I believe in music.
One my first musical experiences was listening to the Pointer Sisters with my mother. She used the throw me on her hip and sashay through the first floor of my childhood home in New Orleans. I started singing in the choir when I was ten, and have fond memories of performances at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
I still get excited when I hear a high school band practicing for a Mardi Gras parade, although for me this is a rare occurrence since I’m now living on the west coast.
Yesterday when I was searching for the right words to describe my recent inspiration watching a teacher lead the high school band at a football game, I heard a tune piping through on the café’s radio. The song, which I’ve never before heard on the radio, was one of the last pieces my high school choir director taught us before she passed away. Music was so important to Ms. Boeteler that she often came to school against doctor’s orders to help us prepare for a performance. Music made sense when many other things didn’t.
This weekend I attended my first live opera performance, and was reminded of music’s power to heal. My friend and I were both a little down when we arrived, and although many of the performers sang arias in foreign languages and on the subject of women scorned, I felt light when we left. For me, a note well sung is inspiration enough.
I have been blessed with the friendship of a woman with a beautiful 11-month old girl, who is the happiest baby I think I’ve ever seen. I can only speculate that the father’s playing banjo while his little one was in utero had something to do with this. I am writing a little note-to-self for my future.
Thinking of myself without music is like thinking of New Orleans without music. Much is different, but music has had staying power through changes in my life and in the city I call home. I love music. I study and sleep to music, I shake and weep to music, I run and leap to music. But perhaps most importantly, it is through music that I remember better times.
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