Do you take requests?
When you’re reading this, I must confess, I’m lying on the beach in Huatulco Mexico. The place where this story began. It was an annual trip to Mexico with some close friends and the tale ends up with a string band that doesn’t play requests. Let me explain.
Every year for about 16 years we gathered some friends together for a winter getaway to Mexico. We soaked up the sun for a week and recharged the batteries after a busy Christmas season.
Each night at the resort, the group would get together in the outside bar, and being music lovers, someone would invariably start to sing a song. Usually a classic song from the ’60s. We would all join in and often get through the first verse, and the chorus, but then we would struggle to remember the following verses and the song would sputter to a finish. This seemed to happen all the time.
One year I decided to write out the lyrics to a bunch of old songs, and I took them along on the holiday. After dinner, in the bar, I passed the song sheets out, and it became almost like a caroling choir, but instead of Christmas songs, it was old favourites. And it was fun. The songs started and finished, not always in key, but at least we could get through the entire song.
AI, Artificial Intelligence, is it the new threat to education? 🤖
Where was this when I went to school?
Artificial Intelligence software generates text on any subject you can think of and does it instantly. This new technology has now been banned in New York’s public schools due to concerns over its “negative impact on student learning.”
According to the Guardian, Australian universities have been forced to change the way they run exams fearing students are using artificial intelligence software to write essays.
Here's how it works. I’ll pick a topic, let’s say “Man’s best friend.” I’ll submit that to the Artificial Intelligence software, and ask for a 100-word essay on the topic. I’ll just show you the first paragraph. Here’s what it offered me the first time I made the request:
So, you wanna play the guitar? Well, don’t put it off - as the Nike ads used to say... just do it!!
Maybe you’re like me and have had a lifelong love of music, but never played a musical instrument. About a dozen years ago I thought to myself, it sure would be fun to learn how to play the guitar. Now, it probably would have helped if I had thought of that about 60 years earlier, for it seems that most of the great players started playing when they were just kids. Well, it was too late for that. Couldn’t turn back the hands of time on that one. So off to the guitar store I went, and walked out with a shiny new Fender acoustic. I was surprised at how inexpensive it was to get an entry-level instrument.
The next step was to book some lessons. A guitarist by the name of Gord Davies, came highly recommended as a guitar teacher. Gord had taught lessons and played guitar for decades, and had been in a number of rock and roll bands over the years. He was my man!
So at the ripe old age of 60, I was off on a new career as a guitarist. Wait, check that, not a career really, not even a hobby, just an attempt to prove to myself, you’re never too old to learn. Plus I’ve heard that learning something new helps to keep the old brain exercised and in good shape as we get older.
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Last weekend at Blue Frog Studios, Michael Sicoly and Mick Dalla-Vee brought the Beatles back to life, with the show “Lennon and McCartney, in their own Words and Music”, a Rockumentary that celebrated the incredible library of hit songs from John and Paul.
It was an amazing night of music, combined with a multi-media show that had the audience screaming for more! And there was more. More than the audience had bargained for! For the encore, “Hey Jude”, Michael called up the MC, me! to join in with the la la la la’s. That was a kick, but I’m sure it set the music industry back at least 50 years!
The music that night, from two of the most revered songwriters of all time, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, took me back to my teen years, and one of the most memorable days of my life.
1328 Johnston Road
White Rock, BC • Canada V4B 3Z2
White Rock, BC • Canada V4B 3Z2