Global Skywatch

Ted’s essays

community music

I have been thinking a lot about our first meeting, and how that compared to what I had hoped for. That led me to this philosophical ruminating. You may or may not be curious about what motivated me to try creating this band. If you wonder, here is what I think I am trying to do.

I have long thought the ideal musical developmental ground would be a community band where beginners sat among intermediates and experts. It doesn’t take great thinking for the newbies to figure playing ON TIME is your first priority, THE RIGHT NOTES is an important second, then tone quality, volume, articulation and other factors follow.

Sitting among supportive musicians more advanced than you provides constant good examples, encourages your growth and gives you expert advice and subtle suggestions in dosages you are able to handle.

Age is pretty much irrelevant, while skill, talent and experience mean everything. A 60-year-old newcomer can easily learn from a 14-year-old when appropriate. Importantly, there is no cosmic reason they should not share that experience.

Whether in tennis, auto racing, acting or any other endeavor, partnering with people more capable than yourself challenges, educates and grows your abilities.

Another huge benefit is a FULL band where stratified by age or ability narrows the group size often too small to be fun for anyone.

While I am certainly not against music class in K-12 schools, they leave out the majority of the community’s population, and tend to stratify rather than deliver what I consider a healthy homogenization of intellects, personalities and styles.

In my dream community band, raw beginners intermix with lifetime-road-tour experts and everyone in between. And we all get to make pleasant music together.

I now find myself in front of such a band. Abilities and skill sets are all over the map, though I admit the shortage of youngsters from my idealized band.

Call me a Pollyanna, but I think this will work for all of us.