Linda Mantooth's Reviews
Extraordinary! What beautiful
work. This pianist's talent is truly remarkable. Each piece of original work
exudes with inspiration and soulful, moving melodies which soothe, calm, and
refuel your inner spirit, simultaneously bringing a sense of energized peace.
This CD is my new favorite treasure! I consider myself blessed to own one.
The Fruit of the Spirit musical
CD contains extremely satisfying music. Upon hearing the first song, I was
inwardly compelled to listen to the next and the next song. Usually I never
listen to an entire CD, but I could not stop until I had heard each of
Linda's intriguing piano compositions. This piano music not only satisfies my
inner soul, but provides calmness in my household of many small children.
By Cindy Boykin
On Mother’s Day phone calls will be made, flowers will be sent and perfume will be wrapped. But throughout the year as moms busy themselves with day-to-day life, do we wonder what thoughts occupy their minds, what passions fill their hearts?
When a mom securely tucks her little one into bed, does she have quiet worries of her own? As she helps her young procrastinator finish a school project late at night, is she thinking about chores left unattended? As she buoys the spirits of a disappointed teenager who didn’t make the team, make the grade, or make the social event of the season, is her heart weeping while she gives reassurance with a smile? While moms tend to matters of the heart and home, their innermost passions often lie dormant for a time.
But then there comes a time in a mother’s life when she decides, "It’s my turn." She explores opportunities and follows passions. Her drive and talent may surprise family and friends ... may surprise her!
The three women selected for this year’s salute to Plano businesswomen share something in common. They are all mothers who enjoy the time they spend with their children and at the same time have found ways to pursue interests of their own. Without a doubt, it’s their turn.
Pianist Needed For New Year’s Eve read the notice pinned to a bulletin board outside a music room at Collin County Community College. Of all the students who would pass by that message, Linda Mantooth was probably the last person anyone would expect to reply.
"I was shocked! She is so shy," exclaimed husband Norris. "It was the last day of finals and she walked by this bulletin board and noticed a message saying the restaurant Picasso’s was looking for someone to play the piano on New Year’s Eve. But what really shocked me was that she left there and went straight to Picasso’s on the way home. Now that was totally unlike her! But she marched into the restaurant, talked to the owner and told him she was interested."
Not only did Linda get hired for New Year’s Eve, she was also asked to play for Christmas Eve and now plays every Friday and Saturday night from 6 - 10 p.m.
Clearly, it’s her turn. With son Norris III now a senior in high school and daughter Melinda in ninth grade, Linda has taken a bold new step in her life’s journey. While her family is still the love of her life, she is also following her passion and sharing her music.
Linda grew up in California. She pays tribute to her home state on the cover of her new CD titled Fruit of the Spirit. Growing up she loved the ocean, loved the scenery, loved being at home and loved with a passion her piano.
"My parents bought a piano for me when I was five years old. I remember it coming in the front door — it was at night — and I remember sitting down on the bench and playing nursery rhymes. They couldn’t get me off the thing. It was a huge attraction for me."
Even though Linda took piano lessons for six years, she also has a gift for learning music simply by listening to it. Some people call it "playing by ear." That ability led to the development of her exquisite talent of composing new music. When asked how she does it, she said it’s like whistling. "When you whistle, you’re not looking at notes, you just know the tune and whistle it," she said. Only for Linda, take that ability and multiply it by a million!
"I have music going through my head all the time," she explained, "and sometimes it builds up so much that I just have to sit down at the piano." She also said composing new songs is a great outlet for releasing emotions. Her CD is a beautiful outpouring of emotions: joy, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, love, peace, patience, goodness and self-control ... all fruits of the spirit.
Ironically — and perhaps this explains why Norris was so shocked at her willingness to play for an audience — Linda spends hours creating new songs, but she does it privately. The family’s Yamaha Clavinova has headphones which she slips over her ears then plays to her heart’s content.
Norris said, "She doesn’t play at home where we can hear her. She plugs in the headphones and goes off in her own little world. So I never heard her play music, really, until I heard the CD and when she started playing at Picasso’s."
Linda smiled, "I kept it a secret. Part of it is I don’t want to burn my family out by playing my music all the time ... teenagers don’t want to hear Mom banging on the piano all day. And, I can be up at night while everyone is asleep playing as loud as I want and nobody hears it."
Linda is the perfect example of a devoted mother who is taking her turn and finding her passion. Every decision up until now has been with her children in mind. From their decision to leave California and move to Plano in 1982 ("where we could afford to live on one income and I could stay home with the children") to buying the Yamaha Clavinova four years ago. ("I had been playing on an old, tiny 73-key Wurlitzer until my daughter started taking piano lessons ... I wanted her to have all 88 keys.")
In 2000, Linda decided to enroll in a songwriting class at Collin County. Although the professor said she might be too advanced to gain much from the class, Linda claims it was one of the best things she could have done.
"It was a great class," she said. "It was nice being in an environment with other people interested in what I’m interested in. We learned about the business side of music, how to write lyrics, and I met another mom who’s about my age and now we’re close friends. All kinds of good things came out of that experience."
Linda said it takes a month on average to compose an original song. It took her a year, working with songwriting professor and producer Keith Hays, to complete her CD. It’s taken a lifetime to explore her passion and share her talent.
You can acquire a copy of Linda’s piano solo CD titled Fruit of the Spirit at all Dallas and Ft. Worth Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Family Christian Bookstores, Amazon.com, or the best way is by contacting her at www.lindamantooth.com.
This article was printed with permission of the Plano Profile Magazine.
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