post by Dana MAGIC. What is it? Is it real? Where is it? How do we get it? I'm not talking about card tricks and stunts, although those are great too. I'm talking about real Magic. 

What is it?   It's that moment, that moment when suddenly something extra is there. Something you can't at all explain in words, a feeling, an awareness that is somehow more alive than other moments.

Music has the potential to create these magical moments. Musicians dedicate their entire beings to getting just the right formula of work, rest, practice and patience to create these moments for themselves and their audience. And every musician will tell you, that you just never know when it's going to show up. You just never quite know when all of a sudden, the sounds you are making with your instrument will  just come alive. Sometimes you can feel it coming, you know it's going to be a good night, other times, it takes you by surprise. You know it, the audience feels it.  It's addictive. It can be elusive. It's why aging millionaire rockers keep touring, it's why athletes are superstitious, it's why near deaf musicians won't retire, it's why people return again and again to hear live music. But still, what is it? 

Magic moments happen with varying intensity and duration. Some are breathtaking and life altering events, others are little sparkles and glimmers. Some are passive - the light hitting a loved ones hair just so, others are active - like making music or laughing with friends. For me, these moments somehow transcend the ordinary sense of time. It's like they've always been there and always will be there, there's a sense of continuity of history and future and present.  It's thrilling when I am creating the moment for myself and the people with me through music. It's also thrilling when they catch me by surprise, during a lesson with a student, talking to a friend. They can happen anywhere, but the one thing they all have in common is that you have to be aware of them.

I've decided that magic is created by focus and awareness. It's a moment when we're not listening to the to-do list in our head, or the worries that this or that need to be done. We're in that moment and only that moment without judgment, without urgency, with simplicity. We luxuriate in the space of the experience.

snowy garden

This time of year it seems that the whole world is striving to create magic, with force. With money, with colorful lights. What if the magic doesn't come? Expectations for its arrival are high. I've learned, by being in the business of musical magic, that you cannot force it into being. I've learned that a good portion of the magic is enjoying the journey towards the event. You can only set the table for it, and invite it in. The setting doesn't need to be perfect, and in fact can be full of mishaps and accidents. But the intention needs to be clear and the invitation made. Then it's time to breathe deep and be open to whatever happens next, without judgment or worry.  Perfection is not a requirement for magic to appear, but your willingness to open yourself to its many possibilities is.

We hope your holiday season if full of magic, peace and love. We'll be back in 2012 with magic of our own to share with you!

-Dana, Jen, Laura and Adrianne