I have been teaching music to children for 31 years and my belief in the power of singing has been a constant in my career and in my life. My parents sang to me, songs they had learned from their parents, and I in turn sang to my child. My family sang in the car, in church and in school choirs and we still burst into four part harmony whenever we can. Times spent singing with friends brings sheer joy. Sometimes we scream Broadway tunes while canoeing down the river. At other times we sing around a campfire, labor songs, Beatles songs and songs protesting events that ended 35 years ago. We are united and young again.
The magic of singing occurs when a young child sings the daffodil song we learned in Music class, then takes his mother for a walk, looking for daffodils and singing that song.
My tears overflow when I listen to an excellent professional choir, or a children’s choir. I have joined with a group of tourists in a German beer garden, where we exchanged favorite songs from Italy, Norway and Germany. One of othe Americans’ contributions was “Workin’ on the Railroad.” For many years my students have been performing at nursing homes, and we notice many residents, who have been effected by strokes may have difficulty with speech but are still able to sing all of the words to “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and “Let Me Call You Sweetheart.”. The freedom and beauty in their faces is one of the most precious sights I have ever seen. Singing is not about being the best, or winning contests, it’s about letting your soul shine through, communicating with other souls on this earth. It’s what makes us human, what makes us beautiful! We are as beautiful as the sounds of birds in the morning.
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