Stripped Shirts and Straw Hats

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					Stripped Shirts and Straw Hats

There was a study recently that found that the majority of people who
graduate from college with majors in music never go on to a career in
music. Besides the natural conclusion that a lot of kids never use their
degrees, it leads to another less obvious conclusion. And that is that
there is a lot of musical talent out there that is not properly tapped.

As we discussed that finding, you may have remembered an ambition you may
have had in life to have your own singing group and to enjoy arranging
and performing shows, even if it was on an amateur basis. The classic
example of this kind of group is the good old barbershop quartet. There
is something about barbershop harmonies that are continuously always fun
to hear. And when you see those four men or women get up there in
stripped shirts and straw hats and launch into Lida Rose or Good Night
Ladies, the temptation to perform like that yourself is pretty strong.

There is no better time to put together your own barbershop quartet than
in your retirement years. That huge population of hidden musical talent
is almost certainly hiding out in your retirement home or community. The
odds are that when you put a notice up on the bullion board at the
retirement home or Laundromat of the senior citizens center that you are
putting together a barbershop quartet, you will get flooded with
interested seniors who want to be a part of the fun.

It will take some rehearsal and maybe a few voice lessons to get those
old voices up to snuff but there is no reason that the singing voices of
four well rehearsed and talented senior citizens cannot belt out those
tunes and get everybody’s toes tapping. And think of the gratification
you will feel that you didn’t let your musical talent go to waste because
you are using it to bring music and joy to others.

But barbershop is not the only kind of music that you and your musical
senior citizens may want to build a group around. While they were not
senior citizens, most of us don’t think about the fact that John Belushi
and Dan Ackroyd lived out their dream when they put together The Blues
Brothers. These were two men loved the Chicago Blues sound and they took
that love of music and pulled together a band that gave us all a lot of
fun and joy hearing them perform. Who is to say you and a few “Blues
Brothers” you know form the senior citizen community could not put
together just as fun to perform locally.

Putting together a band in your senior years gives you the chance to live
out a dream of performing from any genre you love. Many of us dreamed of
having our own garage rock and roll band when we were young. The thing
that is great about genuine rock and roll music is that it is perfectly
suited to be played by a bunch of kids with electric guitars and a drum
set and some rehearsal in their parent’s garage.

Well nobody can stop you and the other “kids” you know from grabbing some
instruments and putting together a set list of classic rock and roll
songs to perform at the next senior center dance. You add popular
numbers like Louie Louise, Chantilly Lace and Itty Bitty Teeny Weenie,
Yellow Polka Dot Bikini and you will have a set list that will take you
places. And seeing that crowd respond and get out there and dance to
your music is just the fulfillment of the dream you need to tell you that
you did the right thing putting your music together and getting out there
to perform. And who knows, playing classic rock might even get you some


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