For anyone visiting today wondering why I do what I do, I know just the guy who can begin to answer your questions about that...
Blossoming of a Dream
“Like many things in life, success at songwriting is a process of becoming ever more in rhythm with yourself.” - Michael Lyon
PLANTING THE SEED
Like marveling at the outgrowths of seeds falling from a flower, Michael Lyon, as an educator, devoted a career to the human equivalent: implanting a thirst for knowledge in his students so they may blossom.
As the best teachers are passionate students of their subjects, Michael's life has become the story of the teacher grounding himself as a student of his greatest love - music.
After embracing his work as a teacher, Michel has begun emerging onto the world stage as a compelling singer-songwriter. His talents are flowering because of a musical seed planted in him long ago.
FINDING THE SUN
Michael's music is a mesmerizing amalgam of musings immersed in meaning. Michael's unique style of California pop, with its uncomplicated organic feel, stems from a combination of his instrumental talents, upbeat vocals, and the messages that sprout from his seasoned lyrical craft.
His creative goal is to spread musical sunshine as bright as on the California coast where he resides. For Michael, the sunlight makes even songs grow, and it seems the shining source of his style and songs.
Michael Lyon's love of music dates from early childhood in Arlington, Virginia, as his parent's routine of awakening him for school included not an alarm clock, but rather songs from the Great American Songbook, booming from the household stereo at the crack of dawn.
Michael became captivated by scores of memorable melodies from Broadway show tunes, like “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning,” from Rodgers & Hammerstein's, Oklahoma, "On the Street Where You Live," from Lerner and Loewe's, My Fair Lady, and Irving Berlin's "There's No Business Like Show Business" (belted out by Ethel Merman & Company on the original cast recording of Annie Get Your Gun, the first musical show Michael ever saw performed live). Playing sports like baseball and tennis may have won out as competing interests at the time. But as the years passed, the musical seed planted with the help of his parents began to take root.
INFLUENCES AND EDUCATION
During college years at Stanford University, Michael was influenced by the music of an array of pop artists, from Cat Stevens and Simon & Garfunkel to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and The Beatles. Inspired by their melodies and harmonies, he picked up the guitar, strumming along to their songs and sparking his imagination. Legends like these gradually helped him to realize his innate gift of singing, playing instruments and songwriting.
Michael explains, "When you find the right educational environment for yourself, it's often amazing what you can accomplish." Michael did just this in returning to school in his late twenties.
He pursued full-time musical studies at Cabrillo College in Aptos (near Santa Cruz) and at San Francisco City College and took up the violin, allowing him to take part in great symphonic works in community orchestras.
By returning to school, Michael expanded his knowledge of music theory and choral singing, developed the craft of songwriting and created a solid foundation in guitar, piano, violin and voice.
When listening to Michael’s songs such as, "Clear Blue Sky," "Try," and "Grows a Tree," it's clear that his aim is communicating something uplifting and straight from the heart. As Michael puts it, "We are alive for only a short while. If you are going to spend time with my music, I would rather take in the big picture together and lift you up than in any way lower your sights."
It was pictures of special people in his life that would inspire his first full-length 2015 album, PICTURES. Michael composed each of the songs for PICTURES and performed all the instruments on each track.
In 2016 Michael began work on a follow-up album, titled WAKING UP, released in December of 2017. As the final song on the PICTURES album, "This Far," concluded with the words, "We have come this far on board a star - to be born once more today," Michael set out in the WAKING UP album to consider the question, "What are we waking up from, and what are we waking up to?"
WAKING UP's songs explore many different meanings of "waking up" throughout the album -- waking up to love, to nature's beauty, to & from dreams, to a better path forward for our country, etc.
CURIOSITY & BEYOND
The follow-up album to WAKING UP, titled CURIOSITY, came out in 2020 featuring songs like "Love at First Sight," "Sweet Dreams," "Joy," and "Excited" - songs which reflect the many facets of that shimmering diamond of childlike wonder.
Through recent singles like "Try It On," "Bounce Back," "Want to Be a Flower," "Justice Day"... the spirit of boundless curiosity has continued unfolding non-stop in 2021 and 2022 - laying the groundwork for the release of Michael's long-awaited fourth album in the early part of 2023.
As Michael's development as a songwriter leads to increased exposure and sets the stage for more live performing, his songs are the inspiring creations of a teacher who has made himself the student.
Michael has long helped others discover their potential, and now his songs celebrate the joy of music-making in a unique way. So, if you think there’s nothing new under the California sun, think again!
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