When we Skype with her, singing songs is part of the routine.
"Grandma sing," she encourages as we give a rendition of "Mary Had A Little Lamb" or "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep."
"Grandpa sing," she insists as we sing "ABCs" for the third time.
She's a girl after my own heart when it comes to music.
|A photo from the archives, June 2013|
I love music. That's why I do it. I certainly have no illusions that I am the most competent accompanist around. The paycheck I open each month doesn't come close to covering the gas it takes to drive to town, the interruption to the day or the investment of practice time at home that is never covered by a time sheet. So I look at my time at school as community service and a way to share my love of music with others.
Music isn't really about black notes on a white page. It isn't just about breathing correctly (though it certainly helps). You can know the right fingering to play a "C" or "D" on a baritone or saxophone and still not truly make music.
True music is found in telling the story through song. It's a story that's told at middle school music festivals ... and at high school contests ... in church choir lofts .... singing in the shower ... or belting out songs as you drive down a country road.
Long after these middle school soloists have forgotten the words to the songs they sang yesterday, I hope they'll remember a piano player who sat beside them, who cared about them, cared about the music they were making and wanted them to do their very best.
I doubt that Kinley will ever live close enough to me that I'll get to accompany her at a middle school music festival. But I hope there will be some other accompanist who will be on that piano bench, cheering her on.