Musical Sounds

“MUSICAL SOUNDS” is an original watercolor painting by Julie Ann Mills-Testi, resident of the Beaver State, Oregon. Julie was born with a musculoskeletal disorder characterized by multiple locked joints. Julie paints with a brush held in her mouth. Julie’s artistic skill came naturally as well as her love for experimenting with color and techniques. This greeting card was reproduced from an original watercolor painting by Julie Ann Mills-Testi for THASC Sales Co. who has employed a unique group of handicapped artists who create art to rehabilitate themselves. They gain self-respect and pride through their artwork.


20150331_095948-1At some point in many children’s lives, they are introduced to a musical instrument. For my sister and me it was the piano. For my brother, it was the trumpet. I remember that we had a very eccentric older lady come to give us piano lessons. Her name was Miss Sisson. She always wore some type of hat and always had a pencil with her, which she sometimes put in her ears. She was not very well kept but this didn’t hinder my love for music. As little girls my sister and I loved musicals and we tap danced our way through many recitals for which our mother made all of our costumes.

We were so excited to be a part of old Highland Park elementary school’s tap dancing review! I’m the one at the very end of the front row with my little polka-dotted Thumbelina costume on. I loved the sound of Staccato taps. I still even have one of my tap shoes. I think my favorite instrument has always been the drums. I love the beat of the drums and the taps reminded me of the beat of a song.

My staccato tap shoe

As I grew older into my teens and beyond the years of Elvis, Chuck Berry and the Beatles, I fell in love with rock n’ roll and the twang of the electric guitar.

Chuck Berry
Chuck Berry


I yearned to be able to play one, as my closest friends at the time were both guitarists. I never managed to play well as my long nails would always interfere with my chords and my strumming, but I had the smallest and cutest guitar around.

My first guitar
My first guitar

For many years at the high school where I taught, the entire school got ready for the greatest and most popular event of the year. It was called Rocco’s Rock ‘N Roll Revue, the brainchild of a history teacher who was himself a legend in the area of the beginnings of rock ‘n roll and together with hand-selected musicians from the student body and a few faculty (I was one of the chosen few) Rocco and the Celestials (his backup group) made history for 25 years at Newton North High School, giving all the proceeds to a scholarship.

By this time, I had preferred to sing vocals in a band and found a chance to get on stage and have some fun with my music. My little guitar and me really had a ball either singing alone or with my back up guitarists.

Rocco’s guitarists and me
Rocco’s guitarists and me
Me in Rocco’s Rock ‘n Roll revue
Me in Rocco’s Rock ‘n Roll revue

I don’t think I’ll ever stop loving all kinds of music. I was lucky to be introduced to the opera “Aida” in the Baths of Caracalla in Rome on my first trip to Italy. I was sure I wouldn’t like opera but I fell in love with that, too, at an early age. I would go with my mother and grandmother to Lincoln Center and my grandmother would sing EVERY WORD of the opera along with the opera stars!!! How could I not have inherited that gene!!!

Music is the first thing I hear in the morning and the last thing that lulls me to sleep at night. Thank you to THASC’S artist Julie Ann Mills-Testi for keeping the music alive in all of us.

Have a wonderful, musical weekend.
See you next Tuesday.

THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.

2 thoughts on “Musical Sounds

  1. dana burdick April 23, 2015 / 9:54 am


    I did not know that you and sara played the piano, how cool Is that,and tap dancing, fun.
    I can always rember my first piano,when l was a child, lt was a very special christmas
    Gift, something l always wanted. Music and dancing, l love so much. I am a great dancer,
    As you all ready know that. First thing ln the
    Morning, l wake to music and l always go to bed singing or listening to a song. It must have been so great to have your own band,
    Lot’s of fun! I never had tap dancing lessons
    Or any form of dance training. Its just ln my
    Blood to dance,now my niece,has got the dance fever to,lts ln her blood also. Well,
    Sing and dance to your hearts content! Tap
    Your feet to the beat, and dream your a,star!


    • Maria April 23, 2015 / 1:09 pm

      So are you, Dana! A superstar!!


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