Monday, April 11, 2016

Tip #10 Get in the groove.

The Tip:
When you land in your groove, know how AWESOME that moment is - and then just stay there! Have you ever seen a vintage record player or a picture of it? The way it works is so simple and amazing. "As the disc begins to spin on a turntable, an arm drops to the outer edge of black vinyl record. After a brief pause, you are greeted by tunes that sound rich, but not perfect, and sometimes the needle skips across a groove, interrupting a song." (source: electronics. How does this translate to storytelling? The drop of the turntable arm is equivalent to you showing up to visit an older adult or giving him or her a call. The arm freefalls until the downturned needle at the end meets the record. That precise moment is when you and the older adult connect emotionally through a breakthrough story. You are the needle; the older adult is the disc. Before this moment, you may have exchanged pleasantries, small talk or less emotional, more factual stories, but when this story happens, you will know it, because it will feel different. After this moment, you are bonded into one continuous motion, making music together as though effortlessly. Sometimes distractions happen to take you out of the groove, but don't worry, just get right back into it and music will continue to play. Imperfections and struggles are just part of the process, and will make your music - your shared journey - even richer and more beautiful.

The Moment:
The first definition that pops up online when I type in "get in the groove" is this. "To enter into the spirit of the situation or circumstance of the moment. The groove is really the track on an old record in which the needle of the record player had to ride in order to reproduce the music – so the meaning is figurative." (source: I love that for both the meaning and the visual imagery. When this tip occurred to me, I went right to my computer to reread Mo's story! Nothing like a good childhood story by one of my older adult buds to bring the historical reference of the tip back to life, and help this tip stick!

The Story:
Mo McCooper
His Master’s Voice

The first records I ever heard were played on a turntable. They went around on top of a piece of wooden furniture called a Victrola at my Grandmother’s row house on Stanton St. in the East Falls neighborhood of Philadelphia, PA.  The large records, as I recall, were almost as big as a round kitchen or office clock today. My favorites were recorded during the World War I years and were titled “Don’t You Believe It!” and “She Lived Next Door to the Firehouse.”  They were funny songs, and all my cousins loved them.  The record player had a handle on the side, which we took turns winding so that the music would keep playing.  In the middle of the large records were pictures of a dog with his head cocked so that one ear was in line with the music coming out of the original phonograph from the RCA Victor manufacturing plant in Camden, New Jersey.  The title of the picture is “His Master’s Voice.” Thanks Grammom!