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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 chicks. PPPPP 649 .


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