I love leaving Nashville with the rest of the ‘gigging’ and touring musicians – some of us (like me) driving alone in our small cars filled to the top with gear and merchandise and our performing clothes; some in tour vans; and others still, in their big star coaches. We pass each other on the road, we recognize each other at the gas stations and breakfast stops… we share the same bitter-sweet experience of the road life – always feeling sad for leaving those we love behind and looking forward to doing what we love to do – making beautiful music, touching people’s hearts and hopefully, changing their lives a little bit for the better.
It’s like dying a little bit each time and growing into a new life – letting go of what’s safe and comfortable, and accepting the uncertainty and the challenge of the road ahead.
We give our all, we bare our soul, willing to feel and express what we feel through our music, so that others can tap into their own feelings and let them go too…
And on Monday mornings when most people are getting ready for work, we come home tired but satisfied. We quietly unpack our travel bags and process our experiences. Unglamorous and unfiltered, we slip into our roles as parents, spouses, neighbors and friends…
Earlier this year, I went in to do a presentation for the Music Honors Society Club.
I spoke to the teenagers about the importance of music education (and music theory!), and why it’s crucial that they know WHY they want to pursue a music career (because the sense of purpose will get them through tough times and help them persevere.)
These were all Honors Students, smart and serious and responsible. Almost a bit too mature for their age. I could tell they were all a bit tired from the stresses of all that’s been going on…
At the end of my talk, one student asked me to sing a song. She said, ‘one you like to sing the most.’
I looked at them and their teachers and thought to myself ‘why not!’
I sang “Those Were the Days” – just like I sing it at our family parties and in my less formal concerts and gigs. Several of them started to tap their foot during the fun “na na na na na na” part, and at the end, when I invited them to sing with me, they all let their voices out. Their faces stretched into smiles, their eyes widened with that inner (still child-like) joy and they sang… for a moment, at least a little bit of the emotional turmoil they are going through, was released…
It was such an incredible moment.
Several kids thanked me and said how wonderful that felt. “It’s so good to express our feelings through music,” said one girl to me…
What is your favorite song that you can sing – and express your feelings through?
Put it on, turn the volume up and sing along (or play it yourself if you are an instrumentalist.) Let tears come. Or laughter. Or all of it. Let go of your comfortable, safe place, and let some of your ‘holding it together’ self die a little. And then let the music bring you the grace and love you need to be renewed.
I’ll be singing with you
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