Music and memories are very closely linked. I never thought I'd need to write that sentence, but then I watched "My Music: Classical Rewind" on PBS (Channel 11 in Chicago) last night. Great music was played, with very simple explanations of why particular pieces are important.
Very simple, in the sense that I knew the answer to every little question in the program. It was written for those who have never noticed that great music is throughout Western culture. (This symphony was in this movie, etc.) I could have cried -- and not just when my least favorite piece of music showed up, unexplained and unannounced.
I could have cried worse for all of the people who, presumably as adults, were noticing these pieces for the first time. Poor souls!
Just that morning (it being Sunday), I'd found one of my favorite hymns in the church bulletin. I didn't even need to open the hymnal to sing "Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah." It was there in my memory... much to the amazement of the lady next to me who said after the service "I noticed that you knew all the words to the last hymn."
Of course I did. I grew up singing it. Maybe more importantly, I grew up expecting to remember it.
That's a value of music lessons. You repeat things in lessons in order to learn them, to repeat them later and better. Are we losing that as a culture?
When am I going to need to know this music? Who knows; just get ready.
Margaret Serious has a page on Facebook.
Filed under: Music and language