In the sixth grade, I took some kind of a music test to determine whether or not I was eligible for the band in the seventh grade and beyond. I’m quite certain that the results implied that I was tone deaf.
To this day, I don’t have a lick of musical talent. I can’t even blow a jug. Mama used to have to help me clap to the music during singings at church. I used to think I could sing, but then I got married. Lucy let me know rather quickly that I couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket, even if someone gave me a tune and a bucket.
Lucy, however, is musically inclined and can sing, too. My family threw a party for us at the lake this past weekend. Late that evening, when most of our guests had a departed, several of us gathered downstairs for a jamming session. My cousins, Don and his son, Griffin, broke out their guitars, and the fun ensued. Lucy jumped right in there with them, while I played the Google, searching for lyrics to songs.
Don’s father, my Uncle Wayne, plays the banjo. My mother – that’s Wayne’s sister – plays the piano. Their brother, Wayde, for whom I am named, also plays the piano. Their mother, Beth, played the piano, too.
Music appreciation and ability runs deep in my family, but it skipped my brother and me. Luckily, we had sports. Well, luckily, my brother had sports. I wasn’t very gifted at that either. While my brother was a pretty good football player, my playing career lasted all of eight days. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I knew my days were short-lived when I was beaten in wind sprints by a guy nicknamed “Beefy.”
Most of my friends have kids who are into sports, and that’s a wonderful thing. It instills discipline and builds teamwork and character, while teaching us how to win and lose with class.
But not everyone is meant for sports. One of my oldest friends has a child who was simply not meant for sports, so instead of sitting on a bench at the baseball fields, his parents sat him on a piano bench, and oh what a blessing that has been to the rest of us. At just 11 years old, he is a musical sensation. He is amazing! I could not be any prouder of him.
While the lessons of baseball can last a lifetime, most of the kids’ playing days will be over by the time they get out of high school. On the other hand, kids that learn to play instruments can play them for the remainder of their lives, while enriching the lives of others along the way.
On Monday I attended our local Memorial Day celebration. After the traditional laying of the wreath, Marcus Marshall, a recent graduate of Opelika High School, played taps, sending chillbumps to all of those in attendance. That is the power of music. His gift enriched the lives of each of us.
I encourage you to get your child involved in music, because in doing so, you are giving them a gift that will last a lifetime.
Emily, our 7-year-old, has a knack for music, too, and I can’t wait to see that blossom. If we are ever blessed with another child, I hope and pray that he or she will have an appreciation for music and the talent to go along with it. At the same time, I hope and pray that the appreciation is not for a set of drums. They are simply too loud. If they want to swing sticks, I’ll send them to the baseball fields.