Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Why music?

Fair question, I think. I have been asked more than once why studying, playing, and listening to music ranks so high on my family's list of priorities. Why, indeed, considering none of us are remotely Mozart-like and musicians often struggle to make a living, you know - starving artists.

So, why do we do it? The obvious first answer is because we love it how it makes us feel. There is something magical about making your own music - probably much like the rush of completing any other piece of art (this I wouldn't know from experience, though, as I never made it past stick figures!) Plus, sharing music either by making it together or performing for others, is uniting and satisfying in a similar way to the feelings of closeness that are evoked during a good conversation.

I've been asked, though, why do we devote so much TIME to the matter? Wouldn't my children be better served by pursuing something more apt to get them into a better college or promote their current academic advancement? Perhaps. But I like to look at music as a second language - a universal language. It may not pave their ways into Harvard or Yale, but they *could* march in the Disneyland Band or accompany themselves when they belt out 'Wicked' tunes. I think we've learned as much, if not more, history from studying music, musicals, and musicians than from any other method - and I'm quite sure those lessons will never be forgotten.

I like the discipline that we learn through music, too. For lucky kids like mine, often academic pursuits come too easily. They miss the part about trying, then trying again, and practicing to improve. Music is unforgiving in this arena. Sure, there are those who can play anything on any instrument, but my experience has shown me that those folks are rather rare. Most of us must devote regular time to practice and prepare....and that requires commitment, goal setting and determination. I love that about music - in many ways, it is life in microcosm.

Plus, I must be honest. I love to hear my children play. I enjoy having them master something new and share it with others. I really love it when they pick up some new instrument and figure it out on their own, experimenting and improvising.

Music of all kinds makes life so much more enjoyable! We listen to punk, to musicals, to classical piano, big band and sixties hippy stuff. Don't forget that Wizard Rock! O is just beginning her musical experience and I am looking forward to seeing what she comes up with!

Not very tied up, but gotta go to American Girls.......wonder what we'll listen to on the way?

1 comment:

  1. Honestly, that is one thing I regret - not starting music earlier and with some plane. I think it is fabulous that your kids have such wonderful training in music - it is more than knowing the notes and sounding pretty - the practice and discipline you speak of is a huge thing.


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