Cindy is hosting a Book Club discussing The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer. Please join us!
Chapter 3 starts with a push. Music. The 3 months of piano lessons I took ... my parents made me quit when I wouldn't practice. Years of church and school choir ... I still can't carry a tune in a bucket with a lid nailed onto it.
I mentioned the other day that we went to a funeral for a friend's father. That is a musical family, multiple instruments, great singers, making music together and in performance. At one of the girls' weddings, they all went forward and performed a piece one of them had composed. I sit on the outside in awe.
Top 40 music is the music of my childhood. I still can sing along with most pop songs from the 80s (but I don't know who sang any of them!). I hope to fill my children with something better than that. So, we do what we can to incorporate music. It's kind of forced and it
takes an effort on my part to accomplish it because it isn't part of my
cultural experience. If family music seems extra to me, maybe it will be more natural to them.
So we use CDs as accompaniment to sing hymns. We still listen to Wee Sing America and other folk music. It is not unusual for me to have the Classical Masterpieces channel playing from the cable network (they show me the names of the piece and composer ... I don't have to pay attention to the radio announcer that way). I make my kids practice their piano and they're doing great. They're friends with the organist at church.
Opal Wheeler's books (published by Zeezok Press) on Composers have been a great resource for us this year, as have Classical Kids CDs. They are more interested in the music if we've read about Handel and I say, "This is a piece by Handel."
I'm thinking, again, about Pride and Prejudice, this time how music and those who are musical are portrayed. Lady Catherine is not musical, did not learn, but must have her say. Mary's piano playing can be compared with that of Miss Bingley and Mrs. Hurst compared with that of Georgiana Darcy compared with that of Elizabeth. Mary's accomplishment was somewhat selfish: formal music, for her own glory - her only glory. Miss Bingley and Mrs Hurst played to catch a husband; to be seen as accomplished in society. The music of these three ladies was not really for the enjoyment of others or even themselves. Georgiana played for the love of it, "she sings and plays all the day long" and had great talent. Lizzie's playing may have been "very ill" through lack of practice, but her taste and performance were pleasing to those who heard it. Neither performed for others, yet would play when pressed. Music was, in general, for their own pleasure and that of the family circle. I think Austen shows us the use of music in family culture as Schaeffer is teaching.