In 1982, sitting under the Christmas tree was my very first record that I had asked for and received, Toto IV. Since I was six, I thought the album was pronounced like the intravenous fluids not realizing it was a Roman numeral. I was so proud and remember the exact feeling of holding a brand-new record in my hands and reading the bright red album cover.
My parents, who do not play instruments, love music and let us know that. Their records were our toys. While many parents had a hands-off policy for their albums, ours didn’t. What that means is that I feel I have an intimate relationship of thirty years with the Doors, Beatles, Benny Goodman Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Mozart, Beethoven, Elton John, Crosby Stills, Nash & Young, the Eagles, Bruce Springsteen and the others that lived in our record collection. Playing the records in days before music videos existed allowed my imagination to run wild. I loved sitting in the cool basement with records strewn out all over the floor, wondering about the song writers and imagining what drove them to write their masterpieces.
What did growing up in a house that loved music do? It created three children who between us play the clarinet, marimba, drum set, banjo, guitar, bass guitar, fiddle and piano. It has led me to love – meeting my husband through the college music department. It formed a bond in my family that I feel many don’t have. Whether we are attending concerts, shows, recitals, or talking about a newly discovered artist’s CD, sharing music together is what we do. We each live many hundreds of miles apart, but speaking the language of music lessens the divide.
I believe in music. I believe it validates my emotions. I believe that I’ll always feel as though a close friend is sitting with me as I listen as a member in the audience or when I play my clarinet. I believe in the power of music. I believe in the tears that music brings to my eyes. From playing in a community band whose mission is “Music for Life” to sitting in my first U2, I continue to be moved to tears by music and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
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