9 November 2009
Banjos, Workshops, Songs and You
A heads up to the banjo players out there. Yes you (singular). Should you strap a banjo on your back and bike across town, then do please take time on the breezy bridges.
Friday was a beautiful day here in the Twin Cities and so I chose to bike to a morning of music with Jonathan Rundman. Last Sunday Joel Setterholm and I backed Jonathan up at an emergent style worship service and afterwards he invited us to back him up once again at Augsburg College for a morning chapel service. My mandolin and cheat sheets fit into my panniers but the banjo was a little too bulky. So I strapped my banjo on my back pack and headed out the door at which point the neck of the banjo hit the top of the door jam and nearly laid me out flat. Hellooooo Absalom. This extra bulk at the top would soon become a sail. A sail is a handy thing. Unless of course you’re not riding with the wind. Which I was not. It actually wasn’t that bad a thing, until I went over the lake/marshall bridge. The cross wind was strong enough that I think I was actually biking at an angle leaning into it. Funny. I should’ve had my V8.
We played, it went well, I got to chat with one of my hymnody heroes Ray Makeever, everybody was happy. Especially Joel and I, because we were only half way through our musical morning.
Joel is an experienced Shape Note singer and had the heads up on a guest lecturer at the nearby U of M campus who would be sharing about and leading an hour of Sacred Harp music. I’ve been curious about this style of singing for a number of years and was thrilled to go along. And it was amazing! Tim Eriksen gave a bunch of us newbies a history and theory on the style and then led us in a few hymns. It was a great workshop. And inspiring because…
Saturday morning I picked up Jonathan at 6 am and we headed for Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville for Children… Our Future, an early childhood conference where we would be playing music and presenting workshops. We lead opening music in PoP’s huge sanctuary. It was kind of funny because it’s one of those church’s where the band sets up front and center and the altar (at least there was one) was over to the side. Maybe they had just moved it for the conference. Let’s hope so. Anyway we were up there, behind the keynote speaker projector screen and surrounded by fake shrubberies. You read me write. All at 7:30 on a Saturday morning.
No really, kids, stay in school and get a real job!
Just joking, 9-5 stinks.
The music was fun and then we got to lead workshops. This was the highlight for me. I had a great group, we covered lots of ground, and had fun singing and sharing ideas for making music a stronger component in our learning environments. What a blast! I love my job. If you were at the conference and would like to download my outline that includes song leading tips, please click on the Kid’s Music tab.
Thank you all for playing the parts that allow me to make a living doing what I love, thanks for employment, thanks for encouragement, thanks for support, thanks all around.