My time of internship has past and this is the beginning of a new year where I am actually being paid for my services. In the time of my internship, I focused solely on meditative music and non-structured or music without the known melodies that everyone connects to so naturally.
This was a bit of a struggle for me as I felt a bit unsure whether the music I was playing is acceptable and worthwhile for those whom I played for.
The interesting part in all this was that the number of listeners grew in certain venues and in other venues I was invited to play one on one for most residents.
I found myself questioning what I do and what the effect of the music is every time I set out to do my weekly sessions. After the sessions, I would come back inspired by the effect of the music on the mood of the listeners. The staff in the different nursing homes were so happy to see me every time I got there and said they felt so much calmer when I was playing the music for them.
This is “my music” they were talking about! I really had to repeat this to myself over and over to understand that “my music” is good enough to inspire people who have never listened to my improvisations before.
There were of course the people who requested certain songs, but sadly my memory banks for songs are very empty. I have never spent time to memorize songs as I always had to try and play music for a specific event such as weddings and funerals and did not learn my own repertoire from memory at all. I have been a “functional artist” up to this point and not a “performance artist” as I did not seem to make the cut for that type of gig.
Well, here I am now, with not many songs in my repertoire that people like to listen to because I am quite insecure when it comes to playing songs, but I can read almost any music and now I can improvise music that seems to be quite palatable for people in nursing homes.
This is my bit for today, but I hope to bring regular updates of my experiences from now on to both share what I learn and to hopefully inspire more people to take up and keep up with practical music in the future.