Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Our Gala Christmas Issue

Holiday Greetings:

Looks like I won't be going into the office today.

Last night Pam informed me that we have to go to Costco
today to finish our Christmas shopping.

"And start it," she added.

Not looking forward to that. I love the giving part.
It's getting to that point that I don't care for all
that much. I never took too kindly to shopping.

But I'm looking forward to later in the day when I get
to give without having to go through the crowds and
lines. Pam and I will bring our instruments to the Work
Training Center to play Christmas songs for the
clients. I love being able to do that.

I often think about what is the psychology behind what
motivates a person to learn to play an instrument. The
way most people go about it it's never an easy process.
They find it to be difficult, demanding on the body as
well as the mind, tedious, lonely. And there is no way
to count all the hours that go into it. So why do they
do it?

For the money? Hah. Sometimes there's some money
involved for some people, but it's usually barely
enough to pay for gas. No, I think there is an inherant
joy in both giving and receiving, and playing music for
people lets you give and receive at the same time. I
can't think of anything else in life that works exactly
in this way.

Pam and I have actually played out about a half dozen
times in the past two weeks. Fundraisers, private
parties, a Christmas tree farm. All just for fun. And
we feel blessed to be able to do it.

The Work Training Center is a place that does a lot of
the assembly work for our product line. The
employees/clients are all mentally handicapped to
various degrees. We've played for them before. And just
the little bit we did for them brought tears to their
eyes. And of course that brought the tears to our eyes

And maybe that's the payoff. That's the compensation
for all those lonely hours practicing scales and
exercises and being frustrated that some songs just
don't learn themselves.

I'd like to wish you a very Merry Christmas or whatever
you choose to celebrate at this time of year. And if
you don't celebrate anything, bah humbug to you. Go out
and learn an instrument, and brighten up your life.

Feel like commenting on this or any other of our
issues? Please do so at our blog site.


Now it's time to play.



  1. Dear Robert,

    I am also fascinated by the question, what drives people (including myself since half a year) to learn an instrument. The explanation of the giving and receiving is for sure an important part of it. However, I think there is even something more fundamental that drives us. I have read science news recently, that there are strong links between the way music and language are processed in the brain. We are wired for both. Have a look at the intro for this book, very interesting:

  2. Just learning to play piano, have been playing guitar for years.
    Plain and simple, it just satisfies my soul, and makes me more aware of the presence of God.

  3. What a wonderful question. The piano is the only way I have ever found of explaining my deepest thoughts and feelings. You can call me crazy if you like but I truly believe that I can feel the presence of the holy spirit through music. I wish I could explain this better and see if any others feel the same way but words simply fail me. Sometimes my playing also fails me and I feel like a person trying to communicate a very important message in a foreign language of which I can barley speak. Oh how I wish I could express myself musically like Billy Joel. If I could chose only one song to be an example of what I'm trying to say, It would be "The heart of the matter" by Don Henely.

  4. This Gala Christmas Issue is nothing short of a festive masterpiece! With its captivating blend of heartwarming stories, enchanting illustrations, and a sprinkle of holiday magic, it's a joyous celebration of the season. Each page is like unwrapping a delightful present, revealing tales that warm our hearts and remind us of the true spirit of Christmas. It's a seasonal treasure trove, and I can't wait to dive into its pages, ready to be transported into a world of yuletide wonder. Cheers to a holiday season filled with love, laughter, and the cherished stories within this Gala Christmas Issue! 🎄✨

  5. Thank you for sharing your journey here. Keep up the good work! concrete company San Antonio TX