This month I’m participating in a Gratitude Challenge.
Whenever anyone asks me what I miss most about living in the States I answer thusly: “libraries, soft pretzels, and my family.” If I think about it though, another thing I miss is the opportunity to be in a choir. I was able to participate in a choir for a time while living in San Pedro but since moving to Jarabacoa I haven’t found a church I’m compelled to join (or a church with a choir).
I like to sing and I can carry a tune, but I don’t have a soloist’s voice. I’m perfect for a choir, though. I can sing soprano (usually), alto (if I’m taught the notes), or tenor (if they’re singing the melody). A choir director’s dream!
I love singing in a choir because it’s fun but also because I love how everybody matters in a choir. Everyone’s voice is important but nobody’s is the most important. Every part matters, but no part is more important. When everyone sings together is when the music is the most beautiful.
Last week the second grade students at my school sang and signed You Are My Sunshine for our monthly assembly. It was beautiful and I cried a little bit. Music can be so powerful, and even more so when it’s done together.
As a first grade teacher I danced and sang with my students every day. It was a part of our daily routine to sing and dance our praises to Jesus in the morning and to dance our sillies out after lunch.
I missed this dancing-with-students as a high school teacher and on one day I asked the middle schoolers if we could dance. It took a few of them a while to warm up, but I think we all felt better after our dance break.
Apart from listening to actual premade music, I also sing everything as a teacher. I sing instructions and reminders. I sing to transition. When I feel like yelling, I try to sing instead. It really diffuses the tension.
Music makes life fun. Music inspires dancing and movement and thoughts and feelings. Music expresses those things, too! As an auditory learner, music helps me focus and definitely helps me remember. I am very, very grateful for so many types of music.
As someone who loves change as much as I love routine and committment, my music habit is to make a playlist and listen to nothing but that playlist for months, then make a new playlist and listen to nothing but that playlist for months.
Recently I’ve been listening to a fall playlist I found on Spotify. When I need something more peppy I pop on my Summer 2019 playlist. Soon (but not yet!) it will be time to transition to Christmas Music! Once I make the switch I’ll likely listen to nothing but Christmas Music for the rest of the year.
My thoughts on music are obviously a little scattered and incomplete, but I love music. I always have and imagine I always will. I am grateful for every musician brave enough to make their music and then share it with the world. Keep on keeping on, musical friends!