Music, Music, Music!

| July 21, 2011 | 0 Comments

“Live Long and Prosper” was the title of a lengthy article in the recent “Successful Aging Expo” program, outlining dozens of activities and techniques to help all of us…age successfully. How amazing, I thought, reading it through, that the writers omitted MUSIC – the one rewarding, diverting, entertaining and enjoyable activity that we – The Laura Michaels Trio” – find happens at every “gig” we play.

Laura Walcher, Michael Kaplan and Jerry Rosenberger are living their dream.

Among other performances, we play the “senior circuit” county-wide retirement, independent and assisted living facilities. (I hope we’re “aging successfully” along with our audiences!)  Here’s what we experience:  rousing sing-alongs (whether we invite our audience to do so – or not!), dancing (if not on the dance floor, toes still tap and hands still clap!)  And the best is that we ourselves love the music that best resonates with our audiences:  America’s “best”: the Gershwin brothers, Cole Porter, Hank Williams (who actually wrote a few cheery songs amongst so many dyin’ love ones!), Jerome Kern, Harold Arlen –  and of course, the music from the shows that go with them, like Rogers & Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!,” Gershwin’s “Porgy & Bess,” or Frank Baum’s “Wizard of Oz.”  It’s a musical genre – called “The American Songbook” – that brings back memories, and reminds our audiences that there’s, indeed, plenty they remember (like all the lyrics and melodies!).

“Music is the strongest force I can think of … it has bonded us humans for many a millennia ..,” so said Chilean guitarist Marcelo Radoluvich. He’s “only” 45; we knew that!

We three are a doctor, a lawyer, and a publicist. Although our drummer Michael Kaplan, and Jerry Rosenberger, our pianist, and I began our musical education as children, we ALL gave it up for careers, for which we now scratch our heads in total amazement. Jerry cheerfully calls it our “work break.”

These days, you’d find us thinking very carefully about choosing careers over music (since two of us are still gainful wage-earners), because not only do we share the love of our own musical preferences with our audiences, but, as Michael says, we know it gets us out of our heads – – by which he means what we’ve found out:  you simply can’t think of anything else – – health, Afghanistan, finances, families – nothing! – while you’re playing music. You’re at least temporarily free of the various anxieties the world just seems to provide.

And, we trust, our listeners have the same experience.

Music therapists have eagerly embraced that and turned it into a healing treatment.

So, one day we’ll give it up, right?  Jerry says, “Sure, when they carry me out, feet first!” And Michael chimes in, “Sure, til’ arthritis permanently curls my fingers!”

Oh my! Playing, singing, entertaining (ourselves and our audiences), we’ve uncovered that one essential key to “live long and prosper.” I think we’re in it for the long haul.

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