NEWS & ADVENTURES of a thoughtful heart songstress mama | June/July 2016
~ The Amanda West Music Newsletter ~
Hi Friends!,
A sweet and happy summertime to you. It’s been a while since I’ve written so I want to catch you up on some things that have been happening, and share with you some ideas of things that might be happening in my musical world....
{packed house at the student open mic}
Back at the very end of May I hosted an open mic for my music students at a local coffee house, and was delighted we had a packed house and many brave souls take the stage! I just love working with my students so much, and I learn so much from them every day.
At the beginning of June I had the honor of co-leading a community singing circle with one of our very well respected song leaders here in Santa Cruz, the amazing Debbie Nargi-Brown. We were a fun balance to one another ~ like fire and water. Ironically the circle happened just the day after Orlando, and we could think of nothing better or more important to do than gather in community and sing through our sorrow, open our hearts and uplift spirits. 
{street art I found on the sidewalk in Berkeley, 4th of July weekend}
The news around the world has felt particularly painful lately, with one shocking tragedy after another, and fear stirring in the hearts of many. I look around and see this: Go down a level we are all completely different, no one with the same life story. Go down another level we are all so similar, just needing love and wanting approval. Go down even deeper and there is no difference, we are nothing but atoms; we are one. Music and song remind us of this. When we sing together, our heartbeats align, and we remember our unity. We need this, and we need each other.

So onward I move in my work to continue bringing music into the world. If you've been reading my newsletters, you'll remember that for the first time in many years I am not touring this summer. Instead, I am nearing completion of recording my new record! Next up: editing, producing, mixing and mastering.
{Womb Song studio session recording our live album!}
Additionally, the Womb Song project I co-created and co-lead, has just recorded a live album of beautiful chant-like songs for pregnancy, birthing, motherhood and life. We had a powerful morning in the studio last week diving into some deep heart-song-magic! To learn more about the Womb Song project please visit, and if you're a woman in the Santa Cruz area, please join us, 3rd Mondays of the month at the Pacific Cultural Center.
I just borrowed some books from a friend on motherhood & being an artist, and I'm looking forward to reading them and reflecting more on the ever-present question in my life of how to balance parenthood and musicianhood/artisthood (AND pay the bills!). I do feel the disparate pieces of my life weaving together into a clearer path of music as a healing art form. Through my teaching with private students, leading community singing circles, holding special house concerts, and offering music for spiritual services, I am again and again moved by the power of music to uplift, transform and heal. It is so simple, and yet so profound.
In my current creative mind, I've got at least 5 more albums to record, 3 books to write, many many songs, a folk opera to put together, several non-profits to start… And the inspirations keep rolling in. I hope to live a good long time, as there is just so much I want to do!
Which brings me to the part about things that might happen...
Artists have always needed the support of listeners and fans, but in this 21st century reality, with the music industry and many other old models turned on their head thanks to the internet, the intense support of fans is in fact becoming THE way that artists can hope to make a living. It is a new model that involves house concerts (like, concerts online (like, and crowd funding of all sorts, for projects (like, and, and ongoing crowd-funding ( for you farm-people, it's kind of like a musical CSA).
I have barely dipped my toe into these, but have been observing and contemplating (yes, I am an anthropologist too!) Have you heard of these things? Have you participated? What do you think? I really really want to know.
#1 If you have a friend who think would enjoy my music or my newsletters, please forward this along to them.
#2 If you're on social media (facebook, instagram, youtube) please "like" or "follow" me as I am sharing things in those places more often these days
#3 Hit reply to this email and let me know what you think!
deeply and profoundly,

~ Amanda

p.s. That photo at the top is from Henry Cowell State Park, across the street from my house, where I have been walking almost every day. If you lived there, would you want to go on tour? Right. :-)
U P C O M I N G   E V E N T S :

July, August & Beyond  
working away on the new studio album 
Monday August 15th @ 7pm 
 (Ongoing 3rd Mondays of the month)
August WOMB SONG Circle
 Pacific Cultural Center | 1307 Seabright Ave. Santa Cruz
A community based singing circle for mothers & mothers-to-be, led by
Amanda West & Megan Jacobsmeyer. Learn more:
and follow us on facebook
Sunday August 21st, @ 10am  
Musical Inspiration for Morning Services 
  Center for Spiritual Enlightenment |  1146 University Ave., San Jose, CA

Private Lessons ~ Voice, Guitar & Songwriting
Grandview Studios in Felton, and at Sylvan Music in Santa Cruz
Specializing in work with girls and women. More details:

Amanda West Music
~ Songs for Thoughtful Hearts ~

PO Box 7345 | Santa Cruz CA 95061