About 30 years ago, while living in Franklin County, PA, I discovered the joy of singing my favorite old songs at Senior Centers and Nursing homes. It came as a result of people my age poking fun at me for loving the old gospel, folk and traditional American songs. By accident, or by grand design, I found a small but very appreciative audience. In return, they prompted me to learn more old songs that they knew and loved. And I am still singing those songs today.
After moving from Franklin County, there were years I didn't play so much. Sometimes for family and friends, and more often for my Aunt and her friends in the group home where she lived but when she died, I didn't play so much. There were some attempts at jams and fun moments sharing music with new friends. Then suddenly and quite magically, music came alive again in my life with the same spark I felt singing with my Senior Center friends long ago.
Even in the times of my early life when those around me discouraged it, I knew music was intended to be an important part of my life. It's not because I'm gifted musically or have a deep understanding of music, because I don't. It's simply because I feel it and love it and maybe actually because I think it's universal - and is not dependent upon having a great gift. It's something I believe we can share and be part of no matter what level of gift or understanding we have of it.
If you have a heart beat, you have rhythm. If you breath, you have a rhythm. It just is. Maybe you can't repeat the note, or the exact tone, but your soul hears it. And I know, my soul withers without it. Music transcends all divides. It lifts us to a better place. Sharing music is the most important thing any of us can do.
Looking back over these last 6 years and now expanding musical horizons, I am so very thankful. If you want to improve your life, the sure method is to include more music in any way you can and share that experience with others. It's the most important thing any of us can do in this crazy world.