It’s a wonderful time of year to think about all the things we’re thankful for! You might not be surprised that one of the items at the top of our thankful list is MUSIC!
We (Elizabeth and Kathryn) were so fortunate to grow up in a home that was filled with music. We grew up taking music lessons, playing in singing in ensembles, and attending live music events. Music was really huge, and defining in our lives. It was where we excelled and where we wanted to be. Looking back I wonder what my life would have been filled with if not for music? I can’t answer that, but I’m thankful that I was blessed with a passion for music that has filled my life with so many rich experiences and connections.
There are many music teachers I could thank, who influenced and encouraged my participation in music. But I know that my musical journey started before music teachers. My musical journey started at home. As a family, we sang together all the time. We used to joke that my parents had a song for every situation (they’d break out simultaneously with a line to some old song we had never heard of). My dad played kids songs with his guitar and we sang along for fun, as well as for church talent shows, etc. My parents played CDs (often classical) at home and listened to the classical music radio station in the car. As we got older they signed us up for musical activities, paid for them, and shuttled us to and from. I remember countless post-performance trips out for frozen yogurt with our family. I remember our family standing around the piano singing Christmas carols. I remember Mom asking us time and time again to put on a “little concert” in the living room after company came over for dinner. (I may have rolled my eyes, but I enjoyed doing it!) Usually the company was just Grandma and Grandpa, who were our biggest fans...
Now, with families of our own, we have a new view and a new appreciation for how music influences our family. Singing is one of the best ways to calm and engage my 7-month-old little guy. My 3 year old daughter and I have spent countless hours singing together in the car and at home, and listening and dancing to great music. Before we became parents, I never heard my husband sing, but now he likes to belt out a song with the rest of us, sings to the kids without inhibition, lets me harmonize with him, and even likes to sit at the piano and sing duets with me from time to time (!!). Did I mention, he loves attending classical concerts with me for date night??
One of the things I love about visiting Elizabeth and her family is the music-making that is always happening! I love singing with her older daughters, hearing her 6 year old play his violin (he is so studious!), listening to them all belt out a favorite song while doing dishes. Not too long ago I laid on my niece’s bed while she practiced her harp, and I truly felt like I was in heaven!
Music is in the little moments, and it’s in the big moments at our homes. It’s one of our favorite ways to connect with each other, and a soul-satisfying way to step beyond the day-to-day tasks and routines that can so easily fill up our lives, into a haven of beauty, creativity and fun!
We are truly thankful for music!
Now, we want to share music resources with you that will leave you feeling enriched, connected, and satisfied, too! We know that not everyone wants to participate in musical activities with the same intensity that we did/do, and that is fine! Any amount of music in your life is worth being thankful for, in our book. So stick around and be a part of the Clap for Classics family!