Today, we’re performing in Newark, New Jersey in a couple of branch libraries. We’ve been coming to Newark for decades and I am very grateful for NPL administrators like Paula and her predecessor, Michelle, and all the librarians who have supported Beth & Scott for years.
When we present a library concert, we need to be ready for a wide variety of ages to show up in the room. For example, this morning we had two 7-year-olds, 2 middle schoolers, and 6 adults. That required a lot of quick thinking to keep it entertaining, relevant, and cohesive. Luckily, Beth and I have a lot of material to draw on.
We started with the Carly Simon version of “Itsy Bitsy Spider” to get kids singing. That kind’ve worked thanks to the fact that there’s a book by the same name on the library shelves. After that, I used some of my songwriting tricks to quickly compose a song for one of the 7-year-olds who told us, “When I grow up, everything I own will be pink!” The song I wrote enabled her to sing her favorite color’s name at the end of every stanza. Predictably, that tickled her…you guessed it…PINK!
Following that cute moment, we moved on to some selections from our program, “Mindfulness in Motion.” Beth is a great Yoga Dance Leader, so she led all of the patrons (and the library staff) moving and grooving in no time.
My favorite moment of the show was a song and accompanying community dance based upon a Navajo Indian poem called, “The Beauty Chant.” I found it very inspiring to look around the room at this diverse group of many ages and backgrounds and see us all manifesting the meaning of the song through movement.
Beauty before me
Beauty behind me
Beauty beneath me
Beauty beside me
And all around me
Beauty encircles me
I have a great job. I get to do what I love and most of the time, it’s received with joy and appreciation. I believe that there’s beauty in all of us and music has a way of bringing it to the surface.
We concluded the show with a song called “Focus on One Thing,” said our goodbyes and then packed up for the next library. As I write this, I’m listening to the tranquil sound of an aquarium waiting for the kids (or adults?) to arrive. I wonder what the next hour will bring!