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7 Things to Know about my Mum

“Member Blog Series” guest post submitted by StreetJelly artist: Joanne Cooper

7 things you should know about my mum the live streamer

Mr ZThis guest blog has been submitted by Mr Z who is 12 years old. Mr Z writes about some of the things he has noticed about his mum, Joanne Cooper, since she began streaming on 3 years ago.
I’ve been watching my mum being a Live Streamer for the last three years and here are 7 things I have noticed that you may or may not know.

1. My mum half dresses up for her shows
You guys see the top half of my mum. Let me tell you about the bottom half! It is always pajama bottoms, or shorts or tracksuit pants. And no shoes! (Unless it is freezing cold and unless you count slippers as shoes). So although she may look nice to you (she does disappear into the bathroom to put on makeup before each show), she looks a little bit of a mess to us!

2. My mum almost never misses Sunday folk music night
My mum does an hour of folk songs almost every Sunday. She says she wouldn’t miss it for the world. So even if she has been gigging all day, or even if she has been sailing all day, she still does her regular show. Sometimes she says she needs a bit of a kick in the pants but that it is a little like going to the gym. She says that you don’t always feel like doing it but once you get on that treadmill and build up a sweat then you feel really good! (I’ll trust her about the going to the gym part)

3. She spends a lot of time finding songs for her show
My mum is a very good a multi-tasking. This is a skill that I am told us boys do not have. She can sit in front of the TV, with her computer and her phone and keep an eye on all three (plus keep an eye on whether I am doing my homework or not!). She says she is spending her time finding songs that she would like to sing for her StreetJelly audience but I think she is actually surfing Facebook. She also goes to guitar lessons once a week and comes back with a whole heap of new songs to try out.

4. She practices her songs in front of the TV, which drives me mad
When she gets back from the guitar lessons, she practices the songs she has just got right there in the living room in front of the TV! I am sure many of you will know how this drives me absolutely mad and I am always asking her to “play softer” or go to her studio.

5. My mum spends a lot of time fiddling with all her music stuff
You should see my mum’s studio! There are so many cables that it looks like bowl of spaghetti. Of course you don’t see all those wires and you think it is as neat as pin (I am learning all about metaphors at school). My mum is hooked on microphones and speakers and whenever there is a knock on the door it is either some new fishing stuff for my dad or a new speaker for my mum.

6. My mum only has a few of the ideas she uses on the shows
My mum spends a lot of time on streaming sites to see what others are doing. She says she doesn’t want to copy anyone; she just wants to see what they are doing so that she can get some ideas. I call that stealing but anyway! She also reads a lot of books on old rock stars and she listens to podcasts on who knows what.

7. Don Gaynor is her biggest fan!
My mum went all the way to America last year and visited Don in Oklahoma. She also went to the StreetJelly meet up. Don has been my mum’s greatest fan since they met each other on the Band-in-a-Box website about three years ago. She says Don has hardly missed any of her StreetJelly shows in all the time she has been live streaming. He also sends her songs to listen to and learn and she looks them up on YouTube and gives them a go (see point number 3).

I could probably think of loads more things to tell you but I think I will save that for another time because right now I have some YouTube videos of motorbikes to watch. Who knows, one of these days I might even come on one of her shows.

Joanne is a singer-songwriter from Johannesburg. She has recorded 7 albums in her tiny home studio over the last two years. You can sign-up for her monthly newsletter

Finally got to Play Guitar, by Jim Young

“Member Blog Series” guest post by StreetJelly viewer: Jim Young

Finally got to play guitar.

Jim YoungAs a young boy I wanted to play guitar. In school all they had was trumpets and flutes etc. and that did not interest me at all. I asked my parents for a guitar, but I was told you have to be born with a special talent to play music and you’re not smart enough. I got a little older and got a job doing odds and ends and saved up for a guitar. The guy that was going to teach me suddenly moved, then my nephews managed to get their hands on the guitar and destroyed it, so that put an end to learning guitar at that point.

I got married, worked and raised my family and I never really had time to learn. Also, that little voice in my head telling me I wasn’t smart enough, was always there. Fast forward…I am in my 60’s…I have a back injury and just retired, what am I going to do with the rest of my life? I came home from my water therapy and there is a strange box waiting for me. My wife says I think I know what you can do with your time. I just couldn’t believe out of the blue she thought to buy me a very cheap guitar to get me started. I wasn’t all that sure at first, in fact, my first thought was send it back. I’m too old and I don’t have what it takes to play. My wife informs me it’s a very cheap guitar and it would cost more to send it back. Just try it and if you don’t want it we’ll donate it to someone.

I took it down into my office and I strummed it. Not even tuned and I was in love. Honestly, I can’t describe the feeling that went over me. I sat there for hours just playing one fret after another up and down the neck. I got online and looked up some chords. Next day I went and got a tuner. I knew I needed some real instructions so I purchased a DVD set and it was helpful but I still was having issues with timing. I found someone near me and he really was a huge help. Turns out we moved to FL to be closer to our newly born granddaughter. When we got to FL I found a weekly jam. That was one of the best things I ever did. I was beginning to play OK, but I still needed help. Turns out a guy there teaches, so I have been with him maybe 5 months and he has taught me so much. The group is awesome and we play for nursing homes about once a month. By no means would I call myself a musician or that I am even good, but I will say I am much further then I ever dreamed. I have met so many wonderful folks though music. StreetJelly is one of the places I have seen some great musicians and become friends with several of them. I wish I would have started this as a kid. However I am started now and enjoying it to the hilt. One of my biggest hurdles is playing in front of people, no matter who it is, when I play I feel like I mess the song up. I tried breathing exercises but no help. I never wanted to be a superstar, I just love music. My goal is to be able to do an open mic.

So that’s my story. Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do something. It’s never too late. Oh by the way, I own three guitars now and I’m having one built. My wife says she created a monster.

Jim Young