A recent feature for Fretmentor’s Blog is to hear about the experience of other music lovers, students and performers . Today, I have invited a guest (Doug Cone) to contribute a story on his experience performing music for the time in a public outdoor setting. At Fretmentor’s Blog, I look forward to other contributions and musical articles of interest. Please contact me to see how you can contribute such articles
On November, 2009, I bought a Mandolin while in Galax, VA. I did not have a clue how to play it, but was determined to try (or use it as wall candy, if I was unsuccessful). I discovered Fretmentor a month later, and have been taking lessons and attending Blues and Bluegrass classes ever since.
The first time ever, that I played before an audience was with a group at the Ed Healy Rehab and Nursing facility in West Palm Beach. It was extremely moving to see the audience’s appreciation. Practically everybody was in a wheelchair, but they were all smiling or singing or moving to the music. The residents were so uplifting that I still am not sure who got the most out of it; them or us. So, I was all in, when Fretmentor invited members of our Wednesday night class to join him at the Concert-A-Thon benefit in Palm Beach Gardens, on February 23, 2013. The event was intended to raise money for music scholarships for kids.
There were two stages and multiple music groups playing throughout the day. At first, I was a little nervous. This was a bigger, more public venue, and I remember hoping that enough members from our class would show up, to drown out my mistakes. However, once we started, I was not nervous at all. Part of the reason was that I was so focused on the members of our group (all of whom were familiar faces from class), that I really didn’t have time to notice the crowd. I was pleasantly surprised to hear a smattering of applause after each of our songs. It was a lot of fun. Not only was it great practice, but it was special seeing other people enjoy what we do. I would recommend this experience to anyone.
Note: Doug Cone grew up in Palm Beach County, graduated from F.S.U. with a double major in Business and Psychology, and attended law school for one year. He has been in real estate and mortgage finance for 40 years and is currently president of a small real estate investment company. “ I had practically no experience with “playing” a musical instrument until I bought my mandolin and started taking lessons from Fretmentor. It is a great venue for learning music, and making friends.”