Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘Learning Styles’

Turning The Light On

Watched a great new show on TV last night – “Losing it with Jillian” – I usually never watch many reality shows – except American Idol because I’m a musician and it’s interesting to me – and educational too as I am always looking for fresh material for my students. Everything else I watch is usually an interesting program or movie that I have my DVR record for me – so I can watch it when I want to – don’t sit and watch too much TV at one time – it’s boring.

But last night something about this show really interested me. I was flipping back and forth between a public TV show on the music of Diane Warren (very interesting – as she has written much of our popular music in the last 20 or so years) and the “Losing” program. Soon the “Losing” program won and the music one – recorded for later. The reason? It was gripping and raw – it was real and authentic. Instead of this fitness coach just giving them instruction on a daily exercise and eating regime – which she did – she quickly got to the root of the emotional problem that was causing unhealthy behavior which in turn lead to obesity. Once that was uncovered and dealt with (it was painful to have it uncovered and dealt with) this family began to heal and move forward – and make healthy steps toward real change in eating habits that had bound them up for years.

It is like each one of us has a room in our head. Sometimes it’s very dark in that room. It’s very easy to ‘hide’ things in that place – when there’s no light on. We can stay in that dark place for years sometimes – and feel like it’s perfectly normal because no one is asking us to turn on the light.

Sometimes it’s a matter of finding the ‘switch’ to turn on inside of our head. Sometimes we can see the ‘switch’ – sometimes we can’t. Sometimes we choose not to see it – because turning it on will mean revealing painful and ugly things we would rather leave in the dark. Turning it on will mean we can no longer hide behind them – and it forces us to ‘clean house’ and once and for all get rid of all the ‘stuff’ we’ve been hiding there – where we thought it was safe in the dark.

This is what it was like watching this program. Someone forced them to not only find that light – but to crawl to the ‘switch’ and willingly turn it on.

How many of us wander around in the dark – or even in the semi dark – not wanting to acknowledge that there is a ‘switch’ to turn on – until someone lovingly helps us to turn it on – and reveal the contents of our dark room. It is in deciding to turn on the light in our own room – where change and health can begin.

My challenge for you today is this: find out what areas you have that are preventing you from moving forward in health and wholeness. Have a trusted friend help you walk through that dark room to find the ‘switch’ and turn it on – making you take a positive step toward emotional health today. Once you discover what it is – you will see real growth and change happen in your personal life.

I am praying for you

God Bless

Beautiful Music

Music makes one feel so romantic – at least it always gets on one’s nerves – which is the same thing nowadays.

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

Music is the language of the heart.  No one knows for sure why we connect to certain styles or songs – but one thing is for certain:  Everyone has a certain style of music that speaks and moves them.  One style can be just ‘noise’ to one person – and a beloved ballad to another.  Music can be annoying to some – and greatly appreciated by another.

I was raised on classical music – it played in my home growing up – night and day.  After a steady diet of this for 20 years of my life – I would have to say that I have an appreciation for classical – but it is not what I listen to when I relax.  I have always liked and responded to ‘pop’ music of my generation – the 70’s and it is still my favorite genre of music – by far even though I have an appreciation for other styles.  I would listen to my transistor radio or cassette tapes in my tape recorder at night before going to bed.  I was also a song writer and my ‘style’ of music on the piano was in a ballad form – or what you might call ‘easy listening’ today.  Music has to evoke an emotional response from me in order to be good – and it usually has something to do with the chord progression or lyrics – or both.  Movie soundtracks are also my favorite for relaxing and one of the best musical scores in my opinion is from the movie “Meet Joe Black”.  I also love the soundtrack from “To Kill a Mockingbird” – these are both noteworthy in my opinion and brilliant.

I like to think I am extremely tolerant of any kind of music – even though I’m sure my own children think I am not.  That’s pretty typical.  But since they know I appreciate any style of music if it’s good – they are quick to share their music with me.  Shawn loves to play ‘his music’ for me in the car – going quickly to a song he feels I will like – and usually he is right.  I don’t like everything he likes – but there are certain songs from bands he likes – that he knows I will be able to appreciate and give positive feedback to.  I think it helps him to feel better about his music in some weird twisted way ☺

About a year and a half ago –  he was driving me to a Chiropractor’s appointment and he played me the song below, “Amsterdam” from Coldplay. Now crazy as it sounds – it really moved me.  I remember it was raining and dark and this song played in the car and we drove in complete hushed silence.  It was one of those moments I will never forget.  A bonding moment with this song playing – just me and my son.  It was pretty emotional – I was going through a rough time that fall – and it meant a lot to me that Shawn actually seemed to ‘get it’ and find something he knew I would connect with.

The other day Shawn drove me to a wedding and he again pulled out this song and it brought back such memories of that day for both of us.  Imagine?  Two people from two entirely different generations – actually agreeing on and liking the same song – and the same band.  Crazy right?  Actually – Shawn likes classic rock from the 70’s too – so that’s always been the way we’ve been able to connect with music over the years.  I think it’s really great.  And because I have tolerance for his music and he with mine – we’ve been able to agree on many things over the years.  It is wonderful to know that he is a much sought after musician in his church on both drums and guitar and that he can appreciate music of all styles too.  I am very proud when I hear songs that he has written and recorded on the guitar – mixed in a studio – and they sound just like something you’d hear on the radio!  In fact when doing my own music ‘mix’ a few months ago – I accidentally added a song he had written – thinking it was a great song from “Angels and Airways” or something.  He saw that I had added it and said, “Mom – did you know that is the song I wrote”?  Ha!  No I didn’t! – but it was really good and that’s why I choose it for my CD mix.

Music – it’s a crazy thing – one man’s ‘noise’ is another one’s ‘bliss’ – and it’s nice to know that good music – is still good music – no matter what generation it is produced.  There are classics that have and will stand the test of time because they are well written – from the heart.

Do you have something that ‘moves you’?  We all do – and it’s nice to know that we are all different in our likes and dislikes – and yet the human element of music is still there – touching and affecting our lives – evoking good and bad memories – but most of all – deeply moving us.

Here’s to beautiful music – and not just annoying ‘noise’ in your world tonight.

God Bless

Come on, oh my star is fading
I swerve out of control
If I, If I'd only waited
I'd not be stuck here in this hole.

Come here, oh my star is fading
And I swerve out of control
And I swear I waited and waited
I've got to get out of this hole

But time, is on your side
It's on your side, now
Not pushing you down
And all around
It's no cause for concern..

Come on, oh my star is fading
And I see, no chance of release
And I know I'm dead on the surface
But I'm screaming underneath

And time is on your side
It's on your side, now
Not pushing you down
And all around
Oh, It's no cause for concern

Stuck on the end of this ball and chain
And I'm on my way back down.

Stood on the edge
Tied to a noose
Sick to the stomach
You can say what you mean
But it won't change a sin
I'm sick of the secrets
Stood on the edge, tied to a noose
and you came along but you cut me loose
You came along and you cut me loose
You came along and you cut me loose

My Love List

There is an excellent book called “The Love List” by Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott that has a list of wonderful things for marriages.  In it they have things that couple should do once a day – once a week – once a month and once a year.  I thought I would take this list and add a few of my own personal favortes to it.  Enjoy!

The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.

E.E. Cummings

Once a day:

1. Find something that makes both of you laugh.  Humor has become the foundation of our  marriage – even in the rough patches.  Humor can relieve the tension – and even take the focus off of the negative and prevent us from being too self absorbed and selfish.  Those that are the healthiest laugh often and can even laugh at themselves.

2. Take time to touch.  Even if it is just a caress on the arm or hand – and kiss on the cheek  – it is still some physical contact that says much.  I am a “huggy” person – so physical touch is never hard for me.  If you don’t tend to be too physical – it may be just what your partner wants and needs – just a little squeeze for reassurance can mean so much.  Learn to be a FLIRT!!  It does wonders, that’s all I can say!

3.  Say something nice.  We can live off a good compliment for days – sometimes even weeks!  A kind word of encouragement is so endearing – especially from one you love.  This will boost their self esteem level and help them to be more positive and productive.  Our words are so powerful.

The development of a really good marriage is not a natural process.  It is an achievement.

David and Vera Mace

Once a week:

1. Have a date night.  More often than once a week if you can manage it.  It isn’t always possible at different seasons of your life – especially with young children, as that can get expensive – but budget for it – it is time and money well spent!  We are in a season of our lives where we have been dating much more often than once a week and it has changed and rejuvinated our marriage.

2. Plan to do active things together.  Maybe you both could take up golf or join a gym together.  Greg and I love to play golf – we played it before we had any children and we began to get back to playing it a couple of years ago – we need to do it more often!  It’s fun to play together!  Maybe just getting out for an after dinner stroll – or driving to a scenic place and doing some hiking and have lunch together.  All good stuff.

Spending recreational time with his wife is second only to sex for the typical husband.

Willard F. Harley Jr.

Once a month:

1. Plan your schedules together.  Find out what is happening during what days – what times are going to work for “dates” and when you’re going to be especially busy.  We do this now – sometimes even doing this on a weekly basis so we know how to plan – the schedule gets trickier when you are both self employed!

2. Take inventory of the previous month.  What worked?  What didn’t?  Talk about it – and make a conscious effort to spend more time to put the priority of you marriage at the top of the list.  Greg and I have literally spent hundreds of hours talking over the last year to make our marriage better.

3. Stay connected during the week physically and emotionally.  Be in tune to the other ones needs.  Greg has learned that I need emotional connection.  I need it all the time.  It has not been easy for him to stay alert and in tune – but he decided that it was worth it – and he says it’s been like going back to school and getting his degree in understanding me.  What a high compliment to me!  That he thought I was worth it.  That he would relearn some things that he had not been doing all through our marriage – that led to some misunderstanding and problems.  It was hard work – but he was determined!  Physical connection has been a bonus because of the hard emotional work.  We’ve become like a couple of teenagers – and I wouldn’t trade that away for anything in the world!  So worth it.  Talk A LOT!!!   Get really honest and authentic.  Do it.  It’s worth it – not always easy – but worth it.

Thrills come at the beginning and do not last…Let the thrill go and you will find you are living in a world of new thrills.

C.S. Lewis

Once a year:

Have a real vacation get away.  We try to do “mini” trips throughout the year – but once a year you should really go somewhere new and have a real “change”.  Plan for it in advance – put it on the calendar and then DO IT.  We like to go on cruises – we plan about a year and a half out – book it – put a deposit on it and then save for it throughout the year and a half.  We have been all over the place because we have not only talked about it – but we’ve been ON PURPOSE about going.  If you never plan for it – you will never do it.  This is our special “alone” time – just the two of us and it is not easy for us to share those times with others.

2. Don’t be afraid of change.  Change is the constant in this world and we must embrace it.  If we settle just for the “same old, same old” – that is what kind of marriage you will have.  You must stay current and be willing to listen more and talk less – truly make the necessary adjustments for our partner.  If we truly love and want to be loved back – you must resist the tempatation to take them for granted and think, “they already know how I feel”.  As time goes by it is even more important to do things for your partner to let them know that they are first priority.  If you do not do this – it can be like “death” to a marriage.  Ask your partner what you can do to be “better”.  And then really listen.  Make the decision that they are worth it to you.  Woman need emotional connection and a smart man will fill that need for her.  Men need physical love and admiration.  A smart woman will fill that need.  No one wants to be accused of not doing the best thing for the one they love.  Marriage problems begin because people stop doing these things.  They don’t pay attention anymore.  Don’t be that person.

Chains do not hold a marriage together.  It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years.

Simone Signoret

Here’s wishing you and yours a Happy Valentine’s week as you embrace a “Love List” of your very own.

God Bless

The Stingy Psalm


I will Bless Your Name

Because you are worthy of the praise

Not because I feel like it

Not even because I am worthy to praise you


I will do it because You are far above me

You see things differently than me

I am limited

You are not

I see today – and the past behind me

You see all of it at once

the past – the present – the future

And you are unmoved

Unchanged by time

I feel

I cry

I react

I digress

I stumble

I fail

I need

I need

I need


But you are unchanged

You are

You are still the same

You require all of me

all the time


And so I pick myself up

I resist

I am compelled

I am convicted

I offer up

a sacrifice of praise

even when I don’t feel like it

even when things are not well in my world

especially then

because you are Holy

You are deserving


No matter what

You are

and I will praise You


Help me Lord to praise You – even when I don’t feel like it – because it is the right thing to do – help me to say – “whatever it takes” – knowing this is a scary prayer to pray.  Help me to always live in constant praise, knowing that true joy and peace come by offering that sacrifice of praise.  Help me let go of myself – and just see You.  Help me to trust you with my whole life – every aspect – every feeling and emotion – every action – every motive.  For in letting go – that is where I truly find You waiting for me….

A Clear View

I just created a page on facebook for my music studio.  It has brought back many memories – especially as I have threatened to post videos of past recitals – and have indeed posted one from June, 2002 – in which I had the privilege to sing with three lovely young ladies in “Mister Sandman” – what memories of fun and laughter we had when trying to learn the hand motions for it!  I have been looking through many “past” videos – as you can imagine after 13 plus years of recitals.  It’s been fun – it has brought laughter and has caused me to reflect on the past.

Sometimes we don’t have a good “view” of the present and certainly not the future – but I can truly say that I have a clear view of the past.  Just seeing how far these students have come in those years is incredible. I’ve had the privilege to work with and coach hundreds of students over my long career – and it has truly been a joy!  Many students I have had in my home once a week for years. I have MAJOR bragging rights!!  They are all my kids.

Wouldn’t it be nice if our regular world had a video tape of past events from our life – so we could go back over it – remember the good times – see our kids when they were little and see them grow up – see things in a different light – and say, “awwww the good old days – remember that?”  A clear view. Unfortunately – life is not that clear – and we don’t always have a video camera for everything – oh maybe some of the good stuff – but usually never the bad.  Aren’t you glad?  Me too!

There is nothing in the world like the feeling that you get from making a difference in someone’s life.  And if you ever forget just how much of a personal impact you have made on this world and in your own circle of friends – just take out your own “memories” of great things from the past – just like these videos of mine – and you will have a clear view too.

God Bless


Welcome to “Cindy Land”…

I have a special world in which I live in.  I didn’t know that it was so unique until my dear husband pointed it out to me.  I will say something – or do something and think everyone says or does this – and he will say to me, “that only happens in “Cindy Land”.  Does everyone have a land such as mine?  I’d like to think so.  However – the problem is: no two lands are exactly alike.  No two people think exactly alike.

Here’s what mine looks like:

Everyone is kind

Everyone is peaceful

Everyone had good manners

Everyone has my best interest at heart

Everyone loves me unconditionally (no matter what)

No one is nasty

No one is jealous

No mistake is beyond repair

Every problem has a resolution

No one thinks bad about me

I’m free to express who I am – and others can too – with no judgement

God forgives and so do others

Everyone has “my back”

Where I openly “trust” others and they “trust” me

No one would betray my trust

To this – Greg just laughs and says, “That’s “Cindy Land”.  Now OF COURSE I know that isn’t true – that’s not how life is – I’m not a child for goodness sake – but I would like to think that I kept some of my “child like” innocence and naivety.  Where everyone loves everyone and everyone gets along without bickering, blaming and past hurt.  Where one can have “pure” motives for loving others – and caring and loving them makes everyone better people.  But I know now after living this long – that no matter how much I want something in “my world” – I cannot make it so.

Greg has a “Greg World” too.  His looks much like mine – but he’s way more practical than I am – when it comes to emotion.  He’s a first born so he plays things pretty close to the vest.  His would look something like this:

Everyone is nice to one another

Everyone has a strong work ethic

No one is moody

The moody people live on a special “island” – and only visit “Greg Land” when they are done being “moody”

Everyone has “his back”

Everyone loves unconditionally

No one has an ulterior motive 0r hidden agenda

Everyone leaves something cleaner than when they found it

He has a certain place for “emotion” too.  It’s in a special “drawer” and he only pulls it out when he has too.  Most men are like this.  It’s painful sometimes to open that drawer – so they don’t.  Oh he can remember things from the past – but not like I can.

I am emotionally driven – being female.  It enters into every aspect of my life.  And an emotional trauma can leave me reeling for a very long time.  I can still remember something traumatic that happened to me 30 years ago – a “matter of the heart” so to speak.  And this morning while eating breakfast with Greg – we were discussing “Cindy World” and how my emotions are very close to the surface in times of hurt, happiness and love.  I still cry at things that happened 9 months ago – any loss is a very real grief to me.  Greg would never be able to conjure up that emotion or feeling – at least not in real tears like me.  I cry often.  That’s who I am.

But even though my “land” is different from his – and he may not fully understand how deeply things affect me – he is very kind and thoughtful – giving me freedom to express them without judgement or any hint of amusement.  He truly believes that all these emotions – such as they are – make me what I am.  And he loves that about me.

Greg leads with his head – I lead with my heart.  I am learning to lead with my head too – as I know that the emotions can be fickle – oh they seem real – and they ARE.  But sometimes not the best.  We need to make choices with our head – and then the heart will follow – even in “Cindy Land”.  God gave us men in our world to help us establish the difference between “head and heart” – and though one may seem to be very strong and RIGHT – over time we come to discover that it is the head that MUST rule the heart.

I’ll put out the foot bridge for you – come on over to “Cindy Land” – I’d love to get to know you – and show you around.  It’s a happy, safe place – and you are loved.

God Bless

Anyone can Love…

I just got done watching “The Other Sister” about a mentally challenged young woman named Carla.  It is her journey of discovering independence from a very protective Mother – and also her well meaning Father and sisters.  Her life takes her from not being able to cope with “normal” life when she is younger – to being put in an institution – to again being brought back home as a young adult.

I love this story and it was intriguing to see a handicap portrayed so authentically.  Carla goes to a college and soon discovers a young man like herself living independently in his own apartment – and soon she wants to be independent too.  After a long struggle she is able to convince her family that she can live alone and take care of herself.  During this time she falls in love with the mentally challenged young man from her college – named Daniel.  When they fall in love – it is so pure and innocent  – it is so beautiful.  After a series of events including a HUGE mistake on his part (after all – he is STILL a guy – and sometimes guys CAN be stupid when it comes to love) Daniel decides to “crash” a family wedding.  It is there that he proposes to Carla.  And even though he has hurt her and made mistakes along the way – she loves him so much – and is so childlike – with NO baggage – she is able to forgive him right away – and accept his proposal.  When her Mother has a melt down about her engagement – Carla simply says, “don’t worry Mother – I’ll be alright – I know you don’t think he can take care of me – but we are going to take care of each other – you were always trying to make me do things that I wasn’t good at – hoping I’d be someone else – and you never really saw me.  I’m just ME.  I don’t know how to do those things – but I know how to love“.

All of us – young or old – know how to love.  Even if you’ve come from extreme circumstances in your life – you were made to give and receive love.

It is something born in us – instinctive and wonderful.  You don’t need to have a college degree or even an ability to do a complex mathematical equation.   Loving is not limited to just the wisest or the richest.  It knows no racial, religious or political boundaries.  Love just is.  Plain and simple – and we all know how to do it.  Even a child knows how to love.  And there is nothing like really being loved – and fully giving that love to another.

Who do you love today?  Do they know it?  Are you free enough from all your “baggage” that you are able to also receive love – no questions asked?  I challenge you today to be a “giver” of love – sweet and pure – with no hidden motive or expectation.  I also challenge you to be open to receive love in your own life.  You are loved.  I challenge you to open yourself up to God’s great love for you – and I challenge you –  to love yourself.

I am praying for you

God Bless

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