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Monday, March 31, 2014

a joyful sound

photo credit: Noah Duyan (seriously my 4 year old is good taking photos. Also, he insisted that Kitty sit on my knee for the pic.)

A little known fact about me.... I love music. I mean, not just love music, but rather, I am a musical person.
My mother told me that as a baby, I used to sing. Like not cry, but sing ... as a baby? Its true.
As a little girl, I used to drive my older sister and her boyfriend CRAZY by singing Little Mermaid songs at the top of my lungs, at like 7 am in the morning. They loved me for it.
In grade 5, I joined a city wide choir, that I stayed in till I was 13. We went to Italy and performed in St.Peter's Basilica. It was a very defining moment for me. And as a teenager, I picked up my sister's old acoustic guitar and taught myself how to play. I wrote songs and held coffee houses in my house where my friends and I would perform.
Through the years, I have loved many different music genres. Rock, Hip Hop, Soul, Jazz, R&B, Reggae, Indie, Folk ... each genre speaks to me in a different way, and helps me understand the world a bit. And songs, particular songs can conjure up so many memories. For example, anytime I hear any song from the 1980s movie Stand By Me, I think of my childhood and of my best friend. I love how music can take you to a place and a time.
Over the Christmas holidays, while visiting my friend Natalie, she told me that she had received a ukulele as a gift, and that she had also formed a little singing group with her friends. As I stayed over at her house that weekend, I heard on a few occasions Natalie singing away in her kitchen, to herself and to the kids, and I was struck with how joyful it made us all feel. I knew that I wanted to bring back the music of life into our home. That I wanted my children to sing, play and hear it more often.
I've taken some steps recently, to bring more music into our lives. And while I may not be an amazing singer or a fantastic player, I want my children to hear real live music (not just recorded), so I feel that it is important that I try. I bought myself a ukulele as well, and have been playing children's songs and some of my favourites too. It's been fun to have sing alongs with the kids and to try to learn a new instrument. I'm also just doing my best to sing to and with the kids on a daily basis, knowing that it helps them during transition time or when they need a little positive boost, to hear a certain song.
Yesterday evening, my best friend and I went on a date to see the lovely Canadian group, Trent Severn. To see these three talented artists perform was such a treat for me, and something that fed my yearning for more music in my life. Their voices, their precision when it comes to playing, their stories told through song .... this is what music is about. This is joy.
And finally, last week I purchased our tickets for the Atlin Music Festival that will take place this summer. We will be looking forward to a weekend of camping, hanging with friends and of course, listening to live music performed by some amazing Canadian talent. I can't wait to see my little ones take it all in.

If music be the food of love, play on
From Shakespeare's Twelfth Night

me with Trent Severn ... I have girl crushes on them all


  1. I thought that was Hayley in the picture for a second! You look radiant in these photos, Jo! x

  2. I am not the world's best singer, but I do sing to my little babe every day - a lot! That is what I have done since she was first born, and it soothes her if we're in the car and she is fussing, if she's waiting for me to get out of the shower, etc. I knew she was finally growing up a bit when I could make it through a whole shower without singing Old MacDonald or The Wheels On The Bus! I played the piano growing up and miss not being able to play now. Hopefully in a couple of years when my babe is a little older, we will be able to get one.


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