Monday, April 25, 2016


     This morning, I post my daughter, Katey’s message about the role music plays in her life. As a mom, we never know how the things that we did or didn’t do will affect our kids years later. I am thankful that music played a role in my children’t lives as they were growing up. It wasn’t all positive though, as I look back. I believe that the fact that I was so serious about my music and practiced so much, perhaps I intimidated my daughters, as neither of them pursued music in their lives. We gave them piano lessons, flute lessons, but they chose other avenues to express themselves. They are both very successful adults in their careers and wonderful moms, both offering choices of music and sports to their own children. I have hope for a couple grand-daughters who have expressed some musical interest, but it is their choice, of course, to pursue their individual passions, as I have. 

     It is strange that Katey should write this blog when just a few days prior, I was reading a book in which I pondered a question I had never answered:
How does music play a role in your life, and what is your favorite kind of music? As a lifelong musician, one would think I would have asked myself those questions. My answer today is: Music plays two roles for me. It is a vehicle of performance and sharing, and my favorite, orchestral music soothes and inspires. I like all kinds of music, but I play it more than listen to it. Mr. Wonderful, au contraire, listens to music 24/7. I rarely listen unless I am at a concert or using it as background in my car. Interesting how different we all are.

     How does music play a role in your life? Can you imagine your life without it? How often do you listen? go to concerts? support local music organizations in your community? Do lyrics speak to you? Do you play an instrument or wish you did? 

     At a party the other night, a 60-something man said to me, “I want to learn to play the piano. I feel that piano music is the best way for me to be inspired and moved.” Funny, I prefer a good romantic symphony.  How about you?

     Thank you, Katey, for touching my life with your eloquent, sincere words. I hope you continue to expose your girls to music as they are growing up. Maybe one day, I will see one of them singing or playing on stage, and I can be happy that my father’s legacy continues.


Katey’s blog:
In a week of loss and of never ending tragedies it seemed, ( a 5 alarm fire here, and two officers shot within 7 hours), 
I am reminded why so many are moved when a musician dies.
For me, selfishly, it's not about who sings it as much as it is about the emotions evoked from the words and what they mean to me personally.
Growing up in a house filled with music most days, I would listen to my Mom fill the living room with ballads and concertos from Debussy, Chopin, and Bach. There wasn't a day she didn't sit for a few minutes and just practice. The notes just fell off the keys.
Music signified peace then.
In 8th grade as I walked home from school,
I was almost hit by a car as it flipped over on the sidewalk I was walking on. As the car lay feet from me, the song "I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight" played loudly from its belly.
I counted my lucky stars and ran home, startled and shaken.
Music signified tragedy then.
Later that year, I would travel to our summer cottage, 12 hours with stops with 3 sisters and a friend, black foam headphones and yellow walk man blaring. Over and over I would play Richard Marx, "Right Here Waiting For You" as I stared out the window like a Spanish telenovela. I longed for Sunday when Kasey Casem would do his long distance dedication, secretly hoping one day it would be me receiving one. (Never came, but recently I got to be a guest on an iHeart radio show, so that made up for it.)
You see music is the tie that binds us.
It is the epitome of the human condition.
It's the best PTSD there is.
Takes you back, brings you back, but doesn't keep you back.
It has brought me to my knees in times of great failure and despair.
It has lifted me to an all time high in times of success and triumph. 
It speaks to me when I am insecure and weary, and it's ability to motivate is endless when doing hours of glute thrusts.
I can't choose just one kind of music that I love.
Country is good because you get everything back-your dog, your wife, your truck and sometimes love.
But you see, all music provides that. 
You get "you" back.
When you jump in your car, and turn up the volume, you remember who you are. You dig deeper as the lyrics pull your soul out of grumpy into " I got this". Or the song that reminds you of just how far you've come, or maybe the one that reminds you how big your brave is.
Music is the tie that binds. It binds families. It binds friends. It binds strangers who are all here for one common goal: to get through the 1,000 steps until tomorrow.
This week Prince's death reminded us of such.
In the ongoing minutia of life, get "you" back.
Find your song. 
Sing it loud. 
Dance in your car. 
Let the rhythm move you.
Be the music. Even if you don't know the lyrics quite yet.