Friday, August 7, 2009

I Heart... Music

I grew up singing.  My very first memory is of sitting in my car seat singing "A Little Help from My Friends" with my dad.  I was not even two years old.  My mother played the piano, and she had sheet music from all of the great Broadway musicals -- The Sound of Music, Annie, My Fair Lady -- as well as Disney movies like Mary Poppins.  She would play and my sister, Lisa, and I would sing and act out the parts.

It's no wonder, then, that I ended up singing in choirs.  And those choirs were a great part of my early traveling life.  Our church choir took tours from Dallas to California one year and Florida the next.  My high school choir went to New York City.  And when I went away to St. Olaf College, I sang with the St. Olaf Choir, an organization that tours for weeks on end each year.  We gave concerts across the country in places ranging from Carnegie Hall and Kennedy Center to Smoot, West Virginia and El Paso, Texas.  We also toured Denmark and Norway.  Heck!  On that trip I stayed with a Sami family who had a walk-in meat locker filled with reindeer in their house well above the Arctic Circle.

So for me music and travel have been linked for a very long time.  I never travel without music, either.  I make mixes for almost every trip, and I love my iPod which has freed me from the cassette tapes and CDs of the past.  And I still moonlight with Gateway Music Festivals and Tours, a company that helps music groups travel the world.  In fact, for part of my trip to Ireland I was traveling with a high school orchestra -- and a darn good one at that.

From concert halls to the family piano, churches and schools to workers in the fields, music is universal.  We human beings seem to be hardwired to create music and to express ourselves through song.  And I'm not sure that's ever been more clear to me than when I watched this video from the 2009 World Science Festival.  Here's a gathering of scientists from all over the world... and Bobby McFerrin (yes, of "Don't Worry, Be Happy" fame) proves that music is a universal mystery and gift.


World Science Festival 2009: Bobby McFerrin Demonstrates the Power of the Pentatonic Scale from World Science Festival on Vimeo.

So, where has music taken you? And what music do you take with you when you travel?


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3 comments:

jessiev said...

how cool was that? what a great video!!

we have different music now that we have a kid. but we still think of music as a family listening thing (she's only 7!) and so listen to a LOT of musicals together - mary poppins, seussical, south pacific, sound of music. i love how you grew up with it, too!

Angela K. Nickerson said...

And just in from Twitter:

@aknickerson Re: music and travel. Thanks for that. In return, you might like this on the same subject: http://ow.ly/jo1c

Great article! Check it out!

Eiffel Tower Suzy said...
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Welcome back! If you haven't already, I hope you'll subscribe to my RSS feed so we can stay in touch. Ciao!

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