“Listening to you called to mind this documentary on barbershop quartets I saw recently on Netflix: “American Harmony,” and how four voices to combine to form something greater than the sum of the parts. That’s what struck me instantly about your singing — the new and very magnetic entity that the sum of your parts became. It made me want more.”
Janaka FoundationThe Joy Singers are the grateful recipients of a 2014 grant from the Janaka Foundation.
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…the moments we live for; that remind us again and again of why we do what we do, and why we love it so much!
We performed at the Center for Spiritual Living in Tahoe City on November 16, followed the following weekend by a full concert at Rossmoor Senior Community in Walnut Creek . The response we got at both performances was astonishing!
After hearing the song Go On Alone, one woman shared with us that her son had died a few months earlier, and that hearing the song gave her the courage to carry on and the inner certainty that her son was in a much better place and watching over her.
Another woman, before the Rossmoor concert started, shared with us that she had been going through a very hard time at work. We talked to her again after the concert, and she was visibly more relaxed, outwardly and inwardly, and her eyes were bright and full of joy. She said “Thank you so much! This is what I needed right now.”
Before we left Walnut Creek the next morning, we stopped at a nursing home and sang a few songs for the elderly mother of one of our Rossmoor friends. While we were singing, another (much younger) woman came in and sat down to listen. At the end of Life Is a Dream we looked up and noticed she was in tears. So we decided to sing Peace. As we sang, it was as if a veil of stillness had descended on us all, lifting up our hearts to a higher sphere of existence. As we were leaving, she thanked us for the music; she was visibly touched by it.
Once again we witnessed the power that music has to touch people’s hearts and lift them from low energy to a high level of peace, joy, and inner freedom. We feel so honored and blessed to share these moments with so many souls. It’s a big part of what motivates us and keeps us going!
With 2014 drawing to a close, we find ourselves (finally!) ready and able to offer our many friends and fans an update on The Joy Singers.
As we look back over the year, it’s clear that it was a time of transition. By one’s and two’s the members of The Joy Singers relocated from Los Angeles to Ananda Village, although it took from May of 2013 until January of 2014 to get all of us here. Over the following months the demands of running a business (Peter), moving through the membership process (Satyana, formerly Lauri), and negotiating new leadership roles within both Village and Outreach music ministries (Bhagavati and Ramesha) made it difficult to meet and perform consistently as a group.
But we persevered, and by the middle of the year, the energy had started to shift. Not only were we finally doing concerts together again, but the music ministry was awarded a generous grant from the Janaka Foundation, with half of the gift designated toward assisting The Joy Singers with local touring expenses!
In just the past three weeks, we’ve been to the Center for Spiritual Living – Tahoe Truckee (where we’ll be returning February 22); Rossmoor Senior Community in Walnut Creek (where they want us back in the spring); we have a Sunday concert planned for the Mountainside Center for Spiritual Living on January 25; and we’re hoping to get down to Los Angeles soon!
This new burst of energy is also inspiring us to spiff up our website, revise our promotional materials, get new photos taken…and other exciting opportunities are in the works as well. We’ll keep you posted!
“In 1964 Donald Walters (Swami Kriyananda) was inspired to introduce a new kind of music to the world: music that expresses spiritual aspiration and a desire for a more meaningful way of life. This music is, as its purpose suggests, quite simple, yet beautiful. Ananda Music has been performed in many countries, and has inspired many thousands of people with a new and more uplifted view of life itself. In some ways, it transcends even the best classical music of our culture, for it offers transcendent meaning, instead of only describing a graceful way of life.”
Thus begins the “brochure” that our divine friend and spiritual teacher Swami Kriyananda spontaneously dictated when The Joy Singers met with him in Los Angeles at the beginning of 2011. He was encouraging us to “take the music out” and the stated purpose of the brochure was for giving to churches, schools, and anyone else who might be a prospective client.
With the recent passing of Swami Kriyananda, who left his body on April 21, 2013, we feel not only a renewed commitment to sharing Ananda Music with the world, but also a new flow of inner inspiration and creative ideas for a great expansion of our work.
Friends of Ananda Music is one aspect of our new, expanded vision. Over the past fifty years thousands of people have been touched, moved, taught, healed, inspired, guided, uplifted and transformed by Ananda Music. It’s time to allow millions to share in the blessings! Our goal is to provide a focal point for Ananda Music. A place where people can learn about it, experience it, share testimonials, ask questions, download selections, read articles, and help spread the word far and wide.
Check us out and “like” us today at www.facebook.com/FriendsOfAnandaMusic. Experience what we have to offer, then share our page with your friends. We also invite you to join our Friends of Ananda Music Facebook group and become part of the community. Thank you for your support of our ministry!
The concert “A Positive Music Experience” on June 2nd 2012 in the Ananda South Bay Center was a great success!
Not only did people appreciate our music, but they took the pledge of listening to positive music for a week and experience what difference that makes in their lives. Some people gave us fabulous testimonials, like this one:
“I’ve been listening to your music for the last week. It has made such a difference in my life. Thank you for sharing your amazing gifts with the world.” –L. McC
Please click here to see some pictures of the concert.
We’ll be doing more Positive Music Experience concerts soon:
1) Saturday, July 14 at 7:30 pm at the Ananda Ashram House, 425 N Highland Ave, Los Angeles 90036
2) Saturday, July 21 at 7:00 pm at the Aetherius Society, Los Angeles 90028
Last Thursday the Joy Singers performed at the Bliss Art Cafe in Hollywood, during an open mic night.
It was our third time there. The first time we all felt like a fish out of water. Everybody else who performed was either a comedian or a singer, of a kind of music that was very far from ours!
But people liked it, and we got enough positive feedback to decide to go back the following week, which we did.
The second time most people were still checking us out, but they were starting to understand and appreciate even more what we were doing. Some of the comedians commented on our positive energy and were starting to figure out that some of the (dirty) jokes they told just didn’t agree with us!
The third time, last week, some of the regulars started to show a real interest in our music by listening to our 10 minute performance very carefully. One of them afterwards introduced himself as a disciple of an Indian guru, connected to the Hare Krishna movement. He was very sweet and appreciative. He told us “You brought light to a lot of people who need it”.
All three times we’ve been there it felt so right to be there, even though it’s definitely not the kind of environment we’re used to performing in! But if it’s true that people everywhere need more joy and upliftment, much more of it is needed in places where people might not even know they’re looking for it!
During winter (in colder climates at least, not Los Angeles!) plants look dead and it seems as though there’s nothing happening at all. Then spring arrives and everything bursts into life. Just so with The Joy Singers over the past few months…
In fact, it’s only while typing these words that I realize just how true this is: we had our first training session with our business and marketing coach on December 20–the day before the official start of winter! And we’re now “blossoming” with new activity in March…almost exactly a week before the first day of spring. Interesting!
Working with a business coach was an invaluable experience. Our first big “aha” moment came right away, when we were asked to answer questions about our vision and desired outcomes and ideal clients and benefits, etc. We had hardly thought about most of those things and quickly realized that the main reason we weren’t hitting any targets was because….we didn’t have any targets! A very humbling realization but oh! so helpful.
As we delved more deeply into “what exactly are we doing?” and “why are we doing it?” things started shifting and changing. Not much was showing above ground but there was still a whole lot going on under the surface!
In a nutshell, we tuned in more deeply to Swami Kriyananda’s intention for composing the music that we sing, and began thinking more in terms of helping more people, instead of just singing more concerts. That led to reflecting on how so few people have any clue as to the impact different kinds of music has on them…which in turn led to the idea that–if we could raise overall public awareness of the practical benefits of positive music–our music outreach could help a lot more people.
And so, our movement was born! The official name will be the Music Can Foundation and the slogan is:
…the choice is yours!
Discover how music can:
Make you healthier
Strengthen your immune system
Decrease your stress
Help you feel more relaxed
Improve your sleep
Increase your optimism
Help you through hard times
Raise your consciousness
Strengthen your determination
Help you cope
Build your faith
Ignite your motivation
Open your heart
Heal your life
Help you find joy and peace within yourself
And much, much more!
Our first baby step towards raising awareness is our March 31st Interactive Concert of Positive Music, which you can read about on our events page.
And that’s enough for one blog post. Much more to come…
photo credit: Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
We have a new video to share with you…just in time for Christmas (click on the link below)! It’s one of our favorite Christmas songs and we hope you enjoy it. You’ll find the lyrics below as well.
We wish you many blessings of love and light as you move through this holiday season and into the New Year.
Last weekend we performed at the Sunburst Community, near Santa Barbara, California. The community was founded by Norman Paulsen, a direct disciple of the great Yoga Master Paramhansa Yogananda.
It was such a joy to meet so many souls who felt like brothers and sisters. They were really appreciative of our music and and invited us to come back anytime.
It’s been a season of change for The Joy Singers (formerly the LA Joy Singers). Viewed from the outside the changes might not have seemed all that big: to start things off, a friend who specializes in marketing and promotion for non-profits (Katie Church) volunteered to assist us in refining the wording of our promotional materials so that we could better communicate our message. As a result of her help, we ended up slightly changing our name and completely rethinking our slogan (or tag line), plus we hired a professional web designer (Parkle Lee) to create a brand new, completely revamped website.
As it turns out, the real work was in the inner process that the group moved through (collectively and as individuals) in order to arrive at the name and tag line that best conveyed who we are and what we hope to accomplish as a group. Our friends and fans were part of the process as well; we asked for feedback and got plenty! Comments and questions poured in, sometimes positive, other times frankly assessing and even a little challenging, but always with a strong undercurrent of sincere caring and loving support. As a group, we have grown through this process and we hope it has drawn you–our friends and fans–closer to our project as well.
Now it’s just about time to sort of “cement” all these changes by launching our new website! Do we feel completely ready? Not really. But that’s okay; we’re eager to move forward with our mission of sharing Inner Quest Music with the world. So…ready or not, here we come!