Jumpin’ Back Into Music Performance

I recently shared two blog posts about memories my two daughters had on the early influence of music in their lives. Since there always is a bit of rivalry among siblings, I thought I’d better write a blog post about music in the life of my first-born child, a son. So, that’s what you are going to get today!

Like his sisters, my son grew up in a home filled with music we created ourselves—with our voices and with instruments. I remember cradling each new-born baby in the hospital while singing little melodies to soothe them and let them know early on that music was going to be a part of their lives.

I taught them music notation as their first piano teacher. And just as brushing teeth and taking a daily bath was unnegotiable, practicing piano was on the “must do” list also but with cheerful encouragement, lots of praise, and small monetary gains on their weekly allowances.

My son wanted to play trumpet so, with the used trumpet his dad bought at a pawn shop, he pursued trumpet instruction with an excellent teacher at a local family-owned music store up to his high school days. An unfortunate accident messed up his upper lip right as he was getting ready to join his high school band. That didn’t stop him. He played the big bass drum initially, then transferred to playing baritone horn. He went on to form and perform in a local Christian Rock band, focusing his attention onto the technical aspects of microphones and sound/recording equipment.

Skip forward to a large university in a distant state and he is in multiple performance groups: marching band, basketball band, summer band, and concert band throughout his college career. After college, marriage. Then three children of his own. But music never stopped being a part of his life even when performing did. He worked in sound, lighting, and all other aspects of engineering so those performing were seen and heard at their very best.

In recent years his avocation is AVL (Audio-Visual-Lighting) Director for his church. I don’t know if it was the allure of performing again or if he simply thought it would be great to learn a new instrument. Anyway, he borrowed a bass guitar and soon was on his way to mastering the fingering to play it.

Shortly thereafter my son’s wife surprised him with a beautiful brand new bass guitar made by the skillful and loving hands of a member of their church. In addition to directing AVL, he began to play his bass guitar with much spirit and movement in Sunday morning worship from time to time.

During one recent practice session with the Praise Band, he mentioned to his fellow musicians his idea to jump from the stage area of the contemporary worship auditorium down to the main floor. Fortunately they told their bass guitarist they didn’t think it would be wise for a forty-something musician, out of practice doing such leaps, to attempt it on a Sunday morning. He reluctantly acquiesced to the vote of the majority. I guess you could say my son was eager to jump back into music performance.

It would have been in the tradition of his Great Uncle Bill Carlisle of the Grand Ole Opry, known as “Jumpin’ Bill Carlisle.” Of course, Carlisle’s comedic jumps were up in the air—not down from a stage!

Just as my two daughters and I have always found a way to lift our spirits through song out of the toxic elements of life which we all encounter from time to time, so has my son. You can, too.

This is the final installment of a 3-part blog series on how my three children were shaped by their early musical experiences. If you haven’t already, please check out Part 1: Music’s Magic Healing Place and Part 2: Vibrant Vibes: A Musical Phenomenon. Thank you!

Jumpin’ Back Into Music Performance (Part 3 in a three-part series)
Connie Carlisle Polley, 2021

Nonny Day Series - Volumes 1 and 2

Nonny Day Series children’s books – Volumes 1 & 2 available on Amazon

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