In typing out that title, I’m not sure it completely works, but whatever.
Breathe in, Breathe out. Today is the first day of summer. *bing*
I find it ironic that my first *real* day of summer coincides with the official, calendar-y, everyone else agreed start to summer, June 21st. Woohoo!
I have spent the last two glorious weeks in the process of teaching twenty-odd humans how to do the things that I love to do. I’m a percussionist. Since I spend much of my life receiving a confused stare and cocking of the head when I make this statement, I’ll elaborate.
Merriam-Webster says that a percussionist is one skilled in the playing of percussion instruments.
Wikipedia says a percussion instrument is a musical instrument that is sounded by being struck or scraped by a beater, or struck, scraped or rubbed by hand, or struck against another similar instrument. The percussion family is believed to include the oldest musical instruments, following the human voice.
(Gotta say, I’m pretty jazzed to be associated with the oldest musical instruments, following the human voice.)
Percussion instruments are most commonly divided into two classes: Pitched percussion instruments, which produce notes with an identifiable pitch, and unpitched percussion instruments, which produce notes without an identifiable pitch.
There you go. Clear as day.
But the part I find interesting is how much I spend my teaching time talking about breath. And body. And movement. And dance. And joy. Yes, in a very fundamental sense, I hit stuff, but the longer I play, the more the music becomes an extension of the life and joy and breath inside me. And oh, how fun to share that with others.
I especially love that moment when someone sees a percussion concert for the first time and says “Wow, you guys have a lot of fun!” Or a wind player thrills over being able to play with “All these different instruments. I only get one, but you all get lots and lots!” Explaining the interest and beauty of a phased rhythm, then watching them experience it. Raising the bar. Expecting excellence. Very good stuff.
So now we close the workshop for another year and turn to the tasks of the season.
Summer on, my friends.