#love+thanks

Hello!

To celebrate the launch of my new album, ooh aah, and the launch of this lovingly refreshed website, this winter I sent a number of  #lovenotesofgratitude on Facebook and Twitter. Each note thanked a person, and/or a resource that I have found helpful in my artistic life. 

Here’s a list of such resources in case they might help you too! 

This list will grow so do please check in from time to time!

With much love and gratitude,

Megan

 

For Body #LOVE in Ottawa…

♥   Kristine Karpinski is my GURU!! Here is a VERY deep well! wellbodyarts.com

♥   Pilates Space! I love the personal attention, small class sizes, and serious attention to detail!   pilatesspace.com

♥   Frank at Saab Salon Spa transforms my unruly curly hair into all its glory!  saabsalonspa.com

♥   Pedicures with Shandi at Third Avenue Spa feel sooooo gooooood!   thirdavenuespa.com

♥  I LOVE adult dance classes at The School of Dance! theschoolofdance.ca

My artistry, my spirituality and my whole life are all one in the same. They are a prayer of thanks, they are expressions of joy, love, longing and fulfillment!

I grew up going to Catholic schools and church, and while I don’t go to church now, I have always had a spiritual longing and connection and am grateful for the foundation I received growing up.

These books have opened pathways for me to celebrate artistry, spirituality and life in ways that resonate with my soul!!

♥   The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron juliacameronlive.com

♥   Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert elizabethgilbert.com

I grew up taking traditional piano lessons from the age of five, completing Gr. 9 Royal Conservatory in high school. I graduated with a Bachelor of Music (Highest Honours) from Carleton University in Jazz Piano. I then undertook a three-year piano-pedagogy project studying every song, and every study in the Royal Conservatory from the Introductory Level through Grade 8, culminating in a Grade 10 exam on the same day as my first cd release of original songs at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa!!

♥   I truly believe in a solid foundation as a path to joyful piano playing!

♥   I LOVE the Faber and Faber Piano Adventures Series!

♥   In teaching I use the Lesson, Theory, Technique and Artistry books.

♥   I also encourage students to create music based on their personal experience of sound.

Faber and Faber is exciting because of how the series integrates reading, improvising, composing, functional theory, ear training, technique  – all of this, right from the very  first lesson at the piano. I believe this opens pathways for self-expression, joy and creativity at the piano and also provides a firm foundation from which one can grow in any musical direction. Many of the hints from my very best teachers are in these books.

Whether you are a beginning student, or a teacher, I recommend this series.

I shop for music at the Leading Note! It’s a quaint, superbly stocked music store in which I could happily shop for hours! However, I’m thrilled that they offer this AMAZING service: I can email them with all the books I need (I pick up books on behalf of my students, and am often looking for a huge varied stack at a time), and they email back with the stack ready by the cash so I can dash in and out in a moment! They ship all over Canada!

I have had many wonderful teachers in all areas of my life. The ones mentioned here have provided me with a solid foundation in music, and have valued and encouraged artistry and original expression.

♥   Jennifer Giles

♥   Rob Frayne  robfrayne.com

♥   Amanda Mabro  amandamabro.com

The only way I can have fun with business is when I consider that I can have a lot of fun considering everything as an extension of self-expression.

♥   My go-to branding resource is Fiona Humberstone. thebrand-stylist.com

I have her books, I read her blog, I follow her advice and I find it fun, helpful, productive, adaptable and inspiring!

Alan Dean has taken our band photos and portraits since my very first recording! alandeanphotography.com


Ottawa filmmaker Pixie Cram has created our most recent videos and snapshots artengine.ca/pixiecram/
Lesley Marshall created the Winterlude and Secrets Videos lesmcrad.tumblr.com/bio

Annika Gievers at Coffee and Ink Design designed my logo and the ooh aah artwork Coffee and Ink Design

Posters and artwork are printed at Katari Imaging.

Cds are printed at Standard Media.

OMIC Ottawa Music Industry Coalition offers workshops that have been very helpful in navigating a way that I can apply music business skills to my music life ottawamic.com/

I got some serious biz workouts at the Artist Entrepreneur Bootcamp offered by canadasmusicincubator.com/bootcamps/


Elly Laberge has been extremely helpful getting me up and running with social media

eventfulcapital.wordpress.com/author/derrierelesbarricades/

Agnes Malkinson at Bytown Sound wrote a wonderful review of ooh aah this winter! She so deeply understood the music that I had to try to work with her!

We have worked together closely since then to refresh my website, emails, posters, plan promo, write copy – Agnes is simply fantastic!!

I love interiors blogs!!

So many images of homes let me access a moment of exclamation!

These are moments of joy, peace, expansion.

Moments like these, where you suddenly find yourself oohing and aahing out loud are so fun to pay attention to – they are like mini-windows into your soul!

I love these moments, I feel them and want them to last!

I love to hone in on them and write exactly how I’m feeling – with music and lyrics – it’s the seed of my songwriting process!

The process of paying attention to something visual that gives you access to a moment of delight can be very inspiring  – the source of the moment for you, and the means by which you express it are infinite, and personal.

Some of my favourite seed sources of these moments are:

♥   Marc Chagall paintings – or images of them in calendars…

♥   Interiors books and blogs, and all the fabulous places they lead…I have spent countless delightful hours being inspired by the images, people and places I have been introduced to in interiors blogs!

♥   I think I started with Emily Chalmers’ book Cheap Chic – I love the happy vibe, and the idea of a creative, personal interior on a budget! Emily has a lovely shop, Caravan Style and numerous books emilychalmers.com

♥   Justina Blakeney – I started with her book The New Bohemians www.justinablakeney.com

♥   Abigail Ahern – not just Abigail’s wild style but the amazing places she finds… abigailahern.com

♥   Mad About the House by Kate Watson-Smyth. I love the casual vibe and I love just grabbing a coffee and perusing…even fantasy house hunting … madaboutthehouse.com 

♥   House and Garden UK website – there are TONS of images to enjoy here houseandgarden.co.uk

♥   Fiona Humberstone – links to tons of idea-makers thebrand-stylist.com

♥   Sophie Robinson – Colour Psychology, which Fiona uses in her books, is SO FUN and helpful to work with. Hello new album and website re-fresh!!

♥   Jonathan Adler WATCH THIS VIDEO! Keep Other People’s Opinions Our of Your Creative Process This video is one of the crucial ingredients which inspired my song F*ck It! Your Voice Is Love!

I think I found this video on Abigail Ahern’s blog – I just love this mood, evident in the blogs that move me, of creative expression, celebration of personal creativity and help honing your own voice!!

The music, the dancing, grieving, celebrating, all right through my body and soul. Healing. Knowing. And it’s in me now, and I am in it!   Read more about my tip to New Orleans…

Second Lines! Sunday afternoons spent dancing in the streets of New Orleans with hundreds of people, from about noon till about 5 pm, stopping at neighborhood bars, people selling food and drinks from their wagons, all alongside brass bands.

The groove! The feel! The dancing!

This is exactly how I feel about living!

Here I am, in videos there that friends have come across right out of the blue!

Imagine hearing this live – and you can, and at times, every week!

I’m in the front on the right dancing my head off and in a state of total bliss!!!

You can’t really tell that I’m in this, but I’m there at 0:15 for less than a second! That’s me in the peach strapless dress and you can just see Mike’s lime green shirt!!

We had friends over to talk New Orleans as they were about to go, and we totally randomly just picked this video of second lines, and paused it to say something to them and realized we had paused it at exactly the one half second that we are in it!

I love chick lit!!! LOVE IT! Contemporary, fun, clever, chatty romantic comedies are pure joy to me!

Some of my favourite authors are:

♥   Catherine Alliott facebook.com/AlliottCountry/

♥   Marian Keyes mariankeyes.com

♥   Sophie Kinsella sophiekinsella.co.uk

♥   Helen Fielding

♥   Jane Austen

♥   Isabel Wolff isabelwolff.com

♥   Karen Swan  panmacmillan.com/authors/karen-swan

♥   Jilly Cooper jillycooper.co.uk