The coffee shop jam is the most awesome thing I do as a guitar teacher, and this past Jam, on May 30th, was even more awesome than usual.
This was partly due to the venue. The Columbia City Theater, a mid-sized music club in southern Seattle, has a glorious sound system and a three broadcast-quality video cameras. We’ve come quite a long way from our days of performing in the corner of Caffe Bella coffee shop, through one PA speaker, which barely competed with the noise of the espresso machine.
But there was also some inexplicable mojo in the air. My students performed with skill and energy that I hadn’t seen before. Usually, the pressure of performing for a big audience (we had 60-70 people at both shows) mutes inexperienced students’ performances, but sometimes the crowd’s energy can elevate the performer. I can’t tell you why, but most of my students practically levitated on the audience’s enthusiasm.
Over the next week, I’ll highlight some of my favorite performances. I’ll start with Emma’s song, “Snow Day.” She wrote it in January after a storm dumped a foot of snow in Seattle and canceled school. Emma blows me away with her stage presence and talent for writing super-catchy pop hooks.