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"Sarah's Story"

I first met Sarah when she was 14. From the first I loved her sweet spirit and dedication to the violin. She played the instrument like it was her baby.

But despite her obvious passion, Sarah’s technique was riddled with problems. Her bow position and left hand were awkward and caused her pain. 

The tragedy was Sarah was no beginner - she had been playing for 8 years and was far behind where should could have been. 

It wasn’t her fault. Sarah came from a small town in Tennessee and was inspired to play by hearing a local fiddler. He taught her what he could, but after a while, she had to look elsewhere and ended up studying with someone who wasn’t even a violinist. Lack of opportunities and bad information had literally locked up her fingers and arms, keeping her from unleashing her love for the instrument.

Sarah and her young students.

Sarah and her young students.

In a divine moment her mother saw a flyer for our Summer Music Festival and sent Sarah to our musical program. She kept coming, and almost a decade later, Sarah is not only an outstanding player, but a thriving composer and arranger. Today Sarah teaches a studio full of promising students back in the small town she calls home. 

Her students won’t have to grapple with bad information and a lack of teachers. Instead they’ll have Sarah - a musical missionary, transforming the world she was born into with excellence and a heart for God. Her story is just one of the many lives the Annie Moses Foundation is changing for the better. 

"A Mother's Story"

Many years ago my mother sat back in her music survey class as a troupe of Suzuki violinists marched into the classroom.

She had never seen anything like it. In particular one very cute and petite Asian girl caught her attention. As she watched, a voice came to her: “When you have a little girl, they should do that.” My mother never forgot the words God had spoken to her, and when I turned five, my mother began my studies in the violin. 

From one generation to the next.

From one generation to the next.

To understand the power of that moment, you have to know my mother’s background. She was raised in the sticks, in one of the most backwater corners of Oklahoma. Some of her neighbors didn’t get electricity till the 70s! But as her life unfolded with one divine appointment after another, my mountain-raised mother found herself studying in Oklahoma City with some of the nation’s best voice teachers. Years later, she shepherded me and my siblings to the Juilliard School where we studied string instruments.  

My mother lived a journey few get to travel. Most parents long to give their children a first-class musical education. They hear their child play a fragment of a melody or share a few moments of lovely singing and recognize a gift. But like a stranded traveler, they have no way of getting from where they are to where they need to be. 

That’s why we’ve created the Annie Moses Method, an online music curriculum that brings the pedagogy of Juilliard to the parents of Main Street America. In a series of high quality and easy-to-understand videos, I map out the core techniques and practice habits that are all too often locked behind the doors of academia. 

As I look into the camera I imagine myself speaking to a parent like my mother many years ago: someone with a passion for music who needs a way from here to there. Making that way straight is the mission of Annie Moses Foundation.