Keeping Tradition Alive
Music is special. As listeners we are swept away and taken on an emotional journey. Our job is to support organizations keeping this tradition alive.
Keeping Tradition Alive
In a previous lifetime, I was a piano teacher. As Christmas approached I made sure that every student had a book of Christmas music to practise. It was the easiest music to get my students to practise because they were so happy to play tunes they recognized. They enjoyed singing along and it reminded them that fun and excitement were just around the corner.
When I was a kid, Christmas at my grandparent’s house always involved a concert put on by all the cousins. There were piano duets, violin and piano duets, solos accompanied by piano, and duets accompanied by guitar. My cousin would play the piano and we all sang familiar Christmas songs. That was our tradition.
Perhaps other families had traditions that revolved around sports or food but for us it was music. It was my grandmother’s fault (or to her credit) I suppose because she financed a year of piano lessons for each of her grandchildren. (In some cases, whether they liked it or not).
Today many of the family are involved in their church music programs and several family members have made music their life’s work.
I didn’t know it at the time, but our tradition was special. I just assumed every family had a Christmas concert. I wonder what other families were doing while we played and sang. Did you play board games or build a snowman or were you singing too?
I was reminded of this tradition when I recently interviewed composer Ron Beckett, the Artistic Director of the music ensemble Arcady. We chatted about his ensemble and life as a composer. He mentioned that at the early age of 9, he too was composing, playing, and putting on Christmas concerts for his family in the living room! We weren’t the only ones! Here is the interview on Soundcloud:
Music supports traditions, triggers memories and how else would we get in the mood to start Christmas shopping? Music enriches our lives. It can transcend us to another place, help us escape from the busy modern age, and enhance our mood. Perhaps more so at Christmas than any other time of year.
As the world around us is always quickly changing, it is important to keep these traditions alive. It is wonderful to have so many thriving arts organizations like Arcady and Ronald Beckett who continue to bring music to life and keep the arts and culture in our communities strong and vibrant.
If you have a chance I hope to see you at the Arcady performance There's a Song in the Air at the Mississauga Living Arts Centre on November 25th. Ronald Beckett's holiday music encompasses the variety of winter traditions we all can relate to and together for a few moments we can escape our busy lives to appreciate the joys music has to offer. For a preview of what is in store at Arcady's upcoming concert take a look at their new music video featuring Ron Beckett's piece Scarf & Mittens.
Lynn Whetham is a Certified Financial Planner and Managing Partner at Stepright Capital Planning Inc in St. George, Ontario. Lynn believes in community involvement and enjoys sharing others' inspiring stories through her podcast Stepright with Lynn. The podcast is dedicated to empowering socially conscious individuals to manage their financial resources for the benefit of themselves, their families, and the greater community.
Contact Lynn with any questions you may have.
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