Wednesday, 27 August 2014

The Problems Solved by Finding my Tin Whistle Under the Bread-maker

The first problem has to do with the need for a musical instrument. Writing this blog has introduced me to many fine musicians who have begun setting my words to music. While I've enjoyed the experience of communicating with them by e-mail and Skype, my frustration has been in not being able to play a musical instrument along with them to convey the melody I had in mind. Although I took piano and trombone lessons as a kid, I don't currently have either of those instruments in my home. Besides it's been a long time since I played either of those instruments and was (as music teachers and former band members will attest) never very accomplished at either one. I wanted to take up a new instrument that would serve the purpose of passing along a few musical ideas. The tin whistle does that very well. 

The second problem has to do with wanting to research instruments used in folk music and bluegrass. I'm particularly interested learning about older instruments that have have influenced modern music. As I research the history of these instruments I also wanted to experiment with them and write product reviews. I was itching to start writing these reviews, but am still waiting for the first new instruments to arrive. Today I began researching the tin whistle, and the first product review will be written on the one I have.  (If you sell or manufacture instruments and want to submit one for review please check out the product review page for the instruments currently being considered). 

The third problem finding the whistle solved has to do with the direction I want to take this blog. While I want it to be a place to hang my words, I also want it to be a place to interact with creative people and especially with people who are nervously venturing into creative projects for the first time, or revisiting with them greater resolve than before.  Often people suggest lack of financial resources as an impediment to creativity; my experience has been the opposite. As necessity if the mother of invention, poverty is also the wellspring of creativity. In addition to posting my own creative fruits for collaborative work, my aim is to remind people what they can do with resources that are readily available to them. In order to remember what it feels like to try something new and challenging creatively, I resolved to push myself to try new forms of writing AND learn a musical instrument well enough to jam with some of my favourite musicians. The penny whistle will be a good starting point to refresh my knowledge of music before launching into the guitar. It is available to me today, so that is where I am beginning.

While considering how happy I was to have these problems solved so swiftly, it occurred to me how important music has become in my life and how grateful I am for what musical training I did have as a child. I was fortunate to live in a school district with a very strong music program and was also provided with lessons by my parents. At the time I did not fully appreciate how lucky I was to receive these opportunities, and as an adult I've come to realize how difficult it is for some parents to provide these resources for their children. If you are preparing to send your kids back to school and wish that music was a part of their education, consider offering your children music lessons via the many online resources that are currently available. In fact rather than just offering it, why not insist on it. Establish the habit of scheduled online music lessons and take them as seriously as you would private personal lessons. Learning music does not have to be expensive. Find a cheap harmonica or better yet a tin whistle...if you've simply misplaced the one you have already, check under the bread-maker.    Before you lament the end of summer, consider how welcoming your home will be this fall when it is filled with the smell of fresh bread baking and music from your children. Neither of these simple pleasures need to be expensive, but both are priceless additions to a life worth living. 

No comments:

Post a Comment