Music moves so much that some of us have a handful of songs that we can’t even listen to in public explaining to others why you’re looking crazy by holding your eyes wide open in an attempt not to drop those tears that have been gathering since the music started is never quite on anyone’s ‘to do list’.
Music moves us to get our asses up and running in the morning…
Music moves you into a place of peace in order to avoid putting hands on people at work who you want to choke the absolute shit out of on a daily basis. Sometimes it serves as a necessary part of simply getting through your day…
Music moves us to reflect and to reminisce. It’s crazy how you can hear a song and quickly be dropped off at a very specific time in your life. How many times have you found yourself saying, “Oh woooow, this takes me right back to……”?
I’m gonna share this particular story about how music moved me one day while I was still teaching in the classroom – but not in the traditional “I heard a song and was moved”-type of way. This was actually via a student of mine, matter of fact… He was my best student. Like everyone else who came through my classroom, he knew that I was a working musician who toured, released music, etc. and he would always inquire about my shows and the music, in general. Remembering this, at the end of one school year, I surprised him by passing him copies of three of my albums (Passion & Definition, Re:Definition and Freelance). I let him know how proud I was of his successful school year in the music room and encouraged him to keep up his great work. We chatted a little while longer before he headed home for the summer… And to be honest, I didn’t think too much more about it after that… I mean giving praise to kids who are doing a good job in the classroom is all in a day’s work, right?
During that summer, I was in the middle of taking more classes at George Washington University for my Master’s degree in Special Education Children with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders. It was actually dope the way it was set up. The professors would come to US at OUR school and teach so convenience was completely in our favor in regards to not having to travel down overly-congested ass Connecticut Ave. to GW’s campus to attend classes. The thing was, I took my summers off every year so in order to continue with the degree and graduate on time with the teachers I started the program with, I would have to spend some of my time back at the school. Maaaaaaaan, I didn’t want to do that!! Didn’t y’all hear what the late, great Bernie Mac said?? “When Black folks ‘break’… We BREAK!!” He was telling jokes, but he wasn’t joking… I wanted NO parts of that school during my cherished summers off. Eh… With that being said….. my ass was right back at the school taking classes with everyone else during my summer break. Well, this one particular day after one of the classes was over, I decided to head downstairs to the music room just to check on things and make sure my spot was still in order. I got a knock at the door….. I thought to myself, “Dammit, who the hell is this?! I’ll bet it’s someone who saw me come into the room and now they want to try and come in here and bang on the drums…” ……Opened the door and saw that it was the student who I gave all of the music to. Helluva relief…. We chatted for a second to catch up, but I could tell that he was a little hyped up about something. He wasted no time cutting the conversation short with, “Hey, Mr. Ferguson, I want you to listen to this!” He proceeded to plug his guitar into one of the amps on the floor. I responded with, “Ah ok, what you got? You been working on some new material?” …Not quite. BUT, what he began to play rendered me absolutely motionless and speechless. My jaw damn near hit the floor as I realized that he was playing parts of songs from the albums of mine that I had given him a month prior! I’ll tell you what, after experiencing this level of extreme humility I have realized that it will automatically diminish your vocabulary, because all I could come up with to say in response was the SAT-vocab section worthy, “Yooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!” …while repeating, “Come on man… Come ON man, really?!” It was CRAZY. He told me that he had been using the CDs to practice on during the summer. WOW. Listen man, lemme tell y’all something real quick… I’m not a crier, but this damn near got me good that day. Do you understand what it means to have a student of yours who has pretty much changed his life around because of the music instrument you put and helped keep in his hand and now he wants to get better by learning music you wrote….???!! And he plays back to you what he has taught himself by ear??!!?!? Not only was this a highlight in my teaching career, but a highlight in my LIFE.
Once again, Music. MOVES. Music is moving… Allow it to work in you.