February 15, 2013

Wintersong and Sunshine

Some neat things have been happening around me this month.  Some have included me, and some I have been fortunate to observe.

An old friend recently emailed me this experience:  he had been playing his piano at home, when the natural movement of the sun caused a flash of colour on his keyboard.  Upon exploration, he discovered it was the reflection of his Christmas poinsetta on one of the black keys.  He shared a beautiful photograph of it - having seen this intensely stunning yet tiny morsel of unexpected brilliance, he was able to trap it and share it.

Spending time around children - my own and others - has helped me be aware of this kind of daily wonder in little things.  As adults we tend to see the big picture (a bunch of gravel under the swingset) where children are better at seeing the little bits of beauty (each individual rock's unique characteristics).  My second son is an expert at this sort of fascinated observation, while my first son's love of birds has helped me to see things that have always been there but I've never looked.  As adults we admire these perspectives - talk about them, praise them - but rarely do we try to see the world that way for more than a minute or two at a time.

In the same way, children are constantly singing.  They are constantly banging on things, shaking them, trying to find the music in the world around them.  They make up little songs about what they're doing as they do them.  They change the words to well known songs, to suit a situation or just for novelty's sake.  Even kids who claim to not like music, or who think they aren't creative, are doing these things all the time.  (I happen to know one of these rather well, and he'll probably read this blog post.  Yes, you)  Celebrate it!  Then join in.

That's the key.  It's so easy to watch and applaud.  The challenge is in becoming part of the song.  The thing is, it's naturally in us all to do it.  It is UNnattural to refrain.  (I'm serious!)

I mentioned "some neat things".  One was that email from my old friend.  Two is a young friend who just ACED her admissions audition for the Glenn Gould School of Music in Toronto (YEAH!!).  Three is my seven-year-old who is composing for the piano, and his teacher who is fabulous in encouraging him.  Four is my nine-year-old using his voice to learn and mimic birdsong.  Five is my new adult students - the excitement is mutual. 

When you start listing "neat things" around you, suddenly it's easy to feel blessed, and to see more and more "neat things" all the time.  I have a friend who keeps a gratitude journal.  Great idea.  What a wonderful February thing to do!  Count your blessings, count them one by one, as the old hymn goes.

OK.  Before I go, I want to encourage you to jump into the song, and a great way to do that is through the Sing YourSelf vocal improv workshops that I have the privilege of facilitating.  Also, there is a wonderful workshop coming up in Calgary on the weekend of April 19 -21, facilitated by David Hatfield, called the Singing Soul.  I will post links and details on this site soon.  Here is David's website though.

A rambly stream-of-consciousness blog post today.  Hopefully somewhere in there you can find encouragement!

Happy second-half-of-February.

From Bob on March 02, 2013 6:59 PM

Thank you for making me smile Sue. There were no reflections today, but there were plenty of attempts at creating music. Keep those positive and encouraging words and sounds flowing.  
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