This morning Michael and his class will be performing in their school’s annual Spring Concert. I know what he will be wearing and which two songs he will be singing, but other than that, I have not been told any other details. My little guy wants to surprise me and has told me how loud he will be singing for me, his father and his maternal grandparents who will be attending. His teacher is encouraging his amazing singing voice and he is so excited to perform for us in this one of the many performances he has given at his school. I am always blown away by how well the kids do, how much fun it is, and increasingly how much more comfortable Michael is getting with performing. I am usually filming and crying or at the very least emotional seeing my little guy up there doing so well. He is beginning to see that performance is one of his strong suits among others, and I couldn’t be more proud of him.
I remember the feeling I had performing in school plays. It was terrifying and exhilarating at once! I even tried out for a play once, but I was always put in the choir for my singing voice. To this day, music like writing is my solace, my relaxation, my muse, my spirituality. I like many different types of music, both listening to and singing, though I am not opera material as Michael is neither. We used to duet together when he was younger, something I would love to do again, only now that is older he likes to have the stage all to himself. I am so glad he is finding this means of expression with singing and dancing.
We always joked that he was a performer from birth, but seeing him grow into singing and dancing and being confident in himself is wonderful. I have a reason for feeling this. I never felt good enough growing up, except when I was singing and later writing. That is where I stopped being me, boring old Joanne, and was transformed by the music or words into another realm. It was like when I prayed, yet there of course I felt excepted by God. I know God loves everyone. With music it was like I was in another realm, a human one that is spiritual too. I think Michael feels this too. Music is so much more than just sounds and words. It is cathartic, it binds us, it bonds and brings back memories of people, time, place. I will hear a dance pop song and there I am in a bar with my girlfriends in my early twenties, another time I’ll hear a romantic song and think of when I slow danced to that song with my now husband, finally I’ll hear another song and it will bring me back to a random memory, my brother and I lip synching with our street friends one summer as we pretended we were a rock band. All good memories that made me grow as a person, all because of music. I know Michael is absorbing this too, especially as his latest favorite thing to watch are You Tube videos of his favorite pop, rock and hip hop songs. No more cartoons for my nine year old! And I see the connections being made.
Exceptional Parents, what has music done for your Exceptional Child and you? How does it help you and them deal with emotions, expression and life? I hope that your child will get to participate in as many concerts, musical performances and artistic ventures as possible. Music and the arts can open so much for them and will broaden their world and horizons as well as yours. Until next time.