How many of you remember Julie Andrews in the opening scene of The Sound of Music when she is on top of the mountain singing that song? She seems to be experiencing the ultimate sense of freedom when she is twirling around and singing those words with her arms outstretched! She is totally alive with the sound of music and the beauty of her surroundings. Her spirit is so alive and the music is pouring out of her. That opening scene made a profound effect on me growing up.
As some of you know, I leave Austin every summer to go to Taos, New Mexico where we have a cabin in the mountains. When my last class ends in the spring session, I am on the road to my secret hideaway in the sky. At least I feel like it is in the sky because the altitude is 8600 feet! The other day a friend asked me, “What do you DO all summer?” My answer was, “I don’t have another minute left in the day!” But my real answer should have been that I don’t go there to DO things…..I go there NOT to do things! My day usually starts around 6:30 a.m. when I go for my morning walk. All I hear are the birds, the squirrels chattering at each other and the Canadian geese squawking on the ﬁshing pond as I pass. If I’m lucky I may see an occasional cottontail scampering across the trail. If I’m not lucky I may see a mama bear with three cubs or a bobcat! It is so quiet that my footsteps are the loudest sound I hear! The silence gives me so much energy that I never want my walk to end. My thoughts are totally unencumbered and I feel a freedom to be able to let go and just enjoy being alive, free of worries and responsibilities.
Now I know this is an unrealistic situation for most of you young mothers who have so much on your plate. I am so lucky to have an extended period of time to relax and just “be quiet” so that music can resonate through me, but you are doing something similar by coming to music class one day a week to bond with your child and give them the gift of experiencing music with you. When you walk into class you are encouraged to forget the world outside and to try to reach down inside and ﬁnd your inner child. You are your child’s best teacher and if your child sees you having fun living in the moment and opening up your heart to the power of music, they will want to do the same. So for one hour every week, I encourage you to put away your cell phones and try to think about nothing else other than being with your child. Open up your mind, body and spirit to the music around you. Just let go and enjoy yourself. I love my time in New Mexico but I cherish my time in Austin, too. My Music Together families are very special to me and I always look forward to returning home in September refreshed and “my well” full to pass on the gift of music to you. As the song says, “my heart wants to sing every song it hears.” So your challenge is to be quiet enough to hear it!
Music Together Teacher