Homewood has the moves: Music and yoga at the market


The commentary below represents the ideas, observations and opinions of the author.

  James Hart Band players help get the music going 
  at the first farmers market of the summer season 
  on May 27.
 (Photos by Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)

"They looked at me as if I had lobsters crawling out of my ears."

That's one of the memorable lines from that popular holiday film, "A Christmas Story." I got a similar look on Saturday, Aug. 5, when I walked up to Homewood Farmers Market Manager Kate Duff and blurted out, "Why do we have music at the market?"

She gave me that you-have-lobsters-crawling-out-of-your-ears look, as if I'd asked why breathing is such a good idea. 

But she rallied quickly.

"Because it brings people in. It's entertainment. It gives families something to do. What an unusual question. It also showcases our local talent," she said.

There was an unusual abundance of local talent at the market that Saturday, too. For the second year, Melody Mart, Homewood's downtown music store and education center, brought its rock band camp students, camp instructors, adult students and camp assistants to perform for market patrons.

The musicians ranged from very inexperienced to quite accomplished, but what they shared was an enthusiasm for sharing their music. That's the magic of live performance. It's not just sound. It's musicians presenting you with a gift.

The Rock Band Camp, led by Seth Whitson, is designed to help young musicians learn how to make that gift work. The students typically know how to play at least one instrument when they sign up. The purpose of the camp is to help them learn how to work together to form a band.

I talked to Whitson last year before the camp showcase at the market to learn more about how the camp works.

"What they learn at the camp is how to play with others, how to interact and build a sound together," he said. "They also learn how to create an experience for an audience. You want people to feel the chills you feel when you go to a concert or hear your favorite song."

You could see in the way the singers belted out songs and moved with the beat that the musicians come out of the camp feeling confident enough to let their passion for the music show. 

Camp assistant Matty Jiles gave the youngsters something to shoot for with his calisthenic perfomance as lead singer for Through the Flood, a band that formed after its core members attended the camp in 2013. 

Music that moves musicians moves listeners. You can always tell the music's working when the toddlers in the crowd start dancing. They let the beat move their feet. 
The toddlers were moving to the music that day. They were also moving to the story. Yoga instructor Liz Smith helped youngsters imagine their way through a series of yoga poses.

She took them to Oogie Boogie Land, and it was a long journey, requiring a number of different poses for each mode of travel. When they got there, they discovered a variety of animals, which required more poses. And sound effects.

Ever wonder what a rhinoceros sounds like? Local youngsters believe its something like an elephant doing a duet with a lion. 

And that's another kind of music at the market.

After the session, I wondered aloud why little kids would need yoga, which I think of as a calming, stress-relieving activity. I told Smith I think of kids as being unburdened by stress, probably because I'd temporarily forgotten what it's like to be a kid.

They have a lot of stress, she said. What adults forget, with all their job-related, family-related, tight-schedule stress, is that to a kid in grade school, the approaching spelling test is a great big deal.

Smith, a former teacher, said yoga not only helps kids with stress relief but helps them gain mindfulness and body strength. 

Smith will be leading children's yoga sessions again at the market on Sept. 9 and 23. 
And local musicians will be there, keeping the feet, young and old, tapping.
In his book, "Lost Chicago," David Lowe said, "An unfailing test of whether a city is truly alive is the quality of public entertainment it offers its inhabitants." 

We have street musicians and kid yoga. Homewood is truly alive.

  Liz Smith leads youngsters in a yoga adventure 
  Saturday, Aug. 5, at the Homewood Farmers 


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A great community deserves a great newspaper. The HF Chronicle was created in June 2014 as an online publication. In December 2015 we began monthly print publication, too. Our mission is to chronicle the life of our community — news by, for, and about the people of Homewood and Flossmoor, Illinois.


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