Thursday, February 26, 2009

Being in a Band...

Being in the funk band is an amazing experience. I have been playing in the funk band for a year and a half and I've learned so much. I walked into funk band my sophomore year only knowing how to play power chords and not a clue how to read music. Though I still have a lot to learn about music, my skills have tremendously improved.

To me, being in the funk band is about dedication, loyalty to the music and your band mates and believing in yourself. If I didn't have those things, I would have never gotten as far as I have in the last year and a half. Most kids think being in the funk band is just about playing your favorite songs in a band and looking cool because you can play a musical instrument. I'm not going to lie, that was on my mind when I was thinking about joining in the tenth grade. But I've come to realize it is so much more than that. And I'm here to tell all the kids who want to be funk band members in the future, you have to be serious about music, passionate about music and overall just love music.

Oh, and did I mention we're going into the recording studio soon?


Friday, February 20, 2009

Music Practice... difficult? or easy as cake?

Maybe for people like Joe Satriani and Elvis Costello, practicing music was as easy as saying "yes" to a piece of chocolate cake. Most days it's the same for me as well; however, there are those times that a little voice or feeling pops into my head that asks why should I practice bass, when I could just chill out and do something that doesn't require thought?

Those are the days I have to try so hard to push those thoughts out of my head and try to focus my thoughts into a productive practice. Which makes me think about how much harder it is to practice music and how much more skill it takes. It is not like a team practice for sports or a class where you are forced to focus because of a coach or teammate pressure. No, practicing music involves only you and your own motivation.

For very talented musicians like Costello and Satriani, their focused practices became habit. The better ingrained the practice habit is, the easier it is to practice. The easier it is to practice the more progress, the easier it is to learn new material and ultimately perform. Only good things come from this kind of music practice. (Below, Elvis Costello performs with the Liverpool Philharmonic.)

So even though it may be hard to focus yourself and find the time to practice, I think in the end it is so worth it. I know I've improved and created good habits for myself. It wasn't easy and some days are still a struggle for me, but I really think that as difficult as it may seem to motivate yourself to focus and practice efficiently, it comes with serious benefits.

These are my thoughts for now,
Claire (an eager, but sometimes struggling, good habit practitioner)

Performing in a Band...

Being in a band is a lot harder than people think.

Most people think that you have to practice a lot and rehearse, but that's not all there is to it. You have to focus while you practice. This is my first experience in a band. We have performed for the visiting Japanese students and also for the Homecoming concert after the games. Both times I was very nervous and my foot on the high hat kept shaking. And that made it hard to keep the high hat down.

It is different on stage compared to being in the audience. It feels really different because everyone is watching what you do, so you don't want to do anything stupid or mess up your part.

But it is all worth it in the end. To be able to be in a band - that is a good experience.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Recycling Drives...

Hello Funk Fans!

Now that we have just had our Homecoming performance, we are gearing up for the next two big events. We are hosting 2 more recycling drives so please come down with your HI-5 bottles and cans and support! Bring your recyclables to the UH Lab School on March 6th or 7th and on April 4th.

Coincidentally, we are also doing some studio time that week-end of March 7th and 8th. Hopefully, we can record all our new songs and some extras for our special friends. Stay tuned for more updates on that - I'm off to practice bass!


Sunday, February 15, 2009

I want to tell you a secret...

Hey you... Yah you!

I want to tell you a secret. You think you can handle it? Well, I am going to tell you anyway.

The UH Lab School Funk Band is playing new songs. I didn't believe it at first either, because this is some big news - one of the new songs we are playing is Sweet Darlin' by Fiji! It is such a fun and cool song to play. Another new song we are playing is by Archie Bell and the Drells called Tighten Up. It is also a fun song to play - we even have a dance for it. Maybe you'll see our dance moves at a performance. These songs will go great with our already unique repertoire.

I'm hoping we'll get to rock out and jam to these songs at a performance soon. But don't tell anyone I told you this. Say it was Max who told you. He is the man.

I'll catch you later! Bye!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Our Recent Show...

Hello all you funk band fans!

Recently, we did a performance for all of you at our Homecoming concert and, in case you missed it, we played some of our most recent songs like Beautiful Day, One World (Not Three) and Spirits in the Material World. But don't worry, we have more coming.

We are working on a popular local song (by Fiji) called Sweet Darling, which will be sung by Micah - it's a sweet, laid back song (with a light touch of funk). Also, we are working on an improvisational groove called Tighten Up, which allows all of us to stay groovy and tighten up on our instruments as well as hear Max, our lead singer, go crazy and improvise a little. Did I mention our killer dance moves that go with it?

Stay alert for more updates here and on our web site.

Take care,

Happy St. Valentines Day

Happy Valentine's Day to all our funk band friends!

We're sending our own little valentine post of appreciation to you by launching our new official weblog, which we hope will enable you to more easily keep up with all the comings and goings of the Lab School Funk Band.

From us to you - thank you for all your support and encouragement! We actually have quite a bit going on right now as we develop new material and prepare to go into the recording studio. We're also doing some green fund raising to cover the costs of our soon-to-be-released, not-so-secret-anymore, organic t-shirts.

So be sure to sign up to follow our blog and stay up to date - we'll be sharing our world on a regular basis for the remainder of the semester and we hope to see you at one of our performances soon.