Listening to them play.


Last night my son played a song on his guitar and my daughter sang along, their music coming down the stairs inviting Dave and I to stand in the hallway and look up, listening like it was evening vespers.

In some ways it was an almost sacrosanct moment. My children have nearly five years between them. They are male and female. They have had little in common until they found music.

I have catholic taste in music, and exposed my children early to everything I loved and more.

Prince and Vivaldi, Nina Simone and Calvin Harris.  Like my bookshelf, nothing is considered too low or high brow in my house.

I taught them what makes a good pop song and why we shouldn’t be dismissive of popular anything, as it reflects culture at that moment in time. To dismiss it is to dismiss ourselves.

I asked them to listen out for harmonies in James Taylor songs and irregular rhythms in baroque music. To find the joy in Aretha’s gospel music and the perfect lyrics in a Joni Mitchell song. To learn how to find the offbeat in Duke Ellington and to imitate the breathing techniques of Sinatra. Now this is an education in music.

Hearing them sing and play together made me happier than I have been in a long time. The way they worked out the arrangement, moving through the difficult bits without accusation or condemnation, the laughter at the end.

It was heaven. But then music is like that isn’t it?

Happy Tuesday swingers.

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