There's a place for professionals, and a time to enjoy the excellence that can only be attained by those who have dedicated most of their lives to a skill, a craft, or a subject. But be it music or sport or cooking or thinking, there's a special place in my heart for amateurs, where the roots are.
Take music. From church choirs to Irish seisiúns, from singing in the shower to singing your baby to sleep, amateur music has heart.
Our New Hampshire family, all nine of them, recently performed at a camp they were attending. Two French horns, two clarinets, two trumpets, a trombone, and a home-made cajón with multiple percussion sounds. (The baby has a French horn mouthpiece.) The eldest French horn player arranged a medley of music from The Pirates of the Caribbean for the group.
Last year they created, for the same camp, a moving video of a Lord of the Rings medley. This time they were confident enough to tackle a live performance. (And to share both with the world via YouTube, which takes a different kind of confidence.)
Decidedly amateur (root: "one who loves"). And decidedly fun. As I hear it, the months of preparation for this event provided a great opportunity for both musical and character growth. I can imagine.