Sunday, July 7, 2019

Anytime, Anyplace. (Low Pressure/ High Pleasure)

I’m so grateful my musical talent was small enough that I had no chance—or interest—in making it to the concert stage or touring the jazz clubs. It turned my lifelong love affair with music into a happy thing to be shared anywhere, anytime, instead of a demanding profession. Of course, the teaching of music is as demanding a profession as any, but the sharing of it with children and with other teachers interested in how to share their love with children has been low on the pressures and high on the pleasures. 

In the past year, I’ve sung and made music at my old elementary school, my old high school, two senior centers in San Francisco and one in Salzburg, at a party of 40 yr. old alums with their children, at my school farewell luncheon saying goodbye to teachers, at my granddaughter’s school in Portland and of course, in my daily classes with kids and in my workshops. 

Yesterday after yet another soul-stirring day traveling the musical world without passports and visas, we celebrated the course’s end with a lovely sea-side dinner in downtown Halifax. As they do now in San Francisco in the Arboretum, it is the season of “flower pianos” in public places. So as we passed by one on the Halifax pier, I stopped to play with my new friends singing and dancing and body percussing and wasn’t that fun! A man asked for Loch Lomond and sang along with me, a little girl was listening so I went into variations of Itsy Bitsy Spider, we sang Twinkle Little Star to a toddler. I started to play some Bach and people seemed to be walking away, so I switched to the Maple Leaf Rag and that brought them back. After about a half-hour straight, we walked back to the car and as we passed some people on the way, they applauded. I tipped my hat and no money came in, but it was just a joke anyway.

So there you have it. Anytime, anyplace with anyone, I’m ready to bring some color and life to the occasion with the language that speaks more truly than words. And isn’t that a blessing?

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