Friday, July 20, 2012

Leaving My Comfort Zone

Whenever you start a creative project that's different from anything you've done, you soon find yourself outside of your comfort zone.That happened with me and this project almost immediately! Though I am a lifelong musician and have been performing for (cough, cough) 45 years, I have never had a desire to do video- other than perhaps instructional videos. Other than television interviews,  I haven't ventured into the field. But this project requires video, both for promotion and for website content. The good news is that when you are passionate enough about something you are motivated to do whatever it takes. What a wonderful human quality that turns out to be! With the professional and personal help of Charlie Williams (The Noiseguy), I recorded the video that will be posted on my Indiegogo crowd fundraiser site next month (though I'm donating  my time to the nine-month community project, I'll need to pay to have the website created and developed). So watch for the fundraiser campaign (no pun intended)! I will do other promo videos for events for the pilot project part of the website, and of course be adding instructional videos to the website as the project unfolds. And I'm actually looking forward to it! Who knew? I will be eternally grateful to Charlie for his guidance, both professionally and personally. And if you know Charlie, you know there was also a lot of laughter involved!

The other thing I never thought I would do is walk in a parade to promote myself.  But local community leaders suggested I do just that.  It would be a great way to raise awareness for the upcoming pilot project. So I did. And you know what? It was a blast! I was joined by family members and some extremely enthusiastic families with decorated wagons and strollers, and we marched through the community where I have lived for thirty-some years. There were so  many people I knew and hadn't seen in years, who wouldn't have known about the project that I hope is about to fill our schools and businesses, homes, and neighborhoods with singing! And like me, many of them now have young grandchildren and are one of the target audiences for this project. It was so much fun to see the families who had so generously joined me talking and getting to  know each other. There were grandparents, parents and young children, and even an expectant mother! All making connections. And  that is a wonderful bi-product of this project!

I'm having so much fun stretching my creative muscles and going outside my comfort zone! And hey, I must be keeping my brain young, right? Between that and being around young children all the time, I may never totally grow up!

So am I working very hard on this project? YES! And are we having fun yet? You bet! 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Other People's Stories

Here are just a few of the stories people have shared as I've been telling them about the Sing With Our Kids Project. Of course, I have paraphrased. But maybe reading them will touch a memory inside of you...

"There was always music in our house, records playing. But I don't remember ever hearing my mother sing. Now, when I think about my grandmother what a perfectionist she was, I can imagine my mother was told not to sing. So she didn't... that's so sad..." 

"I hadn't thought about it until now, but I realize I have always made up little songs to entertain my baby as I tend to simple tasks like changing a diaper or giving him a bath. And it always keeps him from getting fussy! How did I know to do that? It's funny that I didn't even realize I was doing it until now!"

"I remember my mother singing show tunes, very loudly. I wanted to be embarrassed, but it was just too much fun! Now I am so grateful, and find myself, too, singing just a bit too loudly! Thanks, Mom!"

"My father wasn't very physical. He didn't hug us very often, and seemed very uncomfortable when he did. But we would be in the car and he would sing songs! He always sang the same songs, and those songs became like old friends and we felt like a real family when we all sang. I always felt comforted at the sound of his voice. I guess songs were his way of hugging us!"

"I was at a large conference when voices singing from the workshop next to ours drifted through the walls. The group was singing a song from my childhood in Japan. I hadn't heard it since I was a child, and I immediately started crying. It was so powerful, and took me right back..."

"I sang the same song to my son the whole time I was pregnant with him. When he was about fourteen, he walked by the laundry room where for some reason I was singing that song for the first time since he was born. He stopped and told me he knew every word, but had never heard it! How was this possible? I had totally forgotten about singing to him while I was pregnant. Wow! It was an amazing moment for us!"

Singing touches us in so many ways. Sometimes it's just the listening; listening to recorded music or the radio, or to others singing. And sometimes it's our own voices singing. The really important thing is the doing it together part. Sometimes it's the only language we can all share, no matter what our ages or life experiences.  Because music is always there for us, just waiting for us to use and embrace it. And that is what we need to be sure our children know!