Saturday, April 19, 2014

A Summary of Spring Music

What a great week it's been for music. Monday I sang with a group I've been singing with for the past 2 years (nursing home). This group has recently gotten some new residents and the change is remarkable! It used to be that most of the time no one would sing and I'd endure them sitting there staring at me or falling asleep. Not last week! The few new ones sing loud and strong and it got others who didn't sing before to sing. I was surprised in a good way. What a big change!

Tuesday I sat in on a rehearsal of the Charlottesville Municipal Band in the percussion section. I started out as a musician playing percussion in high school band. But it had been nearly 40 yrs since I've attempted to play percussion in a big band. Needless to say, I was pretty overwhelmed. At times intimidated too. The thing with percussion is that unlike other band parts like a horn, it would be fairly easy to blend into the group that all plays the same part. Not so with percussion. That means every note you play everyone in the room can hear. If you hit the crash cymbals in the wrong place, guess what? Yeah. So I played bass drum but was constantly loosing my place --even so, I managed to play along and I did the best I could.   In all, I believe in taking risks and doing things that take me beyond my comfort zone. That is the best way to learn and grow. As it stands, we've decided if I want to join the band to try again in the fall. Summer is a busy time with a "brutal" (according to percussion director) rehearsal schedule.

Lastly, you see picture above my music stand with a few things on it. I have one book 101 Easy Fingerstyle Solos that I use to site read. What I like to do is play a tune a couple times through and then improvise different variations and chords. There are times when I play bedtime music for people dementia to help calm them and I play continuously for an hour. Easy pieces like waltzes, Celtic tunes, old folk songs are good to work in and improvise around.  It is one of my favorite things to do.

Spring time brings in new sounds. I love the songs of the birds outside that mingle with my music. Happy Spring everyone! (better late than never)

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