MUSICABLY empowers you to balance your life through mindful music making. Unlock the musician within you!

Are you overly feeling overwhelmed, overstimulated, overworked, overanxious, overcautious, overreacting, oversold, overdebted, overcharged, overdue, and overall are you overconcerned over everything being overblown around you?

Is it like - Too Much is Too Much?

Are you yearning for a semblance of balanced life?

Yeah, I hear you. And have a solution for you.

It’s m.u.s.i.c. Music!

MUSICABLY wants to ignite you, motivate, encourage and support you to start playing music - a.k.a. musicking*.

If you have never held a musical instrument in your hands, or you have never dared to open your mouth for singing - that is what I am here to help you change. My goal is to present enough powerful reasons and attractive simple tools for you to give it a try. My role is not to teach how to play music on your chosen instrument, because once you are in that stage when you want to learn, you're already winning! You are musicking!

I want to show you the simplest way how to start playing and how and why not to stop. You will find here passionate motivation, valuable information, contacts and simple exercises to help you get going. Musicably will help and support you at every stage of your musical development.

I want to encourage you to live your life musicably. To become part of the music community or to start such a community yourself.

From the beginning, you may never decide to find a teacher but learn on your own. That is perfectly okay. The music discovery process in itself is exciting and entertaining and empowering. Even if you want to go through it on your own in the privacy of your "home studio", acoustic or digital.

Or do you prefer playing with a group of likeminded musicably struck co-players, good friends or complete strangers? This could also mean a huge achievement and the next level in your musical journey.

The truth is - a music teacher could help get over a few hoops. But please make sure that he or she completely understands and accepts(!) your motivation and reasons and is able to translate those into the teaching process. This is the stage three - I call it Mastery - and the most advanced stage in the process of living Musicably. You may start right at this stage, work your way to this level from the other two stages, or never attempt it. The decision is yours. Music history offers enough examples of successful self-taught musicians. So don't worry.

The main point is - to play. Not for anyone else, just for you. To succeed, not to compete. To reconnect with your inner self and/or with others. To learn how to work and play together, in a community, without judging yourself or others. To feel empowered in our authentic, natural musical expression. Your musical abilities are not important, as they get better once you start and keep playing. This will ignite a passion in your heart and will set yourself free.

Allow yourself one of the greatest gifts - start playing music.

Musicably will help you succeed while making it mindfully.

*Musicking - is a term coined by the musicologist Christopher Small. For him music is not a thing, but rather an activity. Musicking is a verb that encompasses all musical activity from composing, to performing, rehearsing, to singing in a shower and to listening.
I like the word and plan to use it more often, because it doesn’t confuse the meaning with playing music - from a radio, a recording or the internet. Unlike Small, in my understanding, musicking doesn’t include passive music listening, nor other broader activities related to the music consumption, like concert hall ushering or ticket taking.

Questionnaire

Let’s start with a short questionnaire. Please read following statements and count how many times your response was YES.
  • You love music and would love to get deeper and try it on your own
  • Listening to your favorite music only partly fulfills your needs and you are looking for the way to become, if only privately, part of the creative process
  • Your life is full of responsibilities and work, and you would appreciate a creative outlet that would let you, on a continual basis, indulge in something completely different, as a counter-balance ... to retain your sanity
  • You have tried different things and approaches and are intrigued whether music really could help you: boosting self-esteem / losing weight / relax / energize / lower blood pressure / enhance memory / focus / be more creative / sleep better / relieve stress and anxiety / lessen pain / stimulate recuperation / improve mood / ease depression / alleviate shyness
  • Those piano (... violin or other musical instrument) lessons from your childhood have been long forgotten, but there is a little musical flame still on, somewhere in the back of your brain, and wonder how to revive it
  • You want to surprise your family or friends and play/sing music for them your favorite song
  • You would like to inspire your offspring, a group of friends or colleagues, with an activity, that brings people together and helps them enjoy time together
  • You feel that music has the power to move you physically or mentally, and would like to understand it better and even use that power more mindfully
  • You would like to know whether you want to become musician, and would definitely like to try what is it about to play music. You wonder, what else can music give you beside listening enjoyment and pleasure

If your response is at least one YES to the statements above, you are in the right place!

Palo (Paul) Beka


Music has been an essential part of my life since I can remember. My father bought me a piano when I was five and since then I keep learning music and about music. When I was eleven, I decided to become a musicologist, although I was not completely clear what that really meant. But with the help of my great family, I managed to graduate from the musicology studies.

Afterwards I experienced many different facets of the music world. I was singing in a youth choir, played keyboards professionally as a member of a very popular and successful music band. I worked as a music journalist, editor and translator, publisher, composer and producer, marketer and manager. Working for the Warner Music opened my eyes and let me understand the global music industry.

After moving to Canada almost two decades ago, my main goal was to advance my career in the music industry. And then the Napster happened and everything started to change.

I studied for an MBA degree to be better prepared for my future music business career. Instead I ended up in the financial and IT corporate world (AMEX and IBM respectively). This was again an eye-opening experience. It made me aware of the daily grind the corporate work environment imposes on employees.

From this revelation the next logical step for me was to start searching how to return music back into my life in a meaningful way. And how to help others with music and through music.

It has not been an easy ride. I have been learning a lot, made some mistakes, tried few ideas. All the way through I have been absolutely clear about on thing: if music can help ailing children and elderly, in the form of a therapy, there must be also a similar way how to bring similar musical benefits to the rest of the adult population. To help people who consider themselves too old or too busy in life to take music classes, and who are too young to be in a need of music therapy remedies offered to geriatric patients.

And I have found it!

I call it MUSICABLY and it means the Mindful Music Making. In its very essence it means musicking* - to play music and to bring the player’s attention to the present experience of the very moment, and non-judgmentally, for the benefit of better life.

I am eager to change the way how people let music impact their lives.

Music has the power to help you and improve your life. Let’s do it together and do it musicably.

“We don’t have to wait for music to define us. We can define it.”

Ben Ratliff

Why I have started MUSICABLY

This is the question I haven’t asked myself even once. it may be foolish, but I know that this is what I have to do. I am sure my wife is not that clear about it. We have a young family with two small children. Sure, kids require a lot of effort and attention, which they get from a stay-at-home dad. And I am extremely happy and grateful, that for now I can be there for my children, more than most other fathers.

A friend tried to make me aware the other day, that my life doesn’t really have a meaning. For a ‘typical male’ rearing the offspring doesn’t seem to cut it. But I know, that this time at home has given me a great opportunity to work on myself. Time, to figure out what to do.

Have I figured it out, you are asking? Yes! It is a new part of my journey and I am clear that it will require a lot of work and some luck. And I am eager to start it.

So what it it is I am talking about? It is my new business endeavor. Musicably. To say it briefly - I want to return active music making to as many people as possible and through that improve their lives. It is a bold statement, I know. But given the current state of the ‘western’ society and the music industry in particular, I envision better ways how music things can go.

Actually I am not proposing anything new. In fact - an opposite. My goal is to return music and music playing to peoples’ lives, as it used to be before music has become a consumable - a product.

This is not an effort to turn the clock back few hundred years, before first music recordings. And before the stage has divided participants between the audience and ... the artists. In contrary! New technologies and modern communications give us many new ways how to collaborate, interact and enjoy life. Only that music doesn’t play the role which it should be playing. Current popular belief is, that “Music is just a better organized noise”. For sure, some productions could fall under that definition. But one crucial element of music enjoyment is missing there - emotions. If music you are listening to doesn’t move you emotionally, you are not listening to the right music.

So which is the right one? The one you enjoy the most, that moves you, fulfills you, boosts your energy, soothes your soul, puts your family and friends together, relieves your stress, gives wings to your imagination, sleeps your children, arouses your partner, heals your wounds, reveals new facets of your inner world, strengthens your willpower, heightens your self-esteem, opens your creativity, ... improves your life. Music, that you play and produce yourself!

What? You? Playing music? Singing yourself? Musicking?

YES! You!

And I don’t care if you believe that you are tone deaf, that you don’t recognize violin from banjo. That your primary teacher, or your mother/uncle/friend/boss told you that you have no voice, no rhythm, no musical ear. That doesn’t matter!

What matters is whether you want to feel better physically, mentally and spiritually. Whether you want to spent meaningfully and mindfully some of your spare time. Whether you want to learn something new. And on the way meet new interesting people, who have the same interest as you - to improve their life through music.

I am not talking here about you becoming the next American or British or other country’s “Idol”. Although that possibility is not excluded either. What I am writing here about is that you will make the decision, pick a music instrument (acoustic, electronic or digital) or a song to sing ... take a deep breath ... and start playing or singing. Not for the stardom, but for your happiness.

Mindfully musicking, without judging yourself or others, (paraphrasing Ellen Langer’s definition), you start noticing new things in your play and in your life. Music will help you be in the present, be engaged and be authentic. Music will bring harmony and better balance your life.

Your start could be slow. You can dare to try first, only when nobody can hear you. And I will help you throughout the process. You will get mental boost, professional aid and even peer support if you decide to become part of the community. We will guide you through brief exercises, helping you to fast master your instrument to the level, when you will enjoy performing your music. Whether only by yourself, with someone or for someone else as an audience, is up to you.

I believe, that everyone is an artist and everyone is a musician. Professional musicians could be a great source of inspiration. But the fact that some of them are popular stars, that the media play their music all the time, that they make their living by playing music - that doesn’t mean you cannot play your music as well. You don’t have to be under the stress to deliver a top music performance, to compete and entertain all the time. You don’t need to make money making music. The only person you need to satisfy with your musicking is you. That's it.

Once you make a habit from your music-playing and you master your craft without involving any judgment, including your inner music critic, you come to realization, that the time spent with your music is a great refuge for your mind, your soul and your body too. It will depend on the goals you will set for your music making, how far you will decide to go.

It is absolutely great, if your goal will be to play mindfully on your own, to use your music sessions in a similar way, as others do their meditations and mindfulness exercises. To help you do this is our main goal. Everything else on top of it is a bonus.

That bonus could be very attractive though. You may decide to find other similar musicians and play regularly together, even to form an ensemble and play to an audience. Or you can stay in the digital world and have a internet jam-session with likeminded musicians on the other side of the country or the globe. Maybe you will decide to surprise and impress your loved ones by throwing in a serenade while fronting a band, or going solo. Or you want better understand your children’s musical education and would like to support and play with them together?

Possibilities and benefits are too many not to give it a try. So why don’t you push that button to turn off that music player for a while? I guarantee you, that when you turn it on again, after working with Musicably for some time, you will hear much more and much better. And music will have very different meaning for you, if you allow it to become part of your life mindfully.

If you like the idea of Musicably, you should add your name to the email list. Once you subscribe, I will start sending you a newsletter with updates and important information that will help in your musicking efforts.