Sunday, November 7, 2010

Music Is Memory

So, here I go, throwing my thoughts out into space, wondering if anyone will hear.  It's strange, but exciting.  I've been thinking about my life in music, where I've been and where I'm going, and how did I get here from there?  Could what I know and have experienced in music be helpful to someone else?

I've been a singer nearly all my life.  I say 'singer', not 'musician' because although I am both, I like the identity of 'singer' best. I have sung in multiple church choirs and choruses, been a soloist and worship leader, and sung at more weddings and funerals that I can count.  My musical life took a big turn this year, which is probably why I was prompted to start writing about it.  Suffice it to say, I've done a lot of singing. 

I started singing with my Mom playing the piano for me.  She put me in the children's choir at church, and gave me every opportunity to sing in public.  I remember standing on an apple box in front of a microphone to sing "Jesus Loves Me" on a Sunday morning for the 'big church' people.  I was 5.  Mom had already figured out that I wasn't just a cute little kid with no stage fright, I actually had a voice, and I needed to be using it every time I could .  I sang in every choir available through grade school and high school, and sang the 'special music' for any church service I was asked.  I joined the adult church choir when I was about 12, and stayed with it until I went off to college. 

My memories of my young spiritual life are all connected to music. I have a friend that could tell you, in great detail,  all of the science specifics of the effects of music on the brain; all I know is, music enhances memory.  Who doesn't know what song was playing during those milestone events in our lives?  First kiss?  First time you drove the car alone?  First break-up?  Yeah, we all have memories that include music.  I have all of those, and I have spiritual music memories, too.  Like the first grown-up hymn I ever learned by heart, singing with my family around my Grandmother's piano, and being moved to tears by a song I had to sing.  These are stories I want to tell later, but for now, I remember my life as music.  And I can't imagine it any other way.

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