“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, has 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 is becoming the story of the teacher grounding himself as a student of his greatest love - music.
Michael Lyon embraces his work as a classroom teacher. However, he is also 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 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 parents awakened him for school every morning with songs from The Great American Songbook. Michael was captivated by the vast assortment of hummable melodies of Broadway show tunes. Michael vividly recalls the impact of rousing numbers such as; “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning,” from Rodgers & Hammerstein's, Oklahoma. Michael gives more detail, "I also remember hearing the showstoppers like Irving Berlin's "There's No Business Like Show Business," and "On the Street Where You Live," from Lerner and Loewe's, My Fair Lady, and so much more." Participation in sports like baseball and tennis may have won out as competing interests at the time. But as the years went by, the musical seed planted with the help of his parents began to take root.
INFLUENCES AND EDUCATION
During his 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 made him 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 and San Francisco City College and took up the violin, enabling him to play in community orchestras. By returning to school, Michael expanded his knowledge of everything from music theory and choral singing to the craft of songwriting as he laid 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 to 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 CD, 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 his new 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 new album -- waking up to love, to nature's beauty, to & from dreams, to a better path forward for our country, among others.
Michael's follow-up album to WAKING UP, titled CURIOSITY, has just been completed. It will be released in early 2020 (though for visitors to this website, it's being made available now through the site's homepage and store link).
As Michael Lyon's development as a songwriter leads to increased radio airplay and sets the stage for more live performing, his songs are the inspiring creations of a teacher who has made himself the student. He branched out to help 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!