I've just arrived in Bern, Switzerland to play a few shows and I attended the opening press event where I witnessed a group of young musicians ranging in age from 18 to 28 playing in a Jazz Big Band. They were a part of the Bern school of music. Every time I'm in Europe I'm struck by how much they put the music first. In the states we often complain that there is no REAL music and so forth but we just have to open our eyes and ears because it's all in front of us. The band of students I witnessed were playing new arrangements by a Belgian composer and it was beautiful to see them be so excited about learning. I think we sometimes get so caught up in opinions and genres that we miss so much of the beauty that exists around us everyday. It is vital that we get back to a place where we participate in life and not just watch it pass us by as we stand there and dole out opinions. We have to also constantly look behind our own backyards. This is a BIG world and if you simply look and listen, you will see that music education and arts are thriving because there are students all over the world that want to know and learn as much as they can about this craft. We must also remember that we are ALL always learning. We just have to stay open to see what's right in front of us. Being a creative person in a gift and a blessing and we must not take it for granted. Enjoy the journey.
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