MEET JUNE & HEATHER

We are bookend sisters with three brothers between us. We grew up playing the violin, but didn't come from particularly musical parents, bless their hearts, which meant there was a lot of frustration when it came to learning how to count music. Oh, the tears! Now, with Heather's children learning music and June as a teacher, we have joined forces and are on a mission to make learning how to count music easier, and, dare we say, FUN!

 

June started playing the violin when she was just four years old studying with Katherine Kunz and Karen Child. She earned the KSL Sterling Scholar Award for Music for East High School and has performed with the Utah Symphony Orchestra in Abravanel Hall and has toured with the Young Artist Chamber Players. She graduated from BYU-Idaho with a Bachelors of Science in Education and loves working with and teaching children.

 

Heather began studying the violin at eight years old with Katherine Kunz and continued with Doralee Madsen and Jack Ashton. She has had many performing experiences, but has found her most relevant training to be found within the walls of her own home as she practices with her young children on their individual instruments - violin, flute, and cello. Her children are each talented musicians with unique learning styles that have greatly contributed to the creation of inMeasure, for which she will be forever grateful.

 

 

THE DETAILS - JUNE

My mom says that music saved my life. That's a pretty bold statement, and one that she doesn't make lightly.

 

I have always loved music. I grew up listening to older siblings practicing the violin and piano everyday. It wasn’t long before I knew I wanted to play the violin, too. I started Suzuki violin lessons at four years old, and fell in love with being able to create beautiful sounds and enjoyed being the center of attention during performances.

 

When I was in elementary school, I had a hard time remembering information. I couldn't remember things ranging from details in books I would read, to what I had spent all day learning about at school. It was more than just the flighty memory of a day-dreaming child. I truly could NOT remember anything and didn't understand why my mom and teachers would get so frustrated with me all of the time.

 

My mom reminds me of one time in particular when she was reading to me out of one of my favorite books, Junie B Jones. We got to the end of the page and she laughed at Junie's latest shenanigans and I just sat there, confused. My mom asked me if I thought it was funny, but I didn’t know what she was talking about. I didn’t understand. We read the page again. The same thing happened - my mom laughed and I wasn't able to remember enough of the story line (from the page before) to know why what we were reading was funny.

 

It made school very hard.

 

It wasn’t until I was in fourth grade that it was decided I should be tested for some learning disabilities. The tests results were alarming. They revealed that I did, in fact, show no indication of having any ability for short term or long term memory recall. None. The test administrator said it was a miracle I remembered my own name.

 

Not having a memory also made learning the violin difficult as well. Learning how to count music felt near impossible. There were plenty of times after I had learned a song that I would completely forget where I was or even what song I was playing - it was like a switch would turn off and I couldn't remember anything.

 

As difficult as it was, learning the violin at such a young age was the best thing I could have done. I was constantly exercising my brain in ways that were crucial for me to survive in life - countless repetitions of counting helped me with math, drilling the sight reading in music helped me with reading books, focusing on my violin technique and posture helped me with my mind and body connection, playing with other students and my teacher each week taught me interpersonal skills. I needed more than most elementary school children. My brain needed more help. School was not enough for me. If I had not had the extra training, the extra repetitions that were provided to me through music, I would not have made it.

 

I was told time and time again that there was no way I would graduate high school, let alone go to college. Yet, because I had music in my life from a young age, I went from not being able to understand what had happened two sentences before in a book, to memorizing nine page concertos. I went from constantly forgetting basic concepts and skills, to becoming a college graduate and teacher myself.

 

I am so grateful for how much music has been a blessing in my life and how the skills I was learning through music were also helping me in school. Because I have seen the true value in music, I want to help others feel the same. Even if it is just one child.

THE DETAILS - HEATHER

First of all, I hope you can all appreciate how truly amazing June is. She is an incredible, walking example of overcoming insurmountable odds and I'm just so proud to be her sister.

 

Have you ever had the experience of looking back on something and realizing you wasted a really great opportunity? Sometimes I feel that way about violin. Sure, I was dedicated - I practiced everyday, I participated in orchestra, I went through the motions, but I could have done so much more with it. I could have been so much better.

 

There were a few years after I got married that I refused to do anything that involved classical music. My husband loves going to the symphony, so this was hard for him and he didn't understand my reluctance to attend. But I just couldn't do it. I felt too much guilt. I felt ashamed because I knew that everyone thought I was accomplished at the violin, but I felt like an imposter - a fraud. I had skated by on such little effort that I was embarrassed.

 

I think this failure to put in too much effort, to try too hard, was because I was afraid of failing. The truth is, I really did NOT understand how to read music very well. I could fake it like the best of them, but I did not understand it. I remember being so confused about counting-off a measure with a dotted quarter note. It made no sense to me. My insecurities with note reading plagued my entire experience with violin.

 

I was determined to make rhythm and counting easier for my own children. When my daughter started playing the flute at 4 years old, I knew I needed something that young children could relate to. A typical theory workbook just wasn't going to cut it. It needed to be something tangible, something bright, something that she would want to play with.

 

inMeasure has been in the works for years and years now. The little four-year-old flute player who was my first guinea pig, is now learning full-length concertos and sonatas - all with correct rhythm and counting.

 

It is our hope that inMeasure can help you and your child learn rhythm and counting in a way that will give them the confidence they need to be a successful, thriving musician. I don't want anyone to look back on their music experience the way I did for so long - with a tinge of regret. Invest the time now so you can move forward with confidence and let music change your life!