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Azevedo Sister’s Sing Sleigh Ride

Bring on the Christmas Music!

Although many radio stations start playing Christmas music Nov. 1st, I choose to wait until Thanksgiving is over to break out the Christmas music. A few years ago my dad Lex gave his daughters original arrangements of Christmas carols! One of the benefits of having a composer father and talented sisters. Enjoy!

If I ever get the chance to produce a Christmas CD, what songs would you like included on it?

JulieHanks.com Sept News!

In this issue…New podcast show launch, CD Signing & performance this Sat. at Orem Deseret Book, & more…

Read Sept. Newsletter HERE

Orem Concert highlight….

was meeting many wonderful people after the show! Thanks to all who attended Deseret Book’s final outdoor summer concert this year, and to those who stuck around for the CD signing.  It was a fun way to wrap up the summer. I loved seeing many Facebook friends in REAL life, and friends that I haven’t seen for ages. Thanks again for your support.

One of my favorite moments was when I spontaneously asked my bro-in-law, Derek Brown, to accompanying me on Mercy’s Arms & Masterpiece and he jumped up and blew everyone away with his amazing talent on the piano. (And no, it wasn’t planned or rehearsed. He’s THAT good!)

Another highlight was when I asked for a guitar tuner so I could play Dive Deep & my tuner batteries weren’t working and a generous young dad in the audience volunteered! Thank you!

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My dear friend Lisa Olsen
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My guitar tuner hero!
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Derek Brown, my bro-in-law & my fabulous sister Emilie
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Janet Rife (my FB friend) & my 7 yr old son sporting his new school clothes
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The winner of a Masterpiece CD! She guessed the song I had dedicated to my mom
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Cute Gaede girl!
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The Lindas. My mom & my sister's mother in law
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Thanks for the great introduction, Casey (DB employee)
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Joe Anderson - Sound man extraordinaire
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Music & Mood: Musings from Songwriter & Therapist

MUSIC & MOOD: MUSINGS FROM A SONGWRITER & THERAPIST

At first look it may seem that songwriting and psychotherapy  have little in common. But the older I get, the more I see the connections between my two “careers”.  Songwriting is my personal expression of emotion and thoughts, and fulfills my desire to connect with others in a meaningful way. My hope is that my songs will help you feel more hope, faith, relief, joy in your life…Music can be a powerful tool to help achieve a desired emotional state.

My work as a psychotherapist helps others express and make sense of their emotions and relationships. People generally come to me for therapy because they don’t like how the feel in at least one aspect of their life and want to “feel better”.

Emotional expression and connection tie both of my careers together. They are also what tie my family life together. They tie my life together.

THE POWER OF MUSIC

Music parallels all human emotions and can help us manage our feelings and change our emotions to a more desirable state. Your emotional response to a piece of music depends on your past musical experiences, the meaning of certain sounds on your culture. Today the soft hits of the 60s-90s are considered “easy listening music”, but at the time they were released they was considered edgy, even revolutionary.

Music is present in all cultures throughout time. It is used to bind groups of people together, such as signing hymns with a religious congregation or singing the National Anthem to promote patriotism. Through shared emotional experiences, music indelibly links your memories allowing you to emotionally revisit certain life events simply by listening to a few bars of the song that you associate with that time.

While there are many elements in music, rhythm is an important one that promotes movement or stillness in our bodies. On one end of the spectrum is Dance music, designed to elicit movement. In the middle of the rhythmical spectrum are ballads with slower rhythm that have a more neutral bodily movement response. One the other end of the spectrum is music without rhythm, collections of sounds that flow. Generally, music from the classical era, 1800’s, like Bach, and Mozart, is highly rhythmically organized and tends to promote brain activity, rather than physical activity, thus the term “the Mozart effect”.

IMPROVE YOUR MOOD THROUGH MUSIC

Here are a few suggestions for using music to improve your mood based on my own musical experiences and genre preferences. I’d love to hear your playlist suggestions!

1-STRESSED– Songs to help you relax

Look for music that has minimal rhythm, soothing tones, sounds from nature, organic instrumentation.
Recommended Genres: New Age, Classical, Acoustic Singer/Songwriters, Smooth Jazz

iTunes Playlist:

Liquid Mind – VIII Breath in Me
Claude Debussy – Suite Bergamasque: Claire de Lune
Mindy Gledhill – If I Had No Songs
Beth Nielsen Chapman – I’ll Give My Heart
Chris Botti – When I Fall in Love

2-LAZY – Songs to help you get moving

Select music that has a steady, driving beat, high energy feel, hopeful lyrics.
Recommended Genres: Dance, Oldies, Pop, Hip Hop, Electronic, Jazz

iTunes Playlist:

Beach Boys – Surfing USA
Kaskade – Face the Music (Kaskade Club Mix)
Glee Cast – Tell Me Something Good (Glee Cast Version)
Owl City – Fireflies
Destiny’s Child -Survivor

3- FRUSTRATED – Songs to help you find more joy/peace

Find songs with up-tempo rhythm, happy music, lyrics that give you a perspective shift, major chord structures.
Recommended Genres – Blues, Country, Folk, Alternative, Singer/Songwriter

iTunes Playlist

Sara Evans – Born To Fly
James Brown – I Got You I Feel Good
Tim McGraw – Watch the Wind Blow By
Nickel Creek – This Side
The Submarines – You, Me and the Bourgeoisie

4-DOWN– Songs that bring hope

Look for music with major chord structures, hopeful lyrics, authentic vocalists, and organic arrangements that life your spirit.
Recommended Genres – Indie pop, singer/songwriter, hopeful country, Gospel/Inspirational

iTunes playlist

Joy Williams – Sunny Day
Tyrone Wells – And the Birds Sing
Ryan Shupe – Dream Big
Jason Mraz – Life is Wonderful
Glee Cast – Don’t Stop Believing
Natalie Grant – Held

5-LONELY – Songs to help you feel more connected

Focus on hopeful lyrics, lyrics with relationship themes, and remind you of when you felt historically more connected in your relationships.
Recommended Genres – Country, Pop, Rock, Jazz

iTunes playlist

Mary Chapin Carpenter – I Have A Need For Solitude
Carrie Underwood – Temporary Home
John Mayer – Half of My Heart
Micheal Buble – Haven’t Met You Yet
Jordan Sparks – One Step At A Time
Miles Davis – You’re My Everything
The Remnant – Know This

Thank you to my dad Lex de Azevedo and my friend Krista Maurer for playlist suggestions!

How do you use music to improve your mood? Please share your iPod playlists for certain emotions.

Comment below…(email is required but will remain private)

The Grapevine LIVE Interview

Latter-day Woman interviews LDS women from all over the world in their Grapevine LIVE series. I had a delightful chat with their host Sheri Joi on Thursday evening (scroll down to the bottom of the page to find my interview).

Listen to my interview online HERE

Read the summer issue of Latter-day Woman Magazine HERE

Recent Interview on New Music Show with Cherie Call

LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW HERE

I had a delightful time talking with my dear friend Cherie Call for yourldsradio.com New Music Show. Throughout the interview I was temped to start asking HER questions about her music because I’m such a fan of her songwriting. If you haven’t heard her CD “Grace” you’ve got to hear it!

To hear the stories behind my songs “Window To His Love”, “Angels”, “Make Enough of Me”, “Hard Things”, & “God’s Signature”

Find Your Inner Strength: Studio 5

Find Your Inner Strength


When you hear the word “strength” you likely think of traits or characteristics that are easily visible to others. But you also have “quiet” strengths that are demonstrated in your relationships interactions, and in who you are. These quiet strengths might be empathy, being a good listener, making others feel important, spirituality, and more.I’m continually inspired by the inner strengths of many women that I meet with in my counseling practice, and in workshops, who are dealing with difficult life situations: the loss of a child, marital distress, debilitating depression, chronic illness, and more. They face difficult life situations with courage and strive to move beyond their current situation.One of my own quiet strengths is the ability to reflect on my inner life and on my relationships and express my experience through songs. I gain much inspiration for themes and lyrics from my important relationships and life experiences.Three women in particular have inspired me with their quiet strengths of self- acceptance, emotional depth, and consistent support.

1-Self-acceptance

I have known Sara White for over 15 years and have been inspired by her strength of self-acceptance. Now well into her 90’s, Sara continues to enjoy her family and friends and exudes an inner beauty that is evident to all who know her. Through difficult life experiences Sara has grown in beauty and grace. The years have been a friend to her.

God’s Signature

(lyric excerpt, written by Julie de Azevedo)
These lines are signs of many lessons learned
Carved out through time
Smiles that warm and tears that burn
And unexpected turns
Time has been my friend it seems
So let Him write on meYou can call me flawed
You can call it character
But I choose to call these changes
God’s signatureMaybe it’s part of His design
That our landscape shifts with time
And youth is just a blur
Maybe it’s part of His design
And letting go of pride
It’s proof that we’re alive…

2-Emotional Depth

Melodie Williams, a long-time friend and mentor has inspired me with her unique emotional depth and thoughtfulness about life. Always an optimist, Melodie has encouraged me to seek continual growth in my emotional and spiritual life while maintaining a hopeful outlook. As a professional painter, her depth is expressed beautifully in her artwork. To learn more about Melodie’s art visit www.melodiewilliamsart.com.

Dive Deep

(lyric excerpt, written by Julie de Azevedo)
Dive deep into this ocean
Brave uncharted sea
You’ll never own me
If you want to hold me
Dive deep
Dive deep into this ocean
Cradle any jewel
Swim with the lover
Dance with the mother
Kiss the wife
And laugh with the girl

3-Consistent Support

My mother, Linda de Azevedo , dedicated her life to raising nine children. It wasn’t until I became a mother that my appreciation for her deepened as I realized the impact of her constant support throughout my life. I wrote this song “Angels” as a tribute to her life. Still, she continues to be a source of support to me and my family generously offering praise, encouragement, and practical help whenever possible. Soon after this segment airs, she will be the first to call or send a text cheering me on.

Angels

(lyrics excerpt, written by Julie de Azevedo)
She was a girl just a young girl at nineteen
When she left behind her the life she had known
Got all dressed up in white
Oh to be a new bride
And set out to make a house a home
When she found herself she was drowning in laundry
Up all the night and driving all day
And every few years she would come up for air
In between lessons, carpool, and PTABut the angels they carried her
Through the fire and the rain
And the angels they carried her
From the end of her rope to the end of her day
And the angels, they sang to her
So she know someone was there
She had wings and prayers
Looking back it’s clear
She was touching heaven all those years…


 

My new CD “Masterpiece: The Best of Julie de Azevedo” is available at Deseret Book.