Archive for June, 2009

Making a Joyful Noise

Reading Eric’s previous entry, I started recalling my own earliest memories of music. I thought I’d share some with you so you can get a window into why we feel so strongly connected to music.

I was raised by a single mom who always had music as a part of her life, and subsequently, our household. Besides being a church organist at The Warwick United Methodist Church since she was, oh, 15, mom would consistently be playing the piano for weddings, funerals, school and community musicals and concerts. She even accompanied various youth auditioning for All-County Choruses and NYSSMA.

Some of my earliest memories of music are tied deeply to my mother. I always think of her being the happiest in this setting: a young mother, sitting cross-legged in the church narthex strumming the guitar while scores of Vacation Bible School children learn such standards as “Father Abraham,” “The Wise Man Built His House Upon a Rock,” and, yes, “Kum Ba Yah.” I thought she was so beautiful when she was playing music, and I was so proud she was my mommy. (Still do and am!)

Well, mom never forced music on me (or my siblings), but she did work hard to make sure we could always have it in our lives if we wanted. I started taking piano lessons, which led to voice lessons, which led to learning the guitar and pipe organ. I decided that music was something I wanted to continue with in college and beyond. It has never left me and it has always guaranteed me a refuge from the stresses of daily living. Music soothes. Music centers. Music is like entering another world.

I received a book of poetry when I was a child entitled “Joyful Noise.” It is a selection of poems to be read aloud by two people, all about nature. It strikes me how I have carried that connection with me all these years, still enjoying poetry, nature and music as “joyful noises” in our sometimes dreary world.

Who would you credit for your appreciation and expression of music?