Archive for the ‘a Coloring Book for Children of all Ages”’ category

Project Updates

March 4, 2012

        My progress, as in every other aspect of my life, is slow but moving in the right direction. My health slows me down but it has not stopped me.

        “Grandpa’s Mandolin Book,” a Coloring Book For All Ages.” I just sent in one last fret-board diagram, and have completed my part for this one. It’ll take a few months after that, but I promised spring and I’m gonna make it. Everyone has been patient. Under normal circumstances I’d been finished with my part back in the fall. It might be my favorite project of all, but my health problems slowed me down. This book was inspired by and is dedicated to our grandchild. When my son and his wife announced the pregnancy, I was so excited I had trouble sleeping, and dreamed up the book as a way to start the child out on the mandolin.

        “Acquisition Syndrome,”From Healing Art to Business.” I turned in my last edit to my Lit agent, who sent it in to the publisher. They like it and believe it will go to press about the same time line as the children’s book. Be forwarned. If you don’t want to know of the greed and exploitation that sometimes invades what should be a healing art, don’t read this one. On the other hand, there is hope. In his journey, Bones Robertson found that most people are good. 80% will do the right thing because that is their nature. The other 20% will do the right thing when they begin to realize that it is their best interest to do so. You can improve the odds they will do right once you understand what motivates them. Of course there are some folks you just can’t deal with, and just have to hope to avoid. There are some of those in the story too.

        “The Kid and Dr. B.”  This is a mandolin duet CD (Along with storytelling and some generic medical advice) with Darin Aldridge. Also Wayne Benson put a cut on the record with his fine student, Jacob Moore. “Cuz” Alan Bibey also plans to send in a cut. I can promise you this: All of these guys are good. If you hear a clanger note, it’s old Doc, and not them, but we’re having fun. I was very pleased they wanted to contribute a cut as I wanted to honor the teacher student relationship. My teachers along the way have been Darin, Wayne, “Cuz” Alan Bibey at Roanoke and other workshops, and also “America’s teacher,” Butch Baldassari, who we’ll always miss. I went to two of his seminars in Nashville back in the 90s.

        “Practical Theory for Mandolin” by Wayne Benson and Dr. B. This one is due out in 2013. I am but the scribe on this project. I have taken lessons from Wayne since 2007, and this is a written documentation of Wayne’s lesson plans. We just started the project and it will take a year or so to complete. I believe it will allow the less intuitive player (like me) to play the mandolin at a higher level than they would have been able to without his roadmap.

       So, in spite of illness, I’m trying to stay busy. I’m only good for about two hours a day of productive activity, but I can’t just roll over and give up. I’d surely die if I did.

Dr. B

Grandpa’s Mandolin Book, a Coloring Book for Children of all Ages.”

December 26, 2011

        My Song of the Day on FaceBook was “Beautiful Dreamer” by Stephen Foster, as played by me. This one makes a fine mandolin lullaby for a grandchild. I feel sorry for families who have no music traditions.

        With severe illness you need some motivation to live, and I had plenty, but this new grandchild gives me more resolve than ever. I can just picture me teaching him mandolin out of my children’s book in five years or so.

        “Grandpa’s Mandolin Coloring Book” is a light-hearted romp through the Creation, ancient Greek history, Bill Monroe, Roy Huskey Jr, the light spectrum of the rainbow, music intervals, and more. I had several test readers on this one and they all offered excellent suggestions. Perhaps my favorite input so far came from a prominent family of professional musicians. In their house the children dug the book so much they got an old mandolin out of the closet and took up the instument. (This was a banjo, guitar, and bass household, but like many of the bluegrass families the adults can play ‘em all.)

         It is very appropriate that children would like my book, perhaps even more than adults, because I never grew up. I’ve often said I’m nothing but an overgrown child who God blessed with a decent grown-up doctor brain and a fine wife, otherwise I think I’d a starved to death.

       The book prototype will go back to the graphic artist for some minor revision right after the first of the year, and I hope to have it out in a couple of months. I am very excited about it because it is dedicated to our grandchild and it revives the tradition in our family; we pass it on. My children play several instruments and love music because of the influence of both me and their Mom. I am very proud we passed it on, and the thought the book might facilitate other families to do the same thrills me. And don’t worry, even if your family has no music background this little book will be an easy, fun, and inexpensive way to start a new family tradition.

       Hope y’all had a blessed Christmas and will have a prosperous New Year. Here’s to traditional music in 2012. Let’s all do what we can to raise awareness for the art form. I believe the world longs for real music and our people play it.

Dr. B


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