I home from New Orleans and the New Orleans Traditional Jazz Camp, I was drumming. What a great experience. I return with new insights on teaching jazz and maintaining a happy heart.
The bad: New Orleans is a study in contrast, wealth/poverty, happiness/despair and the smell of stale beer, urine and vomit.
The ugly: too much eating, drinking, and other nasty habits that lower life satisfaction and joy at every turn. I asked an instructor how he stays healthy to keep playing. He laughed bitterly, "don't do what I've done". A large percentage of my fellow campers are overweight, some morbidly so. Too many have an unfortunate relationship with alcohol and food, and an aversion to the gym. I mean they really drink a lot. Bloody Mary's for breakfast! Six beers before the jam! And, most of them are seniors.
What do I take away from this? A renewed determination to stay healthy through conscious living. And recount my blessings: my loving wife, sober friends, good health, stable self-employment, food on the table.
David Story: Professional pianist, drummer, composer, and educator. Well into his 4th enthusiastic musical decade, David works with adults pursuing musical dreams in the autumn of life, while he maintains an active presence in the Toronto arts scene.