When I was young training my azz off and working towards "something" I wanted, I had many components to the dream I was trying to fulfill. Academic achievement was one, martial skill was a second, and music was the third leg of my stool. And I wanted them connected in a way that only a Shaolin monk could understand.
Either you get it, or you don't.
Here's a clue... My PhD is in biomedical engineering, with a specialty in systems physiology. And anyone who's gotten out of the dojo and started reading a little (George, Van, and others) understands the importance of neurobiology and physiology in what we do, how things work, and how everything can go so terribly wrong.
Music is important as well. In class I can't tell you how many times I've thrown my hands up in frustration while trying to teach partner exercises, and asked someone if they've ever played a musical instrument. I've never had such a person say "Yes." My (very rude) reply to their "No" is often something like "I can tell!" Meanwhile... come to any Uechi camp and you'll marvel at the musical abilities (some good, some bad, all sincere) of our Uechi teachers and masters. Even Kansei Uechi at one camp was playing an Okinawan stringed instrument and exercising his pipes. Not my cup of tea for music, but most certainly talent and heart while expressing a rich piece of Okinawan culture.
And the music-academia link? For my dissertation I was quantifying rhythms in heart-rate curves that I was (digitally) creating from EKGs. It was the waxing and waning of the heart from respiration as well as the nonlinearity of two vascular control systems. In short, I was studying rhythm. And my musical training helped me get it at a level that many of my peers did not. (I subsequently shot holes in a paper published by a Harvard researcher in Science. He didn't get it either. But I DID get my PhD for it all...
OK, so now we know we have some music lovers in the crowd. That said...
I've been helping my son learn piano as of late. It's an old skill I thought I lost, but apparently not. I have him getting the formal music lessons, but then he won't do the practice unless I sit down with him. I make it fun. I teach him things I wish somebody had taught me, and I play with him.
The place where I have him going encourages the kids to play things they want to play as well as doing the formal training. He wants to learn the theme of Pink Panther, so fine... I'll be looking for some good sheet music that converts an orchestral sound to something that sounds half-decent on the piano. But I'm also going to be trying to lead him on this.
The other day I listened to Boston's Foreplay/Long Time piece on XM radio. I've always liked the intro. The triplet after triplet playing with an underlying bass melody appeals to my classical training sensibilities. For what it's worth... Boston was made up of musicians who happened to be MIT engineering students. Hmm... there's that music-academia connection again.
Well eventually I'm going to sit down and just bang out the melody. But I thought I'd look to see what's on YouTube first - just in case there's someone out there playing with and teaching aspects of that rather long piece. And in doing so, I stumbled on a rare talent.
Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to introduce Jon Baglo and some friends. Res ipsa loquitur.
Foreplay/Long Time (Jon's One Man Band Boston Cover)
You suk, Jon. I HATE you!!!