We are excited to kick off the New Year with CCM’s first Student(s) of the Month of 2019. Congratulations to Jack and Elle Davisson who have been CCM students now for eight years. Jack and Elle have extensively traveled the U.S. performing in concerts and competitions. They were recently featured on NPR’s hit show “From the Top” in December where they performed as the Davisson Duo. Take a listen here! Jack and Elle take guitar lessons with CCM co-director Chris Mallett at the The California Conservatory of Music’s Redwood City location.
Student(s) of the Month - Jack and Elle Davisson
Q: What is your name?
A: Jack davisson
Q: How old are you?
A: Jack: I turned fourteen this month
Elle: I recently turned 11
Q: How long have you been taking guitar lessons?
A: Jack: I have been taking lessons for 8.5 years
Elle: I have been taking lessons for 7 years
Q: Who is your teacher?
A: Chris Mallett
Q: What pieces are you currently working on?
A: Jack: A sonata by Ginastera, some Albeniz, some Villa Lobos
Elle: Songe Capricorne by Dyens, some Villa Lobos, some Scarlatti
Q: Can you tell us a memorable experience you have had playing together as the Davisson Duo?
A: The Davisson Duo was recently featured on NPR's from the top. We travelled all the way to Maine to record that show. That whole experience was very new, very different and very memorable.
Q: What are some of the festivals/competitions you have participated in?
Guitar foundation of america youth competition (solo and ensemble)
Junior Bach festival
Columbus state university guitar symposium & competition
Indiana international guitar festival & competition
Boston guitar fest
United States international music competition
Sierra Nevada classical guitar festival & competition
SF Bay Area classical guitar festival & competition
Q: What is your favorite piece that you have played so far?
A: Jack: Tarantelle by Johann Kasper Mertz
Elle: Evocacion by Jose Luis Merlin
Q: What are some of your hobbies outside of music?
A: Jack: Soccer, tennis, ping pong, anything that involves kicking or hitting a ball, reading, building with my hands like ceramics and woodworking
Elle: Reading, reading, and reading, soccer and tae kwon do, jewelry-making, painting and playing with computer or high-tech gizmos
Q: You both have done extensive outreach in the community. How do you feel it has impacted you as a musician and a person?
A: Community outreach helps you to remember that there is more to music than just practicing and competing. Playing at a retirement community for example makes you realize that it's possible to give real joy through music. It makes all the practicing and hard work feel more important.
Q: What is your favorite food?
A: Jack: Mexican, asian, italian. I like it all.
Elle: Ice cream
Q: Do you have a pet?
A: We have a very sensitive, very delicate little german shepherd. She weighs 70 pounds, barks viciously and has a habit of charging other dogs. But she's really just a softie and super sweet under all that.
Parent Spotlight: Monica Davisson
Q: Regarding guitar, what are you most proud of your jack and elle accomplishing?
A: I am most proud of the fact that jack and elle have practiced every day since july 7, 2012. We celebrate every july 7th in grand style. July 7th is also my wedding anniversary. Sadly, the wedding anniversary is often overshadowed by the guitar anniversary.
Q: What advice would you give to a new parent starting at CCM?
A: Think of musical education with your children as a long, long-distance journey. Take it slowly, expect the terrain to change often, enjoy the scenic moments, brave the less scenic ones and learn to move around the road-blocks. Don't be discouraged if it seems all uphill. Learning a musical instrument is hard work and children are not hardwired to work hard. But the rewards are indeed immeasurable and the occasions when they get to celebrate their musical efforts are truly sublime.