NaBloPoMo for Nov. 20


It has happened to me many times: as I’ve gone through life, I have found myself moving into a different area of the musical world.  I came from a family of quite the musical heritage – my mother gave piano lessons…. There was lots of singing – church choir, family affairs, even some good old-fashioned barbershop singing… amazing stuff.  There were some records around the house – a very basic intro into the world of Classical music, plus some pop tunes, movie soundtracks, Broadway shows, Christmas music, and even polka music.

In high school, there was band music (Holst’s Suites, Rossini Overtures, all kinds of music…) and choir.  In college it was more of all this, plus an intro into the world of jazz.   So I moved into being a band director in public education.

My first big ‘move’ came in 1991, when a new music teacher came to the college in town.  Dr. Darrell Nettles brought me some new tastes in music: his experience, expertise and understanding of music brought me deeper into jazz – and as a music teacher, I thought I knew a good deal, but Darrell showed me the depth and breadth of what jazz music was and is.  He introduced me to some of the influential performers – oh, I had heard of them, but I didn’t know their music – among which are Oscar Peterson and Billy Holiday.  Like I said, I knew of them, but so much more opened to me after Darrell’s generous sharing of his knowledge.  He also gave my wife and I some very good work in opera – she was taking voice lessons from him – and then also in piano literature (jazz and classical) and then some strong work in the pipe organ literature that he used at church.

I stumbled onto the Country Music Channel once, and fell in love with Ms. Shania Twain…. What a change for me … what a GOOD change.  Sue and I also found the ‘old’ country music to be good … Patsy Cline (thanks to the movie SWEET DREAMS) Johnny Cash, etc etc etc.

And slowly I got to appreciate some of the country music out there – particularly Bluegrass, upon the arrival of OH BROTHER WHERE ART THOU…. Old timey, bluegrass, all of that… and then into Alison Krause I went, which led to other female singers like that, which led to so many more.

Just last night as I was listening to my Alison Krause channel, up came some  more groups …some I’ve heard of, some are new — and I found myself amazed at how much there is out there – and more to learn.  May I keep learning to appreciate more and more kinds of music!