Music Miracles Blog

The future trail in Jackson Hole. Photo given by permission.

The future Skyline trail in Jackson Hole. Photo given by permission from friends of the Skyline trail.

The First Miracle of Music:  Just Show Up

What does it mean to show up for your music? For me, is the first step in building a relationship with your creativity. 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 with our teachers. We show up to play with others to expand our listening and communicating, and to write songs and 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.

Betsy lost the second of her two nephews in an avalanche last year in Jackson Hole. He was killed while working on a trail in honor of his brother who was also killed in a bike race seven years ago. Heartbreaking but even more tragic, they were brothers. Both of them had families of their own left behind. It was a complete shock with no goodbyes.

Syncronicity brought Betsy and I together. After watching one of my students perform, she wanted to join in the fun with “the energy, collaboration and fun that he projected while playing and performing. I wanted to be in that place too!” He gave her my name. For over four years, she he has been on a hero’s journey learning the 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 Yamaha keyboard.

Betsy constantly delves into musical theory but hasn’t expressed confidence sharing her unique song, or essence. I sensed 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 a song. The hook, or repeating phrase, of the song was “Just show up, and I’ll be there.” This was a phrase that her nephew said all the time in an easy light-hearted way. She grabbed my workbook An Odyssey of Song and began writing the notes she was hearing on the musical staff to birth her first song.

I wrote about a similar experience with my father in my book. He showed up for me after he passed on through song and story more than he ever could during his living years. He inspired me to “show up” for my musical dreams regardless of how distant they appeared to be.
As I reflect on my role as a music teacher, It seems one of my responsibilities is to be a voice for the messages the music brings. Whether it is the recently departed David Bowie, Prince or for Grace, beloved family members who leave without goodbyes, we have to be willing to “show up” for where our creativity guides us and be open to the miracles that music brings.

Here are Betsy’s lyrics:
JUST SHOW UP-a song for Luke and Matt
Just show up
’cause we’ll be waiting
Just show up
We’ll all be there

Where the world
Looks like a painting
That is meant
For us to share

Just show up
’cause we remember
It was a dream
That you held dear

Of a place
Above the timber
That’s where we all
Can feel you near

Just show up
Just show up
We’ll show up
Just show up …

If you feel inspired to help out with the Skyline Trail, please visit this link to learn more about it and donate at

Learn to perform and write music at Peaceworks World