I cannot remember a time when my life was not filled with music. My father- in addition to all his other wonderful qualities- is also an amazing musician. Like most musicians he reads music as well as he reads the written word, but he also has an ear that blows your mind. I remember when I was a senior in high school and Stevie Wonder's "I Just Called To Say I Love You" came out. Dad heard it on the radio a couple of times and the next thing I knew he was playing it on his keyboard. Unfortunately- this is one of those traits that in my family skipped a generation. Neither my sisters or I have the ear- and none of us had the discipline to do the extra practice that it would have taken to make us really good at our respective instruments. Some of our children, however, have both the interest and talent. My Josh is amazing on the guitar and drums, Heather's Lauren plays the drums in school but is wonderful on the piano as well and Lisa's Matthew has recently taken up the trumpet- which is one of my father's instruments- and over the course of a weekend with my dad learned to read music and get sound from the horn.
Growing up with music in the house has made my musical tastes very eclectic. My ipod has selections that include Country, Rock, Pop, R&B, Hip-hop, House, Jazz, Blues, Show-tunes and Classical. The only thing really missing is folk, thrash and death metal which for different reasons just don't appeal to me. My choice of music in the moment reflects my mood and my needs on so many levels. I use it to raise my mood or calm me down, to soothe my mind and lull me to sleep, to motivate me and to rage against the world when needed. No matter what though- it is always there and that is something that I have shared with my son as his selections on his own ipod are just as diverse.
I find that you can learn a lot about a person by the type of music that they listen to. Pick up a friend's mp3 player and scroll through their current playlist sometime and you can find out if they are open to new things, if they are stuck in a rut, if they are depressed or happy. You may also find some surprising things. I have found young kids who love BB King and Buddy Guy as much as my hubby does, perky people with full selections of Emo music and big burly football player types listening to boy-bands. It definitely opens up conversations and makes connections. Speaking of connections- one of my dearest friends got to know her now husband after seeing one another at multiple Buffett concerts.
Music is infused in our lives. It is the background for most media, but even when you shut everything off there is music in the leaves rustling, the birds singing, the wind whistling and and even in the silence. Stop and listen sometime and you will find the beauty in the lyrical quality of the stillness.
I am grateful to have had this love for music ingrained in me from a young age. I thank my parents for making it such a large part of our lives and more for making it a natural part of my life.