November 17th, 2011

Brian and Anne

Thankful for: Music, Recording, and Playback

A number of people are following in Scalzi's footsteps and writing this month about what they're thankful for. At the end of a hard day this week, as the family relaxed and listened to Louis Armstrong on the stereo, I found myself thinking that almost as much of anything, I am grateful for living in this time as regards music, and musical reproduction. Though I missed some amazing musical periods of the last century, I can experience them through high-quality recordings, and there were some amazing artists in the last century, Armstrong being one of them. I am very grateful for them, for their callings and careers, and that I can bring up their music in my own home, and share it with my daughter.

You can't necessarily tell, but Rosie is dancing in this picture. Bouncing up and down, and bringing her hands closed in a way that seems to be copying snapping, though I can't really tell. She has her own sign for music, now, which involved putting her arm up with that hand position, as though she's dancing. She'll also point-navigate us into the living room and point at the stereo, asking for music, and her face lights up when it starts to play.

We also play music at the house. The other day she managed to blow a note on the recorder, she regularly plays bells, drums, the xylophone, shaky-shaky toys like maracas and such, and she also likes to play with her voice, including making noises amplified by a vuvuzela Joe Saul gave us. On the all-too-rare occasion when I get out my guitar, she loves to mess with that, too. And we dance and sing, often. She's been in a Music Together class on and off since she was about 8 months old; she learned to clap the second week of the class. Music is really important in my family, and I love sharing it, and my love for it, with Rosie.

I couldn't do that in the way I do without a) the wonderful music I have access to and b) the ability to play it, which I have in my car, and from my iPhone and my computer as well as from the main stereo.

The other reason I'm grateful for music, of course, is that it helps keep me sane. It helps modulate my moods when I'm down, and gives me energy when I'm most in need for such. It also helps me feel joy, and closeness with my loved ones.

So, yeah. I feel really lucky to live in this time; to have had musical grandparents, parents, and siblings; and to have a spouse who appreciates music; to have grown up with the music that I did; and to be able to pass that on. I give thanks for that on a regular basis.