Skyscraper Yoga

Yoga For Busy People and Families

Plans June 21, 2013

Filed under: Art and Movement,Body and Spirit,Sound and Music — skyscraperyoga @ 2:12 am
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Posted by Lena Green.

New piano student

The summer is beginning and most of the schools have already celebrated their ‘last day of the school year’! Kudos to all of the teachers and responsible parents who made it!
What does summer mean for the majority of caring parents worldwide? It means traveling with their family, finding a summer school for kids, a new high school or a college, a soccer team, a teen fitness camp or a private teacher to make the best out of the summer time!

When I recently met one of my new piano students, I asked him why he wanted to spend time playing piano in the summer, while other kids are playing lacrosse, swimming and taking karate lessons.
The answer was unique: “Because I like Led Zeppelin, Phil Collins and I want to study how to play the guitar and the piano this summer so that I can audition and play in the school band next year.
WOW, such a big dream for a 7 year old! I was inspired, I like these musicians myself! But my next thought was -” I should make a customized curriculum for this pianist so that some of his beloved melodies will be included in our lessons”.

When I spoke to the parent of the student and he asked me about the books and our program, I mentioned that there is no such thing as “one size fits all “in my approach. I do not appreciate the method when the instructor offers his only book to all of the students. This kind of approach is scholastic machinery. It does not reflect on the student’s personality. We all are different and what is brilliant for one, maybe hated, ridiculed or ignored by another.

So, following my humane views, I am making customized packets for each of my students. They include samples from different books of different publishers, my own improvisational sketches, and some theory notebooks that are essential for music practices worldwide. I am making sure that my student can practice or listen to an easy version of Phil Collins during the lesson, since this singer had such an impact on my newbies’ music taste, creativity, his future plans and perhaps, his future career or path in life.

And one more thing that I mentioned to that parent and that I want to share with other ladies and gentlemen. “I never take a student who wants to practice only one simple song, like “Old McDonald had a farm”. This “lesson plan B” seems ridiculous to me. Surely with this attitude, this student does not belong to the cast of my little versatile geniuses, with their big dreams and smart hearts, that I love to deal with.

Follow us for more radiant news, up beat interviews, perfect pitch music and some healthy recipes.


When can you start music lessons? June 7, 2013

Filed under: Art and Movement,Body and Spirit,Sound and Music — skyscraperyoga @ 2:37 am
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Posted by Lena Green.

Teaching music is gut-boosting. I can tell you this with all confidence, especially now when my little jazz musicians after months of practice finally performed on stage in front of a big and very supportive crowd. Talent Show, 2013, yes- we did it!
To my surprise I have some new applicants this year who are only 2 .5 years old but are already demanding an immediate audition! Smart.

elf 6

So when can you start music lessons? Can you teach a child piano or voice at 5? Can you teach him/her to listen to Mozart and the Beatles at 1? Can you start practicing Jazz at 32? These kinds of questions are the most common questions that I have to answer any time I meet a new potential adult student or the parent of a child /student.
After getting my formal education at the conservatory, teaching music and performing throughout the years, I have learned that whenever you or your child take any music appreciation class or start actual private lessons, the benefits are huge. I believe that music is a part of our human nature and that the appreciation of music is something that is already ‘installed’ in us, whether we like it or not. The questions that you should face are what is your goal, why do you want your child to study music or why have you started practicing music in your 30s, 40s or later?

You probably read that according to many studies and pediatrician’s observations music will boost your child’s brain power, improve their memory, improve reading skills, help them socially if they collaborate in a group, and that music is a confidence builder that also teaches patience.
For grownups music is something that helps to reduce stress and fulfill artistic desires that were left behind early in life. I would like to say that for an adult student who decides to partake on new endeavor- music is something that she/he should truly enjoy doing and it has a tremendous positive impact on daily life.


Practicing music can be exhausting and hard work, since you need to learn a lot of skills prior to your musical performance. Sometimes it takes hours and hours of preparation, doubts, disappointments, or even conflicts. But as Russell Simmons noticed –“It’s very simple, when you’re working your hardest- the world opens up to you”.
Last week I spent several consecutive days practicing and recording a new song that was written for me by a talented NYC based composer. Her vision and music helped me to get connected to a world that is as huge as you can possibly imagine.

Was this collaboration easy?
Was the work on a new song difficult?
It was incredibly difficult.
Did I like it?
Why am I doing this?
I have no idea, but I love each second if it. “Thank you for the Music”!!

Follow us for more updates and talks on music, NYC Jazz, interviews and some teaching advice.


My Jazz Gems Box Collection May 24, 2013

Filed under: Sound and Music,Uncategorized — skyscraperyoga @ 2:15 am
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Posted by SY.
As we all know, music is a very important part of our life. We listen to music to reflect on our emotions, we meditate with music to calm our thoughts, we exercise with music to increase our heart beat, we improvise to dig into the creative source of human nature, we perform to showcase our talents and share our soul. Here we continue our introductory series reporting news about jazz life in NYC. We present significant jazz musicians in the past and in the present and share about many ongoing Jazz performances that could light up your weekends and enrich your life.

In the Celebration of Miles Davis’ Birthday, a famous American jazz musician, a trumpeter and composer (May 26, 1926 – September 28, 1991) many Jazz clubs and Music halls will offer concerts, lectures , including the Miles Davis 2013 Jazz Festival at the famous NYC’ “Smoke Jazz and Supper Club”.

Miles’ musical studies began at 13, when his father gave him a trumpet and arranged lessons with local musician Elwood Buchanan. Against the fashion of the time, Buchanan stressed the importance of playing without vibrato; Davis would carry his clear signature tone throughout his career. He once remarked on its importance to him, saying, “I prefer a round sound with no attitude in it, like a round voice with not too much tremolo and not too much bass. Just right in the middle. If I can’t get that sound I can’t play anything.”

“Miles Davis’ fortieth album ‘ Kind of Blue” released in 1959 and this masterpiece not only changed Jazz by using a newly crafted Modal type, it changed music forever, everything about the album was revolutionary and artists today still remark it as a major influence on their music.
The album was placed at number 12 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time.”

“Kind of Blue isn’t merely an artistic highlight for Miles Davis, it’s an album that towers above its peers, a record generally considered as the definitive jazz album, a universally acknowledged standard of excellence. Why does Kind of Blue possess such a mystique? Perhaps, because this music never flaunts its genius… It’s the pinnacle of modal jazz — tonality and solos build from the overall key, not chord changes, giving the music a subtly shifting quality.
It may be a stretch to say that if you don’t like Kind of Blue, you don’t like jazz — but it’s hard to imagine it as anything other than a cornerstone of any jazz collection.”
—Stephen T. Erlewine

The Miles Davis’ 2013 Jazz Festival starts on May 24 and it lasts until June 30th. So, ladies and jentlemen, make some time to enjoy listening to these splendid talents, engage in the delightful conversation and taste a cup of your favorite tea or coffee.


Music is Painting in the Air May 3, 2013

Filed under: Art and Movement,Body and Spirit,Sound and Music,Uncategorized — skyscraperyoga @ 2:15 am
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Posted by SY.


MD _boat1

The last week of April in New York was influenced by a plethora of extraordinary music events dedicated to the International Day of Jazz and to the celebration of the Birthdays of Barbra Streisand, Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald. Many gifted singers and musicians showcased their talents on various stages including Lincoln Center, Blue Note, and other Jazz & Blues halls and clubs.
What an extraordinary occasion to learn about blues & jazz and, if you’re lucky, to jam with some renown jazz musicians who gathered together to pay a tribute to music!!
During one of our ‘after-concert’ coffee hours the question: “Are Gospel music and Blues the same thing?” was asked.
While there is an evident distinction between Gospel Music and the secular solo Blues, Blues is also an important root of jazz music and to this day is considered to be an essential part of a jazz repertoire.

“Blues is many things: a musical form of bars and measures, a whole body of melodies and themes. It is a harmonic system. It is a system of call and response. It is a bunch of moans and groans, and shouts and cries, dissonance and consonance; and it can interface with music all over the world”. Wynton Marsalis in “Jazz, a History of American’s Music”
“The Blues is a feeling and when it hits you, it’s the real news.” – said Huddie Ledbetter (1888-1949) who was called the” King of the twelve –string guitar” and had a repertoire of some 500 songs.
I would also add that Blues is Improvisation – the ability to find a new fresh and radiant melody (motif) and avoid being repetitive, simple, ill-mannered or predictable. Developing the motif and improving voice is not something that is done overnight. Listening, practicing and respecting the standards of notorious Jazz Kings and Jazz Queens is a time-consuming but an awesome and luxurious entity. It is also important for jazz students, teachers or well-known jazzmen and jazzwomen to create new music that is in harmony with our recent time, human values and our hearts.