Learn how to make music during the pandemic with local musician Kathy Morrow | VailDaily.com
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Learn how to make music during the pandemic with local musician Kathy Morrow

Member of the Fabulous Femmes plays piano, ukelele and is learning violin

If you’ve already watched all the new shows on Netflix and finished those unread books, why not pick up an instrument and learn to play some tunes during the pandemic?

Vail Valley musician, Kathy Morrow, has been in the area since 1985 and wants to share her love of melodies and harmonies with others. She’s offering COVID-19-friendly music lessons, and can teach piano, voice and ukelele.

The Lincoln, Nebraska native was the seventh of eight children in a musical family. Her mom played piano and her dad played the ukulele. Morrow took music lessons all throughout grade school and high school and got a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theatrical Arts from the University of Nebraska.

“One of my teachers was Chuck Pennington of Mannheim Steamroller. He helped me train my ear for old jazz tunes like ‘The Girl From Ipanema’ and ‘When Sunny Gets Blue’ and I was hooked,” Morrow said.

Morrow also said it was good to be a piano player in the ’70s because there were so many great bands that were featuring the piano and doing piano solos. “You became very popular at parties if you could play an Elton John song,” Morrow said.

Playing tunes for friends is one thing that keeps people motivated.

“I have a lot of young girls in my classes learning to play guitar and they love learning ‘Riptide’ by Vance Joy” because they can play it for their friends,” Morrow said.

Morrow primarily teaches piano, ukulele, guitar and voice lessons, but she is also a new student herself. She recently took up the violin and says it puts her back into the shoes of a beginner again.

“It’s nice to have that touchstone to realize what someone is going through when they are trying to learn a new instrument. I’m trying to play ‘Silent Night” on the violin and I’ve finally gotten to the point where my dogs don’t hide under the couch while listening to me,” Morrow said.

Morrow finds that adults sometimes have more of a guard up and are afraid to try something new like learning how to play an instrument.

“We already have barriers up and have that little critic on our shoulder telling us we can’t do it, but I make sure we set attainable goals and I provide plenty of encouragement,” Morrow said.

Morrow’s familiar face and voice have been a staple at Splendido where she’s tickled the ivories the past several years but she also teams up with other musicians throughout the valley. Look for her in Three for One with Brent Gordon and Brian Loftus and she is part of the high energy trio, the Fabulous Femmes along with Beth Swearingen and Charis Patterson.

“That’s why I took up the violin, or I should say fiddle, so the Femme’s can add a few country songs to our repertoire,” Morrow said.  

Whether you want to learn to read notes, play instruments by ear or sing your heart out, take advantage of some of this downtime during COVID-19 to bring out your inner musician.

Morrow has made accommodations for COVID-19 restrictions and can either do in-person classes with masks on or teach classes via Zoom. “I clean the piano keys and instruments and have a 7-foot piano, so I can be at the other end as they practice,” Morrow said. Learn more about lessons by going to katsmusiclessons.com.


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