Monday, December 28, 2009
The Impact of Music
To see Clark and Phil in church with their hymnals open and on the right page you would think they could read. They can—words like in, the, exit, dog, cat, days of the week, months and a few more random words. I remember when I realized Phil could find the right page in the hymnal without help. I thought he was amazing and recorded that fact in my journal. Clark could not do it but then one day I noticed he had found the right page. Yesterday, in church, he couldn’t find it so I took his hymnal, turned to the right page and handed it back to him. Often I will just point the direction that he needs to go so he can find it on his own. I smiled yesterday as my handsome sons in their Sunday clothes (sport coats, slacks, and ties) sat there with their hymnals (no sharing for them!) held up so they could see the chorister. Clark rarely sings but Philip will if no one is listening to him. Sometimes I can hear him and that is a treat for me. Phil has great rhythm and has enjoyed music since he was very young (two?). I would occasionally find him in the front room standing on a stool with a baton leading the Tabernacle Choir, on a record (no CDs in those days) he had put on the stereo himself. He would sing in his “opera voice” with gusto and vibrato. Then his voice changed during his teenage years and he could no longer sing opera. He has not outgrown the conducting though. About five years ago he was asked by a friend to lead the singing at a funeral. He said yes. I could not believe my ears and was somewhat nervous that he would become silly or inappropriately animated. He was neither. I thought he was amazing and recorded that fact in my journal. He now leads the singing weekly in priesthood meeting. He is responsible and enthusiastic. I have watched him from the hall (trying to appear inconspicuous but failing) and my heart swells with pride at a job well done. Paul loves to watch the reaction of visitors. They study Phil trying to figure out why there are some peculiarities and then they smile and join in singing.