Brigitte Jia, musician and show host, brings an hour of music appreciation and learning to Express Yourself!™ From the book, Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers Celebrating Gifts of Positive Voices in a Changing Digital World, Brigitte reads The Gift of Music by Jack Pawlakos followed by interviews with four guests. Kia Portekas is the music teacher who introduces her young students, Ethan Dohrmann, Easha Ashraf, and Helena Häber. Kia’s book, Making Music with Your Child is designed for music and elementary teachers, parents, and children, and highlights simple, effective activities to build musical skills and awareness, while providing ways to encourage freedom, self-expression, and individuality. The teaching method helps cultivate in the whole child, unique forms of expression and communication. promotes the processes of thinking, creating, and reinforces self-esteem and the joy of learning. You’ll hear musical arrangements performed by each individual during the break. Whether it is just one person, or thousands, the gift of music has the ability to bring people together and make their lives better as a whole. Music truly is a gift to be shared. A gift, that keeps on giving.
“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent” Victor Hugo
• BIO.- Kia Portafekas
Kia Portafekas, musician, composer, teacher, and author inspired children from Shanghai to Lincoln Center to create and play their own compositions. Graduate of Queens College (Aaron Copland School of Music), Mannes Conservatory, and New York's famous Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art. Kia takes music instruction to a creative level, combining color, sound, movement, improvisation, and imagination to heighten children's self-expression and encourage individuality. She teaches children, leads experiential group workshops, trains teachers and parents in dynamic ways of integrating music and creativity into their lives. Kia wrote Making Music With Your Child, published by MMB Music, Inc. and funded in part by a grant from National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. https://www.musickia.com/
• BIO: Ethan Dohrmann
Ethan Dohrmann is 13 years old and has been playing piano for 6 years. He started in first grade with Kia in an afterschool music program and has developed a gift for composing his own pieces. Has a passion for classic composers such as Beethoven, Mozart, and Bach. He has a fondness for Jazz, Contemporary and classics pop and rock. Ethan performs songs at local retirement centers in the North County San Diego area during his summer breaks. Ethan’s other performance pieces include songs by Queen, Elton John, and Frank Sinatra. Ethan attends Double Peek School. Piano has become an outlet for Ethan which allows him to find his happiness and peace when he plays the piano or composing. Ethan hopes to develop his gift further by learning how to produce and record his own songs.
• BIO: Easha Ashraf
Easha Ashraf, age 14-year-old, attends High Tech High Mesa in San Diego. She has an immense passion for music. She has been singing since she was 8 years old. She has been the lead singer for the past 3 years for Music Pillars Rock Band. She performed the national anthem at the Poway Parade in 2016 and the Cinco de Mayo Trail Run since 2017. She listens to all kinds of genres, but her favorite playlist includes Twenty-One Pilots, Panic! At the Disco, blink182, and her favorite musical composer is Lin- Manuel Miranda. Easha is fluent in English, Spanish, and Urdu. She is also interested in science and literature, and her favorite Marvel characters are Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel. She recently started composing her own music and hopes to inspire young people like her to follow their dreams.
• BIO: Helena Häber
Helena Häber (@helenafromphx) is a 19-year-old musician,
filmmaker, and tea enthusiast from Phoenix, Arizona. She is a
recent graduate from Arizona School for the Arts, where she
played flute and piano. Helena is now studying Filmmaking at
Columbia College Chicago. You will frequently find her dancing to
Diane Coffee and making eggs for breakfast. She is perpetually
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