One of my earliest musical memories was implanted by my mother when I was 3 or 4 years old. It was also my first lesson about music. In the living room of my grandparents house, while everyone else was away, we sat down in front of the stereo. Among the vinyl records, 8-tracks, and cassette tapes, she reached for a new CD. She carefully removed the shiny disc from it’s case and placed it in a retractable tray while explaining that we need to be really careful so it will not scratch. Lesson 1: Music is precious.
With a push of a button, the fragile CD disappeared into the huge system. A few more button pushes produced a whirling sound, and we sat patiently waiting. I looked at my mother’s face, hoping to find a clue about what to expect next, but her expression was blank. The speakers softly crooned with an organ chord progression. When the main theme for Dire Straits’ “Walk Of Life” kicked in, mom decisively reached for the volume knob and gave it a healthy boost. Lesson 2: Don’t be afraid to turn it up.
A big smile stretched across her face and she burst into a fit of dancing. She paused to looked at me, still smiling, and grabbed my hands to pull me into her happy prance. Her transformation in that moment is one I will never forget. Lesson 3: Music is meant to be shared. Lesson 4: It will change you.