My Love of Music

Music. One of my passions. From as early in life as I can remember, my home and heart have been filled with music.

The music of my childhood.

Both of my parents played instruments as youngsters, have good singing voices and love music. Throughout my childhood in the 70’s, joyous sounds of singing and old records regularly flooded our home.  My dad even enjoyed moonlighting as lead singer in a band when he was in graduate school and I was in pre-school.  (Those were the days when a little girl could ride on the gas tank of her daddy’s motorcycle to band practice in the small town where we lived.)

Later, in my grade school days, I would sing my heart out through a variety of make-believe microphones (and later a real one through my stereo!), engage Dad in duets (our favorite harmonies, Everly Brothers All I Have To Do Is Dream), make up dance routines with my little brother (we can still do a mean Greased Lightning), and begin piano and flute lessons.

Years later, playing flute in high school – big 80’s hair, blue eyeshadow and all!

The music of my youth.

In high school, I enjoyed the equivalent of a star quarterback’s glory days by performing as Annie in my high school’s spring musical my Junior year.  We were in a newly built high school with a state-of-the-art theater, and we filled 800 seats for three nights in a row to standing ovations – what a rush! Glory days, indeed.

Onstage, in my red Annie wig and red Annie dress.

During those high school years, I also sang with our church youth choir, which would go on tour during the summer, even performing in Disneyworld one year!

My favorite memory of church-singing was a quiet performance of Amy Grant’s El Shaddai.  Such a simple, beautiful song.  More significantly, that is my clearest early memory of music being a strong spiritual connection for me, too.  I just felt so MOVED as the song came up through me.

Interestingly, given my current life, I experience the strongest spiritual connection when combining music and the sea, even back then.  Since my family had started vacationing to the small island where I now live, I can remember riding in the bow of our little Boston Whaler, my brother and Mom nearby, with my Dad on the tiller.  As we cruised through the spectacular waters, my teenage self would belt out Madonna’s La Isla Bonita and other favorite songs of the day, letting the wind carry my voice away.  Exhilaration.  Pure peace.

Fast forward a couple of decades:  Nashville

My “leftie” guitar

At the tail end of my 30’s a few years ago, I had just emerged from some dark days and was entering a time of transition.  Music played an important role in my life again.

Seeking a fun and creative outlet, I began guitar lessons in my Midwestern City. I also started writing lyrics and learning the wonderful world of song-writing (shout out to Nashville Songwriters Association International).

I made several road trips to Nashville for songwriter classes and to explore the wonderful small city as a potential new home for me and Angel.

On one visit, my mother and I were excited to attend the Grand Ole Opry, being performed in the original Ryman Auditorium that night!  Such an historic, intimate setting with fantastic acoustics.

We knew we would enjoy all performers, but we were most excited to see Dolly Parton!

 

 

Dolly Parton, in all her glory, gave an outstanding live performance.

First, however, someone new to me came onstage.  Rebecca Lynn Howard.

I hadn’t heard of her until that night, but from the moment she opened her mouth, I was transported.  She sang what I now know to be her break-through bestselling song, Forgive.  As her words resonated through me and her powerful voice soared through the old venue, tears streamed down my face, and I became a lifelong fan.  (“Forgive, well that’s a mighty big word for such a small man” – what a great line!)  I would later enjoy Rebecca’s performances at the famous Bluebird Cafe and other songwriter showcases.

My introduction to the talented Rebecca Lynn Howard at the Grand Ole Opry

Fast forward to present:  Island Living

As you know, I ended up not in Nashville, but on this special island, where music continues to play an important part of my life.

For example, I luuuuuuuv the sound and vibe of old-school Bahamian music, soca and rake-n-scrape.  When Beau and I are out to the local bars, that’s what really gets me twitching in my seat when it comes over the stereo.  And when we can hear live bands and dance, like at his birthday party, even better!

More significantly on a daily basis, music is just around me all day now!  In my former life, I spent most of my waking hours in an office.  And, while I would have been permitted to play music at my desk, I didn’t.  For me, serious concentration over contracts and legal documents requires quiet.

Now, however, serious concentration flies out the window!  (Unless I’m writing, of course.)  While I do the dishes, cook, clean the floors, organize files, manage dog duties and otherwise go about my day, the music is on.

And it’s usually on LOUD, especially when I’m cleaning or cooking.

And, with apologies to my neighbors, I’m usually singing along at the top of my lungs.  More than once I’ve been dancing around the kitchen, singing at high volume, only to turn around and see that Beau has walked in the house and is now gazing at me with a quizzical expression on his face!

Music is joy.  It is connecting with others.  It is spiritual.  It is fun.  It is part of me.  It is part of my Better Life.

What about YOU?  What role does music play in your Better Life?

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