Sometimes We’ve Just Got To Sing

at the farmOn the way home from our family reunion a few weeks ago, I was reminded once again how important music is to each of us, how integral it is to life, and how so much color is added to our lives by it.

We sang a few songs at the reunion, from Loggins & Messina and James Taylor to Chris Tomlin and Keith Green. Really fun. But when we left at the end of the day, the music wasn’t over just yet.

We had been driving back to our motel for just about two hours. The family farm is in northern Michigan, but we were staying near Sue’s brother’s house, so it was a hike. My grandson Emery rode in the back seat while she and I navigated up front.

Emery had finished watching whatever DVD from his collection, then he had a short conversation with Sue about the magazine she was reading. After that, he was quiet for a few moments. Then, he started to sing.

Now he’s just a little guy, and I really have no idea what the song was. Not a clue. Couldn’t tell what the lyrics were. And the melody, while purposeful, was not quite recognizable. Yet he sang with joy, control, and artistry.

I was really proud!

our stageWhether we’re singing in a group or by ourselves, whether we’re singing ancient pop tunes (like in the 80’s? are those ancient now?) or praise songs, we are musical beings. And as I understand it, the fact that humans must sing is a universal truth.

It might be a song I heard a long time ago. Might be harmonizing to a tune on the radio. Let me tell you, I can sound pretty darned impressive in my car.

When I sing, I express my heart, my experiences, my optimism and my hurts, in a way that goes beyond mere communication. My soul peeks out through the melodies and lyrics. My life feels more colorful when I can sing.

When I don’t sing for a long time, I think I go a little stir crazy. And at 5 years old, my grandson gets it.

Is it just us, or does singing help your soul breathe, too?

I’d love to hear from you! Please leave your comment below, or email any questions you may have about singing, musicianship, or how to use music theory to [email protected].

© 2014 Steve Case