Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring: Engage with it!

Spring Altar, created by Jan Michael Meade.
  It's spring, and all I want to do is be outside in our beautiful mountain town.  Like everyone else, I'm feeling the effects of the weather, and have more energy, more sass, and tons more time (since I'm getting up earlier with the sunshine!)
  It's been hard for me to make it to cultural events with all of this outside itching to be explored.  I'm waiting for some outdoor concerts--but I know that screening, playing and performing outside can produce some logistical nightmares for my artist friends.  The elements aren't so nice on instruments, paintings and film screens.  I do love my transcendental experiences at Ardrey Auditorium, Coconino Center for the Arts, and Cline Library Assembly Hall, and I appreciate the talent I see there, and understand why it's easier to be inside. 

  But you see, I've got Spring Fever, and bad!  I need to play a more active, engaged, participatory role in the arts right now.  I'm just brimming with feeling and it's not enough to listen, look or absorb.  I need to put something out there, or I just. may. burst.

  I've been joining my friend Meghan Callahan for her weekly women's music group on the NAU campus.  Meghan is a dear friend, and a talented musician.  She runs a music therapy business, Mountain Health Music and is the director of Flagstaff Threshold Choir, a women’s choir that sings in small groups at the bedside of those struggling with living or dying.  Meghan knows firsthand about music's ability to increase engagement, and provide an outlet for expression of feelings.  She uses it to quietly perform miracles every week.

  The other thing that Meghan does for me is make music accessible.  She told us in the music group that we are so used to watching virtuosity onstage, that we forget that music can be part of our daily lives.  Who cares if I'm any good?  I enjoy her drum circles because it makes me happy to find my rhythm and express it.  If that makes me a hippy again, then I guess I'm okay with it.  Kind of.

 Yesterday I joined the Flagstaff Drumming into the Seasons group as they welcomed spring.  This group is committed to "Fostering connection and celebrating the seasonal cycles through community drumming" and they have made their own Sacred Yellow Drum for that purpose.  Everyone is welcome to join in the music!  So I did, and helped create a little bit of rhythm, sang a little bit of verse, and expressed my love for spring and music at the same time. 

I'm playing the Sacred Yellow Drum (and loving it.)
  It was just what the Easter Bunny ordered!

1 comment:

  1. awesome! Jan's so good at creating altars. did you see his at Firefly Festival!?
    btw, what's his email??