Home Dear Mother,

Dear Mother,

by Shawni

Thank you for making me take violin lessons…even when it was clear I didn’t have a musical bone in my body.

Thank you for putting up with listening to me screech my way through practicing for “last chair” in our school orchestra.

And thanks for making me take piano lessons too.

Sure, to this day I’m still not good at either. My violin sounds just as screechy as is was in jr. high and I can scarcely plunk out the duets Grace’s piano teacher chides me to play with her (which I do love, by the way).

I may not be a talented musician, but because you “force fed” music to me growing up I appreciate it with all my heart.

A couple weeks ago Elle’s piano teacher pulled out a copy of “Jessica’s Theme” from Man from Snowy River for her to play. Yes, the all-loved favorite for every fourteen-year-old in the eighties. My daughter is playing it. I have to smile at how giddy it made me. Years ago I worked my tail off to learn all those notes (while daydreaming of Jim the handsome horseman). Some days after Elle plays it I find myself sneaking in to the piano, my fingers still remembering how to run up and down the keys for parts of the song still embedded in my memory.

This week I took Elle on a date to watch the local high school orchestra performance.

It drew me in.

The sound of all those beautiful instruments up there harmonizing perfectly on the stage was mesmerizing. Not only because it is an award-winning orchestra, but because I know from experience how tough it is to get all those bows moving in one direction. How much practice it takes to get the whole orchestra to crescendo just so. What talent it takes to do that beautiful vibrato. (Check out that amazing first chair cellist…wow he’s awesome.)

As I sat there watching that orchestra “dancing” to the music I almost teared up a little bit because it was so beautiful, and because my dear mother taught me to recognize that beauty to a little fuller extent.

Thank you, thank you, for teaching me the beauty of music.

Now if I can just cajole Elle into sticking with it for a few more years.

And maybe, just maybe I should sign up for those cello lessons I always wanted to take…

Love, Shawni


Seriously... March 9, 2011 - 5:43 pm

haha!! i LOVED playing "Jessica's theme". i'm going to have to go over to my mom's house and find it….thanks for the memory!

J and Company March 9, 2011 - 6:16 pm

That was a high school orchestra?? Amazing! I too had a mother that encouraged me to play the flute and I am grateful she made me keep going (and signed me up for marching band without my permission when we moved to a new place). 🙂

Ruth H. March 9, 2011 - 6:50 pm

Jessica's theme. Oh my goodness, I LOVED The Man from Snowy River. That Jim was one handsome man of the mountains. I could tell you a really embarrassing story about how I prepped for my first kiss by watching certain scenes over and over again. {blush}

I'm grateful for parents who made sure I had lots of exposure to good music. I did not realize at the time I was taking lessons what a financial sacrifice my parents were making. Their sacrifices changed my life! I had so many opportunities and experiences because of music.

Emily S. March 9, 2011 - 10:09 pm

Hi! I have studied music my whole life and my life is so much fuller because of it. Two years ago I started my (then) 6-year old on cello and I started lessons at the same time. It is so fun! I had never played cello before, just the piano. I am loving my lessons and learning a new instrument. Go for it!

pakosta March 10, 2011 - 1:25 am

just MAKE Elle do it, just like your parents did to you! that's what you have to do, not very many young children actually want to stick with it!!! I can bet she will thank you one day, just like you thanked your parents!!! GO ELLE!!!!!!!!

KYLIA March 11, 2011 - 2:17 am

I loved this post! My parents are both deceased, but I am thankful that while they were here I had the "worst parents in the world!" I am so thankful that they made me work – they instilled a work ethic and a service ethic in me that I would've never had if they had just let me sit around every afternoon and watch cartoons (on one of our four channels!). 🙂 Just keep telling yourself and your kids – "one day, you'll thank me for this!"

Eyrealm March 11, 2011 - 3:04 am

Oh my gosh, I had forgotten all that that man from snowy river! I can still hear you playing it in my mind. To think of Elle now playing in the orchestra just feels like dark chocolate melting in my mouth.

When I was with your young women one of them told me about the astounding orchestra program at the high school. I cannot believe this is a high school orchestra!

Oh that we could have had a high school orchestra like that and that I could have gotten you to a better teacher. I just had to find the closest teacher and hope for the best…which is what I got! A mother who is determined to have her children love music! This post is truly a "payday"! Love you!


Leave a Comment