I'm feeling melancholy tonight, and I'm grateful for music to help me through.
There's a saying among musicians that music is cheaper than therapy. How true! I often approach music in an academic way. I'm a big music theory geek, and jazz guitar is my geeky playground. Sometimes, though, you have to let go of all the knowledge and just play.
Today was one of those days when I just needed to play and let it out. I'm pretty open in my blog, but I won't write about topics that could potentially hurt others. Let's just say that I'm glad I've learned to figure out what things I can control and what I can't. I'll leave it at that.
One thing I can control is the music that flows through my fingers. In a music service last summer, I explained during the children's story that, even though blues songs are often sad, it can actually feel good to sing the blues, because it helps you sing the sadness away. My improvisations, even over the happy songs, sounded a little sad tonight, and that's okay. I was playing what I felt. I'd be lying if I said I played all my sadness away, but playing guitar tonight helped me channel my emotions. I suspect I'll be letting some more out at tomorrow's gig.
I don't know what tomorrow will bring, but for tonight, my guitar provided some much needed music therapy.
- Tom Godfrey
- Atlanta, GA, United States
- When I suffered a lip injury that ended my career as a classical trombonist, I thought my life as a musician was finished, but I fell in love with music all over again when Santa gave me a guitar for Christmas in 2003. Even as I was struggling with my first chords, I was planning a new performance career. As a trombonist, I performed with the Heritage of America Band at Langley Air Force Base, the Ohio Light Opera, and in pick-up bands for touring acts that included Rosemary Clooney, George Burns, and the Manhattan Transfer. Reborn as a jazz guitarist, I sing and play my own solo arrangements of jazz classics, am half of the Godfrey and Guy duo, and hold the guitar chair in the Sentimental Journey Orchestra. I have been a freelance music copyist since 1995, served as Director of Music at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation from 2011 to 2017, and currently serve as Contemporary Band Director at the same congregation.