Tony M. Music

Tony M. Music is a full time children's music entertainer integrating music, literature, and storytelling into an educational, interactive, and FUN experience! 

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The Most Powerful Instrument in the World

Before my shows, we warm up. We grab tambourines and begin clapping out a beat or if there are not enough tambourines, we clap out a beat with our hands. We shake, we stretch, we get our blood flowing to help wake us up and get us energized! After all that, we sing a warm up song because warming up your voice is very important too! We warm it up because we want to take care of it. And when the warm-up is completed, I end it with the statement that our voice is an instrument. The most important and most powerful instrument in the WORLD!

Our voice is the most powerful instrument in the world. Repeat that last sentence, but substitute “our,” for “my.” MY voice is the most powerful instrument in the world! That statement carries with it a heavy responsibility if we truly believe it. Your voice can create laughter, tears, joy, pain, anger, and frustration. Your voice can inspire others, change oppressive laws or create them. Your voice can free an entire population of people or enslave them. Your voice help heal a broken heart, or help to break a healing heart. It’s a little intimidating and scary when we truly understand how much power our voice has. When you’re using your voice in a positive way toward others, it is healthier for us as well. The inverse too, is accurate, when we use our voice in a negative way toward others, it becomes unhealthier for us as well.

So let’s try to use our voices the best we can, everyday! I add, “TRY,” to that statement because we are human and we will make mistakes. But always keep this thought in your mind and remind yourself of it, “my voice is the most powerful instrument in the world!” Believe it because it’s true.

tony

The Father/Daughter Dance

This year, February 27, 2019 marked my 11th Father/Daughter Dance to date. I can clearly remember taking Lillie, my oldest daughter, to her first dance at her elementary school. It was an excited evening for both of us. For me as a parent, I got to spend this memorable and special time with just my daughter and me. And for Lillie, she was about to witness some pretty sweet dance moves by her father. Except the sweet dance moves didn’t quite happen like I expected.

When we showed up to the dance, I became very self-conscious about dancing in front of all these strangers. All I wanted to do was hold Lillie’s hand and sway back and forth in a non-attention seeking way. This behavior is pretty out of character for me because I don’t have trouble performing or singing in front of unfamiliar people. I also noticed that I wasn’t the only one feeling this way. Some dads were sitting on chairs around the outside walls. Some dads were standing near there daughters trying hard not to move to much. Some dads were on their phones or talking to each other. But then some of the dads were out on the dance floor having the greatest time of their lives! They were enjoying this moment no matter who was watching.

As I observed this, it became clear to me that I was caring to much. Caring to much to enjoy and be present in the moment and just have fun. And that’s when I decided that I was NOT going to spend these special moments with my daughters worrying about who was watching me or caring that I might look ridiculous. I was and am going to spend these moments being present, having fun, dancing every dance with my daughters, and nailing the spelling of the Y-M-C-A!

tony

Gettin' Loud in the Library!

I have been so grateful for our libraries throughout WV and northern VA where I have the opportunity to perform regularly. Libraries are venues for artists, performers, schools, etc. to share their craft in a family friendly, community centered environment. For libraries to host these free activities though, there has to be a level of noise involved. This idea that libraries are a place for “noise,” is a relatively new trend.

As Ann Litz, “Obsolete Librarian,” stated, “Libraries are moving from being a "book space" to a "people space.” From a musician’s point of view, this is GREAT! If you’re in your late 20’s and older, you will remember a time when you were expected to “BE QUIET,” in the library. As a child, I remember getting that death glare from adults as soon as my decibel level rose above “barely audible.”

Today however, the majority of libraries invite noise! They host movie nights, concerts, interactive story times, yoga, game nights, craft workshops, Comic Cons, traveling zoos, and so many more creative and fun ways to bring families together. Libraries have become the heart of our communities.

Now, this isn’t to say that all rules have been completely abandoned. There are still expectations of proper etiquette. For example, refrain from using profanity, try not to talk to loudly, and please, please, PLEASE, take all phone conversations outside when possible.

So if you haven’t already checked out your local library to see all the different programs they provide, do so today. They offer an array of activities for many different age groups and tastes. Remember too, these activities are free and you get to do something that was once taboo in a library…you get to make a little noise!