Friday, January 1, 2010

7 Quick Takes--the musical edition

Music is a large part of life around our house. My husband is an Army musician. I am a music major and have taught lessons for about 15 years now. It has been my experience that music does indeed tame the savage beast. Music can bring back vivid memories and emotions.
I am not a morning person. Really, I put orange juice in the kids cereal on a regular basis. To get myself going, coffee is key, along with some toe tapping, blood pumping music. Anything peppy, from the little one's music (Laurie Berkner), to Stayin' Alive. Who can stay sleepy while doing disco moves?
My van doesn't move without music. The road hums along with us. Satellite radio came with our van, and I was hooked. Whatever the mood may be, there is a channel to match it.
Have you listened to Jack Johnson? You should. I am instantly relaxed and tension leaves my body. Cooking dinner is pleasant while listening to Jack and the glass of red wine doesn't hurt either!
One of my favorite stories involves music. After watching Fantasia, the kids were discussing their favorite parts. Sophie said she loved the song "Night on Bald Mountain" but did not care for the animation. Tony quipped that he used to like that song until he was in a band competition in high school. The winning band played that song and it had become a bad association. I mentioned that I remembered playing that song in the high school band and we might have played that at a competition as well. After a little digging into our pasts, we discovered that it was indeed my band that beat his band in Toronto Canada a good 5 years before we ever met!
Frank Sinatra always reminds me of Sophie as a baby. She was colicky, and we tried everything to calm her. One day, we noticed she settled down while we were listening to Frank. We would put the tape player (remember those!) under her swing--manually cranked--and just kept flipping the tape until she drifted off to sleep.
There are also songs that will always make me cry. Not long ago, my mother and I were in the car together and "How Great Thou Art" came on. We looked at one another. There were already tears in both our eyes. It is the song the choir sang as they took Ben's body out of the Church in his little casket. As we followed behind him and stepped outside, the words and music seemed to swirl all around me and then float up to the heavens.

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