“Uh, are those boys yours?”
The 20-something girl with long dark brown hair said to me at the piano store. With her hand on her hip, she stared me down waiting for an answer and my “claim ticket” to get my kids out of her store. She was clearly annoyed.
“Is there something wrong?” I questioned. Obviously there was. I could see it in her body language. But I wasn’t going to back down. My 2 boys were not really misbehaving. I could see them from across the store. They weren’t doing anything really wrong….but something they were doing was annoying the sales girl.
“Yes!” She smacked her lips at me, almost in disbelief that I actually didn’t see the problem. “They shouldn’t be playing on that piano.”
My inner sarcasm was starting to unleash from my lips, but I held it back. This was not the first time I had been called out to come claim my boys. They truly weren’t doing anything wrong. We were in a piano store, with open pianos. They were doing what 100’s of people were doing before them….playing the piano.
A man over at the corner, sitting at the black, baby grand piano was playing a beautiful version of John Lennon’s “Imagine.”
As I’m standing in line to check out, I started singing the song in my mind:
“You may say I’m a dreamer,
But I’m not the only one.
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one..”
But just over the top of this charming serenade, with the sounds of random piano keys being played. Not banging. Not long sustained, or overly repetitive notes….but just the light tapping on the white and black keys. It was a duet of sorts. Well, actually, a trio. “John Lennon” and my two 5-year-olds. Sure, there was nothing truly harmonious about the sound. It was definitely not a magically symphony of sounds. But it was music, and it was to my two little ones an interpretation of what they were hearing.
They were kindly mimicking the piano player in the corner. They were copying exactly what he was doing. Of course, the two 5-year-olds interpretation of “Imagine” sounded nothing like the series of notes from the original, but they were creating music. Who’s to judge what they are doing is any better (or worse) than the other guy? The only thing that is lacking from the 5-year-olds is skill and education.
Maybe someday they will play piano….but today is not the day of their first lesson. No, rather, today is the day they get their music criticized by the store’s piano person. Their playing does not meet the required standard to be played in a store.
I’m understanding of the need for quiet. Two 5-year-old boys at the piano is enough to drive me crazy at times. But for some reason, in the brief moment at the check out, the combination of “Imagine” and the plucking out of simultaneously keys on the piano seemed like a beautiful mess.
My boys heard music and wanted to contribute to the sound. Making joyous music together with the corner piano player.
Isn’t music meant to be played together, as a group? Shared?
Isn’t music meant to stir something in our heart and soul and cause us to rock to the beat, nod our heads, clap our hands, pick up an instrument and play along…something?
I think so. Because for a brief moment while “John Lennon” was playing on the baby grand and the dissonant chords were being played by the two budding musicians, MUSIC was happening. A connection of sorts. My two 5-year-olds were bonding with a man across the room, through the music.
Mmmmm…..dare I quote scripture to defend my little Mozart’s?….
Psalm 100 “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord.”
Psalm 98 “Oh sing to the Lord a new song.”
(and my personal favorite) Psalm 33 “Sing a new song to Him; play skillfully on the strings, with a joyful shout.”
David in the Bible played music and he mentioned playing, singing, shouting, worshiping, harps, lyres, etc, etc, so many times in Psalms. There is something about the connection to music, our souls, and to God. It’s deep seeded. I feel it; others have felt it; my two 5 -year-olds feel it.
“I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.” –Billy Joel
Following the path,