singer onstageStand Up, Take a Deep Breath, and…..

Royals TV Commentator Rex Hudler tells an interesting story in a radio ad that recently aired.  Hudler spoke about being a high school jock that did not care a whole lot about academics, but a speech teacher changed his mind with an important lesson.  Right before giving a speech, Rex’s teacher taught him to stand up, take a deep breath, and connect.

        When first hearing this, I thought of many other ways that phrase could have ended—Stand up, take a breath, and… Project.  Command. Persuade. But to make the goal to connect with the audience changes the dynamic from adversarial and trying to make them do something, to one of serving them and making a meaningful experience for all parties involved.

That story was a wonderful confirmation of the same lesson I learned this past fall.  Even though I’ve been performing music for over 20 years, I still had a lot of anxiety when preparing for multiple performances.  I felt overwhelmed and just wanted the shows to be over with. What a sad state of mind for a musician! So I started working with a counselor on managing this stress and was able to dramatically change my perception about performing.

For so long, I thought my job as a musician was to impress an audience. I thought the performance was a failure if I messed up even once–which meant I had impossible expectations for myself since I am a human and make mistakes every time I play.  But when I realized my job was to connect with the audience, I was able to relax and enjoy the process so much more.  Recently, I was feeling nervous before a show with my country band, but then remembered this lesson and changed my mind-set.  When I saw people dancing and smiling and singing along, I knew we had connected with them, and the show was a success. Have you ever had the experience of connecting with a musician or speaker?  Can you image what that would look like for you as a musician?

Welcome KCRB’s newest guitar teacher –

Josh Talley!

Josh Talley Kansas City Guitar TeacherJosh Talley is a fun, energetic, and talented guitarist and teacher.  Josh’s goal for his students is to help make music a natural part of their lives to always enjoy and participate in. Josh is well versed in many genres, but his biggest influences are Bob Dylan, the Beatles, and pretty much anything from the 90s and early 2000s Emo.

Josh has been playing guitar and bass for over 20 years.  His musical experience began performing with his dad and brother in nightclubs during his high school years, before moving on to the underground band circuit in Arkansas and Oklahoma during college.  He has toured the country and abroad performing music as an adult and backed several Grammy nominated artists and songwriters, including David Leonard, songwriter Travis Meadows, and Cece Winans.

Josh lives in Kansas City with his wife and four kids and is a regular in the Evangel Church Worship Band.   We are very excited to have Josh joining the KCRB teaching team!

Leah Ray— KCRB Student of the Month

Leah has been taking guitar lessons with Matt Crandall for a year and half. She is in 4th grade at Southwood Elementary. Leah is a great student, practices regularly and has taken opportunities to perform for her family and church groups. Congratulations, Leah, on your hard work and progress!

Here’s a little more about Leah:

Why did you start playing guitar? To try something new and because I like music and singing.
Favorite things you learned? All the songs we have done—especially Forever and He Knows My Name.
What are your other hobbies? Reading, Drawing, Singing

Way to go, Leah! We’re proud of you!


Stand up, take a deep breath, and….