Tonight I had the pleasure of attending an evening of music performed by many of my neighbors. The evening was sponsored by our local church and included participants and audience composed of members from seven different local congregations, and families and friends of course. It was a wonderful evening of music, mostly vocal, but also included piano, violin, guitar, organ and even the xylophone. From Rogers and Hammerstein to Bach to Phantom of the Opera . . . most of the numbers were fun, popular and upbeat, and all who were there came away feeling uplifted and happy. Of course it didn't hurt that there were cookies and socializing afterwards. Sometimes I think I don't get enough of that kind of interaction with my neighbors. But the best part by far was the music.
I believe that we all need music in our lives. It feeds our souls. It inspires. It comforts. It expresses thoughts and feelings that often cannot be expressed by mere words. I was blessed to have a musical mother who sang to me and filled our home with music. We were give the opportunities to learn to play the piano and other instruments. My mother was and is an accomplished violinist and concert mistress of her university orchestra. It has been a few years since she was able to play much, but I know it is a talent she will possess forever. She took piano lessons as an adult and sang with the church choir for most of her adult life.
We have tried to provide our own children with similar opportunities. I have taught the very basics of the piano to each of them, some have been able to continue with private lessons on different instruments, and we have encouraged them to participate whenever possible in school and church musical groups and programs. My DH is also a great lover of music and has exposed our family to many different genres of music through his collection of vinyl and CDs, now stored digitally. Years ago we enjoyed season tickets to the symphony, and would even take the one of the children in turn with us to certain concerts. We have loved the treat of satelite radio that came with our new vehicle for the past several months. We have tried to sing as a family whenever possible, sometimes with more success than others. I guess what I'm trying to say is, I need to make a more concerted effort to not only listen to good music on a regular basis, but also to practice, perform and/or create music on a regular basis. I highly encourage and challenge each of you to do the same. Sit down at a piano, pull out a guitar, (or trumpet or clarinet or violin, or even a recorder) and if nothing else, sing at the top of your lungs while driving or in the shower. Yep, Sing, Sing a Song!!
John Rutter - Distant Land Lyrics