This fall we're making the shift from my music being the "supplementary income" to it being the "primary income" for our family, as I'll be moving from being the primary "homemaker" to dedicating more time to this music ministry.
An exciting development, and I'm looking forward to it!
This also means that "now is the time" to move on a number of things that I have been thinking about for a long time, but not yet implemented. Here are two (among various other) new things that I have in mind for this fall and beyond... I'm still trying to figure out how this could work... I'd love to hear any responses or suggestions you might have...
1) house concerts
I know this has become a huge trend in some circles, but it's something I've never really done. Last weekend a friend talked to me about Jacob Moon's house concerts
- I've visited his site and really like what I see. I'm still trying to figure out just how this could work for me and my music... one issue in particular that I'm struggling with is the "intergenerational" nature of my music (so that I'd want house concerts to be interactive and "all-ages"), and yet also the yearning that I feel for a venue to share some other songs in another mode that would be more contemplative in nature (which would also really lend itself to an intimate "house concert" kind of setting).
I've toyed with the idea of having house concerts with 2 sets - the first set being very active and especially child-friendly, and a second set with a somewhat more reflective feel (which some children would really enjoy too, but for others it would definitely extend the evening past their attention span). Would it work to have a first set, and then child-care available downstairs (with lego, toys, comfy spots for sleeping) for anyone that needs it during the second set...?
Or does that just get too complicated and impractical...? Would I be better off making different kinds of "house concerts" available - one that is a "family concert" and one that is more for the "tall" than the "small"...? But I don't really want to do that... there's a reason I call this "SmallTall Music"...
Do you have experience with house concerts? Any other ideas?
2) SmallTall Member Song-Circles
Another venue that I've wanted to introduce is a special gathering for SmallTall Music members
(and friends that they might want to invite). One of the drawbacks of the "CSM" (Community Supported Music) or "membership" system
is that it relies on the mechanism of downloading songs and resources, which is a real barrier for some people. And many of us need to experience the song "live" in order to really get "how it works" and to see the potential for how it can be used in different family/congregational/school settings... So I've been thinking about ways that SmallTall Music members can really experience these songs...
So how about this...
In different areas where there are concentrations of STM members (and where I happen to be travelling), I send out an invitation to a "SmallTall Member Song-Circle" event, hosted by one of the members. This is not a "concert"... it's a chance for us to gather (with our guitars and whatever other instruments people might want to bring) and sing through songs from the recent deliveries, and "try them out" with some of the activity ideas, etc. I would spend some time sharing and leading the different songs, and we could explore them together. And there would also be time for different folks to share their own song(s) - whatever they want to bring (in the spirit of the annual "STM Members Jamboree").
And, of course, like at a house concert, there would be some food/snacks and chit-chat time too...!
This would not be a "concert" though - it's a "song circle" - and in thinking about the economics of it, I'm thinking that there would be no price of admission or anything (again, the invitation goes out to existing STM Members), but members would be welcome to invite a friend, and this could also be an opportunity for people to interact with and "discover" this CSM system for themselves, and hopefully it could help to grow the membership circle as well.
And this kind of "STM Song Circle" could also happen in places where I am not present (which, of course, is most places on the planet at any given time!). That is, an STM member, or group of members, in any given place, could host a "Song Circle" on their own, and try out these songs and have a good time with a group of friends (some of whome might say "hey, this is cool, I'd like to get access to these songs and resources too...").
What do you think about that?
I get quite excited about both of these ideas (house concerts and STM Song Circles)... but as you can see there are also a number of things that I can't seem to be able to figure out, and I'm having some troubling getting these ideas to the stage where I can "roll them out" and get started.
Any help you can give - thoughts, critiques, suggestions - would be much appreciated.
Labels: on the road, songwriting