April 2021

Guitar Tip of the month

Spring Studio Recital

End of an Era: Mirabilis Studio is Moving

Mirabilis Student Solo/Duo Recital

Mirabilis Nuñez Guitar: The Exciting Conclusion!

Mirabilis Studio Calendar

Is it April already? Wait it’s almost May! Okay so we’re going to have a couple of newsletters in quick succession.

But there’s too much here to wait until next month so here we go…

Guitar Tip of the Month: Play with your fingers!
“Right!” you reply. “I always play with my fingers.”  But what else are you trying to play your guitar with?
There are many ways in which we can waste energy and create strains on our bodies while trying play guitar.  Following some basic rules of ergonomics we will be able to play more easily and avoid pain and long-term problems.
For starters, be sure that you are sitting in a position that supports the guitar you are holding. Any extra energy you are using to hold yourself in place is wasted energy and over time can create physical problems. We’re looking for a simple balance in our posture. Balance is easiest to achieve using the basics your mom has been telling you for years: 1) Sit up straight, 2) Relax your shoulders, 3) Feet flat on the ground in front of you (okay, maybe mom never mentioned that last one).  But let’s call it the “S-R-Fff ” rule. Srfers are very good at keeping their balance .
After that, all we need are our fingers!  The only part of you that comes into contact with the guitar strings are your fingers and you only need eight of those to do the job.  Don’t clamp with your left hand; don’t claw with your right hand.
LEFT HAND: Use a minimum amount of pressure with a Flat Left Thumb on the back of the neck and press on the fretboard with your fingertips.
RIGHT HAND: Keep your right hand motions simple.  Right thumb should be straight and moving from the hand joint.  Right fingers moving from the big knuckles.
Relax and enjoy!
STUDIO RECITAL on Sunday, May 16th
We will have our first live, all-studio recital in a LONG time on Sunday, May 16th at 3:00PM.  Weather permitting, it will be an outdoor event held on the back patio of our current studio.  Bring a lawn chair or a blanket and come enjoy our performance.
Students may choose any song that they are comfortable playing.  We will discuss it at your next lesson if we haven’t already.
More details in the May Newsletter.
END OF an ERA: A New Home for Mirabilis Studio

This summer of 2021 would mark twelve years since we moved from our home across the street to our humble servants quarters at 840 Earl Garrett.  It has been a great space for lessons and our studio home for over a decade.  So much history to the building and the property, it has been a real joy to work in that place for so long. Mark and Linda Stone lovingly transformed the buildings to their former glory in a beautiful renovation.  The main building now includes a spacious kitchen and dining area.

But as most of you know by now, the building and property have been sold and the whole property will now be a vacation/event rental called Kerrville B&B. Unfortunately for us, we will have to say goodbye to our current studio space beginning June 1.

The good news is that Schreiner University has kindly offered to have us to relocate onto their campus.  Schreiner has been a generous partner for Mirabilis Studio for many years with our master classes and guitar ensemble meeting in the Summerlin Music Building and our recitals being held in the beautiful concert spaces in the campus ministry building. In my conversations with President Charlie McCormick and outgoing Vice-President Bill Muse they have expressed their own excitement for welcoming us onto the Schreiner campus and partnering with us as a part of their community outreach.  As a Schreiner adjunct faculty member I am pleased that we will now have everything in one place, making it easy to take advantage of all that the university has to offer.

We will be located in the Rock House (#13 on the campus map) which is an older part of the newly constructed Trailhead area at the back of the campus. Our lesson space will be in a historic building right at the Kerrville River Trail Schreiner Trailhead.  In addition to the lesson studio space there is a brand new outdoor concert space for recitals and the Trailhead Beer Garden (for thirsty parents and students of age).  Also, the walking trail circles around the entire the Schreiner campus—so parents looking for a little exercise can enjoy a stroll.  There’s even a disc golf course across the way!

We will begin our lessons there with the start of the Summer Session on Monday, June 14th.  I will send more details in the May newsletter.

Looking forward to heading to our new digs!

Campus Map

River Trail Map

Potucek-Cornett Recital

Savannah Potucek and Mary Cornett gave wonderful performances at their duo recital at Rails last month!  We had a great audience for our first live recital in a long time.  Congratulations to Savannah and Mary!

MIRABILIS Nuñez Guitar: The Exciting Conclusion
Here are the finishing touches of the Mirabilis Guitar’s construction!
Once the four main parts are completed it’s time to put them together.
First, the sides and top are glued together.
Neck attached
The neck is then attached to the top and sides.  You can see through the sound hold that the back is not yet attached.
You can also see the the fingerboard has one extra fret, what will be a high “C” note in standard tuning.

Back Attached

The last large piece to be attached is the back.
Mr. Nuñez then trims off all of the excess wood.  Eventually he will place a nice binding around the rim of both the top and the back.

The Frets

With the four main parts of the guitar united, the details can now be completed. First up are the frets.
The neck is one of the four main parts, but the fretboard has to be added to it for it to work properly.  But of course the fretboard needs frets! The luthier cuts a very straight groove for every fret.  Then each groove has a metal fret tapped into it.

Sound Port

We’re getting close!  Just a few extra touches left.  Recently luthiers have begun adding a “sound port”—a small hole— into the side of the guitar near the neck.  This hole allows the player to better hear the sounds that are exiting the sound hole.  This way a more balance sound reaches the players ears.

The Bridge

The last piece glued on is the bridge.  It is glued to the top so that it can hold the strings and transfer the sound of the strings to the body so that it can be amplified by the inside chamber and project out of the sound hole.  Mr. Nuñez added a nice decoration on the tie block that looks like a musical staff.

Also you can see at the headstock that he has also installed the Sloan tuning machines.  These have a very smooth turn to them which allows for precise and steady tuning.

The Final Dressing

All that is left is to apply about ten twenty coats of lacquer!  The lacquer not only gives it a beautiful shine.  It also protects the guitar from moisture, oil, and wear.  Since the inside of the guitar is just raw wood, the lacquer helps keep the wood flexible so that it will last for many, many years.

The Finished Product!

And there it is!  Lots of precious wood and many painstaking hours of work by master builder Lucio Nuñez and the Mirabilis Guitar is finished. 

 It sounds and plays wonderful and I can’t wait to share it with you all.  Thank you again for this priceless gift and thank you to Mr. Nuñez for his wonderful craftsmanship!

The Mirabilis Guitar Signature


Apr. 6 – 9 Regular Lessons
Apr. 12 – 16 Regular Lessons
Apr. 19 – 23 Regular Lessons
Apr. 26 – 30 Regular Lessons

May 3 – 7 Regular Lessons
May 10 – 14 Recital Prep WEEK
May 17 – 21 Regular Lessons