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Magical Musical Moments


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#41 gotto

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 11:05 PM

This is such a special and positive topic that after reading these poignant stories, I'm inspired to make my first posting anywhere on any site ever. I've always wondered if I had anything worthy to share on a public forum, but I've shed my restraint in the spirit of my magical musical moments.

A boy, a $25 second hand guitar, a scattering of lessons, later Ed Sullivan and the Beatles, a teenager and an inexpensive 19 fret electric guitar-this is my story, not uncommon to some others on this forum. Somewhere during this development, I began to "hear my own music", and my creative side wrested control from my technical side. I began to compose my own music, developing my lyrical and melodic skills over my garage band technical skills. A few small coffee houses, a few high school talent hootenanies (I'm dating myself), a few more years and songs, and I found myself creating music for my wedding. Two songs, a preamble to the wedding march ( for a flute and acoustic guitar) and an interlude song about our journey of love were my offerings. The magic of that moment -the music, the vows and the sharing of love left me struggling to keep it all together. I glanced at my parents during the interlude and they were crying.

A few years later, a few more songs for friends and family, then , career, family and finally arthritic thumbs veered me away from playing and music. My 30 year moratorium was awoken after my third thumb surgery
(fretting hand) to help with my affliction. I began to believe that I could play again. While still casted up, I purchased L@MG ,pulled out my tired Yamaha acoustic and began the the lessons with my 4 good fingers. With the progress of time My skills have slowly returned and once again I began to "hear the music".

Last Christmas season , the musical energy bolts all struck me at once and in a matter of a couple of hours I had created a song about my 4 precious grandchildren. On Christmas Day, after all the excitement had settled down I gave my children a copy of the recording ( I'm now a bit shy to perform anymore), and as we listened together to the song I saw their eyes redden and tear. When the final note faded out, they collectively gave me a hug and my oldest daughter whispered in my ear, "This is the best Christmas ever Dad". That was a powerful magical moment for me.


Greg

#42 Acousticplayer

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 05:32 PM

Steve,

I have a couple of memorable times playing guitar. I guess the first was when I met a friend who was born the same day, year, and month as me and we both were trying to play the guitar. His name was Bobby. We happened to become friends with an older man named Smokey Wiseman. At one time, Smokey had recorded with Roy Rodgers, Gene Autry, and some others. I know it was true because I have seen pictures of them in recording sessions with my own eyes. Smokey's main instrument was fiddle, but he could play guitar very well. He would show Bobby and I different licks and chords on the guitar and we were in hog heaven when we learned something new from him. We finally learned enough to form a small garage band and I remember how my knees were knocking that first time we played for the local teen club dance. It felt awsome after the fright subsided a bit. Bobby and I lost contact over the years. I was saddened to learn that my friend died July 24th from bone cancer.

After life started to happen, I didn't play guitar for several years. I definitely didn't sing for anyone out loud. My dad used to try to get me to play guitar and sing but I would not and he passed away in July of 2008. Then, about a year and a half ago my wife and I started back to church. We got our priorites in order and we both joined the choir. They started something at church called "Fifth Sunday Night Sing". In months with 5 Sundays, we have a get together type thing where anyone who wants to participate can sing, play an instrument, recite a poem, or whatever. My wife talked me into playing and singing in this. I will never forget that first time when, again at 61 years old, my knees were knocking. My daughter heard me sing for the first time and she is 22 yrs. old. I now participate on a regular basis and sing and play specials at times. I have been so blessed and this is my way of trying to give something back in return. I now love playing and singing hymns and I hope it is not considered out of line in the forum to say I give all the praise to God for what little talent I am able to contribute because it came from Him.
Richard

#43 Thumbs

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 05:17 PM

This has got to be one of the most inspiring threads I've ever read. Thanks to everyone for sharing, especially Steve and Baz. (My heart goes out to you)

#44 Steve Krenz

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 02:47 PM

William,

What a fun moment! I love it. It's funny how music can conncect people like that. You and your grandson will always have that moment. It seems like those times should be more frequent, but, alas, they are all too few. And moments to be cherished.

Thanks for sharing.

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#45 Liam

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 02:30 PM

Steve,

I guess the moment was prior to LMG. Several years ago (4) I was playing open chords and singing simple songs OK. At Christmas, my daughter, son in law and my 8 Y.O. grandson were visiting along with a lot of extended family. My grand son and I worked up a song to play for the entire group. We decided on Master of Disaster by John Hyatt. Now I know, that may not be a traditional Christmas song but ... So I played the rhythm chords and he sang the words. I had him miced through a small amp and I played acoustic.

The process of practicing in a back room for several hours with my grandson, and then the proud moment when we preformed our song will forever live in my mind as great grandpa grandson moments. Doesn't get any better than that for me. Standing ovation for the vocalist - he did great and was soooo proud.

My grandson is now 12, has an acoustic and an electric guitar and is studying L&MG as part of his home schooling. Thanks for all you have done for me and my family.

William

#46 Steve Krenz

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 12:38 PM

Thanks Revster and Dagan.

Wonderful, encouraging moments.

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#47 Steve Krenz

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 12:33 PM

Baz,

I can't imagine the incredible suffering you have endured. Music is certainly not the only answer. But it can really help.

Listening to things that raise your spirit, playing things that keep you engaged in life. It can soothe and calm your heart in a troubled, frightening world.

I've become aware of the signs in my own heart when I'm starting to "unravel". These times were regular occurances during the darker days of the past year. I had several things that kept me going - that kept me alive in my heart. Having lunch with a friend, or deliberately calling one on the phone, I found that looking at beautiful things helped. We've always liked Thomas Kinkade paintings and we have a few around the house, so I would just take a minute and look at them.

But also, I would listen to some music. Something that I liked, (the style wasn't important) and this would bring me back to life.

Strangely, I found that I wasn't drawn to playing much during the darker days. Maybe I just didn't have the emotional energy for it, just listening was fine for me.

But, gratefully, those days are getting fewer and farther between.

Music has a way of bypassing the anxious thoughts and goes right to the inner workings and gears of our lives.

Sometimes playing music can be an act of utter rebellion - a stiff-necked defiant display of hope with every note.

I apologize for rambling on so long. Thank you for sharing.

I'll be thinking and praying for you my friend.

Sincerely,

Steve

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#48 baz

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 11:32 AM

hi steve
my world has been shatterd my wife and son wear killed in a road accident
in june 2010 i can,t eat or sleep i am in bitts the nights are long and loneley
my giutar helps me get threw every thing play is with a broaken hart
i tell you this because you have also been to hell and back and used your music to express your emotion at a time of deep distress
thank you for giving me the tools to do the same

BAZ

finished the course 01-10-2007

#49 dagbone

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 07:09 PM

Great topic, great stories. Here's mine: (Steve, you've already seen this in a PM)

Steve,

I had an experience this Christmas that I wanted to share with you.

I’ve been playing for almost 2 years now, currently working on Session 13. From the very beginning, I have played for my extended family—even Jingle Bells. Hey, it’s an easy audience!

My wife Kim is a naturally good singer, but she’s a little shy about it, so we generally just sing together on easy sing-alongs and stuff. It’s always fun, and of course the family acts like it’s a big deal, so it makes us feel good, even though we know full well how amateurish we really are.

This year, her parents asked us to perform “Vincent (Starry Starry Night)” by Don McLean for our Christmas get-together. This request turned out to be a bit of a challenge for us, but we were determined to give it our best shot. Kim decided she’d sing solo, so I was able to concentrate on working out a simple, pleasant fingerpicking pattern for the harmony. We rehearsed several times, and eventually got comfortable with it.

The Christmas recital featured 6 songs, both instrumentals (the ones I did for your CD this year) and sing-alongs. We saved “Vincent” for last. Of course, the first 5 songs were met with the kind of response you’d expect from loving family members—enthusiastic appreciation, sweetly disproportionate to any musical merit. But as we closed out “Vincent”, Kim’s mother and our sister-in-law literally jumped out of their seats, clapping and hollering. This wasn’t just the feign of familiarity—Kim’s mother had tears in her eyes she was so moved, and so Kim started crying, and then we all had a good laugh. What a blessing!

Despite the glowing commentary from the devoted on-line community members, I suspect it still may be hard for you to grasp the role you are playing in people’s lives. But there is no question that without the LMG program, the musical element my family is now experiencing (and starting to really enjoy!) would be completely missing. This is the gift that you and the folks at Legacy have bestowed upon all of us. And for that gift, I would like to offer you my sincere thanks.

Dagan

#50 harryv

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 05:44 PM

Can't say I've had that moment yet but I do like reading about others. Thanks for the link to the Louie Armstrong video Steve, I loved it!
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#51 revster

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 04:22 PM

I had a magical moment last christmas eve when I played my guitar for the very first time before anyone, including my wife. I had the kids gathered at my feet and told them a story of a christmas carol. I than played on a old gut string cracked guitar 'silent night'and they guessed it correctly. their joy when they joined me is held sacred within me.

i was able to do this for I carried an experience of a moment from over thirty years ago. In my first very small student church I had very old couple. they had been married over sixty years. he was deaf and she was mostly blind. every service for four years they stood about fifteen feet from and belt out every hymn. In four years they might have hit the correct note only several times. they were really aweful but they taught me that christ calls to make a JOYFUL NOISE, not always to sing or play correctly. I use that story even today to encourage others to make the joy of music fill them.

#52 Steve Krenz

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 04:13 PM

Thank you for sharing.

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#53 EMinor13

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 02:15 PM

I'm going to keep this short because its far from my favorite period in life with the exception of a few moments here and there. In 1982 I found myself in intensive care for nearly 3 months as the result of a motorcycle accident. I'll spare you, and me, the details. The whole time I was strapped down to what was called a striker frame which served two purposes. First was to keep me from moving and doing further spinal cord damage. The second was that it pivoted in the center which allowed the patient to be flipped over from front to back to avoid pressure sores. So during the brief periods I was concious I was either staring at the floor or the ceiling.

Okay, enough of the bad parts and on to one of the good ones.

So I'm laying there staring at the floor one day and my little brother came to visit, he had to be about 17 at the time, and he layed on the floor under the front of the bed so I could see him. He was wearing one of those mickey mouse hats with the big plastic ears and half of one them was chewed off by a dog and the other was bent in half. This alone almost put a smile on my face but what he did next profoundly changed my outlook on my dire situation. He had brought along an old beat up acoustic guitar and he started strumming the two chords he knew. After a few minutes he kind of found a rythme and started singing a song about being in love with a chicken and the chicken being sent to KFC and so he kidnapped it and on and on. I know its corny but I laughed so hard it actually set off one of the monitors I was hooked up to.

I dont know if it was the music or the laughter or that someone cared enough to make a complete fool of themself just to cheer ME up but it definitely changed me. The one thing most people comment on after meeting me is my positive attitude. Well, a big part of that is due to a silly song about a chicken. To this day my little brother and I have a bond that I've never experienced with anyone else. We've dealt with some tough situations since then and have know with complete confidence that he has my back and he knows I have his.

Steve is so right that this is not a competition. If an old out-of-tune acoustic, two chords and corny song about a chicken made up on the spot can change a life I'm sure music can change the world like this old vet says.

Peace my friends.
S 13-14

May your bends always be to pitch.

#54 Steve Krenz

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 01:56 PM

Thanks Craig. Yes.

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#55 Lacks Focus

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 12:48 PM

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to your very touching post, Steve. I have no instances of playing that I can share – I’m still striving to get to the point where I’m able to do that sort of thing. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t have a deep and profound appreciation for what music can bring to us, particularly on that scale – music played for and among family and friends.

I mentioned to you that I’m going to be sending you a CD copy of an acoustic guitar LP that was recorded by an old friend of mine many years ago. This gentleman was the person who first introduced me to the whole notion that genuinely good, and personal, music can be made by everyday people like all of us. I first saw him when he was in a folk duo, playing at a high school graduation party for a friend of mine. This would have been about 1971 or so. In the best folk music tradition they did a variety of songs, some protest, some humorous, some songs I knew (“For What It’s Worth”) and some I didn’t (Mason Proffit’s “Two Hangmen”), even one or two mildly bawdy ones like “Mandy Lane.” When they played, everyone sat, transfixed. I had never seen or heard anything like that. At that point in my life, music was something either played badly by grade school wind ensembles, or slickly professional stuff that came out of our radios' and record players’ speakers. This was completely new to me, and I loved everything about it – the sound of the guitars, the connection between the performer and the audience, the messages in the songs.

From that point on I would go see him and whatever ensemble he was in at the time, wherever they happened to be playing around town. Eventually I started taking lessons from him, got to know him, his family and the other members of his band very well, and we all became very good friends. We all had quite a few years of great and memorable times together, all of them focused in one way or another on the music we all shared a love of, whether it was at a performance, a holiday cookout, or just hanging out at Saturday afternoon jam sessions at his own short-lived guitar shop. He's even responsible, directly or indirectly, for my getting several of the instruments I've had over the years, including the old Martin and Stelling I have. Eventually I moved away from my home town in 1986, and the only real regret I have about making that move is that I rarely got to see him and the rest of the gang. Even so, I still think of him as a great friend and musical mentor.

All of this has been at the forefront of my mind for the last several weeks, since this friend, now in his early 60s, sent a note out to us all saying that he’d been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, the disease which took his own father’s life. To know that a disease like that is his future, particularly with its ravaging effect on motor control when he’s brought so much joy to so many people with his playing, must be a devastating burden, though he seems to be bearing it well, and insists he wants no sympathy from anyone. Still, I can’t help but be saddened by it.

My point in all of this is that if it weren’t for his music, I would never have come to know this incredible human being, or the wonderful other folks in that circle of friends, and I wouldn’t have a lifetime of treasured memories centered on that music. And I almost certainly wouldn’t have had the incentive or desire to learn to be able to create that kind of musical magic myself.

So yes, music is a profound and humanizing influence on those fortunate enough to make, hear and appreciate it.
Craig in Indy

#56 Kent

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 08:44 AM

Thanks for sharing those stories with us. :D

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#57 slavic

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 06:35 AM

That's an outstanding post Steve.

Round Rock? Wow if that was 13 years ago then I think we were neighbors.

#58 BrianMcG321

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 05:36 AM

Wow. That was a great post. Thanks.

#59 Steve Krenz

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 05:30 AM

(Steve steps up on soap box)


I'm sick and tired of musicians and guitar players in particular viewing their skills as some sort of endless talent competition. Where what matters most is how fast you play or who's the best or what's the most impressive thing you've played or some other completely non-sensical measure of music's meaning or goal. So, today I'm completely rebelling.


Making music and playing guitar can mean so much more than that.


I've played for all kinds of things - great and small. But here are two of the most profound and meaningful musical moments I've ever had in my life.


Magical Musical Moment #1 - Playing for my son's kindergarten class.


When my oldest son, David (whose now off at college) was in kindergarten I would go to his elementary school on Friday's and play guitar and sing for his class. The teacher, Mrs. Walker, would get a few free minutes while I took the class and we would all sit down on the carpet and sing children's songs for a few wonderful moments. My son would sit in the back simultaneously embarrased and proud to see dad playing for his friends.


We would always end our time by bringing out this huge book that went along with the words to the song "What a Wonderful World" (Louis Armstrong). We would flip the pages of the book and sing the song. And somewhere as we sang the phrases about "trees of green", "red roses too", and "friends saying I love you" we all were reminded of what a wonderful world it really is.


My son, for years after that, would always tear up when we heard that song anywhere. And to this day it is a special song and memory for our family.


As I sat and played in the kindergarten class in Round Rock Texas to my boy and his little classmates I felt like a musician in the most profound and meaningful sense.






Magical Musical Moment #2 - Playing my wife to sleep in the Intensive Care.



It was about 3 years ago that my wife suddenly came down with life-threatening pancreatitis. I remember in the emergency room the doctor saying "Mr. Krenz, the mortality rate for this is 80 to 90%". She was in the intensive care unit of the hospital for weeks. After about 3 months of care she finally pulled out of it. Some of you old timers on the board may remember that time.


One of those evenings when she was in the intensive care, I snuck my guitar into the hospital room late one evening, sat down on the tile floor, and played her to sleep which I have done many times. I remember how cold the floor was, I remember the nurse quietly coming in, checking on a few things, and leaving all while I played guitar on the floor. When I finished playing for a while, I finished to the sound of the machines and pumps purring keeping my wife alive as she slept. The nurses that so wonderfully cared for us during those weeks commented as I left how nice it was because they don't usually have music up there.


In that moment, as I played on that cold hospital floor, more than probably any other moment in my life I felt like my music mattered.


These are just a few magical musical moments I've had.


Please consider sharing some of yours.


What's your magical musical moment? What has been one of your most mearningful moments of playing music?


- Steve

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#60 Hermit

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 03:47 AM

An elderly friend of mine was confined to a nursing home for several weeks due to a broken leg. I knew that he loved music so I packed up my guitar
and surprised him one afternoon. I sat by his bedside for about half an hour and played old country songs and country gospel from the sixties and seventies for him. Another man rolled up next to me in his wheelchair and listened in. From time to time I would see the nurses outside the door tapping their feet. My friend was overjoyed that I came to sing and play for him and kept commenting that he hadn't heard those songs in years. He's out of the nursing home now and whenever I see him he thanks me again. His daughter and son-in-law have both told me how much my visit meant to him. Open mic's in the coffee house are fun, but playing for the people you care about is truly rewarding.
John in Georgia
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