Let me be clear, while I have made some money as a performing musician, I do not consider myself a professional. I realize the tremendous sacrifice professional musicians such as my wife Lisa and many of our colleagues and friends given to bring audiences sweet and meaningful musical experiences.
However, I LOVE to play. My hope is that through the rest of my life the world may be my drumset, my voice may continue humming or singing, and that I forever will have a harmonica in my pocket.
If I’m not a musician, why, then do I strive to play at least SOMETHING each day, and why have I taken the time to learn how to play marching percussion, concert and orchestral percussion, African percussion instruments (djembe, djun djun, gankogui, shekere), Latin percussion instruments (congas, bongos, maracas, pandiero, clave, timbales), Middle-Eastern percussion instruments (doumbek, tar, tambourine), folk percussion instruments (spoons and bodhran), guitar, banjo, ukulele, piano, harmonica, and even the Australian didgeridoo? “What’s a didgeridoo?” you might ask… look it up! (Nah, kidding… it’s a eucalyptus tree hollowed by termites, stripped of its bark, and played with a beeswax mouthpiece. You can learn more at www.didgeridoodojo.com.)
I simply have an innate need to experience the music myself. I don’t understand it, personally. But, I feel that some expression of music daily is a critical part of who I am. It’s also part of my daily routine which grounds me and makes me feel more centered, calm, and at peace. Furthermore, performing music ignites thoughts and inspiration which allow me to perform better in my job, consulting, and volunteer work.
Moreover, there’s a family element. My wife and I met through the high school marching band (though we didn’t date at the time). But, music certainly brought us together when we worked at a local music store as co-workers. We fell in love with each other to music, were married to music, and have performed together on stage many times. Each of our children are musicians in their own right, each being multi-instrumentalists who are skilled at their craft.
I do enjoy singing around the campfire, when that is an option. I used to love playing guitar and singing songs at parties. Unfortunately, these days, cell phones and televisions often take over in place of spontaneous live music. But, there are times where I’m able to pull out an axe and play and/or sing a few licks. During COVID, I posted a few attempts at songs here and there.
As a professional, I think of some of the inspirational people I’ve met such as Michael Angelo Caruso (a former bass player) who have been musicians or are musicians currently. I can’t help but think that the music they played has helped in some way great or small to shape the way they live their lives as the melodies and rhythms contribute to their success.
I also think that I just love to learn new things. Learning how to play a song is among the most rewarding experiences I can imagine when it all comes together.
Do you play an instrument? If so, how has that affected your life? Your career? Your business? Your relationships?