August 26, 2008

I've Got the Music in me...

Music is one of the most enduring pieces of the collage that is my life. Music reaches into the depths of my being and reverberates the mood of the moment. Or sometimes initiates a new mood. There are songs that immediately take me to a place hidden in the recesses of my memory banks. The first few bars transport me to that time and place.

I'm one of those moms who makes her children take music lessons. I can sing and play piano reasonably well enough to bring myself hours of pleasure. I'm no professional, but by understanding the work that goes into making music, I have an appreciation for it that a casual listener may not. I am in awe of good musicians, whether their instrument is guitar, piano, or their voicebox. I don't need my children to fulfill a dream I never achieved, I just want them to share my love of music.

Some of my favorite memories are when we sing along to something in the car. Or when they laugh at my music and I think, yeah, I did that too. But years from now, they'll hum it and wonder how they know that song so well. I learned to appreciate Elvis Presley, Peter Paul and Mary, and (scary) disco music. That was part of Papa Fresh's midlife crisis. Give me Donna Summer and I see Papa in Movin' On jeans, gold chains, dancing like nobody was watching and having the time of his life.

Today, however, we said goodbye to our piano teacher. Gleefully. You see, I didn't pay him to come and perform for us every week. If I wanted a front row seat to a show, I would have bought concert tickets. He's a nice person, but honestly, after several weeks of hearing him announce "this is how I would do it" and take over the piano, I realized that he was simply a performer, not a teacher. Sort of the opposite of the saying, those who can't do, teach. Those who can't teach, do?

Fortunately, our guitar teacher doesn't suffer from that same issue. He is in a band, and I'm sure he is an amazing performer (plan to find out next week), but he doesn't use lesson time as a forum to impress. He realizes that if he isn't a household name, there are a thousand other guitar players just as talented. He tries to share his skills and knowledge. Instead of intimidating the mini Freshes with never being as good as he is, he encourages them to improve.

I found myself muttering aloud about the piano teacher the other day, and cursed for the first time in front of them. I said, "He thinks he is King Shit of Turd Mountain". They burst into peals of laughter so intense I thought they would explode. And it was music to my ears. Their laughter. Yeah, I've got the music in me.


  1. Love of music is something that should be paees to one's kids. One of the songs I remember hearing on long car drives with my parents as a kid is Roger Miller's "King of the Road". Some hoe I have passed enjoyment of that song down to my son. He was watching HBO's "Generation Kill" Sunday night when it showed a group og GIs driving in Iraq and singing "King of the Road" he looked at me with a big smile on his face.
    Actually both of my kids love the music I listen to. My son is always "borrowing" CDs that I burn for myself. A couple years ago he took one to a bonfire. The next day he said that my CD was voted the best CD at the party.
    My son even enjoys some classical music. While I do too, I can not take credir for passing that on to him.
    My daughter after hearing me listen to "House of the Rising Sun" has spent years collecting various covers of it. I think at last count she had over 100 cover versions of it. She played around with a portable keyboard when she was younger but no longer plays. She does love to listen to various styles of music. My son play guitar fairly well. He currently has 3 electric and 2 acoustical guitars. On occasion he will alo play my Hofner bass.
    Fresh keep up the good work of teaching the minis the finer things in life.

  2. quoting the New Radicals is always a plus... someday we'll know...


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