Music intertwines within every facet of my life. I remember melodies and lyrics and rhythms that I learned at Miss Ruby Stewart’s School in my hometown. I was in First Grade and very proud to be in the class with the first playground time. That meant we would sing and play “Ring Around the Rosie” and “High Ho the Derry-O”. We would then go back inside and get milk plus cookies. This has nothing to do with music, but we would pass by the Kindergarten classroom with our treats. My cousin was in the Kindergarten class. I possibly might have been a show-off about my snack since I always held it up high in the air for her to see. Every, single day.
Every, single day, I also got to play in our rhythm band. There were several types of drums, bells, cymbals, blocks to rub together (great sound) and the very popular triangle. The cymbals were the loudest and naturally were my personal favorite. I suppose some people never change. I still like loud music, even when it is not meant to be loud. Last year, I suddenly received a rhythm band set for my classroom! You would have thought that I received a treasure chest of gold coins. I ripped that box open and we had a concert immediately. I forgot that Fourth Grade was having a practice Benchmark test that day. I think that this was a pre-practice test for the practice test before the real test.
Oh dear…my mind wanders when I think of those state tests. So back to my band. We are far enough away from Fourth Grade. No complaints. We have had quite a few concerts this year. We march around the room multiple times. We dance. I taught them my one tap dance move. I sing “When the Saints Go Marching In” in honor of all of my New Orleans relatives. It is quite a musical show. If anyone from the district “higher-ups” were to accidently visit during my concerts, they would probably be shocked. They might ask: “What is your objective?” or “Is this on your schedule?”…I would just have to inform them that you can’t schedule being spontaneously moved by music.
I am continuously moved spontaneously by music. Now that I think about it…more often than I realized. Some of my most memorable musical moments:
1. Jon Bon Jovi and Bettye LaVette singing “A Change is Gonna Come” at the Inaugural Celebration Concert for Barack Obama. Very inspirational…whether you voted for Obama or not.
2. Hearing “The Music of the Night” sung during a performance of “Phantom of the Opera” on Broadway in NYC.
3. Bette Midler singing “Wind Beneath My Wings” at any time, at any place. I first heard her sing this song in the movie “Beaches”. I have perhaps watched that movies over fifty times. “Did I ever tell you that you’re my hero? You’re everything that I would like to be”.
4. You’ve Got A Friend” sung by Carole King. Such deep meaning for me. As the words say “Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall…all you’ve got to do is call…and I’ll be there…You’ve Got A Friend”. I really think I learned how to truly be a friend through this song.
5. John Denver singing “Annie”…”You fill up my senses…like a night in the forest, like a mountain in Springtime, like a walk in the rain”. And I can’t forget “Rocky Mountain High”. I felt at home in Colorado on my first visit and every subsequent visit.
6. Bruno Mars bringing back the big band sound combined with way slick dance moves in “Uptown Funk”. And his rendition of “When I Was Your Man” is bittersweet, yet somehow hopeful.
7. Adele singing anything that she chooses to sing. That voice! The best! And I still do not have tickets to one of her concerts. Still planning on going. I need to calm down about it. Maybe I will go ahead and buy a new outfit for the concert. Positive thinking always helps.
8. Dolly Parton singing “I Will Always Love You” and “Coat of Many Colors”. We saw her in concert last year and she was amazing and funny and real. I felt like we were in her home just chatting at the table.
9. “Hallelujah” as sung by four Norwegian singers…Espen Lind, Askil Holm, Alejandro Fuentes, and Kurt Nilsen. The most beautiful rendition of this song that I have ever heard.
10. I could keep going, but I’ll stop with “Hole in the World” by the Eagles. Written by Don Henley and Glenn Frey as a tribute to 9-11. The words hold such profound sentiment.
Perhaps searching for profound sentiment through lyrics and melodies and rhythms is the common chord that binds us together with other cultures. That is how music works for me.