When I was a little girl; I loved to sing. I especially loved singing with my Mom and spending time with her. Mom shared with me the music in her heart and I took to it instantly. We had “music time” together, and she taught me songs, “On The Good Ship Lollipop” is one I remember, Shirley Temple being a favorite. I loved the feeling of singing, the physical sensation of my voice lifting and soaring up to the high notes. I also loved that singing allowed me to dream and fantasize and tell stories. I loved singing harmonies with Mom. She later told me this was unusual for such a little girl, to hear and sing those harmonies, but I was enamored with the sound and it came naturally. I remember in first grade, my teacher Mrs. Smith taught us patriotic songs like “America The Beautiful”. I wasn’t shy at all and let it rip, singing loudly above the other children and loving the feeling of letting my voice soar.
Going to church was a big part of my family’s life and I am so grateful for this part of my upbringing. My Mom was the choir director and had me singing solos at a very early age. I don’t remember the exact title of the song, but remember singing at a Sunday evening service, “Oh be careful little feet where you go…” and I wasn’t nervous at all, it was just fun! Singing at church was such an amazing experience and the songs came into every cell of my being. A deep knowing took place: a soul connection with music and God. I learned that singing could be a prayer and lift spirits, of those singing and those listening alike.
A few years ago I came across a picture of my Mom directing the choir at Elk Grove First Baptist Church. This is such a gem of a picture, capturing a precious moment in time. You can see, on each face, the enthusiasm with which they are singing; they are singing their hearts out. Some with heads thrown back, letting it rip, feeling their voices soar. Some of the singers in the picture, including Mommy, have gone on to heaven. I believe they are still singing in a heavenly choir; lifting spirits; soaring and singing their hearts out.
These days I sing at the Methodist church in the Pacific Palisades. One of my favorite and most fun things I get to do is sing harmonies with Joel Dalton. Here we are singing “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes”.
Do you remember when music first touched your heart? Have you ever experienced the feeling of soaring; your spirits lifted by song? Where else in life do you “let it rip” so you too can soar? Do you recognize friends and family in the picture of the FBC choir? I would love to hear your stories, your thoughts and experiences.
Did you ever notice that when we are in flow with the Spirit, things seem to fall into place quickly and easily, without much effort? What does it mean to be in flow with the Spirit? For me it means trusting and listening to that “still small voice” and having faith that God has my back. When I let go, it seems that the entire universe conspires to help me.
That’s exactly what happened in the planning of my music video. My dear friends, David and Ruby Sketchley, of Tiny Octopus Productions, were scouting locations just a few weeks before the shoot date. We’d been talking about two different songs and we were actually leaning toward another song when they went to a barn location in Winters, CA. They called me immediately to say the location was “jaw dropping beautiful” and perfect for my song “Been A Long Time” which was inspired by my Grandpa Ray. David and Ruby said the property was reminiscent of my Grandpa Ray’s farm, complete with barn, a Foreman’s Cottage, which was a little farmhouse with picket fence, a vegetable garden, a tractor, fig orchard and surrounding alfalfa fields.
To make the synchronicity complete, David and Ruby said that we needed someone to portray the farmer and mentioned using an actor. I said, “Well how about my Dad!” Who better to capture the emotion and power behind Grandpa Ray’s legacy than his son and best friend, my Daddy. So with just minimal arm-twisting he agreed to be in the video. Everything came full circle and fell into place so naturally and now in retrospect, it’s easy to see that “Been A Long Time” is the perfect choice for my video. The song shares my roots and the place in my heart where the songs come from. I’m so grateful to have experienced this with David, Ruby and my Dad, who were all part of God’s plan. That’s what can happen when we get in flow with Spirit!
I would love to hear what has happened for you when you get in flow with Spirit; please share your thoughts and experiences below!
Dreams DO come true! Little did we know when she began with me 11 years ago, the healing effects of music for Lexi would ripple out to thousands across the globe. This spring, my student Lexi sang “Traveling Mercy” at the Light Up The Blues Concert. The evening raised over $250,000 for children with autism. This is one of the reasons I do what I do. I am so so proud of her! Please see this article from Autism Speaks to read about the night’s success and to view pictures.
Next, a view from backstage! Watch the video of Lexi singing “Traveling Mercy”:
Want more? Check out this article about the concert from Fender.com.
The Light Up The Blues Concert has been a catalyst for dreaming big for me as well. I have had an amazing summer recording new songs and production planning for an upcoming video shoot in a few weeks. I can’t wait to share it with you!
My voice student, Lexington Aaron, is going to be featured on Light Up The Blues Concert, April 13 at the Nokia Theater! She will be singing the gospel-blues song, “People Get Ready”, by Curtis Mayfield. I’ll be there supporting her on piano, along with the CSN band! We are over the moon!
We will be doing a piano-vocal duo; my original song “Traveling Mercy”!
Read the press release to find links to purchase tickets.