Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Sound of Music

...rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul, on which they mightily fasten, imparting grace. ~Plato

Like any normal person, I enjoy the sound of music and like Plato, I believe that it touches us in ways that make us better.  When I was five, we moved into a little pink house on a hill and my father set up his Bose stereo system in my room.  I also had an old blue record player that was most likely my favorite and most used possession. My house was never really filled with the sound of music growing up but my room was.  My parents gave me two records that I listened to relentlessly.  One was a Strawberry Shortcake album of compilations.  It was illustrated with scenes from that sweet strawberry landscape.  The other was a Pac Man album that was illustrated in shades of blue and scenes from Pac Man or maybe it was Mrs. Pacman; I don't remember.  But it was my favorite.  It was my first introduction to Pat Benatar and Joan Jett.

In 1984, my parents gifted me with my first walkman.  It was red and came with Michael Jackson's, Michael Jackson. "Here comes my summer love, girl I won't forget you..." I was eight.

In the fifth grade, I embarked on the journey of musical training with the fabulous flute-a-phone and the next year, I began learning to play the clarinet.  I learned to read music and understand the basic theory involved, but when the high school band director tried to help me tune my instrument years later, I was clueless.  By the time I was 15, I could no longer distinguish between the notes or keys.  I gave it my best shot, but either I got lucky or he gave up.  When he tried to force me to play a different instrument, I blasted the school fight song as loud as I could through every piece until I finally refused to learn anything else and then I quit.  I sold my clarinet for $100 and never looked back.

Have you ever heard me sing?  Let's hope that's a negative!  I cannot sing on key.  I can't hear the difference; it all sounds the same to me.  I've always wanted to sing, to shout my praises in church, to sing my daughter to sleep, to sing my heart out while sitting at a red light, to join a group of Christmas carolers on snowy Christmas Eve, but it's just something I can't do.  Don't get me wrong, I still sing to my daughter; she doesn't mind my musical disaster.  But Lillian, like her father, seems to have a gift for music.  She can tap out rhythms and hit the right notes to songs like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and the ABCs.  I didn't even know the ABCs had notes and I only know she can do it because my husband tells me.

I love musicals and always wanted to perform in one, The Sound of Music, Little Shop of Horrors, Chicago, being a few of my favorites.  Seeing them in the theater is difficult for me.  I can't necessarily make out the lyrics but I still like to go.  I haven't tried it yet with my new Phonaks; maybe I'll do that soon.

After being fitted with my first set of hearing aids, a simple of pair of analogs built in a laboratory at American Hearing Labs in Carrollton, I practically ran to my car and cranked up the stereo.  The first wave of notes to hit my ears blew me away.  I could hear the rich timber of a number of various instruments as I flipped from station to station trying out the sounds of different musical genres.  The wind blew through them as  I hastened through the parking lot; birds chirped in the crype mertyls lining the sidewalk; the spin of my tires on the asphalt was overwhelming.  Within a few hours, my head was spinning and I suffered a mind numbing headache from over stimulation.  For the first few weeks, I could only wear the hearing aids for a couple of hours a day, slowly increasing the time until I was used to the sound of music.


  1. OKay - This post touched me the most since I don't do anything without music. We really need to take that Sign language class!!! I want the skills so I can talk to you for the rest of my life!!! I mean it - I forgot with the baby shower & everything, but I really want to do that with you

  2. Thanks Heather for the insight into what your world is like. I now better understand your situation!


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