This has been a revealing week about the music in my life. Music has always been such a big part of my life. I planned my high school class schedule around band and vocal. If I couldn't fit those in, the other classes were not an option. I decided not to take Physics in High School because it would mean giving up a music class. My favorite activities revolved around music--marching band, jazz band, Singers, piano and flute lessons, District Band, District Jazz Band, Bethel College Music Camp, and Kansas Ambassadors of Music trip to Europe. There was music in my house almost every minute of the day. The stress relieving activity that worked the best for me was playing piano--I'd get so involved in the music, I couldn't even hear what was going on around me. I would go to sleep listening to some of my favorite music.
I began teaching piano lessons in high school as well as directing the choir and leading music at church. Music performance was even my first major in college--much to the chagrin of some and the delight of others. I changed it mostly because the love of music was quickly leaving me and I wanted music to continue to feel like a joy in my life and not just a job. I quickly rediscovered the love of music. I found myself singing along with every CD (or cassette) I played in my house. I loved to watch musicals and dream of someday being on stage. I even took voice lessons as an adult and sang with the Youngstown Symphony Chorus. My love of music was firmly in place.
Then, comes the accident and music left my life. My family made sure there was music playing all the time in my room when I was unconscious. I hear that's great for brain activity and God knows my brain needed all the help it could get. It was after I got home, that music left my life. I have quite a CD collection, but they rarely get played. The radio is off more than it is on. Musicals are no longer played on my TV nearly as often.
Piano has reentered my life in the past few years. My fingers have begun working better together and I have been practicing and even began teaching lessons again. I thought the joy of music was back in my life. And, to an extent it is. I love teaching and playing again. I look forward to lessons every week. I love having a reason to research music online and at music stores. I have even been known to take a trip to Hays only to visit the music store.
This year, I attended the Christmas concert at Cathedral on the Plains. It was all wonderful, but I found myself drawn to the flutist. And, I found myself wondering if I even remembered how to play my flute. I hadn't touched it in 7 1/2 years. Much to my joy, I picked it up when I got home and played a song. I remembered all the fingering to all the notes and cried with joy. Guess that part of my brain had just been lying in wait for my fingers to work again.
This week, I had a revelation of why music has left my life. Why don't my CDs get played? Why is the radio silent? I was listening to a Broadway soundtrack on my MP3 player and found myself picking which song I would sing. I found myself deciding who I would sing a duet with and choreographing our performance. Then, the awful truth hit me that that would never happen. Singing is no longer a part of my life. I want to sing along with every song I hear, but the sound that comes out of my mouth sounds like a dying cat. And, since no one wants to hear that, myself included, CDs and radios are silent in my house.
Any good ideas out there about how to introduce more music in my life without adding the sound of dying cats? Listening to or playing instrumental music seems to help. Any other ideas out there?