Happy to report that all is well – except – I miss writing this blog and I know that it is important for me to get back to regular writing and posting. So here we go . . .
When I was doing my doctoral studies at the University of Oklahoma my composition professor taught me a valuable lesson. He said that I should compose, compose often, compose on a regular schedule, and never throw any of my work away. He followed that by reminding me that I would never know when the snippet that I had discarded would suddenly be just what I needed for another composition project. In other words, a composer learns to compose by being disciplined to practice the art of composition on a regular schedule – the very same exact lesson I learned and knew for so many years – if I wanted to be a proficient player of the piano I needed to practice daily.
I became an excellent sight reader because, thanks to my mother, I practiced sight-reading as a daily discipline. Starting during my junior high years (yes, people my age had no idea that we were really in middle school) my mother insisted that I begin my piano practice every day by playing through ten music selections that I had never seen. I did not enjoy it, and I certainly had no idea how it could ever benefit me. Yes – the result – over the years I became an excellent sight reader which saved my musical life on many occasions.
People often tell me that they do not read music. I respond, “You learn to read music by reading music, you learn to sight read by sight-reading, you learn piano by practicing – you learn to compose by composing. I am now old enough to state without any hesitation – a person learns to write (words) by writing. When I have regularly participated in the discipline of writing this blog at least every other day my writing has improved and when I have failed to do this my writing has regressed. So selfishly, and for my own benefit, I begin the writing of this blog again – hoping that those of you who may read it will encourage me to keep writing for my own benefit.
One of my past issues has been deciding on a subject that should be the focus of this blog. That is not who I am! Yes, I am a musician, a pastor, a husband, a grandfather, a cousin, an uncle, a fan of toy trains (both HO and N gauge), a sports fan (Baseball – St. Louis Cardinals; Football and Basketball – University of Oklahoma – BOOMER SOONER!; and the list goes on and on. I am always the happiest when I am faced with balancing a number of different paths to follow. So that is what you may expect by reading this blog – sometimes I may stick with a single focus for as much as a month or longer – and – often what I write about today will have no relation to what I write two days from now except that I will have written both of them.
Of course I invite you to join me on the journey – a journey to who knows where – remembering that what makes its way on these pages are a reflection of my life and who I am. All are welcome!