“We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
- George Bernard Shaw
Today's drum circle at JABA made me remember that quote. Drumming in a group of people from ages 5 to 75 was great. In a drumming circle, even when I lead, I like to play the steady beat non stop while listening to others doing solos and riffing off of the main beat. Ben often starts dancing in the circle and Feiicia came in front of me with her drum and we had a rhythmic conversation of sorts with the African beat I was leading.
With music, we refer to it as "playing". Even when doing a concert it is said, "I am playing at Carnegie Hall (dreaming to :)" . We do not say, "working". I think of musical instruments as sophisticated toys. When we were children we played in the sand, in the alleys, in parks, we climbed trees, we played Hide and Seek and Kick the Can.
Now we play rhythms... we dance with our eyes, smile to each other, we keep the beat going for a long time until we lose track of ourselves.
Today I was telling someone that I started out as a drummer in band in 1973 -- wow--40 years ago! And I still love it just as much or if not more than when I was given my first pair of drum sticks by my art teacher (thank you Mrs. Elias!).