Music Soothes The Savage Seven-Year-Old
If you’re a student of stereotypical homosexuality – then you must know how much the gay collective loves the story of the “Sound of Music.” The “Sound of Music” tour in Salzburg, Austria is on the gay bucket list. It’s true! Anyway – I digress.
Remember in the movie version when Maria walks into the von Trapp mansion for the first time, she wanders off into a room festooned with mirrors and ornate floors. Maria looks around – realizing this must have been a room where the von Trapp’ entertained – and laughed – a sign of happier times – but the room was silent. This scene would lay the roadmap for the movie outlining the familial dysfunction family Maria was hired to fix.
I tell this story because of the music in our household. We don’t have a Maria – we have a Michael, my husband. He is a physician by day and a piano pedagogue by night. Almost every evening, Michael makes it a priority that both kids practice their musical skills. Besides the obvious benefit of learning how to play and read music – the big payoff came one day when our son was frustrated.
Gregory was mad. He didn’t get his way. It had nothing to do with music – but the life of a seven-year-old with 1st world problems. Little problems to us – big problems to him.
So when little Gregory stormed downstairs – mad – angry – probably welling up inside – wrestling with his emotions — he didn’t hit anything – he walked toward the piano and sat down. It was a remarkable moment for as I sat upstairs in another room – Gregory and I were unable to see one another – but I could hear him – through his music – through the gentle strokes of each key. The notes were perfect. It was just as he always practiced. Gregory didn’t just find music to play – he found music to tame his soul – Gregory found his safe place – his haven – in music.
This memory leaves in indelible mark in my mind – for it was only toward the end of the Sound of Music, that the dog-whistle toting Captain von Trapp admits to Maria “You brought music back into the house. I had forgotten.” Let’s hope it never leaves.
What do you do in your house to help center kids? What is the thing that brings them peace?