Today I choose to be authenticThere is something remarkably healthy about being yourself. Whether quiet or talkative, constantly moving or peacefully still, seriously studious or spontaneously fun-loving–being the unique person you are adds a vital richness to those around you. You can bring to the world an authenticity that is recognizable — and wholly your own.

Think about this from a musical standpoint. If bagpipes play, what country do you think of? Or, if you hear a twangy banjo, what region of America does that represent? I don’t know about you, but I never get those mixed up! Bagpipes ALWAYS speak Scottish, don’t they?

So, today, I would like to consider a popular American composer of the mid-1800s, Stephen Foster, because his unique sound exemplifies this. Foster grew up near Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, where many of the workers were immigrants from various cultures, with their own unique music and sounds. As Foster was exposed to the melodies of Italy, Scotland, England, Germany, and Ireland–along with the spirituals of African slaves–it inspired him to write his own melodies, ones that reflected his unique approach to music, ones that remain recognizably, authentically, Stephen Foster songs.

What happens when you and I are free to be fully and authentically ourselves? Where we do not have to fit into cookie cutter molds? I believe that it sets others free, inspiring them to be authentic, as well. Just like a toe-tapping, guitar-strumming rendition of Oh! Susanna gathers a crowd of smiling folks, being authentic—being you—is contagious!

Coming soon from Diana Waring Presents:  Experience History Through Music series! 

America: Heart of a New Nation

Westward Ho: Heart of the Old West

Musical Memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder