Let Every Voice…

Winter holidays and music go together like potatoes and gravy or snow and boots.

Do you favor the happy, upbeat rhythm of popular music? Or the ballads from decades ago? Perhaps you prefer familiar, sacred melodies.

Each has a certain charm. Like many people, I can enjoy a variety of holiday tunes with soaring melodies, religious lyrics, and comedy tunes of reindeer.

This puzzles features many voices with many songs. I like to think the tunes are happy. However, I know some spread a word of warning to their loved ones. As we sing our winter holiday songs, let’s look forward to the spring chorus of our feathered friends.

Small town residents need to be flexible. Beth Cosgrove, known in the community as the breeder of German shepherds and accountant, is also called upon to sing a solo for a church service. Nervous – yes. (She prefers to sing in a group.) Astonished when an audience comes to rehearsal — double yes. Check out the sweet romance SEED OF DESIRE for the entire story. Kindle:


Finger Power

With only your fingers you can make a person laugh, cry, relax, or dance.

Can anyone do it? Pretty much.

Can I do it well? That depends — have you received a little basic instruction and then practiced? Practice is key. Every day is best. Regular will keep your skills sharp and progressing. Once in a great while? Not so good. You need “muscle memory” for best results.

However, the ability never goes away completely. Even after a break of months or years many people can quickly recover much of the ability sleeping in their hands.

Side benefit — even if the electricity fails, a piano can furnish quality entertainment.


Hidden Exercise

Keep your body healthy! Exercise! Every day!

Touch your toes. Jumping jacks. Sit-ups.

As one of the students who disliked physical education class — those are frightful words.

The real world — outside of P.E. class — is kinder.

Walk from here to there. Grab a ball and play a game. Put on some music and DANCE!

Note the trim figures on this dancing couple.

So hide your exercise with music, laughter, companionship, or necessity. Don’t let the memory of calisthenics in school keep you sidelined.


A Fiddle Fit For…

Paul Bunyan? Pecos Bill? Goliath?

Can you imagine the sound as our Giant of Giants strikes up a dance tune?If the people of Sydney, NS built this to impress the cruise ship tourists —             I think they succeeded.

If you were to play a welcome tune on this instrument…what would it be?

A jig? A ballad? A classic lullaby? With practice (and at least a dash of innate talent) a musician can make one fiddle suitable for all occasions.




The preacher was fantastic. Inspiring.

Nashville steamboat captain and businessman Thomas G. Ryman heard the message at an 1885 revival. He was so moved, he put his energy and money into the construction of Union Gospel Tabernacle.

The acoustics are wonderful. The building became a popular venue for concerts and cultural events.

Renovations were made which increased the seating and preserved the sound.

Today thousands of tourists flock to the building to tour the displays and absorb the musical history of the site. But it’s more than museum. Performances occur.

Thank you, Captain Ryman.

You won’t find “Union Gospel Tabernacle” on a Nashville city map. But you will find “Ryman Auditorium. Frequently referred to as the home of the “Grand Ole Opry”


Relaxation Technique

Are you tense? Angry? Frustrated that others are not doing their jobs as you feel they should?

You should relax. Rid your body of overt amounts of tension.

Many techniques exist. And some have made fortunes for the authors and teachers. Massage is frequently recommended — but it requires a second person.

Meditation and prayer appear near the top of any list.

And then my favorite – rumored to be able to soothe a savage beast — music.

Sculpture of boy charming frog and bird with his flute.

I’m not sure of flutes. But our milk cows swayed to the music on the radio.



Sing Out a Welcome

American music. Think Country, Jazz, Blues, and Folk.

While is music is a form of entertainment and communication that crosses boundaries, it also has roots. And the Mid-South region of the United States has a jumble of them. The plants they support have grown, evolved, and even seeded new forms through the decades.

On our recent road trip (another great American institution) we found a state proud to proclaim their musical heritage.

TN Welcome Center

Yes, we make a point to enjoy a little music during our stay.


Snappy Uniforms

First you hear the drums.  Then the brass. A good solid, marching tune.

I can’t help it. A marching band is the highlight of a parade in my mind. Perhaps it’s a cultural thing. Or even genetic. I’m aware of one great grandfather who played the baritone in the town band. (I’m not sure if they marched. They had uniforms.)

Left foot first. Stay in step. Even steps. Trombones in the front row. (If you’ve ever sat in front of them in a concert band you understand why.) Keep the row straight on a wheel turn. Eyes front.

This fine group of military musicians and guards never miss a step. They are known for their hats. But I like the bright red tunics even better.

Doing the Queen -- and their commanding officer - proud.
Doing the Queen — and their commanding officer – proud.