GUEST POST by "anyjazz", aka my husband:
Miss Lindeman's 4th Grade Class, 1947.
“Do you play an instrument?”
“When do you find time to play all your records?”
“What started your interest in music?”
It’s a long story.
In fourth grade Miss Lindeman told the class, “Listen and see if you can hear the horses. Listen to this and imagine a gypsy dancing. Listen for the raindrops and the storm starting.” And we did.
It probably falls back to the trite old adage: “One must listen, not just hear.” Or something like that.
Lots of people hear music without really listening for the raindrops and the call to arms. Miss Lindeman told us to listen. She taught us that there was something in addition to the melody or the words. Treasures were hidden in those sounds.
So for those of us who really listen, we hear a painting, colors and feelings. The composer gathers his thoughts or the musician speaks to us. We experience layers and textures, emotions and ideas.
Most enjoy hearing music. Some only enjoy certain areas, country, jazz, classical. The Listener likes anything musical. Anything Musical.
Many people enjoy hearing songs with words so they can identify with the singer or the story being told. But for the Listener, it is a deeper experience. A Listener hears the music and sometimes knows the brand of the guitar playing, or when a breath was taken in a solo phrase. We know how hard a clarinet is to play. We know when a jazz artist has borrowed a bit of a solo from an old scratchy record. We hear the emotion coming from a breathy saxophone solo or thrill at the coda in a violin concerto.
Some hear a classical opus and find it quite satisfying. A Listener knows when a favorite classical overture is being played by a different orchestra or maybe led by a different conductor: a note held longer here, a cymbal a bit louder there.
Miss Lindeman taught us how to listen. Thanks, Miss Lindeman.
Dad had an old 78RPM record changer perched atop the refrigerator. It couldn’t be reached by six year old hands. He played a Benny Goodman record, “Sometimes I’m Happy” and said, “Listen to the sax section.” And a six year old listened not knowing what a “sax” was, let alone the mysterious “section.”