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April 2021

Warm Spring Greetings to our Friends & Students!

This month’s letter is a bit different and a bit lengthy, and I hope you might resonate somewhat with my offerings….

It is that season of year when we delight in the sunshine, new green life everywhere, and renewed hope. Especially this 2021 Spring. Our hope is fragile, and we are weary from the path, and we may find ourselves in an open space of great possibility and gratefulness.

One year ago, in April, the entire planet reached an all-time low level of consciousness, which found its home in raw fear, and we have miraculously recovered. I remember many sad details of that time. But the phenomenon that will be forever in my memory was the silencing of the sounds of civilization. It was a stunning and healing gift.

Instead of traffic and airplanes I heard insects and birds, tiny rustling creatures, and dry weeds making sounds in the breeze. The song of rain was more pronounced. The air smelled fresh and new. Nature came (back) to us in harmony, much as it must have been in pre-Industrial Revolution times. Time truly stood still, and even the clouds seemed to be happier. Recently of course we have seen that beautiful quiet recede...

Quiet, calm, simplicity, stillness can still be in our lives now as we re-calibrate to our new environments. Just sitting still in the quiet of our backyard, we spend time in nature where healing of heart, mind, soul, and body can happen. Nature’s music and pure and grounding energy is the original music therapy:)

As we continue to know our music studio as a sanctuary – meeting in our very unique and creative groups and in private lessons – calm and gratefulness feel even more meaningful to me.

Spring is so lovely. However, it brings a kind of frenzy, and a striving, and a piling-on of high energy activity and frantic urgency. I don’t know about you, but after a year of stress, pain, contraction and much darkness, I am needing some settling stillness and calm, constancy, smiles and laughter, and the company of our amazing community.

Amidst continuing unstable world circumstances, Full Circle is our very own centered place to learn, relax, laugh, gain strength, and of course become fabulous fiddle players. But of course!

Here's looking forward to a fresh and fulfilling summer with everyone!


The Wonders of Music Therapy

Are you curious about music therapy, as you see new and fascinating instruments appearing regularly at Full Circle Studio? An April 8 article in the New York Times offers a good overview of the growing scientific evidence for the healing power of music.

According to the NYT article, a review of 400 research papers conducted by Daniel J. Levitin at McGill University in 2013 concluded that “listening to music was more effective than prescription drugs in reducing anxiety prior to surgery.” Music therapists use a wide range of traditional instruments and have even created special instruments for newborns, that simulate the rhythms of a mother's heartbeat and the whooshing sounds in the womb.
Another article on offered additional example of the effectiveness of music therapy, citing the violin as an effective instrument for connecting with and soothing patients because its sounds are "so close to those of vocalization." 
Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah
If you watch the video at the end of this month's newsletter, you may be inspired to want to learn how to play Hallelujah. Here's a link to a play-along version on YouTube. You'll probably want to download the sheet music first here, then once you've practiced the tune, you can go to YouTube and play along. Enjoy!
This version is already fairly slow, but remember, in YouTube you can almost always slow down or speed up the tempo of a play-along video by left-clicking on the settings gear under the video, and choosing "PlayBack Speed."
St. Patrick's Day and April Fool's
Since our last Full Circle newsletter, we've celebrated two important holidays!
What better way to observe St. Patrick's Day than with a bit of Irish fiddle music? Here, Karen Orsillo and Dee McEneaney put on the green and strike up a tune!
And then, on the first of April, we volunteered to test Fiddlershop's new product: the Gigger's Little Helper. (Don't try this at home.)
Inspiring Quote
I think music in itself is healing. It's an explosive expression of humanity. It's something we are all touched by. 
Billy Joel
Hallelujah for the Neighbors
Over the last year, one bright spot has been the way many of us got to know our neighbors better – whether it was by helping older folks do their grocery shopping or by simply chatting over the fence. Marta Z, in Long Beach, California, treated her neighbors to a concert on her electric violin. 
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Rollinsford Lower Mill, suite 401, 402, 406
3 Front Street
Rollinsford, NH 03869

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