acclaimed composer/ improvisational pianist, piano teacher, therapist and recording artist living in Jerusalem. You can read about and hear Shoshannah's music at www.CDBaby.com/all/thehealingpiano. Shoshannah can be reached through SMC Records at thehealingpiano@yahoo.com and welcomes your correspondence.

 
Date:  2014-08-13 10:35:57
Subject:  Published Article on Shoshannah's Teaching and Piano Therapy
Blog:  Tapping into a child's inner world and bringing out his creativity. by Shoshannah Sarah Every person is capable of wondrous creativity. Every person can learn to play the piano, create improvisations, and compose music. How do I know? Years ago, I was a music major at Cal Arts, the California Institute of the Arts, where all non-music majors are required to take two years of piano lessons. I was asked to head the Secondary Piano Program, teaching piano to all the non-music majors. Each semester, I had a hundred students. Three out of four of them entered my class not knowing how to play piano at all. Moreover, most of them thought that they had no musical talent. Within two years, every one of them not only learned to play the piano, but became expert at musical composition and improvisation. What was my secret? No secret at all. Judaism teaches that every person is a tzelem Elokim, created "in the image of God." Though only God is the ultimate Creator, Who can create something from nothing, every person created in God's image can create something from something. Creativity is a spiritual process which, because we are all spiritual beings, is accessible to all of us. Some people are more talented than others, and I'm not saying that everyone will end up performing in Carnegie Hall. But if you have a soul, you can create. Anyone who has the notion that the world of creativity is reserved for a special few simply has not yet tapped into the rich and deeply spiritual world of creativity that exists for all. Everyone can tap into the holy world of music. THE METHOD Spiritual Piano Playing is accomplished by making oneself a pure instrument for God's music. The problem is not how to create music; the problem is how to remove the impediments that block the music that's flowing from the transcendental Source. To become a creator, the student's work is to allow his or her vessel to empty of all the egoistic blockages, so that God's music can flow through him or her. At the height of the creative process, the musician/artist/writer feels animated by a Higher Source. They often say, "My hands are playing, but the music is coming from the One Above." The opposite of the creative process is self-criticism. The opposite of the creative process is self-criticism. Most children grow up with heavy doses of criticism from well-meaning parents and teachers. Whatever the child does is either "bad" or "wrong" or "not good enough." Children internalize this criticism, carrying it with them into adulthood as self-criticism; it becomes the dam that blocks all their creative energy. Spiritual Piano Playing requires the opposite of criticism. To improvise, the student must stop trying to criticize, censor, and control, and instead allow music to emerge freely, without judgment, from the soul within. To improvise on the piano (or to paint or write, etc.) the student must suspend all self-judgment. (The time for editing is after the piece is created, not during the creative process. There is, in all of us, a yetzer hara, a negative, destructive force, the voice of ego, which rasps: "That sounds stupid... I feel silly... That theme is boring... I made a mistake... I can't play it well enough... What will others think of this composition?" For creativity to take place, this voice must be ignored. I tell my students not to listen to these self-judgmental messages, to turn them off like a radio interfering with our piano lessons. When my students are improvising, I give them complete approval, without any judgmental feedback. I tape their improvisation, and play it back to them. Even with very young students, the fact that I valued their composition enough to record it builds their self-esteem and frees them to compose even more beautifully. I tell all of my students: "There's no such thing as a mistake -- only a creative opportunity. Anytime a note gets in that a student didn't mean to play, I teach the student how to make it work within the piece or how to use it as a starting point to move into a different section with the music. I cannot overemphasize the importance of a teacher intently listening to a child‘s needs and desires. Too often, teachers automatically take so much control in lessons, seeking to mold the child into a young imitation of themselves that they actually squash the young student's innate quest to learn and create. Listening to one's student's needs non-judgmentally, and balancing this with guidance, is a difficult feat. Giving direction is a natural inclination for a teacher, but it often interferes with allowing the student's creativity to emerge from within. To allow creativity to emerge, teachers need to let go of their own personal expectations and agendas for their students. Most piano teachers ignore the individual leanings of each particular student. They give the students a set amount of time to learn each piece, whether the piece is a favorite of the child's or one that he dislikes. This mechanical approach is diametrically opposed to the spiritual approach, which affirms the Divine essence of every student. A computer can play with virtuoso dexterity, but only a Divine soul can play with "soul," with feeling. Only a Divine soul can create. FROM FAILURE TO SUCCESS Lisa (not her real name) was 12 years old. She was learning disabled, with ADHD. Lisa couldn't sit still or concentrate, couldn't absorb or learn anything, couldn't retain information, was failing in school, and had no friends. Though she behaved with a certain bravado, this was a cover-up for low self-esteem. Lisa's parents brought her to me. "Please give our daughter something she can succeed in!" they begged. "Something that will help her to feel good about herself." My approach is to enter the child's inner world, with acceptance and without any judgments. I had Lisa improvise at the piano. She would compose a few bars of music and transcribe them onto music paper. Then I'd ask her to visualize a title for her melody, and put lyrics or a story to the music, to draw a picture illustrating the song. I would ask her to dance to the rhythm of the song. Thus the full range of Lisa's creativity was tapped. And for everything she did, I gave her only positive feedback, with no criticism at all. As the months went by, Lisa herself began to make requests about what she wanted to learn. She wanted to learn how to read music, she said. And how to play classical pieces. Since every step was coming from her own personal will, her motivation to learn was extremely high. She learned with lightning speed. As her self-confidence grew, Lisa also did better in school. In order for this process to succeed, I knew that her family's support was crucial. I taped the numerous compositions that Lisa composed, and suggested that she share the recordings with her family. Meanwhile, I encouraged Lisa's family to pay close attention and to seek out some merit in every piece that she composed. Soon, Lisa was setting up performances in her home, playing her compositions, arrangements, improvisations, and classical pieces. Her family listened carefully and pointed out what they liked about each piece. Lisa's self-confidence grew. As her self-confidence grew, Lisa also did better in school. A few years went by, and Lisa could read and transpose music. She had capable classical piano skills. She could perform, compose, arrange, and improvise, as well as write lyrics. Lisa became an excellent singer, joined a choir, won the lead in several of her high school plays, and became a phenomenal poetess. She composed 15 amazing pieces of music in various styles: Jewish, Broadway, classical, etc. Later still, Lisa created operas and plays. Today this formerly learning-disabled child is a brilliant, prolific, and successful professional composer. MUSIC HEALS Music is, by nature, therapeutic. Once you learn how to improvise, you can express on the instrument whatever you're feeling. It's sort of a musical homeopathy. If you're feeling depressed, you don't decide that, since depression is something bad that you shouldn't be feeling, you'll play happy music to try to counteract it. Instead, you play music that matches how you feel. As you improvise the music that expresses whatever state of mind you're in, without judging it, the music naturally transforms into a different state, usually positive, and you transform along with it. A person who learns this spiritual approach to creativity will never be hampered by "writer's block" or its corresponding version in other art forms. As long as we believe that the creative expression is coming from us, we're vulnerable to dry periods and "not being in the mood." But when I believe that my creative expression flows through me from a Higher Source, then I'm connected to an inexhaustible Source of inspiration, at all times and in all moods. Especially with children, the spiritual approach to music lessons can make the difference between an unpleasant and pleasant experience (How many adults remember with horror their childhood piano lessons?) and a fascinating journey into the child's inner kingdom. The essential ingredient here is respect for the child's inner world. An adult has much to learn from it. This kingdom consists of the child's life experiences, feelings, worldview, strengths and weaknesses, values, self-image, past traumas, places that need to heal, and, of course, his soul. When tapping into a student's inner reservoir, the teacher continually discovers what direction the child needs to take with his or her music not only in order to learn new skills, but also to create, grow, heal, and become transformed. Since life and human beings are always changing, teachers need to continually re-tune into their students' inner world. When the teacher enters the student's inner world, without judgment, the child then learns how to safely enter this sacred world by him/herself. Once this occurs, the child can explore limitlessly and grow in multiple directions by engaging in the creative process. Get Aish.com's Free Email Updates and Be Inspired. In this way, Spiritual Piano Lessons are life lessons. This article originally appeared in © Mishpacha Magazine 2006 Published: July 8, 2006

 
Date:  2014-08-13 10:30:30
Subject:  PIANO THERAPY
Blog:  HEALING THROUGH MUSIC & CREATIVITY: Shoshannah is an internationally acclaimed healing composer pianist. She has put out 4 healing recordings and 2 new ones are on the way. Shoshannah's Piano Therapy Program teaches you how to meaningfully create and improvise music in the moment, free of judgment. It doesn't matter if you think you're tonedeaf. It doesn't matter if you're a novice or a concert pianist who doesn't know how to improvise or compose. If you have a soul, you can create. Piano Therapy is a beautiful way to access your creativity, intuition, self-esteem and your higher self. It is a very grounding yet spiritual experience and puts you in touch with yourself. Piano Therapy balances out your emotions and physical ailments. It undoes all kinds of blocks and stuck places within and gives you a confident and comfortable feeling within your own skin. Read Shoshannah's article: http://www.aish.com/f/hotm/48936052.html. For an example of music created through this approach, go to www.thehealingpiano.org and listen to a full streaming of Shoshannah's healing piano music created through this method she founded. Whatever music you create through Piano Therapy will be the music that comes uniquely through you. While all other services can be done over phone/skype, Piano Therapy and Piano Lessons are only available in person.