Variations in Music

I was driving home tonight listening to Sirius XM Holiday Traditions. Usually some classic Christmas melodies and songs are played that everyone has heard at some point. These are calm and soothing as I drive home from work.

I was pleasantly surprised when an instrumental rendition of “My Favorite Things” was played. The biggest difference from the original song (and most music on this station) was that it was up beat and cantina sounding. It got me grooving and wanting to race home. The song must’ve been really good because the main part of the instrumental is still in my head. And I’m bobbing around humming it.

I enjoy when artists take an original piece and add their own colour to it. It shows off their talents out loud. These are a few of my favorite things

Advertisements

Choir Night 2017

Since our children began at Langley Fine Arts, they have expanded their interest in many arts. While their majors are in the music program, they have enjoyed drama, art, photography and film. Tonight is the yearly Christmas showcase of the choir talents of the school.

I was never very talented at singing. My wife is decent, but won’t perform for people. So it surprised me when all three of our children willingly joined choir at school. All of them have enjoyed it so much so, that they keep returning to it.

My wife and I are extremely proud of our children. We are looking forward to watching the annual “Night of Choir”. This is a great way to get us all in the Christmas spirit a few weeks ahead of schedule.

Holiday Music

I love this time of year. The music is all the same everywhere you go. Carols and Christmas songs pumped through the airways. In the stores, on the radio, even loudly through my home.

I love it all- from The Chipmunks to Barbra Streisand; Elvis to N’Sync… classical music to progressive rock. If it’s Christmasy or winter filled- my emotions get hyped.

Yes, playing Christmas music on November 1st is allowed. I need my two months of music. These are songs I’ve heard over the years numerous times. I could recite and sing along to them. Except maybe with “The Vienna Boys Choir” according to my wife… but it’s so much fun to attempt.

May the joy of music fill your homes and hearts this holiday season as it does mine!

When I Listen to My Music- Everyone Else Does As Well

Driving to pick up the kids today I decided to crank the radio- as I usually do. I’ve always loved listening to music loudly. Anyone who knows me knows this to be true. No matter what song I am listening to, if I like it- I don’t get easily embarrassed playing it loudly.

As I sat in the pick up lane to get the kids, some classic 90’s songs were heard coming from my car. This also included some choreography as I sat there. As parents walked by, they couldn’t help but smile, hum along and dance as well. Hearing the Spice Girls played so loud that you could hear it in the school was my way of summoning my children out.

As my children entered the car, some complaining and embarrassed looks were had. But the volume didn’t get turned down. Their classmates headed towards their respective rides home and smiled and danced along. The ride home was eventually filled with fun from the kids as they realized that this was happening no matter what.

Our journey home was great. No fighting or complaining. We listened to Trans Siberian Orchestra: Wizards in Winter belt out holiday cheer. When we got home, the kids asked if I could put on Christmas music throughout the house. Something about loud progressive rock music made us all joyous.

Or else it was the ringing in our ears that reminded us of sleigh bells.

Either way, Christmas Cheer is here!

Loss of Musical Artists 

Over the past couple of years, the world has lost some tremendous musicians. It’s bound to happen.  But their musical legacy will remain for future generations to enjoy. As I feel bad for the artists’ families, it reminds me that these artists were just people too.  People die- it’s kind of unavoidable in the end.


Instead of being angry at the world for taking these artists, I like to celebrate their achievements. Playing an old cd or song they wrote helps. The memories come flooding in of what those songs meant to me at one time or another.  Good times, good friends, great laughs, dancing, and even some sad moments. But that’s what music is for- to stimulate an emotional response.

The world is full of song. As each artist leaves the earth- their songs echo in our hearts. It makes me smile once more to hear them played on the radio. 

It’s better to celebrate their lives than mourn their demise.

Ear Worm

There’s a tune stuck in my head from a song I heard the other day.  I don’t know the name of the song or the artist or even the words to the song.  The only thing I do know is that it’s an 80’s song.


Not much else to go on.  I can’t even hum the tune because it was of a higher octave than I can manage. But there it is, in the back of my mind pushing forward. I need to get some other song to take over until this one diminishes into oblivion.

I haven’t had this happen in quite some time.  Usually I can sing the song or find it online to get my fix.  But this one is different.  This one is killing me softly with its song.  

Even Khan’s ear bugs would be a nice change.


Nope.  Even trying to add lyrics from some other song isn’t working.  Time to turn the radio up for that sweet sound. Maybe I can drown it out.

Money for Music

Music brings out emotions.  Like today for example.  I am emotional because I just spent $600 for our son to play a trumpet for school. Maybe emotional isn’t the right word.  More like “pained” from dropping so much money all at once.


It’s not the first time we’ve had to do this.  Each of our children love music. My wife and I have catered to this in many ways.  We’ve bought three guitars, a flute, a drum kit and a grand piano (this is what started it all) to name a few.  We see these purchases as investments.  Investments into an appreciation of the arts.


Our two oldest children love to perform. They enjoy being parts of large and small ensembles. Purchasing a trumpet for our youngest was always going to happen.  Ok, perhaps a saxophone may have happened, but a new instrument was going to enter our home as he entered Grade 6. So now we will have a small ensemble available in our home.  

My hope is that our children continue to explore their talents as they get older.  A deep appreciation for music is already established within all of them. Aside from costing us a small fortune, it’s really worth it in the end.

At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

Back to School!!!

I can’t believe how quickly summer ended.  The weather was hot. The kids stayed active. And my last two weeks have been spectacular. We went to Vancouver Island, Powell River, camping on the west side of Harrison Lake, and finished it with a couple of days at Great Wolf Lodge.


We also enjoyed hanging out with friends and family, tasting beers, a horse show, swimming in various rivers, lakes & pools, Parkour, reading books, walks, fresh fruits & vegetables, plus movies and video games galore to name a few more.  This past summer was another great one that everyone enjoyed. Now we are looking forward to the start of the school year.


Music classes, drama, art, and photography will take center stage as our children enter their next year at Langley Fine Arts School. This means a new instrument- or two if one or more child chooses to try something different. We may need to update photography equipment- my father-in-law donated a bunch of developing equipment, so we may have to make a dark room. I love photography, so this could be a new hobby of mine as well…

Outside of school there has been a few changes. No more cheerleading for our middle daughter. She has decided to return to Speed Skating in an effort to make it into the BC Winter Games. All of our kids are leaving piano lessons (sadly 😢) but they are wanting to pursue other musical passions. Such as guitar and drums! As the school year unfolds over the next month or so, I’m pretty sure more clubs and groups will be wanting to be joined by the kids.


I really love all the fun stuff we do together. I’m also really proud that my children want to take on new challenges as they get older. Promoting their education is a big deal.  Over the past few years, my wife and I constantly talk with our kids about post secondary education, scholarships, and their future successes. Even with our youngest going into grade 6, we still want him to focus on his future goals.

Throughout the school year there will be challenges. Some will be scheduling conflicts. Some may be financial conflicts. And of course, some will be motivational conflicts. Like how do you get your child to do homework when sitting in front of a screen would be so much more fun? Or how do you explain that even if they don’t like the way the teacher teaches, you still have to complete the work assigned? Almost every parent has these problems to face. Some parents face bigger issues that are much harder to talk about. Just remember that we’re all in it together. Oh yeah…

It’s almost back to school!!! With 3 exclamation points.

Music is Life


I love music.  I enjoy hearing it echo throughout my home.  I installed speakers everywhere and I am always searching new styles of music to enjoy.  When I was a teenager, I listened to it as loud as possible while driving my car that my trunk would rattle.  Many a concert that I attended- I don’t remember much about them. But I have ticket stubs to say I was there. I’m surprised that I have only lost just under a quarter of my hearing in my right ear for certain decibels. 

We have kept music alive in our home for years. Once our children were born, we bought into the whole “Baby Einstein” thing.  I loved the music playing from the tv.  I think it helped to raise an appreciation for music and the arts in our children. When our children where in preschool, every month they learned about a different classical musician or artist.  It sure was better than hearing theme songs from Dora or Disney JR sung over and over.

Our children have been taking piano lessons since they were each in grade 1. We bought a grand piano nearly a decade ago.  It cost us the price of a car.  But it has brought much joy (and some anger) as they have played and practiced over the years. Today, our middle child had her Royal Conservatory Exam for Grade 3 piano.  Tomorrow night all three will be performing at a piano recital put on by their piano teacher.

Next year at school, our youngest will have an opportunity to start playing an instrument for band. My wife and I feel he should do trumpet.  He wants to try for a string instrument like the cello as well. Our kids love trying more unique instruments. This year, our middle child took on learning the Bassoon. She already had two years of clarinet, but wanted to stand out a bit more in music.  Our oldest joined choir this year.  I never knew she could sing at the caliber that she can. It also helped her with getting herself out there and perform for an audience.


I hope that our children have a lifelong appreciation for music.  I’d love to see them pursue more long term in the arts after leaving school.  I don’t want them to have regrets about not continuing on like many of my adult friends have had.

Radio Waves

My household loves music.  Our kids play a variety of instruments from piano to bassoon.  They all attend a Fine Arts School and major in music as well.  I have also set up speakers throughout the main floor and back deck in order to enjoy music in almost every room.  I often use Kodi to search out a variety of radio stations and styles of music to fit my mood.  Oftentimes settling on Chamber Music or top 100 from the 80’s/90’s.  Occasionally Bluegrass or J-Pop sneaks in…


When I drive, I always have the radio on. Since getting my Rogue back in December, I’ve been listening to SiriusXM every time I drive my car.  We have had the satellite radio service for years in my wife’s Pathfinder, but we also listen to regular radio stations as well in her car.  Usually it’s NEWS1130 in order to keep up with current events both locally and internationally.


In my car however, the type of XM radio stations I listen to has morphed over the past few months.  First it was all music.  Disco, Grunge, 80’s, 90’s, even Classic Rock. Then I decided to start listening to the Comedy stations.  A few good laughs were had.  Now I am onto Talk Radio.  Specifically “SiriusXM insight”.  I find I really enjoy hearing people talk about everything and anything.

My issues with satellite radio are: The programming seems to be on repeat every 11-14 hours.  Which is rather annoying.  You’d think that with satellite radio and the money people spend on it, that there would be more variety constantly. Which brings me to my other point: Why should I pay for radio? I haven’t discovered the value in it.  

So when my six month subscription runs out in September, I will not be renewing.  The button on my car’s radio shall become useless.  Although, it feels that way for my FM button at the moment.  I don’t think I’ve even programmed in the local radio stations.  


In the end, I can live without paying for radio.  It’s just another expense not worthwhile.  Kind of like cutting off the cable tv.  There is so much more out there to be entertained by instead of wasting money on these strange luxuries. I just need to find a way to stream J-Pop into my car…