Music has been a gift passed down through the generations and continues to influence my life. I’m not a professional musician, nor have I been classically trained in any one instrument or in voice, but to some degree, music is in my DNA.
My paternal grandmother grew up singing with her brothers and sisters, entertaining families in the sugar plantation camp in which they once lived. The boys taught themselves to play instruments, while the sisters sang. I can only imagine what they might have looked and sounded like back then. Growing up, my grandma and her siblings always got up to sing songs at family parties. I never understood why they felt compelled to get up and sing until I learned of their past as semi-professional musicians.
For as long as I can remember, music was always on in the house. My dad’s eclectic taste in music would always be on: Van Halen, Fleetwood Mac, Queen, ELO, Hall and Oates, mainly American rock bands and some local artists. On the other end of the spectrum, my maternal grandfather would play Ilocano records in the afternoons when he used to take care of me. We watched Filipino Fiesta on Saturdays and Lawrence Welk on Sunday evenings. It is thanks to my dad and to my grandpa that I have a solid appreciation for and extensive music collection consisting of so many different genres.
Between my grandma’s musical career, my constant exposure to music, and my dad teaching himself how to play the guitar and the bass, I ended up being musical too. I taught myself how to play the guitar and ‘ukulele and how to sing and chant through mimicry. There are all kinds of studies about the effects of music on the brain and learning, which i won’t delve into, but I will say that music provided me the path to developing my other intelligences, such as language, bodily-kinesthetic, and emotional. It’s led to me excelling in skills and activities such as learning multiple languages, dancing, and sports.
If there’s one thing I would encourage people to do, particularly those with children, it’s to keep the music on and consider exploring different genres every once in awhile. You never know how its benefits will manifest in your life and in the lives of those you love.
Weekly Writing Challenge: DNA Analysis – http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/30/writing-challenge-dna/#more-38589