This is the place to start. The explicit goals for this site are sketched out here.

What do I mean by “amateur musicians”? That’s those of us that will probably never get paid (or not much) for providing music for a dance; who will never make real money from recordings; who won’t pen the next Broadway musical; who aren’t likely to be asked to sing solo in the choir unless there’s no one else.

On the other hand, no one will stop us from getting together with friends to play music; people will be glad to learn some tips or tunes from us; our favorite recordings will mean more to us as we try to emulate them; we can pass along the fun we’re having to the next generation.

Why should you care about doing amateur music? Because it’s accessible to most people and one of the great joys in life.

Musical savants are often identified (or created, in some cases) early in life and are then groomed by an entire industry of teachers to prepare them (hopefully) for a professional career in classical music. What they are able to achieve is astonishing, though they sometimes pay a heavy price for their skill.

This website isn’t for them. It’s for everyone else.

If you had a musical environment as a child — a father who liked to sing, a mother who made you take piano lessons, friends who shamed you into singing rounds at summer camp, an enthusiastic church or congregational choir, neighbors who liked to stand around a piano after a few drinks and belt something out… — well, you know how that affected your life, how it encouraged you and equipped you to dabble in various forms of recreational music. It worked that way for me and, I hope, it worked that way for you, too. We were lucky.

Maybe you didn’t get that experience in your family and wish you had. Or maybe you did, but now you have young children and you’re not sure how to pass it along.

This website is for you.