Monday, April 17, 2017

Profiling on Music Monday

I'd not looked at my own "profile" on this blog for years. It'll have needed little change since 2006 when I opened Learning Curve on the Ecliptic. I then listed my interests as: "astrology, psychic phenomena, music, politics, art, writing". This week, just for a change from random scribbling, I'm going to re-air, at a rate of one per day (maybe) a past post I consider still to be of interest on each of those topics.

As today is Music Monday I'll begin in the midst of that profiled list of interests with an old post on music. I've chosen something I didn't write myself, but used as a guest post back in 2012. Oddly, this old journal post, written by my husband, wasn't originally posted on a Monday, though does fit Music Monday's category well.

GUEST POST by "anyjazz", aka my husband:

Miss Lindeman's 4th Grade Class, 1947.

“What kind of music do you like?”
“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.”

Listening began.

Thanks, Dad.


LB said...

What a beautiful way to teach children how to deeply listen, see, observe and appreciate. There were probably untapped hidden treasures within Miss Lindeman as well.:)

Just last night I began reading "Waking the Spirit: A Musician's Journey Healing Body, Mind, and Soul" by Andrew Schulman. In a nutshell, it's about the transformative and healing power of music:

Twilight said...

LB ~ Yes, Miss Lindeman was obviously one of that breed I often refer to as "mythical teachers", but she was a real life example! There are numerous movies with a mythically wonderful teacher as their focus, one who inspires and creates seeming miracles in their previously bad or indifferent students. I've wondered whether teachers such as these do in fact exist in real life, never having met one myself. My husband was lucky enough to have done so though. :-)

That sounds to be a very good read LB - hope you enjoy! Perhaps the power of music is related to its unseen but strongly felt vibrations, which, as well as inspiring mentally can affect the physical body too.

LB said...

Twilight ~ Did you know this coming Saturday is "Record Store Day?"

Where I live, our local record shop will have various live bands playing throughout the day, which could be fun.

Twilight said...

LB ~ No - I didn't know that. I don't think we have any record store remaining in town, the last one, part of a local chain, Hastings, closed a few years ago. Walmart ate it!
I hope you enjoy! :-)

R J Adams said...

Ah, yes, AnyJazz, has once more stirred a few memories with this one. No Miss Lindeman for me, but my old Uncle Wally the one who, possibly unwittingly, stirred the deep love of music in my heart. I wrote a short piece about it in Sparrow Chat's 'Bits & Bobs' section. You (or AnyJazz) may be interested in perusing it. Its the second tale down at this link (titled - of course - "A Sound Of Music":

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~ What lovely memories of your uncle, RJ! And what a good read that is - I shall go read there some more whenever I can tear myself away from recent flippin' political nonsensities on both sides of t'pond. I'll pass the link on to the husband also - thank you!

My first memory of an old wind up gramophone dates back to the years just after the war when we lived in a house attached to a bakery store, with a huge room above the shop - no furniture in it (we didn't have anything to put in it!) There was, however, a wind-up gramophone sitting on the wide window seat, and a few 78 rpm records which my Mum and Dad, plus a lodger, used to learn ballroom dancing. LOL! The lodger, Bill, a customs officer from Hull docks insisted on drawing on the wooden floor, in chalk, places where the dancers' feet had to go to perform waltz, quickstep or whatever. So the tunes I recall from those early years are mainly Victor Sylvester's orchestra playing music to bring on a bit of the old terpsichore. :-)

anyjazz said...

Thanks for the guest spot, Twilight.

Yes, I would say that Miss Lindeman made a lasting impression on me. My dad also. How would I remember many years later that it was that particular Benny Goodman recording that he played for me?

Twilight said...

anyjazz ~ You're most welcome - you should write more, so's I could borrow more! ;-)