Tuesday, May 21, 2013

When you ask me to sing . . .

Every year I try to post a blog article about what you can expect if you ask me to come and perform a therapeutic music program, or some other music program.

Well first . . . it depends on my calendar.

I am not a full-time singer/musician/performer.  I am a full-time ordained pastor at the First United Methodist Church in Grapevine, Texas.  

And, for the record . . . I love my job!!!!

However, as my schedule allows, I am able to accept invitations to sing at various "appropriate" venues.  These are listed in the column located just right of this blog entry.  Scroll down and read all the sections and you will get a gist of what I can do.

But since I depend a lot on word-of-mouth referrals, and since I have just come out of a period of in-activity due to a year long bout with cancer, I thought I could write a bit of a refresher . . . especially for those of you who seem to drop my name to others with the comment ... "you ought to get this guy to come sing for you."

1)  I am by training and experience more of a folk-type singer / song leader.  I enjoy helping people sing together.  If you know who Pete Seeger is, or remember/know the music of Peter, Paul and Mary, John Denver or Harry Chapin, then you have an idea as to how I try to include people into any music performance I take part in. 

2)  I am a certified Therapeutic Music Entertainer, and I know many of the TME songs in the Hugworks.org catalog.  Jim Newton and Paul Hill of Hugworks are my music mentors, and together they have written an incredible catalog of healing songs.  The words to most of their songs have been vetted by a long list of child life specialists for age-level appropriateness.  I have sung quite a bit in local children's hospitals and in local nursing / rehab centers using Hugworks music. 

3)  A few times a year I travel to a church or gathering to lead worship.  I sing in local parks and campgrounds, at some community functions, for schools and at libraries.   Although I have not done one in a while, I am sometimes available for house concerts and as entertainment for family related parties and fundraising events.

4)  If the venue / gig is one where I do not need an amplifier, then I will be bringing my Guild jumbo 6 and 12 string guitars, or my Taylor GS.

5)  If the venue / gig is one where I will need to plug into the house PA or use my own PA system (Lucas Nano 300) then I will probably bring several of my Taylor acoustics, usually the GS or a T-5 acoustic/electric. Sometimes I bring my NS74ce nylon string.  I come to this type of venue / gig fully ready to go, with all my own equipment.

6)  As a general rule, I do not plug into or use an amp unless I am playing with the 1st Church Guitars guys or in a setting that calls for me to play / sing with a band.

7)  General speaking, for a school concert I will sing for about 45 minutes, and can also include my playing one or more of my Native American flutes, as well as using a djembe drum.   When I sing for children in hospitals or for senior adults, I usually only use one guitar, because I sometimes am asked to go room-to-room. 

8)  I try to sing as many songs as I can from memory.  Admittedly so, I am a little out of practice due to my recent cancer battle, so I will probably have some songs printed out in a black notebook on a music stand.  If you look at the favorite artist list I have (also on the right side of this blog page / scroll down a bit), then you have an idea of the type of music I like to sing and perform.  When performing for adults, I'm most often invited to perform for a slightly more "mature" audience, or for "family style" events.

9)  Every effort will be made to arrive early, to be professionally dressed and professionally prepared.  Positive word-of-mouth depends on it.

10)  My schedule is pretty full for May and June with lots of church related stuff before I leave for Philmont in July.  August - December dates are negotiable at this time  . . . again, everything depends on my professional church and personal calendars.  If "Plan A" doesn't work out, then "Plan B" or "Plan C" can always be something we talk about.

Hope this is good info for some of you . . . whether you pass it on or give me a call.

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>

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