Yesterday when playing at the Maine Veterans' Home I realized the audience did not care that I was playing "bubble music" with no fancy frills. I played from E-Z Play books of the '40's, hits from Broadway, waltzes and country tunes. At the end I played a couple of marches and Battle Hymn of the Republic. I enjoyed playing Take Me Out To The Ball Game, Bye Bye Blackbird, I Want A Girl Just Like The Girl That Married Dear Old Dad, Who's Sorry Now?. I didn't have to worry about complicated runs and chords, and I didn't have to think about whether I was pleasing the audience. Their voices behind me as they sang along, their comments like "that's a good one" and "I remember that one" , told me all I needed to know.
The Maine Veterans' Home in Scarborough, one of several in the state, has several wings. The wing I visit on Sundays is the "residential" one. The men and women there need some assistance but are able to take much responsibility themselves. Their meds are managed, but they dress themselves, feed themselves and are mobile with or without assist. SO, when they hear the music they come - some with walkers, some in wheel chairs, some with no mobility aids. Some stay as long as I am there; some wander in and out. I am totally at ease with that. And my playing reflects how much I am enjoying the experience. The EZ-Play books of the Century Series is a library of wonderful familiar tunes. While I work on complicated chord changes and right hand harmony, and tricky little fills and clever endings - and I am not sure they sound any better than the simpler versions - I thoroughly enjoy just kicking back and using all the great features already built into the Lowrey organ. With the push of a button, the wiggle of a foot, the flick of the wrist - a chord change, a right hand harmony, a professional fill, a resounding ending. RELAX AND ENJOY A SIMPLE MELODY. Push a few buttons. Kick a little fill or chord change. Add another man to your orchestra. The possibilities are endless. Have fun.