Thanks for Reading Suburban Adventure

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Pump Up The Jam

After a hectic day yesterday, it was wonderful to go to a local art show and soak in the beautiful creations of someone who has a passion for painting. I find different types of artwork to be extremely soothing and Diane's artwork had that effect on me. I found myself gravitating toward the paintings that had a beautiful array of torquoise, hot pinks and seafoam greens. Diane is a family friend who has been studying the art of painting for years. She is not only talented but very warm and friendly as well. I told her that everytime I see her I think of the first time I met her. We were at The Patterson Club with my parents and their friends and she walked by with great enthusiasm and warmth. Her artwork exhibits this quality in many of her creations. While all of her work is beautiful, some pieces really caught my eye. I asked her if she could recall the emotion or thought that she had when she created certain paintings. I enjoyed listening to the stories of what motivated her or moved her to create the pieces that spoke to me. She is a very talented artist.

We all express ourselves in a variety of ways. Some people are great at communicating with words while others express themselves via music or art. As I write this I have the song "Born This Way", by Lady Gaga playing in my head. Since we bought her latest CD, I find myself singing her songs constantly. I didn't want to like Lady Gaga as I judged her by her outfits and thought she was someone who I did not want my children to be influenced by. One day I listened to the lyrics of some of her songs and found them to be inspiring. I was taken aback by this as I did not realize that her songs had tremendous depth. Some of the lyrics to Born This Way are as follows:

"My Mama told me when I was young, we are all born superstars. There's nothing wrong with loving who you are because he made you perfect babe. So hold your head up girl and you'll go far, listen to me when I say - Im beautiful in my own way cause God makes no mistakes. Im on the right track baby, I was born this way. Don't hide yourself in regret- just love yourself and your'e all set. Give yourself prudence and love your friends. In the religion of the insecure I must be myself, respect my youth."

I think this is a wonderful and inspiring message for people of all ages. Her music is upbeat and sends very powerful messages to different cultures, people of different sexual orientation and to anyone who needs a little encouragement to love themselves for who they are and what they represent. I believe she has sold roughly 13 Million studio albums and 51 Million singles. Her popularity continues to soar and her goal is to revolutionize pop music. I find her to be brilliant and talented. I have learned to appreciate her eccentricity and love her music.

Music is powerful at any level of society as it is style of communication that facilitates emotion and expression. There are few other stimuli that have the effect on people that music has. It is used in therapeutic treatment and played to restore calm and a feeling of peacefulness. It is also used to increase purchasing power in stores as well as to rush people out of restaurants or conversely have them linger.

My father always had music playing in our house and in the car. More often than not it was classical music or opera. He played music accordingly for every occasion and for every season. He instilled a love of Opera and in me for which Im thankful for. Eventually I will take Christopher and Giavanna to Lincoln Center and help them cultivate an interest in this gorgeous display of visual beauty as well as the most passionate music they will ever experience.

My Mother also has a great love of music and is in fact an extremely talented pianist. She doesn't play that often these days but studied it for years. She also is involved with the Bridgeport Symphony and encouraged my brothers and I to study an instrument in our youth. I took Piano lessons for years as did Stephen. My brother Anthony gravitated towards the guitar and while none of us actively play now- it was a great way to encourage music appreciation. I want to take Violin lessons- ROCK Violin !! I love it and eventually will fit it into my schedule.

Giavanna has been taking saxophone lessons since she was six. Im not sure where her interest in the sax originated but I think it's pretty neat. She is musically talented and also takes jazz classes and loves it. Her sax teacher is a very young, hip guy who is in a band. She might have a crush on him but don't tell her I said so. Whatever the motivation, Im happy that she wants to learn and continue on with her lessons. Christopher on the other hand has experimented with several instruments. When he was five he took piano lessons, followed by guitar lessons, concluded with trumpet lessons. He has decided that his strengths lie in academia and while he enjoys listening to music, this particular talent has passed him over. He is cute as he has tried to enjoy an instrument but I can't tell you my excitement that he retired his trumpet. The boy however does have rythym and can dance with all the right moves, he is animated and quite amusing and we laugh all time. So in my house, the music is always playing and we are dancing around quite frequently.

Music is a very powerful medium that can provide an addtional level of meaning and intensity to any occasion. My Mother let me select all of the music for my father's funeral. It was a task that I wanted to handle without any input from my brothers or my Mother. I was emphatic about my desire to do this as I knew exactly what my Father delighted in. I didn't pick all of the tradition funeral hymms and in fact, did not want the Ave Maria played. While I know that he liked that song, I distinctly remember saying that I did not want it played at his funeral. Clearly, I was the one who has some underlying issue with it that I have not bothered to explore, but it emphasizes the effect of music on our interior being. I wanted music that was uplifting and beautiful. Music that represented and symbolized the beauty of my father and his passion for life. I selected Panis Angelicus as a Meditation Hymn after communion. At his wake, his favorite opera was playing which added to the sadness and tragic loss of my father. I find certain songs to be so moving that I feel hot tears streaming down my face the instant that I hear them. Im not the crying type but music stirs my soul and I love that aspect of it.

When I was pregnant I played classical music as "they" say that a child hears Mozart or Bach in the womb, intelligence is sure to follow. While I don't know the truth of this, I can say that it certainly can not hurt and in fact instilling an appreciation for music while a child is in the womb is a great idea. I think each and every one of us can come up with a song for all of the meaningful passages in our lifetime. From weddings to funerals to breakups and falling in love- music triggers the memories that define who we are.

Music is indeed food for the soul. If you listen to music and lyrics to a variety of music, you just might see the beauty in every song- with the exception of rap. I consider rap a form of expression as opposed to music and recognize the skill it requires to truly rap even though it is unappealing to me. Actually, I can handle a little rap from Usher or PDiddy but it doesn't go beyond that.

This weekend Im taking my children to see Mamma Mia. I have heard that the music is fabulous and incredibly upbeat. Im quite sure I will be singing it around the house for the rest of the summer. I apologize in advance to my children as Im sure it will drive them crazy. At least it will be a different venue from Lady Gaga.

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