Seeing "The King's Speech" has drawn me back to early classical memories when my parents would crank up the volume on their beloved vinyl discs. I keep playing a recording of Beethoven's Symphony #7, a part of which rings out in the final scene of the movie.
Music has been a part of my life as far back as I can remember. I know that's true for you too. We respond to rhythm, melody, lyrics, and all the aspects of creating and listening to music. This is such a fundamental part of the human experience.
During a brief 4th grade fling with the violin, an on-and-off relationship with the piano, then finding true love with the guitar, I've encountered many ways to enjoy playing and singing. The styles I favor reflect an eclectic background. I'll always be grateful to my parents for introducing me to Handel, Count Basie, Bud & Travis, Nat King Cole, Edie Gormay; and to my big sister for playing Streisand, Gilberto, Lennon/McCartny; and my brother for showing me Stairway to Heaven, Pink Floyd and Los Lobos. My mother took her daughters to the premiere of Hair, a rock musical at Los Angeles's Pantages Theater. That was enlightening!
We all have unique backgrounds and memories of that song or piece that first stirred our emotions and made us want to hear it again and again. And all of these are valid. There are no wrong ways to appreciate music! And there is no end to the ways of introducing children to music, from the traditional to contemporary, and from hand play and lullabies to embarking on the study of an instrument.
Here are three of my favorite guides to music. From unique angles, each one speaks of the joy and advantages that participating in music gives us. (Note: Find them at your library or at your local bookstore.)
Nurturing Your Child with Music, John M. Ortiz, Ph.D
Raising Musical Kids, Robert A. Cutietta
Musicophilia, Oliver Sacks
If you've read all the way to the end, I appreciate it! It's a pleasure sharing ideas and inspiration with you, and I wish you an ever-expanding experience of joyful listening, playing and singing together!
I invite you to post a comment: what early music memories do you treasure?