Saturday, May 12, 2012

Lessons My Mother Taught Me: "She Put The Music In Me"

Lesson #2: "She Put The Music In Me"

When Dad was on the road we used to have nightly concerts/dance parties in our living room. Mom would usually sit at the piano and take our requests while we danced around the room,singing at the top of our lungs. Other nights we would make up dances to "Footloose" and Mom would be our audience. She was always willing to sit and watch whatever we came up with. Looking back I feel like I can say that I went through childhood singing and dancing.

Mom considered music to be her first love. She loved being able to share her gift of music with others. Whether she was leading the music in primary, teaching piano lessons, or singing a solo in church she loved to touch other lives through music. Maybe that is why I am having a hard time with this post. In my mind Mom and music are one and the same. Music was a part of everything that we did.

In my baby book Mom wrote down the story of taking me to Primary before I was old enough to go to the nursery. She would sit me on a blanket on the side of the room while she led singing time. Not long after she started taking me to primary Mom and Dad noticed that when music was playing I would imitate Mom leading the music. And so began my musical education with Mom serving as my musical teacher and mentor.

One of my earliest memories of music is of Mom playing the white piano at Grandma's house teaching me the Halloween song, "There's No Such Thing As A Witch." She continued to teach us Christmas songs, primary songs, popular songs, and songs from Disney movies. My favorites were, "Candle On The Water," "Lavender Blue," and "Country Roads." We were in a kids choir that Mom and her friend put together. We performed all over Lehi. We sang at ladies clubs, at the fair during Round-Up Days, and I even remember singing at the Christmas Raffle. Mom was always sharing her talent for music with others whether it was just teaching her kids a song or performing in the community.

Eventually I came into my own as a singer. Always my accompanist, Mom was always willing to help me learn a song whether it was a solo piece or a part for a choir number. We spent hours singing at the piano. A lot of the time I learned by listening to her sing. I loved singing with Mom. I am so thankful for the times that we were able to perform with each other. Together we were able to use our gifts of music to touch the lives of others. We were able to sing in church often, receiving praise from many in attendance. I don't know that we were ever truly amazing performers but when we sang something special happened, the spirit would always touch the hearts of our audience. Mom taught me that you can touch people through music and that when you combine your talents with your testimony you can teach the gospel through song.

"Music is forever; music should grow and mature with you, following you right on up until you die."  
~Paul Simon

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