The Playground

The Simply Music blog

From Neil Moore

Found in: Neil Moore

It’s All About Playing

Recently I was in Los Angeles and had an opportunity to attend a concert. The band was called Dukes of September, and it featured three men: Donald Fagen, Michael McDonald and Boz Scaggs, each of whom are Grammy Award winning artists. These are men who independently played a significant role in influencing the music of the late 1970s and 80s. Surrounding the three were an additional 6 instrumentalists and two female vocalists. The standard of musicianship was extraordinarily high and the production, arrangements and performances were high-energy, vibrant and alive. The entire focus of the night was a tribute to many of the great, highly popular, contemporary artists and songs of the 70’s and 80s.

I just loved the whole thing. It was fabulous from beginning to end!!

It was held at the Gibson Amphitheatre and it seemed to be filled to near capacity, so roughly 6,000 people were there. On several occasions I took my time having a good look around the audience. With the exception of two teenagers who were behind me, it appeared as though everybody else, both men and women, were between 40 and 70 years of age.

Within seconds of the start of the evening, people were nodding their heads, clapping to the beat, rocking from side to side and generally being physically moved by the music. By a third of the way into the concert, scores of people were on their feet and by halfway into the concert, it seemed as though almost everybody was standing up, dancing, singing freely and generally having a blast. What an energizing experience it was.

As I looked around and saw this gathering of so many thousands, it was clear that this was a venue filled with people who love music. People everywhere were smiling, laughing, applauding and just being moved. I found myself wondering, “How many of these people, after having so much fun here tonight, will be able to go home and sit down and play some music?” My sense is that the number would be very low. What an interesting paradox to consider – thousands gathered for a musical event, loving and being moved by the experience, yet so few having the capacity to participate at the creational level.

I love that Simply Music is about playing. I love that it allows people to immediately experience their natural musicianship. I love that our students, whether they are children, teens, adults or elders, can participate in something that powerfully contributes to them acquiring and retaining music as a lifelong companion. As players, whether we are teachers or students, hobbyists or enthusiasts, semi or serious professionals in the field, what a privilege it is to have the ability to make music.

How extraordinary it would be to have a world where, after gathering with thousands of people to share our common love of music, we could each go home, be with our instrument of choice and freely express this dimension of ourselves.

The thought of playing a part in creating a world where everyone plays never ceases to inspire me.

Neil Moore
Founder and Executive Director
Simply Music International