Creativity Through Music

“Some people show up when they need something.
Some people show up before they need something, knowing that it will pay off later, when they need something. And some people merely show up.
Not needing anything, not in anticipation of needing something, but merely because they can.” 
Seth Godin
In February I was at the POSI Awards in Florida when I had a chance to hear a new-to-me speaker, Julie Gold. If you haven’t heard of her, she wrote “From A Distance” which was a big hit for Bette Midler and several others. Listening to her share her love of music with no agenda (didn’t try to sell us CDs or “How To Be Just Like Me” classes) was a revelation and an inspiration to me – a reminder of why I originally started playing the piano, and what it did for my life.
Her talk took me back to a time when I discovered the piano at the age of 16. I had always wanted to be creative, but my four-hour training workouts as a swimmer left me little time for anything else. Some of you know that I was the babysitter for Carole King’s children when I was a teenager growing up in Hollywood.  The fact that Carole entered my life at that vulnerable age still is a mystical experience to me. What is even more amazing is that she was remodeling her house and needed to store her piano for a few months. Imagine my shock when I found out that Carole and my mom had decided to surprise me and let me “borrow” Carole’s piano during the remodel. I will never forget walking into my bedroom and here was this beautiful wood upright piano just waiting for me to discover its mysteries. I had no idea how to play it but just touching the keys and hearing the sounds transformed my life forever. How could my Mom or Carole ever know that this amazing gift would help a geeky girl find her voice and set me on the path that I am on today? I wound up having that beloved piano for a year and taught myself how to play it, wrote a ton of teenage angst songs, and never felt lonely or geeky again.
All of this came back to me when I listened to Julie Gold. An on-going joke in her talk was her funny put-downs of electric pianos and her deep reverence for a real live piano. As musicians we are all very used to playing electronic keyboards. But as she talked I remembered that upright piano of long ago, and the joy of playing on a real live acoustic piano came back to me.
So thank you Julie Gold for re-awakening the joy of music and my love of playing the piano (yes a real one!), and the amazing gift of creativity through music.

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