Diving Deeper & Celebrating Substance Over Hype


Happy New Year and MLK Day to everyone! Yes, I know it’s somewhat bogus to send these wishes belatedly but I was off the grid for a few months and wanted to begin with salutations from the last major holidays. It's thethought that counts, right? ;)

Commitment
As many you of you who follow my newsletter and blog may have figured out, I’ve been little loose with my definition of a “monthly” newsletter in past years. Many readers have made me aware of this and I intend to be more consistent. Not just because it’s the thing that you’re supposed to do when you call something a “monthly” newsletter (geez!) but, just as important to me is that connecting with you, old and new friends, is a lot of fun!

On that note I want to thank a couple of readers who were so kind as to contact me last year regarding some of my more recent posts.
    
    To Rashada Dawan: Thanks for your kind words. I hope any advice I provide is useful, as clearly I am learning   
    as I go when it comes to this blog-writing thing. Please hit me up when you get your blog up and running! I
    would love to share it!
    
    To John Sermon: I was really touched by your email and I’m humbled that you read all of my posts. I’m finding this platform to be a place to share as well as a workshop
    for my soul searching, too. I’d be blessed if anyone else can find a personal connection from my “hashing it out” here. I’ll keep it coming to you.

Hiatus
I really needed a hiatus these past few months because of all that was happening! If not for the break, I may have written some pretty incoherent stuff to you (Note: I make no guarantee for future coherence)! The final four months of 2013 were crazy. I started a new music program, moved into a new home, and hosted the families for the holidays. For some reason I felt I SHOULD do all of those things and more; like I was freakin’ superwoman or something! I’ve learned how dangerous the word should is as it can set expectations that will inevitably leave you needlessly disappointed with yourself. Yet, in the midst of this craziness I also discovered feelings that are essential for my overall sanity: love, forgiveness and to be still. Meditating on those three expressions brought a deeper calm and focus in me. So, my 2014 resolution includes experiencing them every day on my continuing journey to finding clarity and contentment.

Finally…
Here’s a little gift for all the aspiring artists, mature music fans (by mature, I don’t mean old) and anyone who values substance over hype. I give you my current favorite video which I discovered last week and began sharing on my Twitter feed. It got retweeted so many times, I knew I had touched on something that many musicians and artists were feeling. The title: “Harry Connick, Jr. Teaches Jennifer Lopez About Pentatonics” sums up why many folks were cheering Mr. Connick, Jr. after it was all said and done.


All I can say is, the discourse between JLo and Harry Connick, Jr. proves the huge chasm between the entertainment industry and the music industry. It is, however, encouraging to know that every now and then, amidst all the star-driven hoopla, real musicianship and skill gets a platform to be heard. I mean no offense to Ms. ‘Lo’, but it seems like she should be a bit more humbled by the fact that she’s made it this far without really knowing much about music. Somehow though, I doubt she will.

Michele ThomasComment