M is for Music
I come from a family of musicians, and as such, music has been a big part of my life. My grandmother played the organ, and composed music for it. She also led numerous choirs. My grandpa had a beautiful singing voice, and my dad is blessed with a beautiful baritone voice. I grew up listening to my dad play songs like Maple Leaf Rag on the piano, and he had a huge collection of Jazz and classical records, not to mention some intersting stuff from the 60's and 70's! Mom was a big fan of music too, always singing along with Hank Williams and Patsy Cline while running the carpool.
They encouraged us to develop our musical talents. All nine children in our family took piano lessons from first grade until at least high school. I took voice lessons for several years in junior high and resumed while at BYU. In elementary school I started playing the violin,but couldn't get the hang of how to vibrato, so I switched to string bass in junior high and high school, even traveling to Europe after 8th grade with the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestra.
As an adult, my appreciation for fine music has grown. I love singing in church choirs, and was even the director of the ward choir while we were in Los Angeles. I haven't been the Primary chorister yet, but each time I substitute I really wish I could be! My string bass skills were actually put to use not too long ago in a special pageant some friends put on at the Los Angeles Temple.
Elliott is quite musical too. He is a very talented pianist, and has an appreciation for many different types of music. He keeps me semi-hip, because if it weren't for him, my listening would be all classical, opera, or choral, with a little bit of 80's thrown in!
We are encouraging our children to develop their musical abilities too. Andrew and Ethan are both taking piano. Andrew has really taken to it... I think the mathematical side fo his brain makes it easier for him to look at the notes and play them... just a theory. Ethan really enjoys playing the piano too. Emma loves to listen to (and dance to) many different ballets, and even Sophie, although not yet 10 months, "dances" and "sings" when music comes on.
Music has the ability to change moods, and I try to play music in our home and car that will be uplifting and help us to have peace in our home. In my car, I currently have 3 CD choices... "Consider the Lilies" from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Pride and Prejudice Soundtrack, and Jack Johnson's "Curious George" soundtrack. My kids always beg me to play just their favorite songs from the P and P soundtrack. The songs they have picked definitely match all their personalities.
We aren't perfect musicians, and I don't want to give that idea. But we do enjoy music, and I would encourage everyone to develop their musical talents, and at least cultivate a love for fine music. It really can lift your soul when listened to often.