|Postal workers to get harmonica lesson
Saturday, October 25, 2003 Posted: 1:34 AM EDT (0534 GMT)
"I'll be not so much a music instructor as a motivational speaker," says Liniger, a University of South Carolina distinguished lecturer. "I want to give them some fun in spite of their dreary jobs."
Liniger has, in all, less than an hour to teach the postal workers about American blues music and teach them to play the song "Dimples" on the harmonica.
The conference in Montreaux is an effort by the Swiss government to adapt its postal managers to an increasingly competitive market. Liniger said his role is to provide some relaxation from the intense conference, or "interrupt the rut." He had about three weeks to plan for the unusual request.
The 53-year-old Swiss-born musician said he would frame the conference with two concerts, the first by himself, the second with his 400 "students." He hopes that when the postal managers hear themselves play the closing concert at the conference, they will be proud of how powerful the music is.
As for how he's going to do it, Liniger says, "This is the kind of stuff that I just have to figure out on the spot."
Liniger thinks that learning how to relax and deal with stress can be as important for people in management positions as those in his classes. "These people are pretty stressed. They're not strangers to the blues," he said.
Blues music expert Walter Liniger has less than an hour to teach 400 Swiss postal employees to play a song on the harmonica.