kat downs

My Music Education Project

Truth:  Even though I’ve been a musician my whole life, I don’t listen to a lot of music.  Never have. Mostly because I always have music playing in my head, so sometimes I really can’t because it sounds like two radios playing at once.  Yuck.

In school, I was trained in Classical music.  The history of it, where it came from, how it evolved, branched out, church vs. secular and all that… but I never studied rock music.  Or really any modern music outside of the “played-by-a-symphony” area.  Mainly because I never planned on being a rock musician.  Funny how that worked out.  (Now I know why I felt like I never quite fit in.  Haha – retrospect is awesome. )

So, recently I decided that I wanted to educate myself since this is my career and all, so I poked around online and from several different places put together a list of the 100 “greatest albums of all time” that I want to listen to before my birthday – which is September 17th, by the way.  Gifts are always welcome.  🙂

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Kat Downs

Starting from Scratch

If there is one thing I have learned that I constantly need in my life, it’s perspective. For some reason, when anything becomes even remotely challenging that’s the FIRST thing that goes. Every time.

This is why I enjoy teaching private music lessons.

Seems unrelated, I know. Just stick with me.

I had the joy of starting a brand new flute student a few months ago. I love this. You both sit on the floor cross legged and open your flute cases. You tell the new student the names of the different parts of the flute. You ask the student to put the instrument together the way they think it should be put together and then play it for you. It’s this great cozy bonding moment. One of my favorites ever.

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Sit Kitty Sit

How to Play to an Empty Room

It happens more often than you might think.  Especially when you’re playing in a brand new city.  Maybe they didn’t book a local band, or maybe they cancelled at the last second.  Maybe you’re playing on a Monday, or the venue down the street has a huge sold out show.  Or maybe you only got the gig about a day ago. Or the venue forgot you were coming, or…or…or…

At times during an interview, or when I’m chatting with someone I’ll get the question “what’s your one piece of advice for musicians just starting out?”

It’s a legit question.  Typically I’ve spouted some kind of “do it because you love it” or “just don’t quit” type comments, which are kind of lame pieces of advice, but now I finally feel like I have a legit answer. What’s my piece of advice for musicians starting out?

“Learn how to play to an empty room”
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Mike Thompson

An Interview with Mike Thompson of Sit Kitty Sit

I believe there is no way you can ever really know someone all the way. They will always do something you didn’t expect, say something you never saw coming, make a choice that shocks you. Well, eventually they will.

Now, I feel like I know this guy. But in most interviews we get these days people tend to ask same-ish questions. When did you start playing drums? How did you develop your sound? Who are your musical heroes?

But for me, who you ARE shapes the art you make even more than who you listen to. So I decided to interview my Musical-Soul-Mate myself and let him shock me. And he did. Enjoy.

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My Relationship with Songwriting

Me and songs.  Specifically, MY songs.  If I can call them that.  They feel very alive to me.  I am the gateway that brings them into the world, but after that they are their own beings.  They grow, develop and have small, beautiful, precious moments that only I get to be a part of.  They say things I would never expect.  They take me places I would never have chosen to go.  They make choices that make me cringe and infuriate me.

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