One of the questions I hear a lot is “Do you guys sing at home?” I understand the curiosity because I, too, wonder about other performers and creators. For example, do chefs prepare meals in their homes the way that they do in their restaurants? I suppose it’s a perfectly natural thing to wonder if the people we meet in a professional capacity act the same way at home.
The simple answer is “Yes. We do sing at home”, but it might be different than you think.
Singing to Connect
As I write this, I hear Beth singing, “One bad apple won’t spoil the whole bunch, girl!” from the 1970 song by The Osmonds. My guess is that Beth found an apple that was past its prime and that led to a one-line rendition of the #1 hit song – one of the many “ear worms” we all carry around courtesy of radio.
Sometimes, I start a song and then stop to see if Beth will jump in (and she almost always does). Here’s an example from last week’s rain storm:
Scott: Raindrops keep falling on my head
Beth: And that doesn’t mean my eyes will soon be turning red
Together: Nothing seems to fit those/Raindrops keep falling on my head they keep falling…
I imagine that many couples do this even if they aren’t singers. It’s a way of connecting. My parents had silly, pet names for one another and yesterday I saw a couple holding hands at my gym. These are ways that we:
Scott: Reach out and touch
Beth: Somebody’s hand
Together: Make this world a better place/If you can…
Composing and Rehearsing
When I’m writing a new song, our home is full of concentrated energy while I (or the two of us) labor over the lyrics and puzzle our “way in”. Following, there’s lots of singing and playing as different melodies are auditioned to see if what’s on the page sounds good to our ears.
As a song writer, I’m accustomed to playing a phrase out loud 40 different ways, but that can be excruciating for someone else in the house. When our daughters were young, they either sang along (Steph) or wished that we’d learn a different trade (Helen). For anyone who wishes that they lived with us, keep in mind that it can be very repetitive…but rarely boring.
On the Road Again
When a new show is being developed or an old one is being revived, our living room becomes the stage and the couch becomes the audience. But first, there’s the memorization which is usually very easy for Beth and quite tedious for me. It’s not just that I have to learn guitar chords, though that’s sometimes hard, but I’m simply a slower learner when it comes to songs and dialogue. Accordingly, I have to play the song a lot before it becomes part of my long-term memory.
The Scott Bierko Band
When I’m not doing kids’ music, I am writing, rehearsing and arranging music for myself, the band or my upcoming CD. The band comes over a couple of times per month, more when we’re getting ready for a show, and that’s loads of fun.
I love the sound of my songs when Beth or the other band members lay in a harmony. I love the sound of more instruments and there’s nothing better when the sound of a song just locks-in. We all feel it and it becomes a kind of conversation. That’s the best.
Work and Play
Sometimes music is work and sometimes it’s play, but it’s always what I want to be doing. In my twenties, I worked at a sales job, but I had to drag myself out of bed every day. I felt like I was wasting my limited time on the earth.
So I sing. - in the car, the shower, the kitchen and while walking the dog. It’s who I am.