Piano Performance Dedicated to Father

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Her Father was an excellent pianist. He could play classical and jazz very well. He used to be a music teacher and as a child he gave her piano lessons. She learned the C Major Scale and that’s pretty much it.

My father, John

Last year she decided she wanted to study piano. First she had to get a piano. So she looked up on Facebook Marketplace and entered Free Pianos. She found a local church that was getting rid of a piano and had it delivered.

She made a vow that she was going to practice daily. She was going to be how she was as a child when she would run away from the piano so she could play.

She had to learn how to read music. So she got the NoteSpeller book and started working on the treble clef and eventually the bass clef. She started practicing scales and simple piano exercises. She didn’t practice for hours and hours per day but she just kept going over sight reading. She did get flash cards and also an App on her phone to help her learn the notes. The app is called Tenuto.

After months of practice she was able to perform this piece which she dedicates to her father, John DeDios who passed away on July 3, 2020 at the age of 85.

This isn’t a perfect performance. It’s good enough.

Valeria is keeping it going during the pandemic of 2020. She enjoys singing, dancing and playing piano. She’s a Health and Wellness Coach that started a podcast. Thanks for support and encouragement during this difficult time.

A First Piano Recital

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Recently I have been receiving many questions about my experience with the piano.

My piano playing started as a child. We used to have a Baby Grand Piano, as my father was a pianist and a music teacher. He gave me lessons as a child around age 6. But I would play and then run around. He couldn’t get me to sit still and play. I did learn the C major scale and I had also been exposed to the treble clef. Not that I really knew how to read music but I knew FACE and EGBDF as the acronyms for the music notes. So I had been exposed to the piano prior to my first music lesson back in August of 2019.

I was already taking voice lessons but I decided to take up piano because I really wanted to develop my brain a little more. I felt that piano playing would keep me very engaged. But before I could actually take lessons, I had to get a piano.

How To Get a Free Piano

So I did what every unsure piano student does and sees if I can get a free piano. I found on-line it’s easy to find one but you have to get it back to your place. After I was able to have it delivered, I started taking piano lessons. I had to learn the treble clef and the bass clef. I think that makes the piano a little more difficult because of that but in any case I started to learn the treble clef first and just really drilling notes. I got flash cards and then I found an app that helped. My friend told me about it but it’s called Tenuto (I’m unaffiliated with them). And that really helped quite a bit.

But more than anything you just have to get to know the keys on the piano and then just start playing. Doing scales and playing very simple songs on one hand and then both.

I decided I wanted to learn how to play a piece by JS Bach because I didn’t care for the music in the beginning piano books. So I researched beginner pieces of music by JS Bach and Prelude 1 in C Major came up as a good piece for a beginner.

I really do enjoy playing the piano and I recommend it for everyone. There are many resources on line. The thing I like about it is that you can go up to a piano and then start tapping keys and making the most beautiful sound. It’s like, “How did that happen?” And then you get hooked on music and you want to hear that sound again. It’s just a wonderful feeling to play music.

Looking back now of course I wish I had studied the piano as a child but can’t go back now can we?

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Valeria is a music student. You can check out her Podcast about Peace and Cardio She enjoys singing and dancing. 

Music Teachers Create Music

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I Didn’t Realize My Music Teacher was so Accomplished

A few years back I signed my daughter up for singing lessons with a local music teacher. My daughter was just starting out and I found a music teacher and she started taking voice lessons. I had no idea she was such an accomplished musician.

It actually took me from 2014 to 2019 to realize exactly who I was dealing with. Should I get a bad grade for not doing my research on my music teacher? My thought process is that when you are a beginner that maybe they don’t have to know as much as a conductor of a symphony but just enough to figure out what the notes are etc.

I did realize she was an accomplished violinist as I had seen her perform many times and one day during music class she started to play a beautiful piece by Bach by memory on piano and I was quite impressed. It was so beautiful and I decided to actually go to my teachers website and read up on her. She actually blew my socks off.

Alina Adams is conducting her ensemble of very talented music students.

She Dedicated her studies to Music

This is the full article about Alina Adams . She’s an assistant concert master which I’m not really sure what that is as I’m such a neophyte to music education.

I’m Sure Glad She Came to USA

With her education and knowledge she could have landed anywhere on the planet. But she came to California and I’m sure glad. She’s teaching music and her students are awesome. OK yes I am one too. I’m talking about the other students though when I talk about awesome though.

Flashmob Joy To The World

I actually got to film this video with the help of other videographers. It was so cool to watch it unravel. I didn’t know exactly how it would go down but here’s how it turned out. The little 6 year old girl that kicked it off is such a brave little girl.

Luckily this will be a new tradition.

Keep UP The Good Work

2020 will surely be another year of great performances. Keep an eye out for Bach in the Subways coming in March 2020. This is going to be a great year for music is all I can say.

Another of Alina’s Students.
Valeria is a Helath and Wellness Coach living in NorCal. She’s also a student of Alina’s. She encourages everyone to follow their dreams and passions. She’s currently studying voice and piano with Alina.

Synchronicity Via Bach

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She rushed to visit her cousin when she learned about the accident. She knew her cousin would be ok so she decided to take her portable keyboard to the hospital to visit. She showed him the keyboard and right away he started playing a melody that sounded familiar. He said, “Let me play this one I remember.” His fingers were much to big for the childish keyboard. but the piece was by composer Johann Sebastian Bach and it was Prelude in C Major. Then it dawned on her that was the exact piece she had been working on with her music teacher.

What were the odds that he would pick the same piece of music? It wasn’t until later that she realized that this was some kind of synchronicity. Or it could have been pure coincidence. But deep in her heart she knew it was not coincidence it was a sign to show how strong their bond is. It doesn’t matter if you have not seen family for months or years, the bond is still there and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.

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It was a sign to continue to study. It was a sign to realize that it doesn’t matter if you don’t see each other frequently the bond is still there. It was a reminder of how much she loved him. It was a sign of hope. It was a reminder to keep practicing. It was a beautiful moment she would cherish always.

Valeria is a Health and Wellness Coach living in Northern California.

Have you heard of:

Bach in The Subways

Stay tuned for Bach in The Subways coming March 22, 2020.

2019 Artist Year in Review

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Featured Enlighten Your Lives Artists

2019 was a great year for performers at EnlightenYourLives.com. These artists reached out of their comfort zones and decided to share their passions with the world. As an artist, one of the scariest thing to do is actually share your passion. One can work on their passion for months and years and still not share it. Why don’t they share it? Most likely it’s fear. Why should an artist be afraid to share of themselves? It can be a fear of the response they will receive but also fear of rejection or being ridiculed. It’s an uncomfortable feeling to perform in front of others. But after a while, one does get used to it. When the joy of expression overcomes the fear to perform, then one is ready to share of themselves. Meet these brave Princess Warriors who have risen above the fear.

Meet Varia Strix from Washington DC

The mysterious Varia Strix

Our first featured artist is Varia Strix. Varia has a real passion for life and has many hobbies such as being an awesome photographer and a beautiful dancer. If you say, Belly Dance Workshop, she comes running. She is a pleasure to know and she gets a lot of credit for being courageous enough to be the first featured dancer to be interviewed in 2019. We wish Varia continued success in 2020. To learn more about Varia you may read the full article here.https://enlightenyourlives.com/2019/08/18/meet-washington-dc-bellydancer-varia-strix/

Valeria Star Singing in French

Performing in June 2019

Valeria Star sings an emotional rendition of Les Feuilles Mortes/Autumn Leaves. During a live performance, like life, you never know what’s going to happen. She practiced, she sang, she cried and went home. Valeria Star has been singing since a child but she started training and studying voice in 2014. Valeria hopes to sing and dance for the rest of her life. Let’s wish her continued success in 2020. https://enlightenyourlives.com/2019/06/23/valerie-estrella-didnt-think-she-would-break-down-an-emotional-rendition-of-autumn-leaves-les-feuilles-mortes/

Meet Beautiful Vanessa Montoya from Texas

Vanessa Montoya

Vanessa is a talented and beautiful yoga teacher and dancer that is active in her Texas community teaching dance and yoga. A real princess warrior that is also a healer. We want to thank Vanessa for sharing her passion and joy with the world. We also wish Vanessa continued in 2020 and beyond. Here is the full article.

Meet Nor Cal Dancer Valeria Star

Hanging with her favorite Trees

Valeria Star from Nor Cal loves to dance and sing. In this article Valeria shares her passion for dance. She’s been dancing over 40 years and doesn’t intend to stop anytime soon. She encourages everyone to follow their passions whatever they might be. Click here for full article.

Here’s Shilly from United Kingdom

A captivating creative artist

Shilly is talented on multiple levels. She’s a fashion designer, dancer and also makes some delicious cacao drinks that one day will be tasted in UK. Shilly directed this captivating video that is highly recommend for everyone to watch. Shilly also teaches belly dance in her community and she gets extra credit for getting kicked out of ballet. We want to wish Shilly much success in 2020 and want to thank her for sharing her passion with us. Full article is https://enlightenyourlives.com/2019/11/10/meet-dancer-shilly-nakedmoon/.

Anna Puts Hungary on the Map

A Beautiful Dancer, Annamaria

Finally meet Annamaria from Hungary. She is such a talented dancer. She really knows how to draw in an audience and keep their attention. It’s obvious she knows how to dance and really commands the stage. It’s not an easy thing as a soloist to keep the audience engaged. But her athleticism and beautiful flowing movements are superb. Bravo to Anna and we wish her a successful future in all she does. Don’t miss this one or well, you’ll miss out. https://enlightenyourlives.com/2019/11/18/meet-dancer-annamaria-benko-fothy/

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Thank you again to all the beautiful people that contributed to this article. Keep it up in 2020 because the world needs more of your passion, joy and light. Here’s to an awesome and safe New Year!!

Singing About Trees

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In December 2019 the opportunity to perform at a local Christmas Tree Lighting resulted in this performance. Trees are so lovely and a Christmas Tree magnifies their beauty. Singing about trees can make you feel glorious!

This song was rehearsed for about three weeks. It was originally not going to be published because of the artists dislike for the performance but after a musician friend gave it the thumbs up, Valeria decided to release it.

Accompanied by the talented Alina Adams

Hopefully we can find the time to enjoy the beautiful lights this holiday season.

Valeria in Nor Cal Wishing everyone a Happy Holiday Season and a Merry Christmas!!

Fantasy Girl on Rebounder

Have you heard this song, Fantasy Girl by Johnny O and Mickey Garcia? It is such a serious jam!! In this video, Valeria Star rebounds to this song. Being on a rebounder is SOOOOOOOOOO beneficial for your health. Nasa declared it the best exercise on the planet.

Valeria is demonstrating how she uses the rebounder, although she recommends people use it to their own level and you might want to hold on to something. As you will see there is one part where she does fall off it. But she doesn’t get injured. It’s just easy to bounce off of it if your not careful.

If you can make it to the 6 minutes on the video, Valeria demonstrates a grand twisting plie in 6th position. She was pretty proud of herself on that move.

Warning this video will probably give you energy!!

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Thanks for watching and following my Blog. It’s with great hope that you will have a nice day and eat some fruits and vegetables for health and wellness.

Valeria is a Health and Wellness Coach in Nor Cal.

Meet Nor Cal Dancer, Valeria Star

An Interview with a Dancer

What kind of dance do you do?

I enjoy many types of dance. I enjoy ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, belly, salsa, hip hop and ballroom. Currently I am studying ballet although I am going through the rehabilitation process so all dancing must be done with good form so as to not become injured. And I must make sure to address any injuries right away so they will get better. So that means I am not able to dance as often as I like.

Where is home for you?

Stockton, CA, where else

How Long Have You Been Dancing

I believe that we started dancing in the womb since we were swimming in utero. But when I was 8, my mother gave me tights and leotard for my birthday and I was horrified. I didn’t want to go to ballet but ended up loving it after only 1 class. That was 44 years ago. But I had big gaps in my dance life because of work.

What is your favorite song right now?

I believe you can have infinite favorite songs. But I did a dance to one of my favorite songs called Patience by M. Mendi. It was produced by Outrecords.com. It’s a really chill song that is sure to have you feeling like your riding on clouds. I did the video to hopefully inspire Patience in the world. I think we all need to be really patient with everyone which includes ourselves. The more we can relax, we can begin to have more positive social interactions and actually help other people feel our calmness.

What Dancer Do you Admire?

That is another really hard question!! I love so many!! But if I can only pick one it would be Misty Copeland. I read both of her books and I know her story of courage and perserverance. She had a very difficult home life and despite all of that she was able to succeed. Also she’s just so strong and has the most amazing body. I can only dream to have her body one day. But I do have her book Ballet Body so hey anything is possible.

What Is Your One Wish that You Hope Comes True?

More than anything I want there to be world peace. What that means to me is that we don’t have anymore wars, everyone is fed, healthy and has food and jobs. The economies are all thriving and our Mother Earth is Healthy and clean. And there are a lot of trees. I love trees so much that I started a fundraiser for trees and it’s with a NonProfit called Plant One Tree. Super excited. To date, I’ve raised enough for over 90 trees. To Plant trees for $1/tree click here.

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What does wellness mean to you?

Wellness means that you are basically healthy and doing well. You have housing, food, clothing along with financial income or support and you are calm, physically strong, flexible and in a positive mindset. Also your finances are in order and you love and respect yourself. You also eat lots of fruits, vegetables and drink lots of water and take yoga. It’s really important to take care of yourself because who wants someone else to take care of them? They won’t do the same job you would. Nobody will ever take better care of you then yourself. Just drink a cup of tea and think about scheduling that appointment for a massage.

Final Words on Dance

Just do it and do it often. You may think you are no good and have no talent but if you allow your body just to start moving to the rhythm of the music, you will find a cool flow. You start to have fun and it’s so good for your body, brain and spirit. I feel it can get you out of a bad mood in no time. You can take classes if you like but nothing wrong with just shaking that bootie however you want. I hope you dance and often.

Valeria Star Didn’t Think She would Break Down…An emotional Rendition of Autumn Leaves/Les Feuilles Mortes

Valeria Star began preparation for this performance in August 2018. Alina, her Maestra presented it to her and she instantly liked it. At first she only worked on the English version but then later decided to add the French version to the beginning of the song.

The event was the 15th anniversary of Alina’s Music Studio and Alina had put so much time and thought into her event. It was a fundraiser and it was called Classics and Super Heros. Alina who is a violinist and actually a multi-media artist because she can, sing, dance, play violin, conduct and she did the media displays. You know the back drop behind all the singers. She did that too.

Valeria does not speak French so she relied on YouTube videos and then she found out that she did not have the correct pronunciation after all . So it turned out that her friend Farrah who coincidentally was a French Major at University of Hawaii was able to coach her and this was the end result. Alina also provided correct pronunciation but you know friends always come through for you in the end.

Thanks for watching and it would make me happy if you share this video and subscribe to my YouTube Channel. Thank You… Special thanks to Camille for the accompaniment.

People asked Valeria how she rehearsed the crying. “It was not rehearsed at all.” Valeria said, “I wasn’t nervous to perform until I went out on stage. As soon as walked out it was pitch black in the audience and then I started to feel nervous and I could feel my stomach start shaking. Camille, the Pianist was getting set up and I instantly engaged my entire core and I knew I had to make it through the song. My legs were literally trembling. Towards the end, I just lost it. I thought about my brother, Chris who passed away in 2006. When I sang, “Since you went away, the days grew long” I thought of Chris and by the time I got to “But I miss you most of all, that’s when I couldn’t hold it together anymore.”

As soon as she came off stage her fellow singers and musicians ran to meet her and hug her and give Valeria a lot of support. One violinist just said, “I was so nervous I couldn’t feel my hands. They were numb.” And they hugged her. It really made Valeria feel so much better. “These teenage musicians were so kind and supportive of me during a scary time. It’s not everyday you cry in front of people. And how people treat you after you cry is even more important.” These musicians had such compassion. It was really beautiful to see and it gives me much hope about humanity.”

When Valeria saw Alina she said, “I wasn’t able to finish the song.” Alina said without blinking an eye. The woman who literally does not miss a beat or a breath or a timing, said, “You felt the passion of the music and expressed it.” And then she ran off to take a picture with DeadPoole. Valeria knew it would be OK…

Valerie is a Health Coach that lives in Northern California. She’s sharing her passion for music in June 2019. She’s also a Health Coach and encourages everyone to follow their dreams.

Dancing to Eternal Music

About almost 300 years ago in 1721 Bach wrote the Concerto #3in G major. It’s such an amazing composure. I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!! This piece of music is about 6 minutes and it was written for the Catholic Church. I think it would be have been pretty amazing to hear this in Church.

So here I am dancing improvisational to Bach and I hope you enjoy it. The music is just AMAZING and it’s so good to listen to music. I hope you enjoy it and please feel free to share this beautiful music with the world.

Better yet what’s your favorite song or type of music? Feel free to share below. We may not know everything in life. But one thing I know for sure is Bach was a genius. XOXO VALERIE


Valerie is a Health and Wellness Coach.  She lives in Northern California with her daughter and Labrador Retriever.  As you heal yourself, you heal the planet.  Find your joy and live it.

Have you ever wondered how to Hang from a tree?https://enlightenyourlives.com/2019/01/11/when-was-the-last-time-you-hung-from-a-tree/  Find out how to do it here?  It’s so awesome!!