Music Colors My Life!

singing at vidcon

Musical notes, beats, rests, keys, sharps, flats, major, minor, staff, treble clef, bass clef, rhythms, voices, moods, time signatures, adagio, allegro, forte, chant, chamber, carols, classical, dynamics, fermata, leitmotifs, sonata, staff, concerto, tones, voices – all this and more characterize the varied forms music contains.  When I studied classical piano for 12+ years and in college, I immersed myself in the language of the soul:  music.  It is the true international language which comforts, soothes and lifts us up the spirit.  A lifetime of music still reveals its many facets to me.  Probably the more difficult forms for me to listen to still would be the 12 tone music of Arnold Schönberg and the more modern techno music.  However, instead of majoring in music in college, I chose German as my major focus and studied in Germany.  I did not leave my music behind though and continued as a music director in several churches as well as piano playing at home.

First with Prof. LaForce in Massachusetts and later Mrs. Hardwick in Pueblo, Colorado, I practiced scales and became acquainted with various pieces of classical music including Beethoven, Bach and Mozart to name a few. My mother often played the piano while she and my father sang along.  Afterwards my father would proclaim he was the best male singer in the family!  What a corny joke since he was the sole male voice in our family.  My Uncle Joe gave me his record player and record collection of 45 rpm records which introduced me to opera and Smetana when I was a teen.   Later I acquired my own collection of popular music and played them over and over as teens do.  My parents introduced us to orchestral symphony performances in Pueblo.

At the age of 13, I began to play the organ at church and sing in the choir. To this day, I still sing in the choir.  Reflecting on the many influences in my life, I would have to say that music has had  the most powerful effect.  It is spoken and unspoken simultaneously.  When I play the piano, I can interpret as I choose to fit my mood and the occasion.  Frequently I sing with my students in German classes to share in my joy of music.  Interdisciplinary projects with music have always remained in my video conferences with Germany and in awards ceremonies at school.

The many role models in my family as I grew up understood the meaning and power of music and allowed me to have that gift. My husband and I passed this gift on to our children with Mrs. Caravan as their teacher. For my reading audience, I have included photos of me playing the church organ and my sisters singing in the choir.  Also photos from several video conferences when we sing songs and some students play instruments.  And last but not least are photos of the school chorus under the direction of Mrs. Caryn Patterson, and string instruments performing for an award ceremony for the German-American Society of Central New York thanking the members and Scholarship Chair, Mrs. Sally Frenza,  for the many college scholarships they provide our German students in  Central New York.

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My wish for all of you is that you experience the wonder, the magic. the meaning and the power of music in its many shapes and forms.  How many of you listen to music for pleasure or play a musical instrument including voice?  Which song holds the most meaning to you and why?  Which music gives you goosebumps?

This weekend’s all day workshop on Music Improvisation at our local community college promises to be a fun-filled experience. Just as leaves are beginning to turn colors, so also will my musical world and life be enriched with newly-faceted colors!

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This entry was posted in award ceremonies, food for the soul, German, international language, music teachers, musical forms, role models, video conferences and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Music Colors My Life!

  1. How lovely that music has played a role in your life! I majored in music, thinking I’d teach it in school. I found I was allergic to children. Being the church organist for 25 years was easier. One daughter was in her college choir, and her son followed in her footsteps. The others listen to music constantly, so we did pass on the habit. John has a large collection of records and CDs, and he knows music history better than I do. One of these days I’m going to get back to practicing the piano and singing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Such a lovely comment. Thank you. I think it is important to give our children the gift of music. As you say, you can get back to practicing the piano and singing. And it is with you for a lifetime. Music is food for the soul. I love your music background too. Do you sing anywhere today? In a church choir? Blessings.

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  2. Annika Perry says:

    A beautiful celebration of music, Mary Ann…the very beginning a cascade of musical terms! 😀 Music is central in our lives and non more so then your own and I love your descriptions of your musical journey to the choir still of today. Oh, I had to laugh at your father’s joke…My son is a gifted keyboard player and pianist, often composing his own pieces and I feel blessed to listen to him play and practice…some of the best parts of my day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your insightful comment. Corny jokes lighten the mood sometimes. It is a joy to listen to our children practice and use their skills to compose. Our song taught himself guitar after piano and violin lessons. He composed words, music and recorded a couple of CDs for us. In our busy lives, it is good to take a few minutes to play piano for example. My husband liked to listen and later took lessons so that he could learn his music faster. Today we both continue with voice lessons. Music is an integral part of our lives. Have a wonderful weekend filled with music! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Emily says:

    Wonderful blog post and photos! Music is a key component in my life and certainly has the power to relax the mind and change the mood based upon the genre of music. It also builds upon creativity and brings people together. I am glad you have continued to enjoy it for many years and have found various musical avenues in your life after teaching 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • How very kind and astute of you, Emily. I appreciate your comment. Music is a wonderful gift to give children and like a foreign language, it lasts a lifetime. Your grandmother used to play the piano and have the student nurses gather around to sing when they had a break. What a gift that was which touched many lives. Perhaps you can use your talents in your profession as well. I recall visiting a colleague’s husband who was dying and immediately began singing Amazing Grace. I don’t know where it came from, but the husband and my colleague joined in. That was my parting gift to him. And my colleague is now deceased and my parting gift to her was playing the piano while the entire family gathered around and sang for about one hour – mainly church hymns everyone knew. May you continue to find impetus to use your musical talents in your lifetime. Blessings. 🙂

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  4. I played violin for years, got quite good at it and cried when I had to quit (demands of college). It still colors my life, though, all that I learned from it. Good article.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It makes me happy to hear of your musical ability. I hope you find ways to share your talents with others, Jacqui. I met a couple violinists at an all-day workshop on music improvisation. What a different way to share talents. Visits to nursing homes and singing and playing there are also welcomed by all. I truly appreciate your insightful comment. Happy writing, teaching and music making to you! 🙂

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  5. bernard25 says:

    Bonjour
    Mon Ami AMIE
    Il était une fois des gentils bisous
    Qui voulaient parcourir le monde
    et voir ses merveilles …
    Soudain, au détour de la vie
    ils ont rencontré ton Amitié
    Alors sur ta joue
    ils se sont posés, et sont restés
    Je te souhaite une bonne
    et merveilleuse journée
    Suivie d’une douce soirée

    Bisous.

    Bernard

    Liked by 2 people

  6. wortsonate says:

    Music is wonderful. I like the choir Festival when the came from other countries. That`s faszinating. Three years ago there was Theatre choir from Argentinia. That was great.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. dtills says:

    Hi, I don’t play any instruments, nor does my husband. We are both scientists as is our daughter, but our son is studying classical clarinet performance at Cornish College of the Arts here in Seattle. We are not sure where this talent came from (no one else on either side of our family is a musician) but we know that if he had not found music, he would not have graduated high school. His love of classical music got him through. He was in band, symphony, jazz band and wind ensemble all through high school and was principal clarinet for the local youth symphony as well. He won five awards from his various groups and ensembles his senior year including the student award for music, visual and performing arts in his high school. This was a kid who struggled mightily in every other subject. Music saved his future and we did all we could to support him as he struggled through his math, science, and foreign language requirements. It upsets me when school districts want to cut arts to focus on subject “more important to college admissions boards.” Our son is not the only creative student that needs an alternative education. Not every student will be a mathematician, engineer or computer programmer, there are other wonderful ways to make a living in the world. You have found your passion and that gives me hopes for my son to find his musical path as well. Thank you for sharing your story, and for stopping by my blog and checking it out 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Of your son I shall say that the music genes are definitely there. Music will remain with him for a lifetime too regardless of what career he chooses. I agree 100% with you regarding school districts not valuing the music and arts education! Having taught German for almost 50 years, I understand your son’s struggles with other subjects in school. May he find an excellent university in which he can pursue the music side of his life. It is refreshing to hear of parents who support their children and allow them to pursue their likes and dreams. Success to him in all his future endeavors! 🙂

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