Notes for life
First Generation of Music
I don’t remember her name. But I remember her telling me she wouldn’t be teaching us anymore. She was caught by surprise with the announcement that not enough kids had signed up for music the next year. She said “I can’t believe it. I am sure X and Y would pick Music. Even you, I know you loved it.” I froze. I don’t know what I said or if I even said anything. But I know I didn’t pick music and I didn’t want to hurt her feelings.
Music didn’t come easy for me. I didn’t seem to have any sense of rhythm and I could not tell the different instruments apart. We tried playing different instruments but it seemed obvious to me that I was just not cut for it. Yet, the teacher was great so there was no disappointment or frustration. those classes we fun, even if I couldn’t make or even listen to music properly. We would enjoy learning and playing and after each session, our spirits and moods were lifted. Even when it was raining and the river would stink all the way into our classrooms.
As I enter the teenage years, I would often listen to music to process my feeling and whatever was going. I could lay down on the floor, in the dark, and put the music on. I would listen to it and feel it vibrating on the floor. It felt great, restorative. I would sometimes dare singing. In the shower, with headphones or during our family car trips. But my siblings would make it clear that I was a terrible singer – singing with the headphones didn’t help, for sure.
Later on, I also started singing when driving. And again, there was a change in my mind and soul while doing that. It is as if by singing all those words I would eventually say what there was to say. It’s like what you see in the mystery books and movies. Someone creates sentences by creating a collage of cut out words from different newspapers. This letter is then sent in an anonymous way, protecting the author. And so it was with singing. Somehow, something would be created in my mind, expressed and let go. A magic trick.
Second Generation of Music
Today, I am a mother. And I sing to my baby. He loves it. The songs soothe him when he needs comfort, bring him joy when he is playing. It makes him feel loved and cared for during all our daily activities. It brings us closer, it fills his heart and soul.
We also started going to music sessions for children. He is very young so he mostly observes the others and eats the instruments. Still, it moves him and it gives him something every time we go. It is becoming a part of him and his life. And I grateful for what the gift of music can do for him.
Only now, over 20 years later, I realize what my teacher meant. She had lost her job because there weren’t enough students. It pangs me to know this and my lack of reaction at the time. Maybe I could have done something. I wish I had told her how her work had a rippling effect not only throughout my life but also my son’s. Now I can only hope she found something else, maybe even better. Most of all, I hope she kept bringing music to children’s souls. Thank you, dear Music Teacher.