Jan shares how the messages from David Darling were so important to her and how this musical journey affected her lifetime journey of being more present in all areas of her life.
Jan Hittle: To me Music for People was such an important part of just a musical journey. When I heard Bobby McFerrin’s Medicine Man album, it opened my eyes to the fact that there was music being created and one person could do it and he was improvising all these parts and so I went looking for an improvisation teacher. And I couldn’t ever go to the Omega workshop with David Darling because of work deadlines. There was always work deadlines when the workshop was given. And finally I was able to go to Hollyhock — a retreat center way up in British Columbia, Canada — and I got to experience David Darling for the first time. And one of the first things he said was “your music is important…your music is really important to the world…you need to record it…your music is great…you have a beautiful voice…you need to sing.” And it was one of the few people who gave those kind of wonderful musical messages to me. You know, a lot of my teachers in music were like “Oh, you need to do this better… oh, you need to do that better…oh, you need to work on this.” Whereas David was just “Ahh, Wow! Your music is great. You need to record it. You need to honor it.”
So it brought me to Music for People as an organization. And this music journey still continues because I was so scared to make music, to make music in an improvisational way without notes on a page. And I am finally learning to let that fear kind of release a little bit and be more present. And I have a feeling that’s going to be a life long process that I will be doing for the rest of my life — learning to be more present in this music, in this moment in this music and therefore be more present for myself in all areas of my life.