This month has not turned out the way any of us expected. It has only been a little over a week since Florence made landfall, but the devastation caused by the storm will take months to clean up. I know you all have been glued to the news like I have, so I won’t recount all the damage done by this massive storm. Today, I am writing about the power of music.
In light of all the flooding, damage to homes, displaced residents, loss of power, etc, it seems trifling to talk about the power of music and how music helps us deal with difficult circumstances, but please, keep reading.
Music allows us to experience and process emotions. And whether you decided to stay in town or evacuate, you probably experienced the same emotions of anxiety, uncertainty, fear, stress, and sorrow that I did. Children experience the same emotions as adults, but often they have a hard time verbalizing their emotions. So when they practice their music, it gives them a way to focus their anxiety into doing something productive. When they play a sad piece, and a happy piece, it helps them process the sorrow over seeing the community changed by the storm and the happiness at seeing the community come together. Starting back to weekly lessons helps restore a sense of normalcy. Setting a practice goal, whether that is memorizing a piece, playing a piece hands together, or practicing 5 days in a row, and achieving that goal helps the child realize that while some things (like hurricanes) are out of our control, many things are within our control.
So parents, take time this week to talk with your child. Tell them that you want to hear what they are practicing. Do not underestimate the power of being present and listening. Together, we will get through this difficult time, and through the process of rebuilding, we will emerge stronger than before.
I am a piano teacher who loves teaching music and discussing personality styles. I also enjoy playing music with others, whether that is chamber music, piano duets, or singing in a choir. My favorite composers are Bach and Haydn.