PERFORMER’S EDGE WITH TOM JACKSON THE VOICE BOX WITH RACHEL FERGUSON DIY SUMMER FUN! Happy Independence Day! And Happy Summer! As the heat bears down upon us, and we enjoy time off of school and work, we may, at times, grow weary of the hot summer sun and begin to look for an entertaining activity to do indoors. Look no further than a musical instrument project with your family! Might I suggest making tambourines and rainsticks from household materials, or even decorating your own maracas? Simple tambourines are made by stapling together two paper plates, and putting interesting noise-makers such as bells or beads on the inside. Family members can then decorate their tambourines with paints or markers, and away you’ll go! Rainsticks are born out of empty paper towel rolls... again, put beads on the inside of the roll, secure each end, and Voila! Instant musical instrument, ready to be decorated and played! I spent some time on the Internet researching fun instrument projects recently. After simply Googling “Decorate Maracas,” I was rewarded by several choices of plain maracas to purchase at very reasonable price points. I daresay that even crafts stores like Michael’s may carry plain instruments ready for decoration. Why an instrument project? An instrument project brings the family to the table and provides an excellent activity in which all ages can engage. The final product can be customized and actually used, and if you’re so inclined, the new instruments can even be used to teach some fundamentals of rhythm and music. What I love most about rhythm instruments is that with very little instruction, anyone can have a positive experience playing music. Rhythm instruments are inter-generational. From young children to grandparents, these instruments are accessible. Start singing a favorite song, or turn on your favorite Pandora station and play along. Show off that newly decorated tambourine, and make a joyful noise with your kids. Take the instruments to Grandmother’s house and let everyone take a turn leading the song or the rhythm game (“Let’s play loud, now fast, now soft, now slow, etc...”). With a bit of creativity and direction, your family will be making instruments and music all summer long! Rachel Ferguson, MM, MT-BC, NICU-MT, is a Board Certified Music Therapist and the Founder of Whole Note Music Therapy. She is also a vocalist and teaches voice lessons. She lives in San Diego, Calif. For more information, visit I LOVE MY WIFE I love my wife. I hope she knows it. How do you think she knows it? Is there anything I do that lets her know it? I love my son and daughter. I hope they know it. I know it! I feel it—warm, fuzzy, my heart beats faster when I come home after a long road trip. When they are going through something I hurt for them, pull for them, pray for them. All of that is good. I haven’t lost that passion for them... it’s grown. But the real question is, how do I communicate it? Because me feeling it and them knowing it are two different things! How do we connect? We live in different bodies, so what does it take for them to “get it?” If we were all wired together and they could experience what I am feeling, we would have zero communication problems. Unfortunately, we are wireless and the signal drops... so how do we get on the same frequency? Boost the signal? Is there something I need to learn... do... plan... be... so they “get it?” When I do something physical, like hug my wife, bring her flowers, plan a special moment, take my kids somewhere, get a vision to lead them to a special place on vacation, I believe those things communicate my love for them. What if I read a lot of books about how to communicate? I could take classes and go to seminars about marriage and kids. That would probably help my relationship with my family. Why not just be spontaneous always? I could work on paying attention to them and their needs, and then respond whenever something comes to mind that I could do for them. You know what? I believe it takes all of the above and more! We need to be diligent about the things that are important to us... Is your music and your message important? Is your audience? Then it’s time for you to start learning how to communicate from the platform! Tom Jackson, #1 Live Music Producer in the industry, helps artists develop their show into “unique memorable moments!” A Live Music Producer does onstage with the live show, what a record producer does in the studio. Tom’s Live Music Methods make your live show engaging, exceeding audience’s expectations and creating fans for life. Many successful artists have learned from Tom: Taylor Swift, Jars of Clay, Jordin Sparks, Casting Crowns, Francesca Battistelli, Gloriana, and other acts you admire! For more info, go to 52 CCM MUSICIANS CORNER