Today, I began to hear Hawaiian music played ship-wide. They offered classes on playing the ukulele and now they started showing movies of Elvis in Hawaii. I am not particularly fond of Hawaiian music. For me it sounds mostly like choir melodies. I admit that I don't have a trained ear for melodies, but something about their music that sounds all similar. As I was hearing island melodies throughout the day I began to become aware of just how much recorded and live music was being provided for the passengers throughout the day. The music varies tremendously.
In different areas of the ship, throughout the day, one can hear individuals and groups playing. Some for simply listening and others to join in. Trini and I normally attend both line and ballroom dance classes so we get exposed and hear a wide range of Latin beats. We also learn to dance to country and western, reggae, Celtic and others. There are several areas where ship talent is playing the piano. This is our first cruise where the main piano player is a young woman. She is from Chile and played for hours classical and contemporary melodies. She played with such ease and with great confidence. What was surprising to me was that she was playing music from around the world all from memory.
Later in the day, while I was siting on the deck looking into the ocean I started to remember my undergraduate years. I was very fortunate to attend a small private college for the first two years, and we lived on campus. I often think back to that time and realized how I did not recognize nor appreciated the opportunities to explore the fine arts on campus.
Instead of just reading in the library, I should have gone over to where the musicians practiced their musical instruments and just sat nearby. I should have walked over to the studios for art and ceramics and watched them. I wished I had gone into the small stage areas and watch them practice their lines. I remembered that at 3:00 o'clock different dorms hosted afternoon tea. Students would play in quartets and students and professors would enjoy the meeting. Why didn't I go? Why didn't I walk over and partake on the beautiful opportunities to be exposed to the Arts?
Back then, I didn't understand nor appreciate the humanities and the fine arts. There was so many events all around the campus and I did not partake! How foolish I was not to inquire, nor learn from my peers. Yes, my area of emphasis was political and economic thought, but I now realize the importance and wonderful impact studying the Arts would have had my views and my life.
Now each time we are on a cruise I make it a point to attend seminars and ongoing events in music, art, and theater. There are lectures on board on local cultures and their mythologies. I am grateful that I can still learn to appreciate the humanities and my advice to everyone attending college is to broaden your experiences in college and see the wide variety of artistic and cultural events that are normally offered on campus. Don't attend because its part of your major. Attend because it helps you understand life and its diversity. It's not to improve the opportunity of a career, it's to improve living on this planet.
Each time I hear or read about how music, art and theater programs are being eliminated from our campuses I am deeply sadden and grow ever more concerned. How can we eliminate that which makes us human? How can we come to believe that we can create a better future for us by turning our backs on what is the best in all of us? Thus a message to all my readers; PLEASE support your local Arts program.
Are we ever bored on the ship? The answer is NEVER! Our cruise line offers a wide variety of live music and performances. There are also many seminars and workshops to select from.
We are off to dinner and afterwards we will hear David Klinkenberg and listen to Celtic music.