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  • Writer's pictureClaire Marie

Music for Life

Music has been a part of my life since I can remember, and it has always included a wide variety of types and styles. My Dad played the piano so all four of us (his children) took piano lessons at one point or another. Mom encouraged our musical forays because she enjoyed music, but thought she was a bit tone deaf and didn't play an instrument. My oldest brother played the piano beautifully along with the violin. My other brother briefly played another instrument. My sister sang in the school chorus. I tried the flute, the clarinet and the violin.

1966 Dad Playing the Piano
1966 Dad Playing the Piano

On top of that, music was a big part of what we watched on TV or at the theater. The Lawrence Welk Show exposed us to waltzes and big band music, while Hee Haw taught us to appreciate comedy along with country music. Those are the two shows I remember most but there were others too. We also watched old movies with tons of music, dancing and singing. It's hard now to remember them all, but singers/performers included Barbara Streisand, Elvis, Gene Kelly, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr, Ginger Rogers, and Rosemary Clooney (to name a few). The Sound of Music was one of our family's favorite movies. Even feature-length cartoons would include music - thinking of Fantasia. Music seems to have been in everything we did and/or watched. We even went to see the Nutcracker several years in a row. And of course, we had music in church.

Growing older, my first introduction to Rock music was probably The Monkeys TV show or my brother's Jesus Christ Superstar album. (Wow, I just realized that was written by Andrew Lloyd Weber - the same guy that did the 2004 version of Phantom of the Opera.) In my early high school days, Mom would let us listen to the pop music of the late 1970s including Donna Summer, Sister Sledge, and The Bee Gees. We would hear it at the skating rink and in movies too.

As the end of high school neared and I entered college, I was listening to more 96 Rock and Album 88 (both were Atlanta, GA radio stations) - almost polar opposites in the musical styles, but I liked both depending on the song being played. 96 Rock played bands like Rush, Led Zeppelin, Motley Crue, Tom Petty, AC/DC, Van Halen, .38 Special, and The Moody Blues. Album 88 played Depeche Mode, The B-52s, Kate Bush, U2 (early years), R.E.M., The Smiths, Morrissey, Peter Murphy, The Cure, Echo and The Bunnymen, Nine Inch Nails, Bauhaus, Eurythmics, Blondie and so many more.

Along with all of this musical exposure on the radio, at the skating rink and in the movies, I continued to take piano lessons off and on over the years with an emphasis on classical music and music from the movies of the time. Sometimes I loved those lessons and other times, not so much, but it taught me to love all kinds of music. To say that my musical taste is eclectic is an understatement.

As the years have passed, I have continued to discover new artists/music - Cowboy Mouth, Muse, Korn, Disturbed, Amelia Curran, Loreena McKennitt, Candlebox, Audioslave, Tool, 30 Seconds to Mars, Franz Ferdinand, etc. The list goes on and on. Some discoveries are thanks to my children who are now grown. Other discoveries are from restaurant music, of all things, but my taste is still quite varied. Different music for different moods.

Music isn't just part of my life, it's in my soul. It's also in the hubby's soul and our children's souls, speaking to each of us in a variety of ways. One of our children even choose to focus on music as a career choice - not performing but teaching. Our family's involvement in and love of all things music allowed us to see what music can do for people. It even prompted us to form a non-profit to help pass the love of music on to more people. We know how valuable it can be. It can comfort and lift your spirits when you're sad, it can calm you when you're stressed, it can connect you with others, or it can add a special touch to a joyous occasion.

What role has music played in your life? Do you play an instrument? Do you have fond memories from your childhood that involve music?

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1 Comment

Christopher Tipton
Christopher Tipton
Mar 15, 2022

I've always enjoyed music, particularly rock (not all), military bands, and bagpipes. I've only gone to one rock concert in my whole life, Alice Cooper in Fayetteville, NC in 1973. I like Rush, Queen, and others. Of course The Beatles when I was a teen. I've been to a bunch of military band and bagpipe performances, and particularly enjoyed going to the Toronto World Festival Tattoo four or five times. Going to the Edinburgh Tattoo is on my bucket list but I doubt I'll ever get there. The Royal Marines Bands are my favorite military bands (yep, even over the US Marine Bands). I think the RM bands are the best military bands in the world, bar none. Nobody tops…

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