Music Flows From One Generation to Another

I just returned from a journey that was worth every hour of highway driving, for the fine music we made and heard there. We (my sweetie and his 17-year-old daughter) went to visit his 89-year-old parents and the combination of rest and home-made music was the most wonderful vacation. We had long, quiet times, walks about the neighbourhood and down by the water, shopping and festive dinners. In and around it all was the playing and singing of songs: Christmas carols, old hymns, folk songs, blues songs, old pop stuff, even some new indie sounds. The old upright piano got a workout last week, for sure.

I am grateful to these two lovely people for demonstrating yet again the power of simply making music in the home, for itself. They are not professionals, but simply enjoy singing and piano playing as part of life, and they help others find their voices by hosting singsongs in their home from time to time. It is not surprising that most of their children and grandchildren are quite good musicians.

This recent family musical experience makes me feel more inspired than ever about multigenerational singing events. I look forward to lots of that in my future as I further explore the ways I can work with people of all ages together.



About Maura Volante

Maura Volante is a talented and experienced performer. Although she has written many songs over the years, her main focus these days is traditional folk songs. These are songs that have stood the test of time and have an enduring quality that speaks directly and clearly to the human experience. They also tell us about our history. Because these songs are not commonly sung in these post-folk-revival times in which folk music generally means singer-songwriter material, Maura has taken on the project of helping to keep this valuable material alive. Her specialty is Canadian folk songs, but she knows many songs from the British Isles and the USA as well. All her concerts and other programs are designed with group singing in mind. Whether in a concert, a tour, a social gathering, a classroom, a festival or a conference hall, Maura creates an encouraging atmosphere, relaxed and inclusive. She uses her strong voice and facilitation techniques to bring out the best possible music with these voices in this moment. Maura firmly believes that everyone can sing and, moreover, that everyone has a right to sing and be part of group singing activities, without judgement or criticism. No matter what the various skill levels of participants may be in any group singing activity, it always sounds good in a group, because the voices naturally attune with each other. Maura also teaches and calls contra dancing and simpler forms of traditional dancing suitable for all ages, often incorporating group singing into the dancing through the use of play party songs, which are sung by the whole group as they dance.
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