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Don’t underestimate the power of music

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Last week I walked into a music store and reluctantly ordered a clarinet for my daughter’s music class.

The associate advised me that because I was renting late, I may not get the best — a Yamaha.

I told her I didn’t think it mattered, my daughter wouldn’t care if it played better or not. Her head whipped up and she quizzically looked at me and said: "She doesn’t like playing it or what?"

I thought, ‘Well, that’s an understatement!’ but what I said was "No, I’m sure this will be her last year playing it, next year she doesn’t have to."

I left with a heavy heart.

I wish my daughter would choose band in high school but she said she doesn’t like it. I wish that she wanted to learn to play an instrument.

She loves music, though — she listens to it every single second she has a chance. But she has no desire to play music. There is a distinct difference.

So I decided to be happy for what music does bring her. Music is a universal language, it connects us, it evokes emotions in us, it inspires us, it uplifts us.

You know what else music can do?

1. It can turn an ordinary day into a great day.

2. It provides solace.

3. If you have ever felt the chills while listening to music, then you know it can also make us happy.

4. It brings us together, providing a common topic to open up a conversation when you don’t know what to talk about — which is very important for teenagers!

5. Music helps to reduce our stress and anxiety, it calms us.

And these are just a few of the magical benefits of listening to music.  

I admit there are times when my daughter being grounded means I take away her music. I know it’s the one thing that will feel like a punishment to her. Mostly I feel bad, because I know she also needs it to help her feel better, to help her process her feelings.

Every time I do this, I have the same memory: she was three months old, getting her days and nights mixed up and she would wake, alert and ready to go at 2 a.m.

After much frustration and exhausted attempts to figure it all out, I would take her into the kitchen, turn on CD player, hold her close and sing Van Morrison’s Moon Dance. It worked every time, just like a charm and with that memory, I am reminded that the power of music is beyond our understanding.

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