This was the soundtrack in our house while we played, ate, cleaned and rested this week: Carpenter’s, Bon Iver, Ray Lamontagne, Alex Clare, Adele, Imagine Dragons, Band of Horses, Sia, Gungor, Carol King, the Annie soundtrack, Phil Whickham, Milk Carton Kids, David Crowder, Frank Sinatra, All Sons & Daughters, Etta James, Ray Charles, Van Morrison, Mazzy Star, Explosions in the Sky, The Beatles, Elton John, Milo Greene, Civil Wars, The Penguin Cafe Orchestra, Billie Holiday, Eisley, Derek Webb, Over the Rhine and Coldplay… among many other favorites.
I know I have an eclectic taste in music, but my girls have never complained – in fact it’s quite the opposite. They seem to love when the music on Pandora or the record player (yes, I said record player) goes from blues, to rock, to worship, to folk, to classical within a span of 30 minutes. No matter the melody, I have found that they are calmer and happier when music is on. Exposing kids to a variety of musical genres produces creative children who appreciate life on an entirely different level, but that’s just my opinion and from my own experience with my girls.
When a song begins, my girls begin to day dream, dance, create, pretend, play and talk… excessively. Their brains start to spin. I am bombarded with questions about what songs mean, meanings of certain words, how much they love (or don’t love) the sounds, time period the song is written in, the people singing the songs, the instruments used, the history behind the music, etc. All of this starts magical conversations about life, music, love, the world and God.
I live for conversations like these with my girls. I realize my purpose as a mother once again and we connect the dots together. Music – love – God. It seems so simple and yet, so profound. My girls get it. You can see it all over their faces when they are dancing. Whether they are dressed up for a recital on a stage doing a practiced routine or spinning and clapping in the kitchen with me to “The Lumineers” – they know that music was given to us for our enjoyment and was given for us to worship our King.
The needle catches in the plastic groove, the melody plays and we move. Our bodies begin to sway. Our hearts…soften. Our minds untangle the twisted thoughts, our toes start to tap and our spirits lift a little. It is as it should be. Music is a part of us. He has created us with a spirit that yearns to respond to music and like it or not, one of these days we will all use music to worship our creator.
Even if it is on in the background, a day does not go by that I don’t have music playing in the house. We do crafts to U2, Ingrid Michaelson and Sarah Barrielles. We clean the house to the Black Eyed Peas (Cammie’s request) and run errands in the car as Regina Spektor blasts through the mini-van with the windows down. As Ella Fitzgerald croons and Stevie Ray wails on his guitar, we cook dinner and make cookies. As we lie our heads down on cold pillows – Bach, Vivaldi and Andrew Peterson lull our tired minds to sleep.
So, here’s my one Public Service Announcement for the summer: In the busyness of life, don’t forget to fill it with the beauty of music. Keep it turned ON, keep it turned UP and just DANCE. 🙂 Or better yet, break out your instruments and play your own tunes.
No post about music would be complete without some songs. Since I recently received my Over the Rhine tickets in the mail, I thought I’d post some OTR… if you don’t know them, you need to. Make sure you listen to the last song – it starts at 14:50. I heard “Etc, Whatever” in a stranger’s living room in 1995 and I was hooked. I haven’t stopped listening to this amazing band ever since. This version is the best live version I’ve heard. If you get a chance to see them live, do it. You won’t regret it.