Little Folk Music
When I was a child I loved to lie on the living room floor and listen to my father's records especially his Johnny Cash albums. I would sit for hours and listen over and over to those songs. During the day I would recite song lyrics to my friends. When I got my own record player, I spent most of my money on 45s and LPs. I would lie in bed at night and listen to the local AM station, WARK, in Hagerstown, Maryland. In the third grade, I started playing the violin. I remember vividly the day John Frank and I stood on the stage and played a duet for the parents of the school, my first public performance. When I was eighteen and in the Air Force, I met a friend that played the guitar. I had tried for many years to play, but had never quite got the hang of it. I decided once and for all that this time I would learn. That was 24 years ago, and I haven't stopped playing since. I didn't know where my playing would take me, but I learned what I could and practiced what I knew. Music encourages children to think. It gives them something that can be theirs, something no one can criticize, and allows them to be anything they want. They think about the subjects of the songs. They think about the validity of the lyrics. They decide whether or not to believe in what a song is saying. As the music becomes familiar to them, the tune is thought of even when the child is not actively listening to the song. Many children make up their own words to tunes they know, and many make up their own tunes as well. Children know what kind of music they like. Often it is a reflection of their parents' tastes, but as children are exposed to new types of music through radio and TV they choose songs on their own. I try to write songs with simple, catchy melodies and lyrics that will make a child think of something... anything. In the song 'Imagination', I am trying to encourage children to dream, to let them know that wild ideas are valid as thoughts. It doesn't matter that whatever they are thinking may be improbable. What matters is that they use their imagination. A dream cannot become reality if no one goes out on a limb. All great thinkers, inventors, and innovators have gone beyond what others considered logical. Other songs are for fun, such as 'My Song (Knock Knock Knock)', a song about playing alone, and 'Indie' a song about my cat. I think my philosophy can best be summed up by saying that I want to show children that music is fun!