by Joy Zimmerman

Note by Note: Measure My Heart| No. 38 | 9.08.21

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”  ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery 

If you were an Ancient Egyptian, you probably believed your lifetime of good and bad deeds were recorded…

Note by Note: Light the Stage | No. 37 | 8.25.21

When I began attending songwriting workshops, I felt slightly annoyed by the emphasis on being “satisfied” with our own songs. Is this the best we could hope for when we all have big dreams? 

And then you learn that Spotify…

Note by Note: Dear John or Jane | No. 36 | 8.18.21

What are your favorite sounds from childhood? (I’ll give you a minute to ponder….) 

My top picks include listening to my mom play piano downstairs as we fell asleep, the school librarian reading us another chapter, Stevie Wonder singing as…

Note by Note: Prairie Wind | No. 35 | 8.11.21

“Dr. Wilson (note: her husband) has determined to go to California. I am going with him as there is no other alternative…Oh, my dear mother…I thought I felt bad when I wrote you from Independence, but it is nothing like

Note by Note: Not Enough Time | No. 34 | 8.6.21

“Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life.” ~Robin Sharma 

Next to love—or the loss of it—time might be the most popular song topic. Consider “Time After Time”, “Time is On My Side”, “Back in Time”…

Note by Note: Courage Walks Alongside| No. 33 | 7.23.21

“Life shrinks or expands proportional to one’s courage.“  ~Anais Nin 

I once heard that our most vivid childhood memories involve loss. The deepest mark is often left by discomfort or pain. 

Revisiting my own childhood brought back two such scenarios…

Note by Note: Let Us Not Close Our Hearts | No. 32 | 4.12.21

During the long winter did you keep envisioning this spring day? The weather would warm, the vaccine would spread, and you would begin to breathe more deeply. You'd gather safely with a few treasured people and even hug after being…

Note by Note: We'll Hold the Light | No. 31 | 1.25.21

Applause still resounds from balconies at shift change…signs proclaim gratitude in yards across the country…firsthand accounts appear in newspapers…yet we can’t thank health care workers enough. 

I was inspired to write We’ll Hold the Light from my front row seat…

Note by Note: A New Day| No. 29 | 7.20.20

How have these times changed you? Even as I ask, I doubt any of us can fully answer. I suspect we’ll be unravelling the impact of this pandemic for decades. 

Living with an invisible, unprecedented threat has brought with new…

Note by Note: Hallelujah | No. 28 | 6.7.20

"This world is full of conflicts and full of things that cannot be reconciled. But there are moments when we can...reconcile and embrace the whole mess, and that's what I mean by 'Hallelujah.' "   ~Leonard Cohen 

Hallelujah (n.) – an…

Note by Note: Life's Blooper Reels | No. 27 | 5.15.20

When Linda cooked up the idea of recording a live CD, my insides clenched. I proceeded to be nervous for the next four months. 

You see, I’m a card-carrying perfectionist. I love performing and sharing music live, but “what happens…