It Started with Bach
Happy Monday all! I’m planning ahead for the muzzy-headedness that always follows my unwillingness to let the weekend end and writing this on Friday.
Typical Sunday Night as it gets late:
Aaron: Shouldn’t you be getting to bed?
Stephanie: No. I’ll be fine.
Aaron: Uh huh… You know you’re gonna regret it tomorrow.
Stephanie: I don’t want to go to bed! It’s still the weekend!!
Yeah, I know. Not smart and I’m always hurting on Monday becasue of it, but it’s still the weekend, dagnabbit!
But moving right along. Today, I’m gonna talk about music. I love music, but who doesn’t? And, just like just about everyone else I’ve ever met, my tastes run through a wide range of styles and artists. There are very few kinds of music that I’m merely ambivalent about. I tend to run hot or cold, love or hate. Very few things fall in the middle of that line. We don’t talk about them. (O_o)
I’m particularly partial to musicals [Disney-esque movies and stuff like “Singing in the Rain] and Broadway shows [my current favorite being “Wicked” since it’s the only one I’ve seen live besides “The Lion King”. Donna Vivino 4TW!] and if you’ve been reading long enough, you already know about my affinity for nerdy music and that I am currently obsessed with a certain geeky musical (still). Oldies are awesome. Ella, Julie London and Etta James? Yes, please. I’m also partial to 90’s alterna-rock à la Counting Crows, Gin Blossoms and the like. Yeah, I’m kind of stuck in the 90’s as far as music goes. All this new stuff is garbage. I don’t understand how people can like most of the crap getting churned out lately! And GET OFF MY LAWN!! ::mutters:: Lousy whipper snappers…
But I didn’t start this post to talk about pop or show tunes or 90’s music that I just can’t seem to get over (::sigh:: Just thinking about it makes me feel old.). I want to discuss the, in my opinion, shamefully under-appreciated genre that is instrumental music.
Getting right to the point (she says over 300 words later), I am in love with piano pieces (guitar as well, which shouldn’t be surprising considering I married a guitar player). I’ve always wished I could have learned the piano at a young age. I’m sure I would have been a virtuoso considering I was totally awesome at picking out songs on my grandparent’s old, out-of-tune stand up piano. Who wouldn’t love hearing a seven-year-old picking out “Hark the Harald Angel Sing” in the middle of July? (Man, I miss that old hunk of junk!) And I think that old thing started my love affair with piano.
I don’t even remember where I got that first CD of Bach keyboard concertos when I was a teenager, but I fell in love. (I know… SOME people ::cough::Aaron::cough:: have a problem with Baroque music, but WHATEVER! I like it!) Some time after that I discovered Vince Guaraldi (Thank you, Charles Schulz!) and the rest is history.
Now, thanks to playing music in my classroom, “classical” music comprises the largest percentage of music listening time for me. I play a range of soft, gentle orchestral pieces, jazzy (but soft) piano pieces and relaxed Spanish guitar pieces for a little Latin spice. Most of my more vocal students complain at the beginning that it’s boring and “Can we listen to [insert random crappy pop/hip-hop/reguetón/tejano artist here]?” I always issue a swift “No. Nothing with words.” (A good rule for a reading teacher since instrumental music can fade into the background when the class is reading.) I just love it that invariably (so far) a few months into any given semester someone (a student) will comment on how relaxing the music is. VINDICATION! I think a part of me hopes for the day when I student actually takes an interest in what we’re listening to and I can have a small part in sparking someone else’s love for “music without words”.
I guess I should stop and ramble to a close, because ramble I do. And I guess the point of this long, rambling post is to acknowledge the (often forgotten) love affair that I have with classical music. Sometimes there’s just nothing better than the clack of the keyboard, the soft drumming of rain on the roof and the sweep and flow of Brahms or the upbeat rhythms of Miles Davis.
Do I know anything at all about music? No, not really. But I like it.
(By the way, who knew Pandora only lets you listen to 40 hours of music a month? I’ve already used 34 hours for the month of February… Oops.)
*Monday Update: Funnily enough, I went to bed really early last night.