Posts tagged: PTM

Presidential Part-Time Musicians: Violinists

Every now and then we discover a famous Part-Time Musician (PTM) and it’s always fun to share it. This time, our discussion takes us to the White House!

Our friends at Violinist.com posted this article about the three American Presidents (to date!) who have been violinists. While it’s impossible to lay all of the credit (or blame) for any of their accomplishments to their study of music, it does speak to the contribution that being a musician makes to a person’s drive and dedication to accomplishing their goals.

Our hats are off to Presidents Jefferson, Tyler, and Nixon for their pursuit of music and all the benefits it brings to those who play…not to mention those who listen.

Keep playing,
Mark

For more information:
Thomas Jefferson’s Violins
John Tyler, Violinist
Violinist.com

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On Earth Peace, Goodwill Toward Men

Each year during the holiday season, most of us tend to reflect a bit on the year and count our blessings. This has always seemed to me to be a good thing, as it takes our focus off of the difficulties of the past 12 months and redirects our attention to those things, large or small, that have been the treasures that shone through.

It’s been a challenging year for many of us, but I’m thankful for so much…including a wonderful Part-Time Musician (PTM) family with which to share triumphs, setbacks, musical challenges, accomplishments – in short, all of the things that make life, well, life.  :-)

When I was growing up, every major holiday throughout the year had a Peanuts(TM) special that played on TV the week before. I admired and respected Charles Schulz, and I still do – few people have given so much to the human race, and few people’s legacies will last as long as his. To his family, thank you; we miss him.

Below is one of my favorite “Peanuts moments”, where Linus answers Charlie Brown’s plea asking what Christmas is all about. I know I’m an old softie, but it never fails to bring tears to my eyes.

Wishing you all peace and goodwill, and may you and yours have a very merry Christmas.

All the best,
Mark

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Part-Time Musicians Are All Around You

I was talking with some “work friends” earlier this week and the topic somehow swerved into music. Imagine my surprise when I learned that one’s wife was a happy and talented PTM (Part-Time Musician) bassist, and another had played lead guitar in a band several years back and still kept his hand in the music whenever he could fit it in. It got me to thinking: just how many of us are out there?

Turns out quite a few. This article about comedian/actor Paul Reiser sheds light on his PTM-ness and makes me smile every time I think about it. One of my favorite points he makes is this:

Q: What made you want to explore music the last few years?

A: Having started with music before comedy I always just thought I would get back to it. Part of the reason I was able to get into stand-up comedy is there was a structure in place – you go to this club and there’s this hierarchy and so on. But with music I realized I wanted to just give myself the freedom to take any structural demands out of the equation. So if I came up with a little melody my brain would go, “Well what is it? Is it a song, is it a symphony, is it a string quartet?” And I thought maybe it’s just a seven-second music cue, just let it be what it wants to be.

Most of us were exposed to making music as children, in one fashion or another. Many of us played an instrument or sang in school. Some came to music later as a form of self-expression, a release, or just something fun to do. Regardless of how any of us got there, we all hear the music and want to share it with others…even if it’s just the family pet.  :-)

Don’t be shy! Sing, play, listen, and experience your music – whether a symphony or a seven-second riff – knowing you’re not alone. And don’t be surprised who you learn shares your playing addiction. They’re everywhere…   ;-)

All the best,
Mark

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How to Avoid Regrets as a Musician

It’s probably inevitable that the older we get, the more we think about regrets we may someday have about things we have, or haven’t, done. So as a Part-Time Musician (PTM)…how do we avoid those regrets?

Some time back, friend Robert DeMaine of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra shared this satirical story, courtesy of The Onion. Like most good humor, it has enough basis in truth to really make a person think. To me, it always seems to come back to this: don’t keep your music within you.

If you haven’t yet found *your* instrument, I’d encourage you to look for it. If you have, I’d urge you to play it. Music, like most gifts, is of little worth unless it’s shared…and once shared, it’s a gift to all – including you, the giver.

It may sound trite, but simple truths are just that. Think about it.  :-)

Keep playing,
Mark

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PTMs in the news: LA lawyers

For those of you who may be expecting a lawyer joke, this article might be a bit of a disappointment. If you’re interested in that kind of thing – and hey, who doesn’t like a good joke? – please feel free to leave one as a comment.  :-D That said, the topic du jour is Part-Time Musicians who just happen to practice law as a day job. Couldn’t see that one coming, could you?!?!

The LA Lawyers Philharmonic

The LA Lawyers Philharmonic

This article tells of the Los Angeles Lawyers Philharmonic Orchestra, the only orchestra in the USA known to comprise solely attorneys. Whether as judge, prosecutor, or defense attorney, being a legal profession can produce a lot of stress…and playing an instrument can help relieve that stress by focusing the mind (and body) on a creative activity far different from one’s “daily duties”. What better creative activity than music?

Below are two videos of LA Lawyers Phil performances for your enjoyment. Bravo!

Whatever your profession, music offers an outlet for talents you may not be able to fully express in your “day job”. Don’t be afraid to share your talents! By doing so, you make the world a far richer place for all of us.

Keep playing,
Mark

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