I had the privilege of being invited to The Objective Sessions in Nashville this May and even visit my family in South Carolina and Virginia - I just got back.
The Objective Sessions is a four day (by invitation only) event that included:
- me (an about 26 others) auditioning before a jury and receiving a written critique from each judge
- speeches, workshops and instruction by some of the foremost in the music industry - leaders such as Brett Manning, Tom Jackson; Billy Smiley, Tim Cheshire, Kevin Max; and many more.
- kollaboration out on the streets with other musicians attending the event.
- fellowship with other believers
I arrived in Nashville late on the 16th of June, stayed up talking to my new and wonderful hostess, Meg and got a bit of shuteye. On Wednesday morning I got dropped off at backline Nashville and rented a 1996 J-200 Gibson - a real pearl. I took the bus downtown.
I walked along the streets of the main turist area in Nashville (Broad Street and 2nd Ave) to take in the feeling of the place and even located where the conference would be on the next day (691 4th Ave. South, at Rocketown). I found a shaded park by a fountain (it was a very hot day) and began to get to know my new buddy (the guitar). Every guitar has a certain feel to it. So I played a whole set (about 1 hour) and decided that I'd better keep an eye (or and ear) on the B-string that had a tendancy to go slightly out of tune. I then did the three songs that I was to perform the next day.
Then I went to a coffee shop on 4th and sent a text message to my FB friend, Julie that I was finally available whenever she was. She came about an hour later. We got to know each other a bit more and prayed for each other. She got healed (ovaries) through prayer tight there in the coffee shop! After having pain there for a long time it was now gone completely (and as far as I know she is still completely healed)!
Then we went out and got to meet musicians and homeless people out on the streets. Hearing their stories was heartbreaking. But singing with them and praying for them brought them and us great joy! There are a great many homeless people in Nashville and many beggars everywhere you look. At the same time you find loads of tourists and see rich people (cowboys ans hiphop rappers with expensive cars!) roaming the same streets. What hit me most about Nashville was the stories of these homeless people, their faith and their doubts, their struggles and their gifts. Amazing!
In the evening, Julie and I went to a local church's bible study that Meg, her sister was running for poor people with learning disabilities. We came in and started hugging them - it was crazy. So much love in the room. Then I sang the song Just How Good w/o the guitar and then we prayed for the sick - 3 pairs of knees got healed instantaneously in Jesus name! One woman got to toss her cane.
The next couple of days were filled with all sorts of information such as
- branding and planning your music career
- how to work with a producer
- how to move on stage correctly so that the audience is engaged
- vocal training
- opportunities to get financial support (for those living in the US and Canada
- opportunities to support charities through gigs
- and much much more
I understand now, after being there, receiving my critiques and hearing all the information what I need to work on as I continue to mix the album. So, now I am going to spend some time writing down a strategy for getting the album done while I stretch myself towards the next level in my songwriting and in my performance. (I had two other chances to perform while in Virgina).
I would really like to encourage any of you who have a band or write songs, and who have a message that is positive and good for youths, to look into the Extreme Tour (they invite selected artist to the Objective Sessions each year as a part of their selection process). It was a great experience for me and I am sure that this is going to be the beginning of some great collaborative efforts between me and some of the artists, songwriters I've met there. Here is th e link: http://www.theextremetour.com/
Thanks for your support and encouragement! Please feel free to donate through the tip jar or donate button so I can pay for the mastering of this album when the mixing is done. The needs are very great at this time. THANKS!!!
Until next time...