Thank you to all the performers and their families for showing up for our first Music Miracles gathering and my deepest gratitude to Whitney and her family for hosting.
What does it mean to show up for your music? For me, it is the first step in building a strong foundation. We show up at the piano to practice the songs we love, show up for our lessons to learn more skills to fill our musical toolbox and grow in our relationship with our teacher. We show up to play with others to grow and expand our listening and communicating and to see where the miracle of music leads us.
I participate and witness miracles daily. Music grows and deepen from within us as the toolbox of skills we possess begins to fill up with new magical tools that help us decode this miraculous language. One of the recent miracles I witnessed happened with an adult student of mine. I changed her name to protect her privacy.
Betsy lost the second of her two nephews in an avalanche last year in Jackson Hole. Heartbreaking but even more tragic, they were brothers. Both of them had families of their own left behind. It was such a complete shock with no goodbyes.
Syncronicity brought Betsy and I together. After watching one of my students perform, she was so moved by his performance, she asked him how she could learn guitar. He gave her my name. For over four years, she he has been on a hero’s journey learning the mystical and magical patterns of music on the fretboard. After taking a few months to grieve her second nephew’s passing, she came back to the guitar but wanted to go deeper, perhaps even learning to compose, so she bought a new Yamaha keyboard.
Betsy is constantly delving into the theoretical aspects of music attempting to discover how all these magical patterns connect but hasn’t felt confident in her unique musical expression nor interested in delving into the deep emotions that music elicits sometimes often without warning… but she has always been determined, and I sense all along that music is a powerful healing vehicle to express aspects of herself that she has been hesitant to show.
One morning she awoke to the sound of a tune coming through her, and could hear the voice of her recently departed nephew singing her a song. The hook of the song was “Just show up, and I’ll be there.” She grabbed my workbook An Odyssey of Song and like a scribe began writing the notes she was hearing on the musical staff to birth her first song. In my book, I wrote about a similar experience happening to me when my dad died years ago. My father showed up for me after he passed on through song and story more than he ever could during his living years.
As I reflect on my role as a music teacher, I think one of my main responsibilities is to be a voice for others who have not yet learned how to share their song with the world. And they can see through my own modeling that you don’t have to be a virtuoso to make music music, you just have to be open to the miracles that music brings.