“Music will make you happy for the rest of your life.”
Linnea Good is using this motto at the Summerland Music Camp, a day camp for children being held this week.
Her goal is to be a “musical instigator” and to make music accessible to all.
She grew up in Fredericton, New Brunswick and was raised in a musical family.
“My dad was prone to bursting into song every hour of the day,” she said.
As a result, Good believes there is a song for every moment and that music is the most “accessible language” there is.
For over three decades, she has written her own music, based on the Christian faith.
Singing and playing piano, she has toured North America and beyond, with her husband, David Jonsson, who is also her drummer.
Their three children toured along with them.
Her work has been directed towards children, who Good said are her “first love.”
Working with them has been a spiritual discipline, enabling her to “get down and get real,” while at the same time staying true to her poetic side while writing her music.
“If I can’t say something about a belief I have in a language that a five year old would understand, then I don’t understand it yet myself,” she said.
Good feels it is regrettable that music has gone from something that people just naturally did, as easily as they breathed, to now when music has become a profession.
She also feels it is a sin to tell a child they can’t sing.
“Music teachers are finding themselves having to undo that and help people hear themselves again,” she explained. “I think the best gift of music is that it is a listening skill. The most important part of music is listening to yourself, your own sound. It helps you know what is going on inside. If you are told you have no voice, then you will stop listening to that inner voice.”
An example of this, Good said, was when she and her family visited an orphanage in India earlier this year.
As she worked with the children and led them in song, she noticed that they were only able to sing the lower five notes of an octave.
When she sang the higher notes, the children could not follow or match their voices to hers.
“These are children who have not heard their own voice,” Good said. “They have been abandoned or have lost their parents.”
In contrast, the students she teaches here at the Montessori School are able to sing back to her, what she sings to them.
“This is one of the gifts and privileges we have here….is for adults to help us hear our own voice.”
Singing in a choir is the perfect way for children to learn music and to listen and match their voice to those of others. Good conducts the Summerland Children’s Choir, a community choir that will be starting up again this fall.
When Good and her family moved to Summerland in 2000, it was because they wanted to live in a smaller community where they could build relationships.
The paradox was, that as touring musicians they were away from town much of the year, so recently they have made a shift. Good is now teaching music locally and has gone from singing songs about Jesus to songs about values and the things that make us all one in the world.
She and her husband plan on returning to India again, next time taking ukuleles with them.
One of the reasons Good so appreciates Summerland is because of the response she has received during her fundraising campaigns.
“Everyone was interested in what I was doing and they contributed,” she said.
On Saturday, the community can see the results of her work with children, as they will be performing for the 100th anniversary celebrations at the Ornamental Gardens.
Good said she plans on continuing to be an advocate for music.
“Nothing, apart from my relationships, has made me happier than music and it will make me happy for the rest of my life.”
To learn more about her work and also how to properly pronounce her name go to www.linneagood.com.