Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Emergency Backup Organist: Teaching Children about Joy

Lost in joy at a Christmas concert with daughter-west, thinking of other Christmas music events over the decades and how they have also brought me such happiness.

Singing in church with my mother, father, grandma Mc, and siblings as a child.

Playing flute and piccolo for the Vienna VA church concerts for many years.

Caroling around the neighborhood - need to organize this again this year.

Strolling through the international carols book and learning new songs, singing at my piano-east.

Performing at Bailey Hall, Ithaca for an appreciative crowd in the snowy weather.

Listening to O Holy Night on the radio and crying because we are so far from peace on earth.

And, from the title, being the emergency backup organist in Virginia, especially Christmas Eve when there are so many services that the regular organist cannot play them all.

I always volunteered to take the Children's Service early on Christmas Eve. The children's choir kids were surprised to learn that I would let them play a few notes, in contrast to when I was a child -- maybe ten years old -- and harshly scolded for wanting to play the church organ, despite being a music prodigy. I always let the children hear how their actions make beautiful music. And they laughed so much when I showed them I played barefoot. Real grownups don't go barefoot! But it is the easiest way to feel where the pedals are, to follow them along the edge of my feet. So now you know my secret with both music and children: Share the joy.


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