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March 24, 2018
One of the things I love most about my work is the fact that I am giving the gift of music every moment of every day to families.
As a music therapist and music teacher, I get the double benefit of giving the gift of music education to all and the gift of music to support life-long development. It is no mistake that I ended up in this position.
As a child, I was always fascinated by the way music made me feel good, especially singing (!!) and how it would bring together generations of my family to sing at weekend BBQs. There were no age or social barriers; we would all simply share music together. I loved this and wanted to spend my life helping others make music to enhance their lives and well-being.
Recently, I was interested (but not surprised) to read that music therapy, as a career, ranked third in the most meaningful college majors that led to jobs perceived as making the world a better place.
The flip side to this wonderful job that makes a difference to so many, however, is I give a lot of myself. And while I do so unequivocally, and receive ten-fold in hugs and kisses and musical moments from the children, it does sometimes mean I run my own bucket of ‘giving’ a little low.
Just ask Miss BB, who has been known to say to me “Mum you are so patient with other children. Why can’t you be that patient all the time with me?” (oops, sorry love, I have run out of patience today, that bucket is dry…).
I certainly never went into this profession expecting to be given much, but recently I was given the most beautiful gift I could have ever imagined.
One such family has been attending Kids Music Beat music groups for four years. The grandmother brings her granddaughter to music each week and they enjoy this special time together.
Recently after our group this grandmother came up and asked me, “Do you have a piano?”
“Why yes I do!”, I said.
“I bought it with every cent of my savings when I was 18 and studying at the Conservatorium, as piano was my second major and I needed one at home. It is not fancy by any stretch of the imagination but I love it”.
“Would you like another one?” she said after a pause. “We are downsizing and I want my Dad’s piano to go to a home where it will be loved”.
Well, from here I learnt the story behind this beautiful 60-year old Howard Elvy-Carnegie baby grand piano.
This Grandma’s dad bought the piano when he was first married, so he could play for himself and his new bride. He valued the opportunity to play and make music so much it was purchased before chairs! They sat on milk crates for two years while he played his beloved piano daily.
Recently the Dad passed away, and the piano had fallen into some neglect. Now the family was downsizing and wanted the piano to go to a home where it would be played daily with the same amount of love.
With such a beautiful story, I of course said yes and we adopted Howard, our newest addition to the family, and set him up in his own room.
Miss BB spent an entire weekend clearing out her playroom and donating all her toys to charity so that we could make room for the new ‘baby’.
Howard now takes pride of pleasure in our ‘music room’ and Miss BB loves to play him every day (as do I just quietly). It is usually the first thing she does when she gets home from school. I also play to accompany her violin and singing practice.
I can’t begin to tell you the joy this gift has brought to our lives. I never expected such a beautiful act of giving, but I am so very grateful to the gracious family that has bestowed on us the honour of giving Howard his new home.
We will play him and love him for at least the next 60 years.