My first music training was under Schuler Ryan in Junior High Choir. Under Ryan I learned I found a place to contribute my changing pubescent voice. Not able to ding bass or tenor successfully I struggled to fit in. Ryan understood the changing voice and offered his own description. “Your a Cambiata,” he said in all seriousness. He positioned me with a few others between the two sections and helped us find notes to sing. He had mastered the art of saving a boys interest in music by allowing music to serve the individual anomalies of the changing voice.
To Ryan goes the credit for saving my interest in music. Now as I look retrospectively at at my initial choice of Music Education as a career path, I realize it was in response to Schuler Ryan’s Great gift to me. Music led me to Ministry and became a valuable tool as I led youth and adult congregations singing and directed small choirs of variously gifted individuals. Save their interest in music has been my unspoken motto. Every person deserves the opportunity to experience the joy of making music with others. Changing voice, monotone, pitch challenged, or tone deaf, music serve to enliven one’s spirit and touch the divine.
These remembrances were recently ignited by a post that a friend made on my Facebook page about SERVING Music. The phrase touched me deeply. I came to understand how music has served me and those with whom I have worked.
In an interview with The Jerusalem Post, Ida Haendel, world renowned violinist and teacher spoke of serving the music.
This is not a criticism – many musicians think of how to play an instrument. But you have to master your instrument and then forget about the technique. For me the core of it is how to play a composition, to please not the specific audience, but the composer. I want people to say after the concert not “Oh, how beautifully Ida Haendel plays,” but “What a wonderful piece of music that was….I call myself a servant, a servant to the music.”
I think we also have attempted to serve the music regardless of our varied and sometimes limited gifts. We have desired to share the inspiration of the artist who first imagined a particular tonal rhythmic expression, and through it have all touched the hand of God.