If you are a regular reader you must wonder some times “what does any of this have to do with making a CD?” I wonder that myself sometimes. Especially when nothing tangible seems to be happening in that area of my life. I hope you continue reading and allow me to explain.
I teach music to K-8 grades once a week at a private school near my home. Because I do not truly read or write music (the actual notes on the paper) I have to be creative about what I teach. At the moment we are learning a few songs and actually writing an original piece as well. Each class is working on their own theme and collaborating to create one original work. They will write the lyric an the music is up to me. Every student has been asked to bring in some inspiration or been given an activity to do at home i.e. observe life from their bedroom windows and come to class to share your observations. From there we have been sharing and taking notes and watching a song evolve from a collective yet personal experience.
It has been an interesting ride as most students forgot to do anything and come in with crazy things they just saw on their way to the music room or just thought up while sitting in their seats. I have to be honest and tell you that I do point it out when it is so obvious but I do allow them to continue to weave it into some story of inspiration. After all, they have to be pretty creative to pull something off under that kind of pressure.
Some of them totally get it while others bring in things that seem so mundane and seemingly insignificant that it gets the others laughing and then……… my creative juices start to flow. I can’t really ever stand to see someone get up to speak in front of a group and be made fun of! “I’ll show you what a great idea that is!” Today a shy boy got up and talked about his glasses. There was snickering and whispering. I asked him “what is it about your glasses that inspires you,” aske He said, “my dad bought them for me.” More snickering and whispers. A stern stare was in order and more conversation. I was going to get something profound out of this kid. “What do your glasses help you do?” “They help me see things that are far away.” We launched into a conversation about symbolism and metaphor. We talked about seeing and hearing with your heart. So I turned to the class and I said. “what kind of symbolism or meaning could we give to things that seem far away?” The answer came in a quiet whisper from the back…..”the future” AHA! “His dad bought him his glasses and now he can see things clearly from far away.” and then the conversation exploded about how sometimes people we love can help us see things more clearly because they might be older and are farther down the road from us. These are my 9 and 10 year old students. I couldn’t stop them from that point on and the shy boy with the glasses quietly took his seat with a huge smile on his face.
Nothing is insignificant when you are talking about song writing. By the way, my 6th grade students have an incredible song coming from the inspiration of Jackie Robinson and the aerodynamics of a race car. Put that in your song writing pipe and smoke it! It is all life and all creation turned over and over again until every nuance has been squeezed from it. The tiniest shift in perspective or understanding bring about whole new ways to think about things. It is exciting and exhilarating. My life is in these blog posts and my life is in my music. So I guess what I should have said when I started this blog is that is a blog about making a CD and the life that happens along the way. It’s just a little “life” heavy at the moment. Keep your eyes open and see with your heart and maybe things will change.
p.s. I usually try to give my posts a song title at the heading but no song came to mind today. Perhaps you can think of one and leave it behind in the comments? I dare you!