North of the border

It is the final day of April, and I am sitting in a third floor room typing away as the rain falls in a cold, wet blanket outside my window. These past two weeks, I have traveled under the auspice of Story-to-Song to two very different locations, cities, and climes in Canada. Last week, I…

Believe it or not

Last night, I performed at an exhibit opening at the Arts League of Lowell. I had submitted my first recorded album for an exhibit honoring the life of Kerouac called “Travels off the Beaten Track.” I knew that David Amram would be playing earlier in the gallery opening, but I got the go ahead to…

Singing the songs of the people.

I grew up in a small town in eastern Massachusetts on the south shore. Throughout my childhood and into college, music was my identity. I played and performed classical piano; I was first chair for the clarinet in the school band; I listened to any and all music I could find. I started plucking around…

Bless and Release

During my time in the Sandbox, my emotions seem to shift as capriciously as the sand in the metaphorical box. At times, I feel like a 10 on the scale of possibility. Just as easily, I can crash to a 3 or 4 and feel completely overwhelmed. “You are competing against the world,” Sandbox guide…

Symbiosis and Songwriting

A story. It has meaning, layers of meaning. It has a face, depth, and personality. It has a life. A song from a story is all these elements with the added dimension of music and the heart, soul, and spirit of a life. This morning, a friend from my childhood came to Lowell. In his…

Examples of Story-to-Song(s)

To try to shed a little more musical light on Story-to-Song, which I typically refer to in short as STS, I thought I would share a few examples of different kinds of StorytoSong(s) that I have written. Example #1: A short song I wrote with a friend when I was learning how to write a song…

What did you learn in school today?

I spent the past four years in a doctoral program studying sustainability education. With each year in the program, I began to view sustainability as something that begins from within. Practice what you preach Walk the talk Be the change These are common phrases I have heard that speak to my own definition of sustainability….

More of a good thing

In my mind, more music in the world is a wonderful thing. Combining music with the sharing of stories from real people and their lives is even better. The more songs I write from the stories of human lives, the more I want to spread those songs far, wide, and everywhere in between. This is…

Growing pains

I recently attempted Story-to-Song (STS) in a new forum. I had spent a week learning about an education technique called Facilitated Dialogue, a new realm the National Park Service is exploring for expanding beyond the formal interpretation techniques that have been employed for many years. Rather than the park ranger speaking as the authority on…

Demonstrating Story-to-Song

This third video in the “What is Story-to-Song” series is a live demonstration of the songwriting process. I share an original story and create a song on the spot. Join me in writing a song and then try your hand at writing your own! I hope you will share your thoughts, feedback, and songs with…