Wednesday, November 30, 2011
An hour later, I accompanied Kevin Shumway, a cellist with the Utah Symphony at a Youth Guild luncheon. He performed several numbers and spoke to 50 plus teens about his love of music. I agree with so many things that he said. Any kind of music that moves you or makes you happy inside is good. Music has the ability to take you to a different place, out of the world, out of the daily grind. It releases your mind and perhaps gets you thinking about many other things. These things could be nostalgic, energizing, pleasant, suspicious,wondering,inspiring, irritating, etc.
Much of my life has been immersed in music. My mom spent hours with me on the piano bench, encouraging me to develop a talent and to find the joy that music can bring to the soul.
When I was about sixteen, I heard my second cousin, Ann Christensen play the piano while visiting my grandma. She had recently won the Utah State Fair piano competition, soloed with Salute to Youth, and won a piano competition in Texas. I was blown away with her playing. After hearing her, I developed an insatiable appetite to get serious about the piano. After taking piano lessons for much of my life with great teachers such as Frederick Dixon and Carol Hurst, I began lessons with Anne's teacher, Gladys Gladstone, and had an incredible journey over the next few years.
Many benefits have spilled over into my life from studying a musical instrument. Things such as staying focused and pursuing perfection, or at least striving for excellence. Practice does not make perfect, but rather PERFECT practice makes perfect.
Good, better, best
Never let it rest
'Til your good is better
And your better is best! - Unknown
Music allows me to enter a realm that expands my mind and emotions. I can enter a very happy place that is indescribable. One time, Jordon Tang, a doctoral student at the U. of U., asked me to play the piano part of Aaron Copeland's Appalachian Spring with a chamber orchestra. I fell in love with that piece and introduced it to my children. One of my greatest mother moments was when Chase was listening to this piece while showering and he burst out of the bathroom door screaming, "I LOVE that music!" He, too, discovered the great secret of Appalachian Spring!
It is so true that, "Music hath charms to soothe a savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak." William Congreve (This really is the quote, not "beast" as is often misquoted). It is a powerful source for both good and bad. But when used to edify, it is inspirational, pleasurable and lovely!
Good music and great harmonies. What could be better! Did I mention that before? I am excited for this Christmas season and the beautiful music that accompanies it. The accessibility of music favorites on iTunes,iPods, iPads, Pandora, CD's, tapes, records, and the radio is astounding. In fact, right now I am going to listen to Pandora over my TV system while I clean my house. And it will make me happy!
And by the way, does anyone have extra tickets to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas concert this year? I would be so obliged! And happy, to say the least!