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.

Dancer=Supreme Athletes

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Why are dancers supreme athletes?

Dancers require a great deal of physical strength in order to perform at a high level. It requires a great deal of flexibility and endurance to be able to perform. The amount of practice that is required is crazy. Professional dancers dance all day and then perform at night. Can you be on a treadmill all day and then perform at night too? It’s crazy to think about it.

Do Dancers get Respect?

That really depends on who you ask. One dancer interviewed indicated that she gets messages from men requesting photos of herself and attention that is unwanted. “People often mistake your dancing as being erotic when really all it is you are doing is moving your body to the music. It is the physical expression of music vibration. But because the movement of the body may be considered arousing by some, somehow the artists must be wanting attention.”

I Didn’t Mean To Turn You On

Dancers are just moving their body and enjoying the music and having a good time. Just because one gets turned on doesn’t mean that somehow there is any type of connection between the dancer and the audience. Yes the audience is part of the performance but that doesn’t mean you can say disrespectful things to a dancer or even think that the intent is to get attention. It’s the untrained eye that doesn’t realize the strength, flexibility, grace, musicality and timing that is involved in dancing. But now that you know this, you’re forgiven for your past transgressions because you didn’t realize.

Let’s all just be patient and dance.

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!!

Four Years Progress in Voice

In 2015 Valeria sings I’m Not That Girl from Wicked

Valeria did not intend to sing at all. She had signed up her daughter for voice lessons with Alina’s Music Studio but in 2014, her daughter had a change of heart and did not want to continue with her lessons. Since Valeria had already paid, she decided to take the classes in her daughter’s place. After a month she decided to stick with it even though it was difficult and painful at times to hear the sounds that would come out of her mouth. There are many things going on when someone sings and often times it’s nerves and also just allowing the body to get used to breathing and letting the sound to flow out of your body. It’s a strange process which is recommended for everyone.

In 2017 Valeria sings Time and Tide by Basia

Don’t ask why but for some reason after singing I’m Not That Girl, Valeria decided to take a break only to resume again in 2017. It was very much like starting over again. It’s not recommended to take a break from singing EVER!! Valeria sang this song at her 50th Birthday Party. She prepared six months for performance and even worked with a dance teacher on choreography.

This was one fun night!! There’s dancing in this one too.

Merry Christmas Darling in 2017

This is such a great song!!!!!!!!!!!!! Carpenter’s are amazing and this was a great song to learn and sing. Once you learn how to sing a song, it pretty much gets tattooed on your brain. That’s not scientific but you can pretty much sing it by memory. Although sometimes the words can get jumbled up and if you ever forget it, it won’t be for long because your new mission will be to learn what you forgot.

I hope Karen Carpenter listens to this from Heaven and knows how much she’s loved.

Shatter Me in 2018

Valeria was asked how she picked this song and said, “I went on a road trip and listened to this song over and over and I knew I had to learn it. I was lucky to have a violinist accompany me although she did not want to be on camera. This was a challenging song and singing with the violinist live was very difficult. Imagine singing with someone banging a sledge hammer. That’s what it felt like at first but then you learn how to tune it out. I still love this song although it was a challenging piece in my opinion.”

Silent Night 2018

It’s Christmas time so who doesn’t love a traditional Christmas song?

I wish everyone a Silent Night EVERYNIGHT!!!

Singing in French Can Be Different

In 2018 Valeria sang Les Feuilles Mortes/ Autumn Leaves. It’s a very beautiful song!! It’s about a love you once had that has gone away. Valeria thought about her brother who passed away and broke down towards the end of the song. But according to her music teacher, Alina, it’s called passion. Valeria says, “This was a beautiful song to learn and I’m glad i sang it. I also had an amazing pianist to accompany me. Thank you Camille!! XOXO.”

This is a beautiful song.

Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again

The only reason this is being published is to remind everyone to stay humble and also realize that the things you sing can have a profound effect on your mood. This song was starting to make Valeria way too sad. Also if you consider that her father had a stroke and is not doing so well. Valeria stated, “It makes me very sad to sing this song. It was also very high and my voice wasn’t feeling it. We also only worked on this song for about a month and then recorded it which is not nearly enough time to really master. But tis is what tis is. PS MY TEACHER WANTED TO RE-RECORD BUT I WAS DONE WITH THIS SONG.”

Ouch this can be painful to hear. It’s too high!!

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious gave me back my joy

After Phantom Of the Opera, she really needed something happy. This song is very fast, tongue twisting and very lively. Valeria indicated “It’s not a perfect performance. We worked on this for about a month. It was fun to sing and I forever know how to spell Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.” Want to know why? Watch video.

Will You Consider Sharing Your Gifts?

Why is Valeria even doing these videos? She decided that she wanted to have this recorded for her future. One day when she is old she can look back and reminisce about these days. Also her father was a musician and unfortunately, there is no video of his amazing performances. Valeria doesn’t want that to happen to her. Also she encourages everyone to share their gifts. Not perfect? Who is?

Valeria is a Health and Wellness Coach living in Nor Cal. She encourages everyone to follow their dreams. Life goes fast. May as well live boldly.

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!!