Music is a moral law. It gives soul t the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. ~Plato
Yesterday was Kyle’s sixth grade music recital. Yes, it was his last music assembly of elementary school. He sang and played the trumpet along with the rest of the sixth grade class. He’s grown up so much in many ways, and yet he is still truly just a kid.
Mom and I were in the second row enjoying the musical theme, From the Inside Out. Dad and Nicole were both working, so I did my best to video tape some of the assembly, giving them a glimpse of what was presented.
As Kyle mounted the stage, I caught his eye. He gave me one of his trying-not-to-smile smiles. Naturally, I had to give him a wave to confirm my presence, and to instigate a bit. I was sincerely excited to see him sing and play!
As he was clapping and singing and stomping and playing his trumpet, all the memories of Kyle’s love of music floated in my head like a painting. Kandinsky’s theory came to mind. Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) said he could see sound as color and visa verse. The music I heard came across my mind as images of Kyle over the years, like I was seeing a symphony of pictures tied to their memories.
Always having an adoration for music, even as a tiny five month old baby that could barely hold himself up, Kyle would keep the beat and sway to music, or at least try. Either for Kyle’s first or second Christmas, my grandma got him this stuffed musical penguin that played Jingle Bells. On a side note, maybe that’s why Kyle has such a bond with that song. When we played the penguin, Kyle’s eyes would light up, he would smile and his body would go into motion. The best part, the penguin moved from side-to-side and Kyle would try and mimic the motion. It was too funny! I have no idea what ever happened to that beloved piece of entertainment, but Kyle’s love of music prevails. I’m not talking about just music on the radio or pumping from my iTunes. Any music or rhythms coming from anywhere and everywhere picked up by his ears.
Watching Kyle view a movie is hilarious. The best part is usually the end while the credits are rolling and the theme song is playing. Without knowing he’s being watched or without a care, Kyle inadvertently busts a move to the tunes. Actually, that goes for any show or commercial. While sitting on the living-room floor either assembling or playing with his Legos, sometimes certain tunes will project from the TV. Kyle’s body is automatically swaying to the music as if he’s a puppet on strings. He loves music!
At the very beginning of last semester’s piano lessons, the instructor asked Kyle to bring in his old practice books so he could review and brush up on the basics. During the lull in time while Kyle didn’t have piano lessons he got rusty, like anyone would. So to ensure Kyle was learning properly and advancing, David his piano instructor, reinforced his foundation. Great idea!
I remember that first lesson so well. As we sat in the Seton Hill common room waiting for Kyle’s turn, he started to read through the piano book, a piece he hasn’t looked at for literally years. Of course what’s old is new again, and Kyle being such an astute student, started looking thr0ugh his music books recapturing knowledge from the first songs that started out his piano training. Always coming prepared with a book to read, I couldn’t focus on the words on the page for the distraction in front of me. Kyle was flipping through the pages and humming the songs to reacquired himself with his old friends, the music. Yes, he was actually humming to himself turning the pages rapidly as if cramming for a test. His actions were not intended to bring attention to himself, but to prepare for his piano lesson. He was so engrossed in his own thoughts, he really didn’t notice everyone in the room smiling in his direction. As I sat there and stared at him, thinking he would notice me, he continued with his train of thought and didn’t break concentration. I was ready to bust a gut and laugh out loud, that is until he was saved by his piano teacher. David’s appearance interrupted Kyle’s focus and brought him back to reality.
We used to laugh and say music would sooth the savage beast, referring to Kyle. It did!
I love seeing the joy and inspiration that music brings to Kyle. For the sixth grade field trip this year, the students went to Heinz Hall and listened to the symphony. He came home and told us all about it with sheer excitement. In fact, while we were driving, Kyle remembered his trip to Pittsburgh because he started searching the radio for a specific channel. He was trying to find the classical music station on the radio. He said, “Aunt Heather, they told us we could listen to the music on the radio.” Once he found it, he beamed with delight! Since then, Kyle has been listening to the classical music station when we are on the move. Nice change of pace! Good thinking Kyle!