Alberta, band, Barbra Streisand, Beatles, Billy Joel, choir, church, classical music, concerts, country music, dance, Disney, Elephant Show, Gaelic, gratitude, guitar, Handel, Hank Williams, Highland Scottish Festival, jazz, Johnny Cash, Jonas Brothers, Juanes, Messiah, music, musicals, Opera, Owl City, radio, Raffi, Scottish music, Sesame Street, Sharon Lois and Bram, sisters, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Wynton Marsalis
Music has been woven through the fabric of my entire life. When I was a child, my father formed a country and western band. They drove all over Alberta performing, and he played the drums. I was very familiar with his favorite country stars, such as Hank Williams, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Johnny Cash. Mom thought we needed some class in our lives, so she fought back with records of Classical music and her beloved Scottish music, as well as religious music sung and played at church. We learned French songs at school and Gaelic songs at home. In the midst of this kaleidoscope of music, we kids discovered the radio. The Beatles became our heroes, and we turned the volume up full blast as we sang along. “She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah…” As teenagers, my sisters and I learned to play guitar, and we sang along to the latest hits on the radio. Two of my sisters took their guitars on the road for a time, performing and sharing their love of music with others. In college, my roommates and I learned songs from the musicals, and we took dance classes to learn disco, waltz, foxtrot, and cha-cha. My husband sang in the choir and introduced me to jazz and other music genres. We attended concerts by Wynton Marsalis, Barbra Streisand, and Billy Joel. Although I wasn’t musically talented like my sisters, I passed on my love of a wide variety of music to my children. We sang along with Raffi. Sharon, Lois, and Bram’s Elephant Show and Sesame Street became staples. Of course, there was all the music from the Disney movies. Every year we found a performance of The Messiah and experienced the splendor of Handel’s music. My friends and I took our kids to the Opera, open-air concerts, and of course, the Highland Scottish Festival. All this exposure to music paid off: My children love a wide variety of music. As teens, they introduced music back to me from their favorite latest hits. I’ll never forget what fun it was going to the Jonas Brothers movie with my youngest daughter. My oldest daughter gave me a CD by Juanes. My second son is always saying, “Mom, have you heard this?” and he’ll play something he’s downloaded. Now, I’m sitting at my computer listening to my playlist, which includes Owl City. I love all the visual imagery in his songs. I think about how richly music has blessed my life, and I am truly grateful.