Tuesday, November 25, 2008


When I was a little girl, I would lay on the living room floor while my mom played the piano.  She didn't play piano often, but when she did, it was magical.  Her hips would sway on the piano bench, the garage sale rug would hum beneath my small body, and in pure bliss, the room would fill with the deep, rich energy of those first measures Claude Debussy's Claire De Lune.  This is and will always be one of my favorite childhood memories.

Today I helped a former student revise her college application essay.  The topic requested she write about her passion in life.  Without pause, she decided to write on her passion for music.  As I helped her re-write and restructure her essay, I kept thinking about my own passion for the most acoustic of the arts.  

I love to sing.  That, without tools or aid, I can create something beautiful with only my body as I was born with it.  I love voices in harmony, twining and braiding around each other in an intricate dance.  I love the tuning of instruments before the conductor even taps his baton, the potential in all those runs and scales, the anticipation for those first notes, of the waterfall of notes that will follow.  It is a visceral experience, the way music moves inside my skin, goosebumps rising on my arms.  And there is little else in this world that can match that.  I love rhythm and syncopation, that a good beat can sway my hips without my conscious control.  I love that a theme in a work of art can be taken in the direction of genius, echoes of it repeated in the unique and unexpected.  And so, I say it out loud.  I love music.

Music, in all its diversity, is the soundtrack of a human life.  It is a thing we feel.  We decide, almost immediately, whether we like a song or not.  When life gets chaotic or unfocused, a song reaches to us, reminding us of that summer or that day, or altering our mood completely.  It fills every corner of our memory, it jingles us to sleep at night, sometimes annoyingly so, but it is always there, moving us.  

I love music.  I miss music.  Long ago in my life I would sing in the choir, I would practice the piano (though I never seemed to improve much), and I don't anymore.  Somehow it has been relegated to the car, the shower, and hymns at church.  I'm done with all that.  I need to look for more opportunities to put music in my life.  Because I'm thankful for music, but am I really showing that gratitude?  

What about you?  How has music impacted your life?  What is your favorite song and why?  And any good iTunes recommendations?  Because 99 cents is certainly worth all that music has to offer. 


Wemdu Pea said...

I too miss music in my life. To be honest...the piano and singing saved me as a teen. I honestly don't know what I would have done without that outlet. I realize my playing and singing bugged my family, but if they knew what it was doing for me...I think they might rethink their irk.

I too need to put music back in my life. I can't wait to have time to do a show or join a choir. :)

Until then...we should get together and sing. I can bring my song books, you bring yours, and lets jam. :) Love ya.

Jen said...

I am experiencing a musical renaissance right now as the primary chorister. My voice is sore by the end of singing time (as is my ego after all my mistakes in front of all the children, teachers, and primary presidency. Ugh.) The humiliation is worth it though, because the kids are cute and I'm singing much more than ever before.

My baby SIL has a group of friends and they just sing together all the time. I bet you could make your own little unofficial singing club.

The Lathrop's said...

I grew up w/ my mom playing piano. My Mom writes her own songs - one for each grandkid so far plus other songs. As a kid there were records around the house to listen too also. Any chance I got to go to the library, I would check out cassette tapes, now of course its CD's (I am dating myself now). My grandfather played piano too. I had an Aunt who played the flute.

Growing up in Hawaii I came to love island music, not just Hawaiian either, Samoan, Tongan, ...

I took piano lessons, but gave up, wish I hadn't. I also played the flute for a while, gave that up too - teenagers don't realize that later in life they'll regret giving up something they were good at. I was in Marching Band in HS, only for one year though.

Today, I listen to all kinds of music. Folk, Country, Celtic, Scottish, Irish, Rock, some alternative, drum cadences, classical, music scores from soundtracks, inspirational, .... the list could just go on.

Go to my playlist at my blog (bottom of page). You'll see that I like a variety of music.

I have always wanted to learn how to play the guitar and banjo, someday I just might :o)

As far as ONE of my favorite songs (I have many favorites mind you), it would be: Somewhere Over The Rainbow by IZ.

Rie Pie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rie Pie said...

I absolutely love Music!! I have a ton of favorites. I love the song Hallelujah. I think that would be the best song ever!! I love the Rufus Wainwright version. I love Ben Harper's Forever. I love the Beales' Imagine. I love Rolling Stones' Brown Sugar. I love dream by the Cranberries. I love Incubus and Muse. I love Debussy. I love Chopin.
Check out my play list!!
I love love love music.

I really hate county and rap, and most R&B. They're not my thing.

silvernic said...

So finally, after all of these years, you convince me to start posting on my blog again. But, once I do, you stop posting to your blog. What's up? There's a void in my life where your posts once were. Don't leave me to be an empty shell of a man.

The Rookie said...

Posting tonight. Sorry Nic. And, as you well know, you can't blame me for you being an empty shell of a man. ;)

Alice said...

Music is such a blessing. It can change my mood and make me all touchy feely ;)

I wish that I never stopped practicing the piano.

I want to learn to play the guitar.

I love to sing really loud in the car. and sometimes the shower ;)

I leave way too many ;).

Adele said...

Thanks for that. I am glad you enjoyed my playing. It makes me feel so good that you remember nice memories.