Published in the July 5 – July 18, 2017 issue of Morgan Hill Life

By Mark Fenichel

Mark Fenichel

Music is a funny thing. It affects everyone everywhere on Earth. It’s like water, always around us. Sometimes we take it for granted, but we need it to survive, and most often we are happy to have it. For example, a good rain after many dry months, an ice cold glass of water or a cool swimming pool on a hot day. Or we hate it like when the ballgame or concert gets rained out or a flood or a leaky roof. Or what about that same glass of water that you accidentally knocked over, ruining everything in it’s path?

A certain song may suddenly remind you of someone or something in your life and make you smile and feel good. But then again, a certain song may remind you of an ex or an unhappy moment — and you hope to never hear that song again.

How about that melody that gets stuck in your head and just won’t go away? Music is in all of us in some form or another.

Many of us need music everyday. You need it in the car when you are driving, through headphones when jogging, or on a plane or you need to see your favorite artist or see a band at a live music event just as a way to relax.
When it comes to music there are two kinds of music people: those who can play it, understand it, and use it to make themselves and others happy, and those who can’t.

Which one are you? Is music something we are born with or is it something we learn later on? I come from a “musical family” exposed to music my entire early life and it is evident that music has always been in me. But I was never really trained in music and to this day I can not read or write music but I can certainly play with just about anyone and in a variety of styles.

I think exposure to music at a very early age is important, but no matter what, music affects people in different ways.

My children were exposed to music since the beginning of their lives. But only one out of three can express themselves through music. The other two love music, they appreciate live music and are very good listeners, but never had the desire or felt they had the interest in playing music.

My daughter just sent me a video of the grandkids. The two-year-old was strumming a uke and the four-year-old was making up a song and improvising with his sister. They were jamming. It made me laugh, it made me smile and made me feel good. As elementary as it was, that’s music!

Of course, as a musical grandparent I am thrilled that they are showing signs of musical interest at such a young age and that is important because you can’t force a kid to play music just like you can’t force a kid to play sports.

If you give your child enough exposure to music at an early age, the odds of them becoming truly interested in music is greatly increased.

So how do you view music? Are you a player or a listener or both? We see child prodigies on Youtube and America’s Got Talent, kids who are still babies performing difficult classical pieces on piano or violin.

I have to believe that they are somewhat born with the talent, but are they?

Maybe like any child prodigy they are born with a part of their brain that is more developed and they can naturally use it through music.

Music is like a language, and it can be learned and you are never too old to learn.

Music is all around us, so take advantage of it and enjoy it.

On another note, the live music scene continues to flourish with weekly events such as:
• Morgan Hill Friday Night Downtown Music Series
• Vines & Vibes every Wednesday at Guglielmo Winery
• Mama Mia’s Music On The Patio Series every Thursday evening,
• Hecker Pass Winedown Wednesdays
• 88 Keys Cafe with live music nightly
• The Third Street Garage Music Series every Sunday afternoon in Morgan Hill
• Clos LaChance Winery
• Grinds, Vines & Automobilia Cafe with live bands mostly Friday and Saturday nights
• The Chris & Friends Open Mic every Wednesday at GVA

Go out and enjoy this glorious summer of live music. It’s happening in many places right here in your own backyard.

What are your thoughts on music? Got a musical tip? Let me know at harmonicaman1@yahoo.com.