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"Do You Believe In Magic"


ira

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"Believe in the magic of a young girl's soul,Believe in the magic of Rock and Roll,Believe in the magic that can set you free"... I really needed to talk tonight. Regardless of whether this post elicits any responses-I still needed to say something to some kindred spirits.My wife- like all of us- gets caught up in trying to negotiate all of life's demands and often forgets to take a moment for herself. I asked her to stop and watch Paul sing "English Tea" on an AOL Video and watch James Taylor perform "Carolina In My Mind" on AOL.COM as well.She sat-and it was as if 30 years peeled away and she was glowing-in a way I hadn't seen for a long while.All she said was-Thank You. I'm a teacher and as my first class enters,I always play music.Sylvia,a paraprofessional who helps with the disabled children ,confessed one morning to me that she used to help backstage at the "Fillmore East" but she hasn't listened to music in years and she really enjoys coming in to my class to the strains of old rock and roll.One day 3 years ago as -I was waiting in my car at my son's high school for him to emerge from marching band rehearsal-I had my windows open and I was listening to "Never Gonna Fall In Love Again" from "The Definitive Collection".A woman -younger than me- shouted into my window-"Where did you find that stuff? I haven't heard it in years".I said "It's all out there-you just gotta look for it". My point.There are so many people who think life is over after a certain point.Maybe it's after high school,college,children,marriage,but I say it's not! Passions keep us alive.Without passions we're robots living lives of "quiet desperation".Music has gotten me through so much and added so much to my life.And as a bonus-for the last year I come home and run to my computer eager to share my passions and thoughts with my new friends.When I think of music,I think of "Ringo's line from "Oh My My". "It's Guaranteed To Keep You Alive".Thanks for letting me share.-Ira.

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Hi Ira, The past 9 months have been amazing for me -- I think it's a "mom thing" to get caught up in taking care of everyone except yourself, but when I heard that Raspberries had reunited and were going to be playing at HOB Chicago, "30 years peeled away"! I haven't been the same person since! My husband & I were listening to music tonight too -- John Mayer on Soundstage and Paul McCartney on A&E, flipping back & forth. Like I've said before, and shared with you, I have more passions now than I did when I was younger. Yes, music plays a huge part in my life and is part of who I am. I totally understand how you feel, and how nice for your wife to to "feel" it too! I enjoy your posts!

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Ira, I didn't know that you're a teacher. How lucky your students are to be in your class! You bet I believe in magic. I'm up late because I've been practicing since I got home from a fantastic violin master class with Pamela Frank, who happens to be my favorite violinist in the whole world! She was at Temple University in Philadelphia tonight, coaching young artists.

And I thought *I* was enthusiastic when coaching kids...Wow, she's just DYNAMITE! And funny! But the "before and afters" of these kids were amazing. She made totally different players out of the kids, helped them make the music come so alive! She said to one, "You're so LUCKY to be able to play such beautiful music as this Mozart piece!" I have much more passion for the violin now than I ever have and I'm playing better than ever (just like Raspberries!)

Something happens with maturity--you learn what is truly important in life and you have the confidence to go after it--a huge bonus that the youth don't enjoy! I just wish I had this much passion and tenacity when I was 20! But none of us do. It comes with total understanding and appreciation of life--and that only comes with experience. But it makes one's passions and the joys of life (like EC and Razz music) so much richer.

smile --Darlene

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Having the Raspberries reunite has definitely rekindled my passion for music. Oh I played their records all the time but to see them live was beyond my wildest imagination. Every song seems brand new again.

I am not into much of the new music at all, this was THE BAND that I mostly connected to, and to actually have that chance to see them live, well I wasn't going to miss it again. Where else am I going to feel like 17 again?

June laugh

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You know those moments when you told someone you were going to A.C., Chicago, or somewhere distant to see Raspberries and you got the blank stare and maybe "who"? Or maybe its a similar moment like when I try to explain why I have to go to every Springsteen show in any city within 6 hrs driving distance to those who've never experienced his live shows. Or maybe its that little known new band that only you seem to know about but are the greatest band in history to you whenever you hear their song.

That always reminds of one of my all time favorite lyric lines that happens to come from "Do You Believe in Magic?".

"Its like trying to tell a stranger 'bout rock and roll"

Anyone who's gone through those type of moments knows exactly what that line means.

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Nice post, there, Ira. How true about how taxing life's demands are -- and about how passions keep us cookin'. (As an aside, now I can't get "Do You Believe in Magic" outta my head! Great song.)

And nice follow-up, Darlene. Teachers are underappreciated, don't you think? (And I'm not even a teacher!) As an aside... I want to get my 6-year-old daughter started in music lessons. Is it best to start her with one instrument and let her pick (she has a cute little "First Step" guitar, and I can just picture her playing "Party's Over"!). Or is it better to push her toward an instrument (piano seems to be the obvious choice)? I'll take any advice you might have...

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Personally, I wouldn't push her into the piano. My grandparents bought me (and my twin sister) a piano for our 9th birthday and it just wasn't "our passion", let's say. We had no idea we were going to receive this gift and ended up "gifting" it to our church year later. We did a mean version of "heart and soul", but that's about it! I wish I would have received a guitar or a drum set! Take some time and find out what your daughter is really willing to learn and interested in. That's just my personal feeling, for what it's worth...

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I couldn't agree more. You might take her to a music shop to see various kinds of instruments and have her try to play them. There are Suzuki method classes in all cities, especially at colleges and universities, to instruct children in violin and other instruments in the string family.

Maybe the piano will be her passion, or maybe guitar. Let her see all of it, and point out some performances on television of all instruments and ask her if she would like to play *that* one. Children will find an affinity for a certain instrument--mine was the violin since age 4. When they find the instrument they love, it's like finding the perfect wedding dress, or true love--you just KNOW! Whatever makes her eyes sparkle, encourage her to go for it!

smile --Darlene

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Thanks, Darlene, for supporting my opinion. Our daughter's in college and recently decided that she wanted a mandolin. We were thrilled! That's her "passion" and she's excited about it! There's no time-frame for a passion -- just wait for it to happen -- it can't be imposed on someone. It will happen in it's own timing. And when it does, it's like magic.

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Coolness Raspberries4Ever!

I put away my guitar for a couple years to concentrate on mandolin. I've always loved the mandolin and made an aborted attempt at learning it 20 years ago. I had a blast picking it up again and taking a few lessons with someone who really knew the mandolin and could correct guitar playing habits that didn't translate to the mando.

What kind of mandolin did she get. I started out with an inexpensive Epiphone and then (after a really profitable weekend of on-line poker) bought a Tacoma that I fell in love with at Guitar Center. What kind of music is she interested in playing? With mandolin the common styles are bluegrass and the European/Celtic styles. I like playing the (suprisingly numerous) rock and pop songs that feature mandolin.

Good luck to her and have her check out mandolincafe.com for a lot of good information and free case stickers.

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Hey, thanks! Great advice from all of you....

The piano-pushing came from a friend who's a musician and whose opinion I respect, although he can be a little, um, straightforward. His point was: It's easier for little fingers to play piano than guitar. BUT, he didn't address the passion side of it. That seems like the key. I want her to WANT music lessons, not feel pushed into it.

I hadn't thought of the musical-instrument-store visit, Darlene. That's a great idea.... I'll see what makes her eyes sparkle -- the only problem being, her eyes almost always sparkle! (Of course a dad would say that....)

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One thing about music lessons for kids (mine being 6 and almost 3): I don't wanna push them into anything, but... I do wanna encourage before too much more time. Violin is kind of intriguing -- I'll have to dust off the old violin in the attic and let my girls check it out....

I kind of wish I'd been encouraged as a kid to take lessons.... All four of my sisters took piano (it turned out not be a passion for any of them, really) while I played Little League, which was cool, since I loved (love) baseball. But an hour a week learning guitar or piano or drums (or even cowbell!) would have been good, too! (That was a reference to the classic Saturday Night Live/Will Ferrell spoof of Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear the Reaper.")

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