Category Archives: Music programming

The times they are a-changin’

I was eating a bowl of cereal in my kitchen last October when I heard on the radio that Bob Dylan had won the Nobel Prize in Literature. I abandoned my spelt flakes, went to my sheet music closet, found … Continue reading

Posted in Aging, Audiences, Music and emotion, Music programming, Song requests, Volunteering | Tagged | 2 Comments

Graveyard smash

When my daughter was little, we had a cassette tape of spooky sounds that we played on Halloween night, when the kids approached the house for trick-or-treating: blood-curdling screams, howling wolves, creaky doors, bubbling cauldrons. It got a laugh from … Continue reading

Posted in Music history, Music programming, Volunteering | Tagged | 9 Comments

When I leave the world behind

I’m an obituary aficionado. I appreciate how a thoughtful, well-written obituary presents a life, a legacy, in a nutshell: abbreviated family tree, work history, accomplishments, hobbies, talents. I prefer obits with a little personality, like the one I clipped out … Continue reading

Posted in Music and emotion, Music programming, Song requests, Volunteering | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Into each life some rain must fall

My long-time listeners know I slip in the occasional song to acknowledge the weather. I might play Irving Berlin’s “Blue Skies” when the sun shines, or “Button Up Your Overcoat” on cold, blustery days (I played that one a lot … Continue reading

Posted in Music history, Music programming, Piano performance, Volunteering | Tagged | 12 Comments

Blossom of snow

The calendar says spring starts next week, but I’m not buying it. In mid-Michigan, we were teased last Monday, when temperatures reached 49 degrees. Then on Wednesday we woke up to this: Regardless of the weather, I’m bringing out some … Continue reading

Posted in Music history, Music programming, Piano performance, Volunteering | Tagged | 2 Comments

Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 64?

When I decide on my set list for a volunteer gig, I stick mostly to American standards from the 1920s, 30s, and 40s. I might add a couple of Doris Day or Tony Bennett favorites from the 1950s, or toss … Continue reading

Posted in Music and emotion, Music programming, Piano performance, Volunteering | Tagged | 6 Comments

Why does it get so late so early?

I’m a firm believer in the idea that we should tailor our behavior to situation and circumstance. Just ask my daughter. She learned at an early age that it’s fine with Mom to yell to your friends on the playground, … Continue reading

Posted in Audiences, Music and emotion, Music history, Music programming, Volunteering | 4 Comments

Humoresque

Just for fun, I’ve been collecting amusing song titles, concentrating on the pre-1960 popular repertoire. It all started when I came across a 1940 big band instrumental, “Celery Stalks at Midnight.” Here’s what else I found, in rough chronological order. … Continue reading

Posted in Music history, Music programming, Songwriters | 10 Comments

With these hands

I think being able to play the piano by ear is a remarkable skill. One I don’t have, as many of you know. Unfortunately, that makes taking requests a little tricky. Actually I can often play songs people ask me … Continue reading

Posted in Audiences, Music programming, Piano performance, Song requests, Volunteering | 1 Comment

Namely you

You’d be hard-pressed to find a birth announcement these days for a baby girl named Mildred. Or Ethel, or Shirley. But in my audiences, these good, old-fashioned names flourish. I used to play the piano on the first Monday evening … Continue reading

Posted in Audiences, Music history, Music programming, Song requests, Volunteering | 8 Comments