Saturday, February 10, 2007


My dad was wonderful in many ways - warm, loving, always ready to lend a hand or the shirt off his back - but he never got how seriously I wanted to prepare for doing a solo or helping with the music in worship. He'd go, "You've got the afternoon free, come do a piece for the nursing home." and wonder why I said, "Dad, you've got to give me some notice." I don't think he really started to understand until a car trip - the last trip I took with both my parents.

Then he watched through the trip as I took a familiar piece and broke it down. I worked on my breathing. I worked on the phrasing. I worked on the sounds of the vowels. You name it, I worked on it. I spent most of the eight-hour drive on a piece which he had heard me do more than a few times. And dad started to realize that, as a musician, I took a great deal of care and worked each piece over before any performance.

He didn't have that many opportunities to warn me before asking me to perform as he was retired by that point, but at least he learned - when I was in my mid-thirties - that while I could performe without much notice, I really wanted to work on preparing for anything I did.

I guess old dogs can learn new tricks.

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