Centre for Musical Minds, 2023

In This Issue

  • Letter from the Director
  • Meet your Rhythm Section!
  • Videos
  • Important Dates

Letter from the Director

Dear Parents,

All serious music schools and institutions have performance classes regularly. We are no exception! This week provides a great opportunity for camaraderie, a chance to have fun playing for others, and the space to get comfortable performing without the pressure of parents and cameras. Or for some, working to be comfortable being uncomfortable.

"The art of performance, is the art of recovery." - Kristin

There are no perfect performances, but the more we practice performing, the better we get at responding to things that don't quite go as planned. In music and in life, we all know how important that is. And if we just keep going, everything comes back together and we still can finish strong. I can think of no better environment to practice this lifelong skill.

These classes might seem like a small thing, but they aren't. Performance classes provide a safe space to be nervous performing in front of peers, a great environment to listen to what others are doing, a chance to refine stage performance (it's easy to recognize performers that do not participate in these classes), and it provides us a level of quality control to ensure everyone is ready, or will be, for the performance. Plus, we have a great time! Candy is involved, they practice making eye contact with fun student interpretations of Graeme and Nigel on the wall, we practice our bows, what to do with our hands, etc....I would implement a monthly class if I could, but for now, we'll focus on this week and look forward to a NEW kind of music making experience in April when we gather again together in small groups.


Big picture

Meet your Rhythm Section!


Nigel Rivers is a professional bassist who has traveled the world with artists such as Erykah Badu and has been on albums with major recording artists including Gladys Knight. He's a talented musician and teacher with years of experience, and a professional career that started in high school. He completed a B.A. from UNT in Jazz Studies. Currently he's enjoying being a dad and teaching music in Dallas.


Dr. Graeme Francis has been teaching and performing professionally for over 20 years. From beginners to professionals, musicians around the globe have come to rely on his enthusiasm and passion for music education. He's recorded dozens of albums and performed internationally with orchestra, chamber and jazz groups at venues as diverse as his grade and to Carnegie Hall. He is thrilled to be performing again with the CMM musicians!


My better half, Neeki Bey, is a professional musician himself, performing all over the world and on stages like The Kennedy center on piano and with artists such as Celine Dion in her backup choir. He ran production for The Met Museum's Live Arts for several years and is in charge of videos. All that to say, they will be top notch!

What we will be providing (no additional charge to CMM families):

  • 4 camera setup
  • Mixed audio of drums, bass, keys and vocals (not just room audio)
  • Video link of your child's performance by March 1, for you to download/share as you see fit

Parents, you will certainly still be able to record yourselves, but I encourage you to sit back, relax and enjoy the show!

Important Dates

To view our full calendar, please go to www.Centremm.org

February 5-11: Performance Class week = NO PRIVATE LESSONS. Adults, you do not have a lesson. To be eligible to perform on the Pop Recital, all students MUST attend a class.

February 18&19 Pop Recital: Rough Draft programs will be uploaded to our website shortly. You will receive a message when they are ready for you to proof. We CANNOT make additional changes outside of spelling errors after this point. Programs WILL also be provided at the events.

March 6-19: Spring Break, NO LESSONS