It’s our hearts that make a beat

Music is one of the most important things in my life. Ever since I was a kid, waddling around my kindergarten, I’d be singing along to songs I didn’t know the lyrics to. As it turned out later, I was a horrible singer, but that didn’t matter as a child. It made me happy.

My first favorite song was “Fight for your Right to Party” by The Beastie Boys. I obviously had no idea what it meant, considering I didn’t understand a word of English at that point. But it was the energy and positivity in their voices that got me. My mom told me it was a little too aggressive for a six year-old girl to listen to, but, you know, that really didn’t bother me.

The first instrument I ever learned to play was the violin, mainly because I was obsessed with this kids TV show about young Mozart. Well, I wasn’t very good at it, and my siblings always complained about that “awful noise” whenever I practiced, so I quit after about two years.


But even after that I was really into music. I’d memorize my favorite songs, film music videos with my friends and siblings, we’d perform our own version of “Mamma Mia!” to our parents- all that cringy stuff.

In tenth grade, I started playing the piano, because I wanted to be able to play all of Twenty One Pilots’ songs, since they are my absolute favorite band and I really can’t sing. Apparently, I am not musically talented at all, but, again, that doesn’t really bother me. So I started playing the ukulele. I’m pretty sure it is one of the easiest instruments to play, because even I have mastered some songs by now. And that really says something.

Being able to successfully play music, all by myself, with only a couple YouTube tutorials and (literally the most helpful website ever) I gained some confidence. So, when I got bored over last summer, I decided to take a drum lesson. The drums have always been my favorite instrument in a band, they’re so unique and mentally and physically difficult, and to be honest, my favorite celebrity is a drummer so that might have played a role in it as well… I got to use my neighbor’s drums in his basement, that was hopefully a hundred percent soundproof, because I had no idea what I was doing. But after hours and hours in that hot, stuffy basement, I at least learned how to keep a decent beat. There are few things that I’ve experienced in my life that feel better than hitting the drums as if my life depended on it.


When the new school year started, I joined garage band. It’s probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’m so thankful, too, since there are already two really good drummers in the band, and they still accepted me, even though I’m pretty bad. But even playing a basic beat in the very back of on stage with a group of such talented others filled me with so much joy and new confidence. Also, apparently, “girl drummers are bad-a**”.

That same year I also started playing the guitar. I’m a really slow learner, and I’m still pretty bad at it, but I love music so much, everything about it. As long as I get some pretty sounds out of it, it makes me happy. As long as I’m not perfect yet, I will keep practicing. That might take a while though.

Probably the most important things I lost in the fire last winter were my guitar, my ukulele, and the school’s drum set. Whenever I felt down or needed distraction, I’d listen to music, and whenever I really needed to feel better, I’d play it on those instruments.

This sounds like such a cliché, but music has always been there for me. I’ve always had great friends in my life, and a sister whom I could tell almost everything. But there are some times where I don’t want to talk to anyone, and don’t want to hear anything, except the tune of my favorite songs.

Festival of Talent

This Friday was my 3rd and last time performing in the annual Festival of Talent for school. My sophomore and junior years I sang a song with my friend Maddie and this year I sang a song with my friend Serry.

This year, we had a hard time choosing which song to sing, because there were so many good ones that we had in mind. We finally came to the decision of singing a song called “Meant to Be” by Melissa Polinar.

Since I first discovered it, it has been one of my favorite songs and thankfully it fit both of our voices well. We only had a few practices, but it came together really quickly. Music teacher Mr. Boyd was amazing at figuring out the guitar on such short notice and with no tabs (THANK YOU!!).

I usually get extremely nervous about singing in front of a crowd, and I was nervous when I went on stage, but for some reason when I started singing this time my nerves died down. I think it’s just the fact that it was such a bittersweet moment, my last talent show and probably the last time I will be singing in front of people.

There were SO MANY other awesome acts in this show. To start us off we had an amazing robot-like dance by Jack Liu that was just phenomenal. It was so entertaining and it was obvious he spent a lot of time perfecting every move and that he has such a natural talent for dancing. There were a lot of other singing acts and a really awesome piano battle with 2 extremely talented pianists. The acting group the Spud Factory had 2 very cute short films, one that was dedicated to the senior class that was very sweet and thoughtful of them. It was so entertaining and I think that everyone there had an awesome time.

I will definitely miss performing in front of people and seeing all the other talent that the school has to offer. Thankfully, I get to perform one last time at the concert before graduation, my very last hurrah at OVS. I can’t wait to sing with chorus and the most amazing voice coach Mrs. Boyd one last time.

My Current Musical Obsessions

I think it is amazing what a voice and a guitar can do together.

I am currently obsessed with these two contestants of a Korean television show called KPOP Star. Before I start flooding this blog with videos of them performing, I’d like to mention that they both come from Southern California.
So Cal represent!

This is Woosung Kim. Actually, this is one of his first videos on the show. It includes a little bio about him. He also sings one of my favorite songs: Live High by Jason Mraz.
And although he can’t dance, he does not say no when the judges ask him if he can dance. He puts himself out there, shuffling at the end of the video to get a few laughs from the audience. Ah, just great!!

In this video, he changes a k-pop song into more of a ballad. Again, it is just his voice and the guitar. It’s pretty great.

This next video is of another contestant that I like as well. He got a little farther in the competition. His name is Jaehyung Park.

This song is a cover of Frank Ocean’s “We All Try.” He changes it up to have more of an R&B feel. To be honest, I like this version so much better!

If you know me, I am a big fan of Maroon 5. And when I heard him sing this song, I nearly melted right then and there.

This is another great video but my favorite one is the next one!

This is a song that I haven’t been able to get out of my head. I think he sings with such genuine emotion.

I hope you all enjoyed this blog and become fans too!!

Jack Penate

Jack Penate

Jack Penate is a singer and songwriter from London. Armed with a guitar and an excellent voice he is a man that puts his heart, soul and passion into his lyrics. He is a man who exhibits true artistry and charisma through his music.

Jack released his first album, Matinee in 2007, which debuted at number 7 in the UK album charts. Two years later, in 2009, he came back and released his second album Everything Is New and now has recently returned with new material including the single No One Lied. 

His music visits many genres and could not be labeled as anything other than alternative because many of his songs are indefinable as a genre and this is what makes him great. Each song has a different tempo, strong but simple lyrics and is full of quirkiness.

Jack Penate is an extremely gifted artist that’s music can evoke many emotions depending on your mood.

So give Jack Penate a listen.

The Highly Unusual Traditions of TNT

“We have had the time of our lives and I will not forget the faces left behind. It’s hard to walk away from the best of days. But if it has to end I am glad you have been my friend in the time of our lives.” Tyrone Wells

Click the links to watch the videos of CIMI tradition! 

Every year, CIMI hosts a variety show on the second to last night.  We call it TNT (Talent or No Talent).  Campers, counselors and instructors alike are welcome to enter the show and perform in front of the entire camp.  Over the years and throughout the sessions, CIMIans have developed their own little traditions that are passed down each summer.

A definite camp favorite would be the famous Watermelon Duel.  Staff members, Straka and Kyle established the first Catalina Sea Camp Watermelon Duel in 2008.  The tradition was continued in the Summer 2011 Watermelon Duel during the second session of CIMI by Wyatt and Garrett.  “This was a tribute indeed,” said Wyatt, “Garrett is Kyle’s younger brother, It only seemed right.”

Campers spell out “WE LOVE CIMI” in Scrabble tiles for the Board Games Carnival

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From the Top

I smile over my left shoulder at my friend who is hunched over his bass guitar, creating a progression we had only dreamed of. He stops for a moment after letting the last E note ring out from the depth of his instrument. Glancing up at me quickly, a huge smiles envelops both of our faces and we know: We’ve got it.

Mackin playing bass during a soundcheck.

I quickly put my guitar down on the stand next to the amplifier I was sitting on and dive for the open notebook and pen that are lying on the floor.

“What was the progression you just did, Mackin?” I ask, my eyes gleaming with excitement.
“E, E, G, A and on the fourth I added the high D,” He said, playing the notes as he dictated them for me.
“Brilliant,” I tell him, sitting down with the paper in front of me, “I’ve got all the lyrics down, should we take it from the top?”
“Absolutely,” he says, placing my microphone in front of me before he grabs his own.

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Beautiful Sounds

The blinds are closed, but light still shines through. One bed in the room is neatly made, but the other is messy. There are papers spread atop it and a guitar case, open but empty, is sitting on the floor beside the bed. There is a desk that spreads across the small room, a bookshelf on either side. The right side of the desk is neat, the chair nicely pushed in and every single book in it’s proper place. The left side, however, has pens lacking ink, pencils with snapped tips, and crumpled up papers that failed to reach the recycling box.

Her back is red and her neck is long. She is a gorgeous woman. She sings loudly; beautiful sounds spewing out from her mouth. Six strings race up her neck, vibrating and pulsing; they are her vocal chords. A small hand gently kneads her neck while another softly pulls on her strings; they are her reason to sing. She is nameless, but people call to her. She is faceless, but easily recognized. Intricate tattoos of vines twirl around her face with a silky white dove in the midst of it all. She is an it, and it is a guitar.

Some people love sports. Others love the sciences. But I love music.

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