It's that time of year where I start in with looking at Christmas music. It's the 12th of November and I've already been singing and playing it for a couple of weeks already. As I was playing the piano tonight choosing new Christmas piano books for my students next week, I came across a couple of pieces from The Nutcracker Suite...and as music so often does, it evoked wonderful family memories.
One Christmas when my 3 kids were little we all went to see the ballet and it was the beginning of a fascination with the musical score for my boys, and a passion for dance for my daughter. (She is 15 and still has hours of ballet class a week.) We watched the beautiful dances, saw the growing Christmas tree, bought the souvenir ornaments, and now listen to the score every Christmas. I've been to see it probably 5 times. Every time I see it, though, I experience it a little differently as every artist and director has a different interpretation to share.
I have often said that music is so much more than what you do with your fingers. Music is meant to elicit emotion. When I watch the beauty unfold before me with the ballerinas on their toes or the male dancers passionately leaping, it stirs something inside of me. It calls out to the longing for beauty inside my heart, and the strong emotion of desiring strength. Music speaks to who we are as people and connects us together with shared stories.
Offering your children the gift of musical literacy is offering them the gift of sharing of themselves, but also the gift of understanding the heart of others. Doesn't that sound like the greatest gift of all?