Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Free is Not

The first time I quit a day job I felt it was a promotion and a raise in pay. That was decades before the intrusion of electronic media into most facets of our waking lives.

Now that the Internet has tricked us into thinking that we can hide in front of an anonymous screen, that no one will notice, that raise in pay becomes an issue.

I am no less committed to a point of  view not determined by anything (insofar as I am aware) but my own observations of life around me.

If you value it, support it!  Go to to learn how.

Talent and the Family

As a child I played the piano at every available moment, starting before breakfast.  Bliss was a day home from school with a minor ailment that did not interfere with my music, habitually accompanied by a vacuum cleaner.  I was in my 30's before my mother commented favorably on my playing--a response I had craved, lo, those many years.

As for siblings, of which I am fourth out of five, I am convinced that my obsessive delight in playing distanced them from me in ways too complex to analyze, creating persistent barriers.

My determination not to pass this isolation down to the next generation involved installing outdoor weatherstripping for effective soundproofing on all my apartment doors.  My children needed to have the option to listen or not to listen.  When we enjoyed music together it was mostly improvising with found objects rather than what the media call music.

Two important results of this approach:
  • Both my adult children are musicians, one a professional cabaret singer/songwriter, the other an avid amateur hornist who plays orchestral and chamber music as often as possible.  We enjoy one another's music without restraint. 
  • I am embarking on a new system of teaching children along with their parents, in which communicated affect takes precedence over skill.  Ideally this training begins with very young children - pick an age; I started mine at day one.  How rigorous it becomes depends solely on the situation, but always in the company of other families, other children of mixed ages.