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Musical Extravagance: The Ultimate Holiday Gift

‘Tis the season of extravagance.

  • Never settle for one string of lights when you could use twenty.
  • You must bake seven kinds of cookies so everyone has their favorite..
  • The wrapping needs to be as impressive as the gift inside.
  • Every corner of the house should sparkle, glitter, glow or twinkle.
  • Overspend now and pay it off next year.

It’s a wonder that we continue to get caught up in the overabundance of the holidays when we repeatedly acknowledge that the spirit of the holiday lies in simplicity and humility. We resonate with the sentiment of “The Little Drummer Boy,” yet we tend to overextend ourselves in our own music making. More impressive, more difficult, more complex seem to be the hallmarks of our Christmas music.

But what if it were just one small musical offering like that of the drummer boy that made an impact, that embodied the holiday spirit, that brought harmony, beauty and joy? What if we worried less about the piece and more about the peacefulness? 

I believe it is important for each of us, no matter how hectic our performance schedule, to enjoy our own music making in this season, to ease the pressure of performance and to feel the magic that our music adds to the celebrations.

As listeners, we are easily swept away by the beauty of music. As performers, it is more difficult to value and experience our own contributions in the same way. Yet I think it is important for each of us to recognize the worth of the gift we share with others and to acknowledge the gift that music gives us each and every day.

With that in mind, this is what I believe.

I believe...

...Your music doesn’t have to be awe-inspiring to contribute to the awe and wonder of the season.

...It doesn’t have to be perfect, it only needs to be your best effort.

...Your music doesn’t have to be big and flashy, it only needs to be from your heart.

...Your music is the best present you can give, but you have to unwrap it and give it. Give extravagantly.

May the gift of music spread extravagant happiness, peace and joy throughout your holidays and the new year to come.

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