Music has always been a big part of life in my family. Growing up I listened to my mother talk of the “jam sessions” that the older generations had. I was even privileged to attend the last one when my children were small. There were only a few of them left by then, but it sure was fun to listen to them play the old songs.
My Mother’s Sacrifice
My mother provided day care while I was growing up to earn extra money. This money went toward music lessons and instruments for nine (yes, that is 9) children. We all learned to play an instrument or three: piano, violin, mandolin, banjo, trumpet, trombone, flute, tuba, drums and a few other miscellaneous ones that we tried.
My mother wanted us learn to appreciate and love music. She wanted us to have what she had. We had our own “jam sessions” that required a lot of sight-reading. There was music, laughter and lots of “I got the last (or first) note!” I’m sure that my parents winced as the beginners squeaked and squawked on their instruments, but they enjoyed the end results. Several of us are passing it down to our children. Some more successfully than others.
The Newest Musical Inductee
My youngest daughter has always loved music. Her life is one big musical and she sings and dances her way through quite a bit of it. She taught herself the basics of playing the piano using the many music books my mother has acquired over the years. She started official piano lessons with me several months ago.
For Christmas my parents got her her first personal instrument. A lot of thought when into this gift. They wanted her to have a musical instrument that was soothing. They wanted to give her an instrument that she didn’t feel like she was competing with so many others in the family or her friends. They bought her a harp and arranged for lessons.
She absolutely loves her harp. Within 24 hours she had picked out her first song. She plays her harp for anyone who comes into the house. She absolutely loves her teacher and so do we. The only downside is practicing. This is different from playing since it requires boring and repetitive exercises that often make the tips of her fingers sore. Practicing is a necessary evil that many early musicians complain about.
She is the only one in the family who plays this beautiful instrument. When people hear that she is learning to play the harp they are amazed and impressed. They don’t know anyone who plays the harp.
Music, Sweet Music
We all listen to music of one kind or another. Often we listen to different types of music for different activities. I love cleaning to good old-fashioned (60’s – 70’s) rock and roll. Classical is great when I’m driving. Music from my grandparents time (20’s – 50’s) is fun to play and listen too. It is also what I learned to dance to while standing on my grandfather’s feet.
Music is a universal language. It is shared around the world. It brings generations together. It brings people together.
Do you play? What do you play? What is your favorite music?