It’s Sunday afternoon and I’ve been procrastinating over this blog entry, mostly because I’m not quite ready for last week to be over and a new one to already be upon us.  It’s been a fun week here at MusicSparks with lots of going-ons.  One week ago, JoAnn and I set out on a little experiment with the music therapy community.  We already knew that the individuals involved were interesting and dynamic people and we wanted to illustrate those strengths.  BlueChallenge was proposed and taken up in a most interesting way by members of the music therapy community.

We hoped that by choosing “blue” as the topic, we were being clear enough to spark ideas but vague enough to allow all the originality and creativity shine through.  We must have struck a good balance, because the response was great.  We had a total of 14 entries submitted for the BlueChallenge and every single one of them took a completely different spin on the topic.

Kimberly and Kat took the topic in context of the work they’ve been doing online and off (respectively).  Kim demonstrated how being BLUE can help you move your social media efforts forward and Kat painted her work blue to show us just how prevalent that color/word/spirit can be in a corporate environment.

Dean took us through an associative experience with words, guiding us through blue chakra.  From him I learned that blue is the color of healers and I have to agree that it is extra-appropriate for a group of professionals who are dedicated to healing through music.

Did you know “blue” can be a tool for a music therapist?  Natasha’s post guides us through the process she uses to help her clients with song writing and creating.  The Blues are where she starts because, as she said, they’re so accessible.  Michelle showed us one very specific tool she uses: a Blue Snowball Microphone.  In a literal and figurative way, this is how Michelle gives her clients a voice.  Bonnie introduced another great tool, the Bloom App.  I like how this app combines art and music for the user…it also allows them to use pre-existing melodies or create their own!

Of course, this challenge wouldn’t be complete without songs featuring the word blue.  Rachel and JoAnn both posted unique playlists about blue songs.  Rachel’s was more geared towards blue and rainy days in general, while JoAnn’s selection encompassed a variety of moods and styles all featuring our key word.

Blue eyes were a theme for a few blog entries as Rachelle and Jennifer both recounted changing lyrics or mondegreens.  It’s always fun to hear the history of a well-known song and I like the way Rachelle and Jennifer exemplify changing lyrics to fit the situation/person at hand.  After all, not everyone can have blue eyes (says the green-eyed girl!).

The other three blog entries I want to look at brought the topic to an emotional level.  Katy shared a specific memory that will be forever linked to BB King’s “How Blue Can You Get” and exemplified how we can learn from people who have different views and tastes, as long as they’re willing to be open-minded and respectful.  Meryl and Ashley linked the BlueChallenge to an extremely timely topic: the anniversary of the twin towers falling.  We all know that today is September 11th, and it’s a difficult day of remembrance for many people.  As Dean said, blue is a healing color so the way Meryl and Ashley tied music therapy to this date using blue is a really cool connection.

Thanks to everyone for their participation! I learned a lot this week and I enjoyed reading the great entries everyone posted.  After being so smothered in blue this week, I feel it’s appropriate to leave you with the song “Who Could Be Bluer?” by Jerry Lordan.

How was this experiment for you?  Was it easy or hard to settle on a topic?

Thanks to Mark Cummins for use of his picture!

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