Bird and Byrd on the Value of Voice Lessons

The other day I found a perfect excerpt to share with you.  In my beloved Weiss & Taruskin textbook from college lie some words as true today as they were when written 425 years ago. William Byrd, who I like to believe is one of my husband’s ancestors, was a 16th century English church composer and… Continue reading Bird and Byrd on the Value of Voice Lessons

As indicated by our concert last week, our weekly Arts at the Aviary meeting, a typical post on this blog, and other projects that we always having going, Nathan and I obviously place much value in the process and product of collaboration in music. There is something almost magical about multiple people working together toward a common goal of creating a musical experience.

That said, I read something the other day that reminded me of the value and simplicity of art, especially music, even when experienced in a solitary manner.  I will share the passage with you here.

Text by Edith Schaeffer from Forever Music:  A Tribute to the Gift of Creativity, 1986, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids MI.

Love of music does not dwindle because of being alone. Need of music does not decrease because of being alone.

Shepherd Piper, 1881 by Sophie Gengembre Anderson

A Hungarian shepherd can play fantastic music for the empty hillside full ofstones, grass, scrubby bushes and flowers,with sheep and lambs nibbling in soft chorus. Do no ears hear it?  His own ears do.  Is he alone in the universe with no other ears to hear?

Lady Playing a Spinet, C. Holsoe (1863-1935)

It is important to say for all who find aloneness as a part of life’s history that one pair of ears, one rib cage as a sounding board, one person’s understanding of music and one person’s need to be enveloped in music is reason enough for that one person to play the piano, flute, violin, viola, cello, bass, trumpet, bassoon, harp, sackbut, or whatever.

Igraet/ (she plays), 1914, Sergey Vinogradov (1869-1938)

One person’s need of being both performer and audience is suffient to make the playing have value.

Fonografo Edison, 1878

For those who reach for records to fill the workshop, the kitchen, the garden, the room being plastered or painted, the lonely record player is important. Simply because nobody else is around and only one set of ears is listening is no reason to silence the music that is available and needs to be a part of the balance of one’s life during each day.

Das Standchen, 1854, Carl Spitzweg (1808-1885)

One human being alone needs music as much as one human being alone needs water and food.

Seizing the Moment: A Special Thanks to Jillian

Off to the airport to send Jillian back home to CO. Auba is protesting.

Through circumstances I could not – and would not – have scripted myself, Nathan and I have learned some pretty valuable lessons over the past couple weeks.After our Christmas concerts and prior to last week’s performances, we had decided that a really good idea for future busy performance times would be to line up way more babysitting… Continue reading Seizing the Moment: A Special Thanks to Jillian

I don’t like the sound of my hands.

It’s common knowledge that our voices sound different to others than they do to us. Have you ever recorded yourself, then listened and though, “No way! That’s me? Yuck.” Or perhaps you liked your voice.  Either way, surely you noticed that it was different than the sounds bouncing around inside your own head for you… Continue reading I don’t like the sound of my hands.


This has been quite a week for me, on a personal level.  It’s like I’ve been facing the culmination of months – and years – of pondering, deliberating, questioning, and even scoffing. I’m going to keep the details annoyingly vague.  Suffice it to say that I am experiencing a little more hope and beauty lately… Continue reading Organizing