Humour in music

There are songs whose words are funny…. And there are songs sang in a funny way… And then there is funny music which doesn’t need any words. Music doesn’t need humour to be effective, but when done well can make us laugh as hard as any joke can. It’s never any harm to include it somewhere in your set.

A special evening…

Last night was one of those nights. Far away from the bright lights of a big theatre stage, there were only 13 of us in the room. But there was a piano, and there was magic. You see, last September a group of adults took a risk and signed up for a course of piano and music appreciation classes I was offering. It was a risk because it was a brand-new course, created over the summer to cater for the huge response I got from adults looking to learn how to play piano after publishing this blog last July. And every second Tuesday evening since then we have met up, in two distinct groups, and have worked hard together on becoming better piano players, and to have a better understanding of how music works. Students have had access to a growing library of song-based tuition videos such as this one, and between the videos and the classes, have steadily applied

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When your legs don't work like they used to before…

I had a dream recently where I couldn’t run. I was trying to, trying hard in fact, but my legs wouldn’t move nearly as fast as I wanted them to. And I was reminded of this dream yesterday morning, when I was trying to play the piano with cold hands. But you can’t. Well not as well as you usually would anyway. Like my legs in the dream, my hands just don’t do what I want them to do when they’re cold. And yesterday morning I had cold hands. You see where I work we have storage heaters. Which means if you don’t turn them on the previous evening, there will be no heat the next day. There is no quick fix – you’re going to be cold – simple as that. And this in turn reminded me of booking gigs. Well it’s similar anyway – because in this case you also need to plan ahead – indeed for 6,

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"I'll look after you"…

…can be taken to mean lots of different things. It’s a phrase used regularly by salesmen – inferring if we buy what they are offering they will ‘look after us’ in some way – be that in terms of price, or the particular level of product they give us, or in some other way. And if they keep their promise, it’s likely we will buy something from them again in the future, because it’s nice to be looked after, and nice to have a personal connection with someone who can sell us something we want. But they must tread carefully – because if they utter the words and then don’t adhere to them, they can leave a nasty taste in our mouths. But you can be looked after even when you’re not buying anything. I was ‘looked after’ twice this morning. In a completely different way. Once in the hospital and once in a restaurant. Because I got the feeling

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A white lie…

I’m stealing the story in today’s blog directly from Joe Brolly’s article in today’s Sunday Independent – some of you will have read it but it’s so good I wanted to share it here too. Jim Gavin announced his retirement as Dublin Senior Gaelic Football manager yesterday after a phenomenally successful stint in charge in which his team won the All-Ireland in 6 of the 7 years of his reign. This story has nothing to do with football though, but everything to do with kindness, leadership and man-management. Conor Moore (aka Conor’s Sketches) is from Mullingar. A now renowned mimic, he is contracted to NBC, has filmed TV ads with Tiger Woods and is widely regarded to be at the very top of his game. It wasn’t always like this though. His first two live comedy gigs, only three years ago, were disasters. Both took place in New York City, and the audience for the second gig included the Dublin

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