When I was a young piano student, there were a couple of challenges I regularly gave myself. You know, just because:
- How fast can this song be played?
- Can I play it from memory?
- Could I do both of the above, with my eyes closed?
I LOVED playing my beautiful, old, hand-me-down player piano (complete with giant scrolls that could be activated by pumping the built-in oversized foot pedal) with everything my little soul had to offer. Later, after a couple cross-country moves, when my piano didn’t make the moving-truck-cut, I would crank up the volume on my little Yamaha keyboard, select the “church organ” sound and play Phantom of the Opera for the whole neighborhood to enjoy… err… I mean, I loved it, why wouldn’t everyone else?
All these years later I still love making and listening to good music…
but I have all kinds of really good, legitimate (and ultimately lame) excuses why I don’t partake of and/or make music as often as I should. I just don’t have the same kind of free time now (as a working woman, mother of a toddler, entrepreneur, housekeeper, cook, etc) as I did then (a carefree kid with a few chores and some homework).
When I originally started my blog it was with the intent of helping teachers find tools for private music lessons and I still have a passion for contributing some creative teaching ideas/techniques. However, lately I’ve been thinking about about other busy parents, like me. And kids…
I can’t tell you how many of my students can’t name a single musical style, artist or song that they like. Heck, if I thought my only musical choices were Nicki Minaj and One Direction, I might be apathetic too.
Many of my adult friends are so overwhelmed by the thought of sifting through thousands of independent artists to discover the ones they like and are too busy to bother. Some of them don’t listen to music, especially new music.
Both the kids and the adults are saying they are too busy to create and/or practice.
So I’m changing things up around here and it’s taken me a while to figure it out… but here goes!
Just as it was back-in-the-day when I played piano with my eyes closed, I am going to be posting weekly challenges! I’ll also be interviewing musicians, creating & sharing music, inventing musical games/activities for parents and children, etc.
Because God knows we could all use some more music (and joy, laughter, light… they’re all cousins IMHO) in our lives!
Listen to new music (or old music that’s new to you) every day, if only for 15-30 minutes.
I usually try to do this in the mornings with my son. While I make coffee/do yesterday’s dishes and he plays with his dinosaurs, we listen to a Pandora station that’s new for us. For example, last week I chose “The Clash”, “Matt & Kim”, “Little Richard” and “Of Montreal” (I know, I know… some of these are so passé for some of you hipsters). I’ve been throwing in some oldies because Zeke really digs them. I also make a station whenever I remember the name of a band that’s relatively famous but I’ve never actually heard (like “The Clash”).
I want to hear all about this week’s challenge… did you come across any new music that you like? Anything you hate? Did you discover a style of music you didn’t know exists? Did adding new music change/affect your life in any way?