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THE HEART AND SOUL OF MUSIC

As much as my dad wanted me to be a golfer, my mom wanted me to be a musician. She encouraged me to participate in all kinds of music from an early age, reminding me that as a toddler I used to sing myself to sleep. This is probably because mom was constantly singing - while cooking, doing laundry, ALL of the time - I’m sure that I was accustomed to the “in-womb” lullabies.


Mom had a beautiful voice and had sung in several choral groups. It became clear that music both moved and soothed her soul. There was a distinct difference between mom singing when she was happy and when she was a bit perturbed - probably at me. The range of her perturbed voice was greater, as was the volume.


In hopes of ensuring our love for music continued, she purchased small cymbals, rhythm sticks, bells, harmonicas, metronomes, sheet music, and a LOT of piano lessons. We would play duets for hours - my personal favorite being, "Heart and Soul." My sister became a much more accomplished musician, mastering piano as well as the clarinet, playing throughout high school, into college, and being accepted into the All State band.


However, my love for and enjoyment of music would rival anyone’s out there. I may not sing out loud all day as my mother did, so as not to frighten my husband or the dog; but, there is a song in my head all day long...anything from classical to Blake Shelton. I love some of every music genre. And I was fortunate to participate in high school choral groups and the women’s ensemble at our church for many years. I sing alto, the lower the better. Some singers feel this is the boring section of a piece of music. And, while it certainly doesn’t have the variety and personality the higher parts and melody offer, I think it can be beautiful and soul-stirring. Or, at least it is in my head.


I was told one time not to sing the alto part in a non-choral setting because it could confuse those around me, and they may end up not singing at all. But that is how I learned the beauty of harmony, and where my love for the alto voice began - sitting snuggled up next to mom in church as she sang the beautiful alto parts of the hymns. And I just can’t help myself; I hear her singing along with me every time.


Throughout this pandemic, music has been such a comfort. It is ever changing and yet ever constant, like God. Most of you probably can hear a song and it will immediately take you back to the time in your life when the song became popular and one of your favorites. You suddenly see the surroundings, your friends, your first love, the heartbreaks; not much else can transport you this way.


I’ve just asked Google to play some Simon & Garfunkel and Willie Nelson. “She” has obliged and has attempted to put together a playlist of my favorites, so hopefully they will be followed by Pavarotti singing, “Nessun dorma.” Thanks, mom, for the memories and the lullabies.


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2 comentários


nascatpat
nascatpat
29 de set. de 2020

Perfect, just perfect! I also hear that voice and treasure the memory of her fingers flying on the piano playing "The Painted Doll!"

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Lisa Stapleton Weldon
Lisa Stapleton Weldon
29 de set. de 2020

You know, Janice, I totally relate to music soothing my soul during this pandemic. I have a George Winston playlist on Pandora that I listen to every day. I'm sure Pandora deems me boring because I play the same music every single day...but hey, I love it.

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