Musical Mayhem

I am not musical. I have never had a piano lesson, don’t sing particularly well, can’t read music, but I am easily moved by music. Nothing touches my soul, confirms the feelings I have of the Savior, moves me to action like music. Playing music in my home changes the moods of my children, gets them shaking their little booties and motivates them to action as well. I love music!

I feel strongly about my kids having music skills, and I invest a great deal of time and money to this cause. I recently bought Alyssa a recorder and started her in recorder lessons with Emma and Aubrey’s flute teacher. She is the first person I have heard play a recorder and make it sound beautiful, beautiful enough for me to put down my book and listen to her. If anyone can teach Alyssa to make beautiful music out of a recorder it is her. She had Alyssa blow and blow and blow and make the ugliest sounds possible on her recorder, and then swore her to never do that again. It is a musical instrument and will from now on be treated as such. Alyssa has done a good job of following her rule.Wish I could say the same for Hallie.

Last weekend Emma competed in Solo and Ensemble. We traveled to a little town called Granville. What a charming and stunningly beautiful place. She had one flute quartet to play in and one solo to play. I have seen her practice the solo hundreds of times, she worked endlessly on it and it was perfect. She was up to perform and in walked her band teacher, who she has this strange fear of. Then her accompanist was late and her judge had to wait. Combine all of this together and she was found herself in a panic.

She played her piece, but later told me that the only way she got through it was because it was memorized she couldn’t even see the notes she was so nervous. She didn’t rock it, she rushed it, missed some big runs and overall gave a less than perfect performance. She knew it too. She was disappointed. Come to find the judge gave her a 1 on her ensemble and a 1 on her solo, so it must not have been as bad as she was thinking. Happy Ending.

The whole experience reminded me of an time in my life where I didn’t handle disappointment well. I was on the swim team, and swam everyday. I ended up getting sick, tonsillitis and was out of practice for almost 2 weeks. I showed up to my meet the following week, and had to swim a long swim. It should have taken me 15 minutes. I dove in and found myself out of breath and unable to compete, I kept swimming, but when I finished the race I realized that I was the last one in and people had been waiting on me to finish for 5 minutes. I was so embarrassed. I never returned. I quit. I don’t think I even ever told my parents, they didn’t usually attend the meets and wouldn’t have seen my catastrophe.

Emma’s experience reminded me to encourage her to continue even though she bombed it. Even though things looked bleak. She is braver than I am, and I am thankful to her flute teacher for telling her some of her own nightmare experiences with nerves and for providing Emma with her favorite book on dealing with nerves and performing.

Recently Danny and I dropped all television in the house. With the money I saved from what we were spending on TV, I have joined the YMCA and have started swimming again. They have an old folks swim team, and I plan on joining them this summer, after I have brought myself up to speed. I learned a valuable lesson from my daughter.