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The convergence of faith and music on life: sharing personal experiences of how learning and singing music, especially through guitar, can enhance one and one another's overall well being. Living each day hectic-free and dealing with everyday and holiday blues.
Pic: Keith . Hemingbough Cultural Arts Center (St. Francisville, Louisiana), October 19, 2014, Open Mike Sunday.
Music has been so integral to my life and faith walk. Like our St. Jude Choir Leader, Nicholas Abraham, recently noted, even Scripture validates this for those of us who used to think we could never sing or play music: “Make a joyful NOISE (Not Sound) unto the Lord! (Psalm 100: 1)
And while I once did actually learn how to read and play music by guitar, I prefer to “play by ear.” And it is fun to improvise with others, like in blues, folk and jazz songs, to simply see where the “spirit of the music” takes you – usually to where you need to go at the time.
An instrument doesn't sound good if it is not in tune, and I learned how to do this back in my teens for my guitar mainly by using a tuning fork – which is looked at as a dinosaur these days, but it did discipline me to be more attentive on many levels besides music.
I admit that I have gotten spoiled lately with a built-in battery tuner that is a part of my recently purchased 12 String Fender Guitar.
I had always dreamed of getting a 12 String Guitar after around 30 years of using a 6 String Epiphone Guitar at Church Worship, sing-a-longs with the elderly and at Open Mike gatherings.
Back in the late 1970s, when I was doing music ministry at Loyola University in New Orleans, I used to marvel at Susan, who could play a 12 String Guitar with her long finger nails! She just developed her calluses further down than me on the string holding fingers; she actually had great “picking fingers” on the other hand.
So when I got my own 12 String Guitar not long ago, it was so nice to hear the harmonic affect of the octave-ranged strings!
As we all prepare for the holiday seasons when things can kind of get hectic and we can lose perspectives on our lives and our meaning, I have found a useful term that applies to more than just music, and I have used it professionally in my private practice counseling: “Tune In, Tone Down.”
Like doing an improvised playing of music with others, we need to listen to God and others more keenly, so as to join in “more acoustically and in the right timing” with things.
Still, we may, at times, get the “Holiday Blues,”
But singing them can surely help to lighten them too!
So may we “tune in, tone down,” that's what I'll do!
To cope and live each day, and help me and my faith renew!