Page 13 - Senior Times South Central Michigan - March 2017 - 24-03
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Senior Times - March 2017 Page 13
MUSIC A LIFELONG INTEREST AND VOCATION
By: Jan Emery & Al Barney
band and choral school teacher as well as a violist – quite a varied musical career. He now serves as music and choir director at a local church.
Al and I met a few years ago. Our partners had passed away and our shared interest
in music brought us together. I had enjoyed taking vocal lessons (and still do) from
Dr. Gerald Blanchard at KCC, singing
with the Kellogg Singers and the KCC Opera Workshop as well as the BC Community Chorus. But being around my musical husband gave me the impetus to enroll at KCC for an Associate Degree in Arts and Communication, concentration in music, which I completed in spring 2014.
I had received a BS degree in Home Economics “several” years ago, following high school so this was a great sense of accomplishment to earn my associate degree in my latter years, the third act of my life.
I believe I owe some of my good health to singing: good posture and breath control is essential for singing well.
Just the activity keeps the social ties
in the community going. It’s amazing, but Al and I find that we feel better at the end of any given choir rehearsal than we did
at the beginning. At present my husband and I sing together in the BC Community Chorus and we both perform once a month at a couple of senior daycare centers.
Al does some jazzy piano accompaniment for the folks at the centers while we both sing. I also sing in my church choir. Music keeps us going! We hope it will for you too and that you will support the arts in Battle Creek, in Michigan and in our country.
“Music stimulates your brain like nothing else can.” Quote from the Center for Music Therapy
Music makes the world go ‘round. Did you know there is evidence that listening to Mozart while you read or study helps you to better absorb the information. Many diverse groups: young and old, people of color, and different cultures find a common ground in music, both as participants or as consumers. An example would be an orchestra rehearsing together to produce a great concert and many people coming together to hear them perform. Communities come together for music and art: for instance,
a gathering to sing the Hallelujah Chorus, or participate in hymn sings or to attend concerts together. These are activities that bring great enrichment to their everyday lives. The arts help keep our cities vibrant and alive. Also, we are blessed to have choir, band and orchestra as part of our academic curriculum for our children
in our public schools. Even back in 6th
century, B.C.E., years ago, Aristotle and his civilization knew that music was important. In those days, learning to play a lyre was
a core element of the education of the Athenian youth for both boys and girls. May we not forget that bit of history!
My husband, Al Barney, was lucky because as an upper elementary aged
child he could attend concerts at
Chenery Auditorium in Kalamazoo.
The concerts were on a Sunday afternoon and the expense was negligible. What an opportunity it was for him to have that exposure for he knew right away that he wanted to play a string instrument and soon began lessons on the violin and then the viola which he continues to play to this
day in the Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra, some fifty plus years later. This childhood experience led him down the path to become a pianist, organist,
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