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The Set List - Jan '20

Updated: Jan 10, 2020

Happy New Year RMC!

We hope this year brings you more joy, laughter and of course music!

Welcome back to RMC's monthly newsletter, The Set List.

It's the best place to find out all you need to know about the goings-on at RMC and then some! This month, we've added some new segments to show you more about what we offer here at RMC.

This Week's Set List:

- Welcome Wagon

-RMC in the Community

- Teacher Feature: Eric Lin

-Student Spotlight: Caroline Zhao

-Kooking with Kara

-RMC Story Corner with George S.

-Liz & Liam Listen

- EJ's Deep Thoughts


Welcome Wagon

The new year has already brought along new students and families to RMC! We want to take a moment to welcome the following new students to the RMC Family:

Owen Quinn - Drums - George Maher

Evangeline Van Brunt - Guitar - Kara Delonas

Auden Van Brunt - Drums - Liam Hughes

Vivaan Parekh - Drums - Liam Hughes

Kaelyn Russo - Guitar - Kara Delonas

Bella Jack - Piano - Molly Delonas

Douglas Bonner - Guitar - George Sheehy

Tom Ruprecht - Guitar - Dustin Sebes

William Song - Cello - Jordan Yiu


RMC in the Community

On one of the coldest nights this past December, students, parents & RMC teachers traveled to the Westfield Christmas tree to bring the community some holiday spirit!


Teacher Feature: Eric Lin

Each month, we want to take a moment to highlight one of our many amazing and talented teachers. This month, we talked to one of our string teachers Eric Lin, who has been a teacher at RMC for over a DECADE!


Student Spotlight: Caroline Zhao

Our students here at RMC are not only dedicated musicians, but some are also dedicated philanthropists! Caroline Zhao is one of those students. Having been a student at RMC for nearly 8 years, Caroline has taken an array of music lessons on multiple instruments. On top of this, Caroline came up with the idea for RMC's Charity Board: a group of RMC students who strive to find ways to help their community through fundraising, donations and other acts of kindness & generosity.

Quotes from Caroline's Teachers:

" Caroline is a wonderful young lady and guitar student! The kind of person and student that makes being a teacher so worthwhile and because Caroline's so smart, driven, and capable as a student and guitar player, we get to work on all kinds of advanced guitar fretboard and music theory concepts -which is also a lot of fun for me too! "

-Dustin Sebes, guitar

" One day I walk into RMC to sit with Caroline. And we had a great session as always. Because she’s just a cool person, great listener and really excelling at mixing. But at the end of the session she hands me a Christmas card. The card explained to me how much she appreciated our time together and how much she has learned. I swear to you, THAT MADE MY ENTIRE WEEK. So not only is Caroline a great student but one of my favorite people."

-Gabe Gomes, audio engineering


Q: So you’ve been at RMC for quite a long time! What instruments have you learned to play?

A: When I started here in the 4th grade on violin. I played violin here and viola for a little bit. I play guitar now. I did a thing on bass, but I play it like a guitarist. And I’m kind of teaching myself piano now. I also do audio production with Gabe.

I think probably my favorite has to be guitar, but I kind of like the bass. It’s interesting to see how rhythm and melody work together…

Q: You play a lot of different instruments and styles. So who are your favorite artists or classical composers?

The Summer Set

A: My favorite artist of all time is this band called the Summerset...I’ve been listening to them again and they’re good.

I always liked Haydn…I feel like there was a sharpness or a brightness to his pieces that I really enjoyed in them and I think that’s something that the violin captures well.

Q: You’re going off to college soon. Have you thought about what you want to study?

A: I would like to go for something in science, but I would really want to either double major with music or minor in music, something related to sound engineering or just with an instrument. I think it’s interesting how music has so many different opportunities.

Q: Who inspires you musically and why?

A: I feel like the music that probably inspires me most—it’s not necessarily a genre I guess because I think you can find music like this in all of the genres—but kind of that music that just makes you want to get up and just sing to the lyrics or dance to the song.

Q: Most embarrassing performance experience?

A: I don’t remember, remember the details of this performance…but there was this one time in middle school orchestra where I didn’t put enough rosin on the bow of my violin. So it just did not make noise for the entire time. It wasn’t the worst thing because I didn’t have the solo, but when the first violins were playing it was so much quieter and you could not hear them even though they’re supposed to be the melody…

Q: What other hobbies do you have outside of music?

A: I’ve been a big fan of card games recently. Recently with my friends, I’ve been playing this game called ‘Poker BS.’ Everyone gets a set number of cards and then you have to name poker hands that you think the whole group has, and you keep naming higher and higher until someone ‘BS’s’ you. I also play ‘Bridge’ which is a fun game that gets you thinking.

I do volunteer a lot and tutor kids as part of a school program, and I’m also a TA at my Chinese school.

Q: So what exactly is the Charity Board and what have you guys done so far?

Charity Board Member, Derrick Zhao

A: The Charity Board is a group of students that come together and plan different types of events and drives that raise money or donations for a certain charitable group. And the whole idea behind this was the fact that I always wanted to do something with charity in a club-fashion. Because I feel like when you’re volunteering yourself sometimes you’re not with people of the same age-group as you. So we don’t get enough time volunteering with people our own age or people we can have fun with.”

Q: What are your goals for the Charity Board?

Charity Board Member, Rosie Deeb

A: The Charity Board is a group of students that come together and plan different types of events and drives that raise money or donations for a certain charitable group. And the whole idea behind this was the fact that I always wanted to do something with charity in a club-fashion. Because I feel like when you’re volunteering yourself sometimes you’re not with people of the same age-group as you. So we don’t get enough time volunteering with people our own age or people we can have fun with.”

To find out how you or your student can become a member of RMC's Charity Board, email!


Kooking with Kara

Our RMC teachers have many skills outside of music. Our very own Kara Delonas happens to be an expert baker! Enjoy as Kara shares some of her favorite, low-fat, vegan-friendly recipes!


RMC Story Corner with George

Come and settle in as George Sheehy, one of the original RMC Teachers, recounts one of his favorite stories from the early days at the RMC.


Liz & Liam Listen

This week, avid RMC teachers and listeners Liz & Liam discuss the pros of being involved in group classes at RMC! Don't forgot, you can always submit your questions to us in the comments below, on our website, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter accounts. We are always here to listen!


EJ's Deep Thoughts

Out of all the minds here at RMC, EJ's is definitely the deepest! Here's EJ's New Year's quote to help you start off your year with some deep soul searching. Then stick around as he offers some Dad-Gift-Buying advice and the track he's listening to.

Quote I am pondering:

"Big Trees grow from sprouts, tall buildings rise from mounds of earth; the loftiest heights start at your feet."

-Lao Tzu

Whenever I hear my daughters complaining or gossiping about people-or if I find myself doing the same-I am reminded of something I once read. It basically stated that there are two ways to ensure you have the tallest building in town. The first is to build the tallest building, the other way is to knock all the other buildings down. The question then becomes which choice do you make?

I was in the city the other night having dinner with a long-time mentor and all-around amazing person. I decided to walk from Penn Station to 13th Ave, between 1st and A. It felt like a great night for a walk, and along the way I found myself taking in the beauty of the city...which I often overlook.

As I thought about how high some of these buildings were, my mind went to thinking about how deep and strong the foundations of these buildings must be. We are often quick to look at the high, what goals, where is the finish line, what will be attained, etc etc etc......but every huge building originates way down below our feet, rooted in places we cannot see.

I am trying to keep that perspective when it comes to my own growth as a person. How rooted am I? How stable is my foundation? How much time have I spent digging and making sure the soil is ready for what I plan to build-up?

Family Holiday Time!!!

Ok, so the holidays are done and this feels like a great time to do a recap. All that saving up money, collecting holiday wish lists from your children, online ordering, shopping, and gift wrapping is done.....presents are handed over....and hopefully we have smiling, happy children. All is well in Kid-Land.......but what about DAD?

Yeah is the greatest gift of all and all that jazz.....but let's be walk into the holidays with some expectations…I know I did! And they certainly evaluate the success of the holiday gift-receiving season based off this preconceived notion of possible receivables.

So I have decided to put my own kids on blast. Yes, my amazing 14 and 12 year-old...I have decided to give you my own grades for the holidays: past and present.

I felt like Christmas was a good holiday for me growing up.......

Here I am at my first Christmas and I think I look pretty happy....even though I'm wearing a pink outfit and pink beanie.....I seem to be really digging my bright red apple toy....which was basically a cinder block painted red.

Side Note: The ridiculous apple would be the cause of me losing two teeth prematurely a few years down the road...but I will save that story for another time.

Here I am later that day at Christmas dinner. Out of the pink outfit and into some more suitable digs. My dad is to the left in the photo...he believed he was John Lennon if you could't tell from the glasses, hair and attire. He basically maintains that look to this day. You might think that this photo is only of father and son...but you would be wrong! My uncle is sitting to the right in the probably can't see him because he decided to camouflage himself into the couch...he must have been hiding from someone...or the law, based off his mustache.

Side Note: My Uncle John passed away last year and when I went to pay my respects at the Wake.....ACDC's Back in Black was blasting at full concert volume......I was not sure whether to mourn or play air guitar....never saw anything like it....where I had to shout my condolences over a blazing Angus Young guitar solo.

Ok, so here are some of the early gifts I received from my daughters during their Daycare to 2nd/3rd Grade Era......some cute stuff.......Some shrinky dinks (which may have been re-gifted) a plaque letting me know the importance of being a dad....a smiley face note letting me know I was doing a good job as a father (progress-report gifts are always well received) and lastly a trophy....not sure if the trophy is letting me know that I rule specifically or if Dad's in general rule....but all in have the young, cute and not-self-sufficient thing going for you at this I’m gonna start you off with a solid: B+

Side note: I did not deduct points for re-gifting....I once gave my dad 4 Hungryman TV dinners for Christmas.....tho I’m pretty sure they needed to be kept frozen till I am kinda shocked my mom let that one slip past her radar.

Next you stepped it up a bit girls!! You’re a little older, have a few years of birthday money and some random cash in your pocket. Still shopping at the school book fair for Old Pops.....but dropped the extra cash on the football playing Nutcracker.

Side Note: No adult male living alone should be by himself in his apartment setting up a photo shoot for a nutcracker......just sayin'...but it happened.

Even though this is not a nut-cracking guys are on the rise with tying Football into the holidays and getting the big ticket item for good old dad at the fair. Grade: A

Ok, so now we are becoming responsible young accounts, chores, your own phones....young and free!!!! Dad is still the man in your life.....we should be entering into the golden era of gift-giving for dear sweet dad......and you come at me with Will Ferrell Elf underwear?

Outside of you guys, I am actually shocked at the amount of people who gift me underwear at the I look like a man in need of a pair of underwear or something? Also, when did it become a thing to buy Dads underwear?....has a child ever uttered...."we’re going underwear shopping for mom?" Is it because men's underwear stores don't exist? Or that underwear shopping for men usually consists of about 3 choices? Who knows.....but I am gonna mark you down for this one....because as a parent when we’re asked...what did your kids get you for Christmas this year?....obviously dropping my pants at a supermarket or other public place to show off my daughters hard earned money would be far from appropriate....even if it has Will Ferrell's face all over them!

Side Note: It appears to be a positive that this generation of dads does seem to be a "give me funny underwear kinda crowd"...cause that gets us away from the generation of dads in housecoats with nothing on underneath.....many a child...myself included being scarred for life from robe slippage.

ELF UNDERWEAR GRADE: C+....I am giving you points because I like the movie and actually did need a pair of underwear to work into the rotation that year. everyone can get off their game once in awhile right? No big deal. You have had a year to think about things....and are gonna come out with some shock and awe.

Well, you left me speechless when I unwrapped this............

Is it a bunny?....cause you have your holidays all mixed up. Was I a bad dad this year? Does this signify a lump of coal or you abstaining from gift giving? Cause to me, it seems like an old sock filled with rice and a sharpied on face...but the lips do have good nice job there.

While I would want to go straight to F...the problem is every time I look at it I cannot stop if I get hungry and run out of food....I can always crack this gift open. So in some ways you are sneaky geniuses.......but still.....I cannot let this stand. Your grade for the wrong-season-dirty-rice sock bunny: Grade C

This brings us to last year’s gift.....the one that almost cost me my life....which I will assume was an accident.

Yes yes......let’s give dad the ugly Christmas sweater.....even though we don't know that Ugly Christmas Sweaters are a thing...but hey, it’s got dragons and swords and that's kinda cool.....WRONG......I drew 4 boxes on the shirt (I used boxes cause circles might have sent the wrong, not-family-friendly, PG message). Inside the boxes pictured are 4 diamond shaped lights wired into the sweater that are motion-activated. Well, you know your dad has a skin allergy and has to wash everything before he can wear it.....

So I will assume something happened in the wash...even though it says it's machine washable....and when good old dad put it on and went to the family party and around town trying to enjoy the Christmas season....he receives an electric shock every time somebody walks in front of him, he lifts his arms or basically moves at all!!! So giving dad a sweater that shocks him in sensitive places will absolutely cost you grade-wise......your grade: D!!!!!!!!!

So here we are...this, I am a beaten a shocked lab rat...literally, I was scared to open my gift.....but then, when I unwrapped it... to my shock… pun intended...what do I see?!!!!!

Super Dope Christmas Cat Slippers that are on my feet literally as I write this!!!

All is right with the world!! You guys have totally redeemed yourselves!!!!

Grade A++++++

I hope everybody had an amazing holiday season with your family and friends and did not encounter any clothing that almost cost you your life!

Track I am Listening To

"Shock the Monkey"

Peter Gabriel

This song, while appropriate for my gifted Christmas attire......had a music video that as a child absolutely freaked me out! The video featured Gabriel wearing pale white face paint and a really scary looking monkey.....the monkey was a capuchin monkey I later found out thanks to the internet.

"Shock the Monkey" was released in September of 1982. The song was the second release off his solo album "Security." This was Peter Gabriel's 4th solo album. The album was co-produced by David Lord and the song, along with the rest of the record was recorded in ground breaking fashion.

Gabriel used a variety of experimental synthesizers and samples to create rhythmic patterns. Then a LM-1 drum machine to build the song foundation. In the studio the drummer, Jerry Marotta played along with the tracks using no cymbals or bass drum so that the drums could be processed even more after the recording. If you listen, there are no cymbals in the song which is totally groundbreaking.

Many believe the song is about animal rights or shock therapy...however, Gabriel has said that the monkey symbolizes jealousy and man's primitive instincts.

The song spent 18 weeks on American Charts and peaked at # 29 the week of January 29th, 1983. It is in the key of D minor and has a tempo of 150 beats per minute.


Thank you for joining us in this month's Set List! Don't forget to check back next month when we reveal the backstory behind RMC's unofficial mascot Peaches the Cat, Liz & Liam answer more questions, Kara shares another healthy baking recipe & EJ brings you along as he continues his journey in the human brain.

You never know what will show up in the Set List!

Feel free to leave your comments and questions below.

And follow us on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter for more up-to-date information about all that goes on at RMC!

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