Friday, May 25, 2012

Dulcimer recital

Last Sunday I participated in a dulcimer recital with my teacher, Phyllis Gaskins pictured above. Yes, that is a banjo she is playing!  But she was doing it to help her students as they played the lead part on the dulcimer. I do have to say that taking up the dulcimer many years ago was something I am so glad about. I have met the nicest people and done some cool things with it. I love the history of it.

For instance, did you know that the mountain dulcimer is one of the few indigenous American instruments in American music?  Most instruments in American music were brought over from other countries and adapted into American music.  The banjo is from Africa, the piano (pianissimo) from Italy, guitar from Spain, etc.

So I think that is pretty cool.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Trip to Nashville.

So, I was in Nashville recently.. no not to get a recording contract or to play at the Grand Old Opry but I like how you are thinking! :)

I was actually at Vanderbilt University participating in more cochlear implant research. It was a challenging two days of testing. I enjoy that I can give to science in this way and hopefully my small participation can help future cochlear implant recipients.

It is just like me though that here I was in "Music City" and what did I do when I was not at the lab? I walked at Centennial Park. It made me realize that all of my life I have lived near a park and they have played an important role in my life. I especially enjoy finding beautiful nature spots in big cities. The juxtaposition of being in a big metropolitan area and finding a unique tree like the one pictured above is something I love. It is an old catalpa tree. I don't see many of those around here but when I was a girl we used to try to smoke those long things that dropped from them. Silly kids!

Below is a close up picture of a big hole in the trunk that looks like a gnome home:

 I did begin to write a new song though.. and so I am going now to work on that. Will let you know if it becomes something worth sharing.