Teen Chosen as Get Happy Vocalist

Introducing Jamey Geston on Vocals and Uke

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When the lights came up on Jamey Geston and she started singing, I was captivated. I saw Jamey perform at a benefit concert for Girls Rock Santa Barbara and was drawn to her voice, her style, and the emotion that she put into her work.

At the same time, I was finishing up my work on Get Happy, my next YA about a sixteen-year-old songwriter and ukulele player named Minerva. The book includes six of my original songs.

I invited Jamey to be my featured vocalist and to interpret Minerva’s songs. Over the next few months, look for Jamey’s covers of the songs from the book here on this website. She’ll be making them her own–and I know you’re going to love them and be inspired to grab your instrument and sing your heart out.

About Jamey Geston

Jamey Geston with her Luna Uke Jamey is a singer-songwriter who plays guitar, uke, bass, and piano. She is currently 15 years old, and music is what she breathes. Check out Jamey’s own music–it’s “an organic mix of indie, blended in a folksy beat, and flavored with pinch of acoustic pop.”  www.JameyGestonMusic.com

And Announcing Auditions for Guitar Notes Vocalists

Teens in LA, Santa Barbara, and Nashville have the chance to audition to become featured vocalists for my book Guitar Notes. Info about the auditions and my partnership with Notes for Notes Recording Studios is here.

 

 

Playlist für Zwei

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The German edition of Guitar Notes is now available (DTV; translated by Bettina Münch)!

For my German fans and friends, here is the summary:

Treffen sich zwei, die unterschiedlicher nicht sein könnten – Tripp, ein Außenseiter, dem seine Gitarre alles bedeutet, und Lyla, eine Miss Perfect und die beste klassische Cellospielerin der Schule. Diese beiden müssen sich nun einen Proberaum teilen. Über eine Post-it-Notiz von Lyla an Tripp, den Raum gefälligst aufzuräumen, kommen die zwei ins Gespräch. Zunächst in Form von Zetteln, dann auch per E-Mail und Handy. Lyla ist erstaunt, wie gut sie sich mit Tripp versteht – sie entdeckt ihr kreatives Potential, beginnt Gitarre zu spielen und Songs zu schreiben. Doch davon ist ihr Umfeld alles andere als begeistert…

Hören Sie alle Songs aus dem Buch.

Notes for Notes

Notes for Notes is a very cool non-profit organization that operates recording studios in Boys and Girls Clubs across the nation. I got the chance to meet program directors Kris Ehrman and Bre Wright, as well as Mark Williams and see the MusicBox recording studios in Santa Barbara, CA. Kids and teens can come after school and record music in these professional studios. I’ll be announcing a joint project soon!
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Scholastic Songwriting Contest Winners

Guitar Notes
Congratulations to all the students who entered the Scholastic Reading Club’s Guitar Notes Lyrics Writing Contest. Pushing yourself to write lyrics and then having the courage to enter a contest is a worthy and difficult thing to do. Bravo!

The judges chose two winners: Kaya from PA and Liz from WY, and each will get a Luna guitar! Both students must have worked hard to write and revise their songs. The opening lines are terrific…

Your words like arrows, tear through my skin

sinking in, wearing me thin.

by Kaya T. (PA)

Two lanes in and only one road out

Me leaving here has never been in doubt.

by Liz S. (WY)

See Luna Guitars and Scholastic Reading Club for more contests.
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Do you want to Get Happy?

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Fans addicted to Mary Amato’s Guitar Notes will be thrilled to find Get Happy (due out October 2014, Egmont USA). Advanced Reader Copies are just now out for reviewers.

Summary:

Hilariously eccentric Minerva Watson wants a ukulele for her 16th birthday. What the aspiring songwriter gets instead is a totally shocking invitation from her long-lost father to reconnect. The secrets she discovers about family, friends, music, and herself will keep you turning the pages and hoping she will find a way to get beyond the pain and…maybe…actually…finally… get happy.

Special Music:

The book will feature six songs, and, as with Guitar Notes, readers will be able to hear the songs. Teen vocalist Jamey Geston will be featured in videos of the songs.

For now, you can hear Mary Amato’s demos (drafts) of two songs:”Salt” and “Finally.”

In Salt, Minerva lets out her negative feelings about the father (a marine biologist) who left her when she was a baby.

After saving her hard-earned money, Minerva finally buys her coveted ukulele and is so happy she sings on the street with her friends.

Giveaway

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Luna has created a custom uke designed for the book, which features a seahorse design–one of the book’s defining metaphors–and will partner to offer a free uke giveaway. More to come on this, too. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Author Presentations
Mary Amato is a popular speaker as well as a performing songwriter whose “poetry of lyrics” and “writing a novel with music” presentations and workshops are hits with teachers and inspiring for reluctant writers as well as singer-songwriter wannabes. She also has a “mini songwriting workshop” presentation especially for bookstore book signings. Take a look at this one-minute video to see her in action.

“Two of Us” Double Guitar Giveaway

Double Guitar Giveaway

Exciting news…In celebration of Guitar Notes, Luna Guitars is offering a chance to win a free Luna travel guitar for you AND one for you to give to a friend!

Entries will be accepted January 15 through March 15. And on March 17, I’ll announce the lucky winner in a video posted right here.

Teachers, librarians, booksellers, and music lovers, share this poster and encourage fans of Guitar Notes to enter!

Enter now on the Luna website!