Tag Archives: singing

Musicians and other artists – let us unite against all those who claim we don’t have a “proper job”!

Well, I had to visit the doctor’s today- again! I met a chatty nurse who became a little too chatty! She was trying to make friends with my daughter and asking the usual questions regarding age, school etc. My daughter announced that she would like to become a doctor so that she could make her mummy and daddy better.

Now, this is a beautiful notion and should not be ignored, but I responded with how I knew my daughter to be more musically inclined.  I said to the nurse that she would likely follow in her mother’s profession as a musician and performer.

Before I could add that I would , however, want her to become whatever she chose for herself, the nurse burst in with this line “Oh, you don’t want her to do that, you want her to get a proper job!”

Oh my, talk about prodding the chip on my shoulder just as much as she was prodding my arm with a needle! My cheeks turned very rosy at this point and I responded with how that statement makes me  “quite cross” and  how I wish my parents had been more supportive of my musical and acting ambitions.

This only seemed to encourage her further and I got her  life story… one of her daughter’s wanted to be a doctor and became a doctor and the other wanted to be a musician but she told her to be realistic as there was no way she would ever be a soloist and there is no money in that. This daughter now teaches violin. I recall my own mother saying something similar to me years ago.  She went on to say how a musician’s hours of performing were antisocial as they were night time (yes, because doctor’s and nurses are strictly nine to five).  Note to self: quickly grab daughter, get arm away from needle and vacate surgery, never have a blood test again!  

At this point I needed to vent and my sounding board noted that this nurse’s house no doubt had music in it in the way of CDs, instruments, and perhaps she should discard this collection if she was not respectful enough of the process. I might also add that musicians have the potential to earn more than doctors IF they choose to.

My dear friend also pointed out that I am doing good with my music abilities in choosing to help people therapeutically through the medium of music as well as through my songs which people say have a stress reducing effect on them. I needed to hear that today.

So I have a choice here, I can listen to this advice, which so many have tried to push on me over the years, just give up on my dream and get a “ proper job” or I can continue to follow this musical, unconventional  and holistic path and hope that one day society will encourage our children to look at the arts as much more than a “hobby” ( nurse’s word, not mine).

Yes, we need to be practical in our life choices to a certain extent but, moreover, we have one shot at this particular life, why would we waste it on anything less than our passion?

Sunflowers

summer-sunflowersAnother children’s story caught my attention today. It was one which I had never seen before and it moved me with its simplicity and layers. It caused me to wonder how we can bring peace about in the world. There was a dragon, a dove, a boy and a sunflower. I really like sunflowers as they are so bold and sunny! In the story, the sunflower took the place of a sword which his clever mum gave to him, and the boy and the dragon shared a love for this flower, stopped their fighting and became friends. Ah, now I have ruined the ending for you! The dove simply appeared on every picture as a symbol – one for the grown ups.  

Where there is natural beauty so can there be peace. We are more inclined to smile and say hello to someone whilst taking a country stroll than we are on our way to work in the smoggy and hectic city.  There is a country walk etiquette that does not apply elsewhere it seems.  If we can find a common ground, a love of beauty then we can consider being allies, I suppose. Which brings me to music, as usual. Here is a common ground, from all walks of life we can come together and make and enjoy music. It is universal and humbling. Except if you are at a Slip Knot gig and then I should imagine it’s complete chaos!

Patrick

 I am sitting in my study, glancing out of my window for inspiration. I have views that I would like to share and the world wide web seems to offer a wonderful soapbox for us. But who wants to hear my rant? Well, you never know until you give it a go!

So this is me, Beth Ford; Singer, songwriter, healer, voice coach and music leader (make up your mind, woman!) signing in to my first blog (nearly wrote blob then) on this foggy Thursday 3rd April at 16.02pm. Hello world!

I would like to share a book with you and a thought: the book is Quentin Blake’s ‘Patrick’. I think that it opens up so much on the topic of how music can lift us, heal us, transport us and even take the place of conventional medication at times. Now I am not suggesting that if you break a limb you should skip the cast and try singing it better (I think that I would get into trouble for that anyway) but we are learning more and more about the healing powers of music on the body and mind so if we are feeling a little low then the sound of a perfectly composed aria or playing air guitar to our favourite rock number can be just what we need to release the endorphins which lift us out of the slump.

Patrick buys himself a violin, plays it around his town and cheers everyone up along his way, adding colour and zest to his new friends and surroundings. It’s a sweet story for kids and big kids.

Patrick - by Quentin Blake

I have witnessed so much healing in the singing workshops which I run where individuals walk in with physical and emotional ailments and leave with a new outlook. They sing away and even dance as they are doing so and they forget their pains. The deep breathing and activity of the singing warms up the joints and eases muscular tension and even when a song makes us cry we feel better for the release .

So I would invite you to go and find a copy of Patrick to read (you can’t borrow mine as it’s busy being read on a regular basis!). That’s my thought for today… who knows the next one might be more gritty and political, but then it’s me so I doubt it!