Do you like music It does not matter what type of music you like, every type has its place. My husband and I often argued about the music we listened to. Now that I am on my own I have more freedom to listen to various types.
The part we argued most about is why a song became popular. My argument was for the notes, the accompaniment, and the melody - you know, that funny jingle that you just cannot get out of your head!
Dick favored country music the old fashioned kind. He said that the words were the most important component of a piece. Country music told a story so I guess that was probably so.
Just think however of some of the nonsense songs that made it into history. Were those words important or did the melody propel them to the top Then, there is the music of the moment. It can hardly be said that the words are memorable. You cannot even understand what the artist is saying.
Country songs and hymns need both great words and a tune that stays with you. Some of the songs being written today will surely not last because they are simply too complex. Last year our church focused on the words of popular religious songs during Lent. Some of the songs I knew while others were new to me. Some of them in my estimation were keepers, while others I am afraid will simply fade away.
This whole topic got me to thinking about the music in my life. Music has always played a significant role in my life. I took about three years of piano lessons before I moved on. During the time of the lessons, practicing was a hassle. I did not care much for the songs that I was learning. I was young and longed to be outdoors playing with my friends.
Those lessons, however, proved invaluable. I played the piano more after I stopped taking lessons than I ever did when I was forced to practice. Music became a pastime that I enjoyed. Often I played hymns they were lyrical and quite easy to sight read. Of course, I sang along as I played.
I was also able to play the piano for my class to sing when I was teaching kindergarten. The children learned a lot through their experience with music. They loved to gather around the piano to watch my fingers move. A young man who now plays the piano in our church came once to play the piano for my class. The children noticed that music could be fun even if you were in sixth grade!
When the family visited my great-grandfather we often sang the old songs. My great-aunt took out her sheet music from her music cabinet and we all sang along. We would sing for hours. Great-grandpa usually did not join in, but we could tell he enjoyed it because he tapped his fingers to the beat. I still have the chair that he used to sit in while he was accompanying us.
When my children were young our family sang a lot. My husband came home from the barn on a Sunday afternoon and we headed for the music room. My husband sang melody and I sang harmony. The children joined right in wherever their voices fit. Soon we sang in church. My husband bought a guitar and began to learn to play. Even though his fingers were calloused from milking cows, they did not have callouses in the right places. He had to develop those.
Soon we ordered a second guitar so that each of the children had one. I drove them to town once a week for lessons. Although they took lessons from the same instructor, they each learned to play a little differently. Today, they have their guitars in their own homes. I am not sure if they continue to play or not.
Although some of our song sessions were grueling for the children, they picked up an appreciation for music. Each went on to participate in choir and band in high school.
Music is a happy sound. Your mood cannot fail to improve if you begin to sing. I sang the harmony along with the radio instead of the melody I found the notes with my ear. When I participated in chorus I sang the alto part. When I sang duets, I sang the harmony while the boy sang the melody.
The radio is always on while I am in the car. Often I sing along. I have learned many new songs this way. My station of choice is FLN network. Songs are punctuated with inspirational messages. You hear all types of music and I like that. As I travel to my volunteer post or to a destination to shop I am refreshed with the wonderful songs that I hear.
Music was a wonderful way to bind our family together. As we prepared for performances we talked and the children made a contribution as well. We learned to listen as well as speak. Everyone had an opinion and each was an important part of the process.
I missed out on the conversations in the barn, but I was part of the musical conversations. We learned the fine art of communication in an unexpected way.
Ann Swanson writes from her home in Russell, PA. Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org