Posted by: Leigh Reynolds | April 27, 2011

Play That Funky Music

I am in a bit of a funk this week. It is a relatively free-floating, undefined funk, but a funk none the less. No one big thing, just a series of small things – work and home – that add up to result in a grey kind of mood. It happens.

I can’t really control all of the factors that are contributing, but I can control how I react to them. At  least I can try.

One thing that has always affected my mood is music. I grew up in a home filled with music. We listened to all kinds. My mom has this amazing voice and she used to sing with the Sweet Adelines barbershop chorus – her chorus and quartet were award-winning and they gave me chills. Even with 150 women singing, I could pick out my mom’s voice . That, coupled with the joy on her face, often made me tear up. 

We had this player piano – now mine – that filled many a lazy afternoon at our lake house – when it wasn’t warm enough to be out on the lake. My mom and I would pull up and sing songs like “Hard Hearted Hannah”, and “Sam, You Made the Pants Too Long”, and “Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown” for hours.

There was this variety show/charity benefit in Tulsa that my parents used to be in each year – Red Glove Review. Both Paige and Tracy, my older sisters, got a turn being in it with them. We moved before I got a chance, but I loved seeing them all perform. Especially my dad.

I don’t know what it is about music that moves me… But it does. When I sing, it is like primal scream therapy or something. It is cathartic. Songs can make me laugh, make me cry, turn a bad mood around, or even fuel my anger, depending on what I am listening to and singing along to.  I used to joke that in a past life I must have been a lounge singer. Some days I long for a tall stool, a big mic, a fitted red dress, dark lighting, a back-up band with horns, and a good belting tune.

Growing up I wasn’t in theatre or choir (the catholic schools I attended funded sports, not the arts.) I never had a voice lesson, in fact, I grew up singing and talking wrong (who even knew that was possible? Yet I did it!) and it resulted in bad vocal nodes and surgery to fix them when I was 18. I couldn’t sing a note for six months, and once I was allowed to sing again, I had a range of about 5 notes.

Over the years since then, I got involved in a little bit if musical theater and gained a few more notes to my range. About 10 years ago I joined the choir at church – tenor section. Slowly, my voice came back and my range expanded. (Like any muscle, my voice needed a regular work out to grow strong.) But I also believe that it was not just regular singing that did it, but what I was singing about and Who I was singing to.

Flash forward to today – I sing in the Praise Team at church. We have a modern service at 11am and the music is great. There are keyboards, guitar, drums and horns. The lighting isn’t dim, I don’t have a tall stool to sit on, and I’m not in a lounge, but I have a song to sing that fills my heart to overflowing. Most days there are about 150-200 people there, but I am singing for an audience of ONE. The rest of the world fades away and pure joy fills me as I talk to God through my song.

Some weeks are long and grey and have too many days between Sundays. But I still have a song I can sing to lift me out of my funk.  My playlist is full of praise music to lift me to a better place and chase away the grey. I just have to remember to hit play and fill my day – fill my heart – with a song of hope.

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