So, here I am, teaching music at Hyde… Huh?
To paraphrase John Lennon, “Hyde is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.”
A few weeks ago we sent the students off for spring break with the timeless message to “get ready for the home stretch of April and May.” Little did the faculty know that what began as a spring break would quickly transition to an urgent on-the-fly redesign of that home stretch into an all virtual, all cyber, and all on-line experience. Somehow, in the midst of that mad rush, our fearless leader — the one who doubles as my spouse — let drop that we needed some help in the music department.
Me: “Music appreciation or performance? I’d love to help out with the former, but I don’t know that I could help all that much with the latter…”
LDG: “The course title is Music Performance. You’ll be great. Sorry, I gotta take this call…”
First, I pondered my qualifications (or, more accurately, the lack thereof). Although I cannot read music, I love to sing and play harmonica. In fact, there are few things I enjoy as much as sitting in with a blues band, offering up some vocals and some occasional percussive blues harp. (That is, when I can figure out what key we’re in.)
I also love — make that, really love — music and have profound respect, sometimes awe, for the musician’s journey. When Shakespeare wrote, “First, we kill all the lawyers,” I’ve always felt that he should have added the proviso that musicians get eternal life. But then again, when you think about it, they already do.
Over time, this love for music has manifested itself in a growing collection of books on music and musicians. While Laura is pretty particular about the way our house is organized and decorated, she has generously allowed me to maintain said library in a fairly prominent place…
… even though it is beginning to outgrow the room.
Then I got to thinking about all the students I have known who have embarked on that aforementioned musician’s journey. The photo above shows a few of them performing at a recent alum weekend celebration. Others have helped over the years with the singer-songwriter workshop established by alum parents John Hiatt and Michael McDonald.
So, I’m thinking it would be great to bring some of you into our Google Hangout mix. You might…
- Have a song you’re working on or have just completed that you could share with us and discuss;
- Have us listen in on part of a rehearsal session;
- Show and discuss a music video you’ve done;
- Work up a song with our 8+- class members, all of whom are interested in music performance;
- Guest DJ some tunes that have been especially meaningful, etc.
The possibilities are endless. If you are interested and can navigate Google Hangout — Note: I was introduced to it THIS week! — PM or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your idea. We meet on Monday and Wednesday at 1 PM. Class members are scattered from Maine to Asia and would love to connect with you.
And one more thing, I cannot pay you, but you’ll score this awesome t-shirt with my no-hit-wonder sometime band name on the front…
… and my harp-playing profile on the back.
C’mon. Let’s do this!
Onward, Little Malcolm