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thursday 06.22.2000
living to music

i love music. if i had my preferences, there would not be a tv in our house at all and the background would always be filled with music. up until i married saxy, that's how it was. my kids grew up with everything from classical to classic rock. the only forms i don't really listen to are rap, opera, speed metal (although white zombie falls into that category, i think, and i do listen to them), and most country. they have heard secular and christian music. we have been listening to our local alternative station since the day it went on the air, and have everything from jazz to new age to classic rock stations locked in on the stereo.

i have always been like this. from the time i discovered music it has been the background sound in my life. as a kid, in the 70s and 80s, i could tell you what songs and groups were on the charts, right down to what number they were that week. i played it when i did homework, or read, or did just about anything unless i was outdoors. i watched some tv, never much, and even today when c asks if i remember a particular tv show my response will be "not really". tv has never been a big draw for me. too mindless, too distracting.

these particular habits continued through college, my first marriage, single motherhood, and college the second time. they have only recently changed because my husband is a tv man. when he comes home, the tv gets turned on and it stays on until he's in bed. the only time he doesn't have it on is when he's bar-b-queing. on his days off, it is on almost all day. i don't like it, but have learned to ignore it. most of the time i put on my headphones, throw in a cd and listen to my music while i work. he doesn't like that, but understands i am just not a tv person. (and maybe he gets a bit annoyed since i tend to sing to what i am listening to...A LOT!)

i would much rather give my children the gift of music than the gift of tv. tv doesn't require thinking. it doesn't generally add a cultural richness. all the tv addicts aside, i think our culture could survive, and maybe even do better, without tv. tv pushes boundaries, then claims "everyone is doing it". news reporting gives their own spin, tells you what they want you to believe, not the truth, especially if the truth is contrary to what they want you to believe. tv doesn't give too many options if you really think about it. and tv doesn't really GIVE anything of value. if anything it drains. the brain is less active with tv, homework scores are lower. tv is an entertainment with little value. it is a tool that is wasted.

music is different. music is diverse. some music raises homework scores. learning music helps in learning other areas of study. music inspires, expresses. there is "good" music and "bad" music, true. but it usually the lyrics that determine that, not the music itself. music can make you think, make you cry, bring joy. music can help you define a moment, create an atmosphere. music is creative.

i never had formal training for my voice, but i love to sing. i was in choir in high school. i did learn to play the flute, but don't play much any more. i prefer to just enjoy my music, let it be a part of my day and my life, rather than deal with the technicalities of it. it helps me wake up in the morning and wind down at night. it is a part of my life, my soul. but not one sound could ever define me. i love collective soul and enya, i listen to shania twain and metallica and backstreet boys. if i am feeling down, music can lift me up. it helps me express my moods. it is almost always loud when saxy isn't home.

there are many things i could live without in my life, but i think i would go a bit mad if i couldn't have music. i live to it, work to it, breath to it. it is the background that is always there. i wouldn't want to live any other way.

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