My mission is to write inspirational stories that make you feel good about yourself, put a smile on your face, and think of things in a different way.
Happy World Down Syndrome Day
3/21. March 21st. Every year this day signifies the recognition of all of the amazing people who live in the world that just so happen to have an extra chromosome in their DNA. It's called Down Syndrome. Through no fault of their own, they are born with a genetic abnormality which can make it difficult to process information as quickly as the 'typical' or 'average' person could. So what? It's no big deal. But, it is. This developmental disability also comes with a physical element to it which can be seen as different. And, at certain times in a person's life, it can be challenging to hear people say things about the way your face looks or how Johnny or Susie is 'slow'. Yet, the overall positive and loving nature shown from an individual with Down Syndrome to anyone else is usually amazing, inspirational, and unbelievably self-less.
The Daily Song: 365 More Meditations on Music
Inspired by Ryan Holiday's book, 'The Daily Stoic', The Daily Song: 365 More Meditations on Music is a humble, insightful, and educational exercise in dissecting quotes by famous people regarding singing and their feelings about it, applying it to real-life experience. Designed to read and reflect on one page at a time for an entire year, feel free to sit back and relax while improving your quality of life. This is the first 10 days of the Chapter 1, which is yet to be titled.
Original Songs About Love
To date, I've written well over a thousand songs. Several hundred of them happen to have actual lyrics and are not just instrumental tunes. From this large list of material, a select few have been strictly about love in a positive, heartwarming way. With Valentine's Day soon upon us, I felt it would be nice to organize the lyrics to many of the love songs in one area online. Vocal.Media is the place I've chosen as I enjoy the community quite a bit. Here they are for your reading pleasure:
The Power of Water
Water. H2O. It is the simplest, most used, and life-giving liquid known to man. Think about it... Water is all around us. About 71% of the Earth's surface is covered by water, and the oceans hold about 96.5% of the Earth's water. Astounding statistics! In addition to oceans, other bodies of water include seas, bays, canals, straits, gulfs, inlets, harbors, lakes, rivers, tributaries, sounds, fjords, estuaries, coves, firths, swamps, shoals, springs, basins, channels, reservoirs, moats, lagoons, bogs, wetlands, marshes, bayous, ponds, streams, and creeks.
The Reason for the Season
Being that I am a singer/songwriter/musician, I am constantly seeking new and different ways to express ideas, situations/experiences, feelings, and relationships. One of the best ways I know how is to flesh them out through the act of writing lyrics and creating melodies to match said lyrics. Since it is the Christmas season, I feel compelled to share the lyrics of 2 songs I wrote about this wonderful holiday and holy-day: "Merry Christmas Baby" and "It's Christmas". Both songs were inspired by my son and are a stark reminder of what the true meaning of Christmas is: the birth of Jesus. I hope you enjoy reading through them as much as I enjoyed writing them. If you feel so inspired to listen to the actual songs, you can do so by going to the links at the end of each lyrical section below.
Random Acts of Kindness
It’s amazing to think about all the times someone I didn’t know opened the door for me, let me get in line first at the grocery store, or helped me push my car out of the middle of the street when it got stuck in a snowstorm. However, nowadays, I feel like it’s too few and far between. So many people are in such a hurry to get to the next place they’re going to that they hardly take the time to notice if someone really needs help around them. Yes, it does happen, but you have to seek it out. Maybe it's because it's not recognized in the same way that evil or bad news is. It’s interesting how, over time, the act of helping people just because it is the right thing to do has morphed into doing it for notoriety’s sake in certain situations. I think we all would agree that doing something for your name in the spotlight or for that 15 minutes of fame is not doing it for the right reason(s). It's not a genuine approach to making someone’s day or life better either--thinking that you are somehow owed something for your generosity. The world doesn't owe you anything. Other than to be respectful, people don't owe you anything either. So, let's not expect anything in return. Do something kind because it is the right thing to do, no matter who is watching. Be more self-less rather than self-ish. In order to live more like the former, self-examination and reflection are key. They're the keys to becoming a better person and growing in maturity. We can't do either unless we take a step back and look at how we're living our lives day in and day out.
I Can Only Imagine
There are some moments in life that are just ingrained in your memory. It could be the birth of a child, a wedding, a graduation, the first time you buy a car or a house, a specific concert, the first rollercoaster you've ever been on, or your first plane ride. Or, maybe it's a small, seemingly insignificant conversation you had with a perfect stranger that continually comes back to your mind. The list could go on and on with different kinds of situations, experiences, and events that have a long-lasting impact on you.
Transition, Transition, Transition
For the ‘typical’ person, it can sometimes be difficult to transition from one thing to another. This could mean transitioning from one activity to the next like Arts and Crafts to lunch time, one day to the next like Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, one month (IE: the next holiday, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter), one season (IE: Winter into Spring) or one year to the next (IE: turning a new age from 5-6 years old). We are creatures of habit, and as we all know, a daily routine is key to being the best version of ourselves. In essence, we set ourselves up for success by organizing and implementing a set of things to accomplish or do day after day. Maybe we do it in a particular order, or maybe it's just a set of activities done randomly. At any rate, we feel centered and like all is right in the world when they go as planned. The same thing goes for someone who has a developmental disability, and then some...
One Good Deed...
As many of us are already aware, small businesses took a big hit during the height of the pandemic in 2020. For Key of Awesome Music, the second half of March, and all of April, May, and June were less than optimal as far as revenue goes for Key of Awesome Music. However, we pushed through, kept ourselves relevant with Facebook Lives, doing pro-bono/volunteer sessions, and, in the meantime, created new relationships with various non-profit organizations, support coordinators, and virtual event companies like Busking Down the House and the Inclusion Festival.
Musical Conversation Between 2 Souls
Have you ever met someone for the first time, and just knew they were special? I've been lucky enough in my life to have experienced this feeling several times, but nothing is quite like the day I met Doug. We were at a recreation event for and with those who have developmental disabilities in the county he and I both lived in (at the time). A couple months prior, I started as the Music Coordinator, the Music Man, tasked with creating and implementing a comprehensive music program spanning several different developmental disabilities and a wide range of ages for the individuals supported at this particular non-profit agency. He was wearing a cowboy hat dancing up a storm, letting loose, and cutting up a rug. It was as if nothing else mattered. He was in the zone! I absolutely loved his energy, so I felt compelled to go over and introduce myself. We hit it off cracking jokes and I knew I was in the presence of someone self-less and caring.