Sunday, November 17, 2013

"Just Do It"

I am a strong proponent of 'just do it' as applies to making music. Don't worry about IF you are good enough..... IF you have 'talent'..... IF you can learn.... just DO IT. The more you do it, the more you will learn, the better you will get--- and the more people will accuse you of having talent!!! Making music, like making life, has no final goal.

At the same time, LISTEN. Listen when someone who knows more, tells you something about your playing. Listen MOSTLY to the folks who are playing with you and blend in, don't play over..... even if you believe that THEY are wrong and YOU are right. If your mindset is, lets make the SONG the MOST important thing in the room, anything and everything will sound better.

Yesterday was a beautiful day here, and my favorite thing to do on nice days is gather some friends and stand on the street in my small city and play music. Every time we do it, something wonderful happens. For example, one sunny day a woman sat behind us, very quiet, looking contemplative, for a good long time. Finally, she approached us to say that she has been so depressed, but after listening to us singing with such joy, she was starting to feel the sunshine!! What a wonderful thing!!--- to have the music speak through us, to her in her time of need!!!

Yesterday a woman stopped and hung out a ways away from us at first, but after a few songs, moved in and made a request. Beatles, she wanted. Well, unfortunately, we told her, our 'Beatles' person was not yet here (Betsi knows Beatles!!), but I finally found a song I could stumble through...Eight Days a Week.... and we did it.... with her singing her heart out next to me with a BIG ole smile on her face!! Was she the best singer I have ever heard? Not hardly..... but did I love to stand next to her while she so obviously felt the music move her??? ABSOLUTELY!!!  Then there was the little tiny tot that danced while we played.... shook the rattle she was provided as if she were rocking a hall...... and protested when her mom moved her back down the street!!

These are the things that happen on the street that prove to me every day that music is magic, healing, a strong part of what a human being is.....

AND, while I am on this roll..... there is a BIG difference in my mind between the people who use music for the 'LOOK AT ME' factor, vs people who use music as a sharing, caring, lets-have-fun-and-touch-your-soul-too factor.....

If your goal is the second factor..... to make music for the sake of how it heals/feels .... I am cheering you on!!! GO FOR IT!!!!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Nursing Home Gig

There are so many opportunities to Share Music.

Like yesterday. I jokingy told my friends that I finally have a gig at a nursing home!!


BUT.... the gig, like so many others, was another lesson on the power of music.

People who can hardly talk, who don't remember their adult children anymore, who just turn away if you talk to them, respond to live music right in from of them.... they smile, move, some sing!!! Music lights up the room!!! Staff dance past us,  One calls over, "Come and take this to the other units, they need this too!!" One lady says to us, 'Dont stop now!!' (Of course, right before I figure we should be closing it up).

It helped that my friend, Mike, brought his two kids along, and cymon is a wonderfully developing musician!!! But it did not seem to me that the children were the main interest.

No, it was the sound. The music. And these folks are not starved for it, I know that they have sing alongs two evenings/week..... but they loved what we did, anyway, even if they only knew a couple songs (I Got You Babe and Smoke that Cigarette were easily two favorites!!).

We did good, doing that gig. My mom was happy.

I think we helped make my moms first Saturday at the nursing home a little more pleasant.

Music heals. It draws people together, if gives infinite enjoyment.

Thank you, music!!!!!