Reprinted with permission from The Odyssey Online
Few things stir the heart, mind, and soul like music
Few things in this world have the power that music possesses. Few things have the ability to evoke strong emotion, to inspire, to soothe, and to excite like music. Few things are able to transmit the feelings of an artist so perfectly into our own soul. Few things are so open to interpretation, meaning something different to every listener, and yet retaining its appeal. Music truly is magic.
I love music in all forms. I’m just as likely to listen to Johnny Cash as I am the Wu-Tang Clan. My music playlist skips around like a drunken DJ, spinning out some Patsy Cline followed by Stevie Ray Vaughn, and perhaps after that some Slipknot. I am that crazy person you see in traffic, steering wheel drumming and headbanging at stop lights. I’ve entertained many strangers during my commute, singing along to some Daft Punk or AC/DC.
I spent all day today gluing old CD cases to the walls of the Break Room. The Break Room is just a fancy name for the shed we have in our backyard that we have been fixing up into an adult hangout spot. The pool table is out there (inspiration for the name Break Room; it means two things, ha!), along with my drum kit and various other music-related items. CDs are a dead format these days, and we had boxes of them lying around. So what to do with a ton of old CDs? Arts and crafts time!
I started out strong, sorting them more by color than anything else, measuring the walls and calculating how many I could fit in each space. It took forever. Okay, not literally, but it was about seven or eight hours of hot glue fumes and old memories. Memories like the first time I ever heard Eminem, how I got The Offspring’s “Smash” album as a surprise gift, and partying like it was 1999. Because it literally was 1999 and we had an amazing soundtrack to usher in Y2K. Thus the power and magic of music. For several hours today, I traveled back in time.
And the future of music in my home is exciting, too. My husband is out polishing his guitar skills as we speak. I’m shopping for a drum teacher, because it’s the only instrument I’ve ever really wanted to play. And this year my sixth-grade son joined band.
He proudly proclaims himself a “band nerd.” What’s great is that term, indeed the term “nerd” itself, doesn’t mean what it did when I was his age. Being a nerd was always cool in my eyes, because nerds were the people interested in music, writing, art, and learning. Those are the things I was raised to value, and those were my people. I’m glad to see kids embracing their nerdhood today, and considering the love of music in my house, being a Band Nerd is one of the best things my kid could be.
He will be starting his music career learning the clarinet. The Squidward jokes are already flying. He already asked his band teacher if mayonnaise is an instrument, and to her great credit she replied, “No, Patrick, mayonnaise is not an instrument.” He was originally assigned the flute, but was not comfortable with that and asked to switch. I’m proud of him for knowing his own mind and asking for what he wants.
Obviously there are going to be sour, off-key, Squidward-like notes in my house this year, and I welcome them. Because my child is learning how to make magic. He is gaining a skill that will bring him endless years of joy and appreciation. He is building a lifetime of memories, and perhaps someday he will glue some of those memories to the walls of an old shed, and be thankful.
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