My great granddad is buried on the island of Amrum, off the coast of Denmark. He was a fisherman who sailed the North Sea in a twin-masted schooner, and carved on his headstone is a sailing ship with sails unfurled. This is something of a point of pride on Amrum, since it means he died at sea. But that’s not exactly true. He was on foot, crossing the mudflats between the island and the coast on a two-kilometer-long land bridge when the tide came in and swept him away. Had he been drinking. I don’t know, but I have my suspicions. You don’t want to mess with the tide in that part of the world, and no one should know that better than a sailor. My granddad Arthur was also a sailor. When he decided to drive the family from Ohio to Florida during the Great Depression, he didn’t think he needed a map as long as he had the sun and the stars to guide him. Needless to say, he got lost. Over and over. These stories, which I heard many a time when I was a kid, made quite an impression on me. Among other things, they made me realize that setting sail or hitting the road without a map or an awareness of where you are and where you’re going can have dire consequences. And that brings me to the subject of this month’s blog. At the moment, we’re knee-deep in a sight-reading lesson in the YouTube videos coordinated with Excerpt 1 from my book, Compose Yourself (look up the SongwritingABCs channel), and I’m afraid that this might have distracted your attention from where we’re going. I don’t want anyone to get the feeling that we’ve lost our way, so please allow me to map out the whole course for you. First of all, sight-reading music is only a small part of what we’re doing. I just want to... Sign In to Keep Reading
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