Friday, February 16, 2018

To deprive a child of music is to commit a crime

On the bus home tonight after my music lesson, and I'm singing to myself in my seat.

"Ye banks and braes o' bonnie Doon
   How can ye bloom sae fresh and fair?..."

It was the last song we'd looked at in my singing lesson, and it filled my heart with joy.

They all did, in spite of my stumbling through them, partly because I hadn't completely overcome my intense resistance to practice the week before.

It seems so miraculous to me, this capacity a good song has to tell an intense and complex a story with such economy of means. The way the lyrics can tell it in just a very few lines, and then the feeling that the lines express can be so beautifully and economically richened and amplified by the melody.

I love listening to music. It can move me so very deeply.

But to be creating it... To be singing it... to have this music with its beautiful vibrations in my body... This truly is a profound and wonderful gift.

And I think again of poor Mr. Fowler, that unhappy man who was the music teacher in the first boarding school I was sent to at 8 years old. The man who made me feel afraid of him, and then humiliated me so painfully in front of all my class mates.

The man who set off a train of events that silenced the music in me for so many years ever since.

To deprive a child of music is a terrible crime. One that our cruel society thinks nothing of.

A crime that happens each time music funding gets cut in schools...
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