Marcus and Mary Dew, my beautiful grandparents
Music. It is a universal language that we can all connect through.
If you Google the word music you will get the following definition : vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) combined in such a way as to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion.
Don’t you just love that it is defined in such a manner? I know I do and it really means something important to me.
If you put me in a room and I am asked to share my feelings, my thoughts and what I am thinking about in my life, I will stumble. As great of a conversationalist that I am, I trip up on my words every single time. My best way to express myself is not only through writing but through music. I love it. I enjoy music a lot more than I enjoy any form of television. So much that I have not missed having cable in my home for years. Music is what fills our home constantly. My children are the same way. They love music as much as I do but that might be because when I carried them in my womb, I would lay the radio on my belly and play soft, classical tunes.
My earliest memory of loving music was when I was a small child and I would attend vacation bible school at my grandmothers church in a small, rural part of North Carolina. She would play the piano and I enjoyed nothing more than watching her play that piano like she had oil on her fingers. Her delicate but worn,loving hands would glide across all the piano keys so eloquently. It was mesmerizing to me. She could play any church hymn you requested but it wasn’t just about her ability to play, it was her outward expression of how much joy and happiness she received from it.
Growing up, I would spend the summer with her and she had this old dial radio that was in her bedroom, near her sewing machine. She would leave that radio on all the time. I never remember her turning it off. I can almost hear the sounds of that radio even though it has been years since it played for the last time. It stayed on the local gospel station and it played gospel hymns every moment of the day except if a preacher was preaching. Sometimes that would scare me if I wasn’t expecting to hear that stern voice coming through the radio and it caught me off guard but I know it was some sort of comfort for my grandma. My grandpa passed on just before I was born and I like to think that she kept that on for a connection to him. I never got to know him and that makes me sad (even after all this time) but I believe my grandaddy loved music just as good as my grandma. I get it from them. I have to.
At the same time I was learning of my grandmothers talent, I was able to watch one of my siblings learn to play the piano. She had a grand talent for that and I loved to hear her play. Sheet music was a staple at our home as well as this great console stereo player that my parents had. Oh how I loved that giant music box that could play the radio stations, play an eight track or a vinyl record of your favorite artist. My parents loved to play the old country music tunes as well as gospel music as well. We enjoyed that very much and as soon as I can make some extra room, I am going to retrieve that old stereo console from my parents so that I can restore it and cherish it for many more years to come.
When I think of all the beautiful ways that music can heal the soul, take you back to an old memory, transport you to a place that reality can’t, motivate you to a higher place in life or just simply calm the mind, and the soul when needed – I feel extremely blessed for the gift of hearing.
For me, the piano is one of the most beautiful instruments to make music. Chris Martin of Coldplay is one of my favorite musical artist because of his ability to play the piano. Not only is Coldplay my favorite band of all time (I began rocking my kids to sleep to Coldplay back in 2000) but they have been a household favorite ever since. I get chills when I hear the piano solos in some of their songs. It is fantastic.
When I sit down to write, I must have a particular setting that I have constructed for my environment, in order for me to write. I need music, my coffee, a candle burning and my mood depends on what type of music I listen to. It can range from the sounds of classical piano (which I enjoy very much), soft jazz, contemporary Christian, chillwave radio, meditation tunes, Frank Sinatra radio, Moby, and the list goes on and on and on and on. Pandora, Spotify, iHeart Radio, iTunes…I have them all and my music library is almost as insane and diverse as they come.
Music for the moment is what I like to call it. What am I feeling? How is the day going? Happy? Sad? Lonely? Depressed? A celebration? There is a song out there for every aspect of an emotion that we are feeling. I think that is why I love music so much. It can change with us and all we have to do is simply go and find the music we are searching for and then delve ourselves into a place that only we know we can go for comfort.
As I close this blog post for tonight, I am actually listening to a medley called Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus/Softly and Tenderly by Anthony Burger. He was a pianist that played Southern Gospel music and has a pretty remarkable story and career so if you get the chance, please discover more about him. My grandmother use to play those tunes on the piano. I feel like she is with me when I listen to the piano gospel hymns on my Pandora app. Remember, I told you that music can take you to places reality can’t? This is one of those times. I sure miss my grandma.
Wherever you are when you are reading this, I hope that you find as much enjoyment from music as I do. Maybe I should learn to play the piano? It’s never too late to learn anything.
Peace, Love & Hugs