Thursday, November 13, 2008

A few years ago, my class took a field trip to a farm. I had just learned a few chords on my banjo and I decided to bring it along. We sat around on hay bails and sang together. It is great to listen to music but it is something very special (even holy) when we sing and play music together. Music shared in this way washes away anger and selfishness and drenches us with joy.
I love my job as a kindergarten teacher partly because we sing every day. We sing to begin the day and to end the day. We sing before snack, before work, and before we play. It really doesn’t matter what we sing but that our voices blend together like magic in the air all around. We bless our room with music.
Writing songs has become more than a hobby for me. I go for walks in the hills near my home and I listen to the thoughts and melodies that are swimming around in my head. I try to get lost inside of my head. When I begin to bring structure to these thoughts and melodies, I am mindful of the possibility of singing the songs with others. I want people to easily catch on to the song or at least to part of the song. The clearest measure of success for me, as a songwriter, is when I hear kids singing my songs on the playground while they are swinging or jumping rope. The song has then taken root and now belongs to the child.

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