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From The Desk of Tommy James Mannausa

Auburn University Department of Music


I was honored to be invited as a Guest Lecturer
to the Auburn University Department of Music

I was invited by Mrs. Vinson. She instructs three
Monday, Wednesday and Friday Music Appreciation
Classes at the College of Liberal Arts, Department
of Music at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama.
I spoke on Friday, October 1, 2010 during the 8, 9
and10 o'clock AM classes. I flew to Birmingham,
Alabama Airport early, leaving Sarasota, Florida at
6:40 AM on September 30, 2010. Funny thing was,
I ran into my music partner Rick Derringer at the
news stand, as he was headed to a show that night
in Panama City Beach. We had a quick chat, and
headed to the plane.

I had my sweetie, Valerie, meet me at Birmingham
Airport that morning, hopped into a rental car, and
drove 2+ hours to Auburn down a beautiful highway
drive, clean an safe. What a great day.

We checked into the hotel, and headed off to
Auburns' campus. Pretty as a postcard, the beauty
of Auburn is no less than perfect. Red brick buildings
lined in limestone, with golf course-like lawns and well
maintained trees and shrubs. A great college vibe!

I entered into the facility to hit the keys on the
stage piano provided for the 3 classes of guest
lecturing that I'd do in the morning. I played three
songs on that piano, then walked down the hallway,
to the enclosed lecture room's upright 'banger' to run
up and down the old school piano for a 1/2 hour. Felt
good hitting those keys, thinking of what I'd play for
each class. I remember my school days and wanted
to make a good impression on the music students.

I woke up at 6:00AM, prepped, and met Mrs.
Vinson out front of our hotel. I drove back to the
Auburn University Music Building. First ones in the
lecture hall, she turned on the lights. I put my lecture
notes out on a table. The seating was set up for 120
students. The hall was vacant, quiet while I collected
my thoughts and inspiration to really challenge and
motivate each student.

The room noisily filled and then I spoke: of life,
music stories, played keys, and taught on overhead
projector how to write a song, in 5's and 6's.

I asked the audience to try to play 4/4 beat with left
leg working 1/2 notes, right leg working whole notes,
left hand on top of knee working 1/4 notes and right
hand on right knee hitting 1/8th notes. It was a grand
slam event of each class. Everyone had fun. Most

After the weekend passed, on Monday morning,
Mrs. Vinson had four questions passed out to all three
classes. She mailed me all feedback responses, plus
a number of hand written letters on Auburn University
stationary sent to me from students, of the desire for
me to come back, before their semester ends of
Music Appreciation Class. Further, they suggested
to Mrs. Vinson that I return to motivate subsequent
classes about 1.) how to write music, 2.) the desire
at any age to play an instrument, and 3.) to be good
to each other and just 'write it down' - through the path
of life. It felt great to read 100+ responses from the
young music lovers and musicians of Auburn
University. I'll do it again. And again.

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My email address tmctjm@aol.com and thru Cindy at 941.365-1511, ext 103

Thank you for communicating: Tommy James Mannausa
Have a beautiful day!
CELL: 941.704.5873

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