For me, the power of music is most strongly witnessed in my own home. Music has always united our family.
We enjoy singing in the car while driving. Our little quintet has not been the same since Wil left on his mission. No one can quite hit those high notes like Wil. Our bass line will suffer the same fate when Jon leaves on his mission early next year.
We enjoy listening to the radio, but prefer the MP3 player. It doesn't matter whose we plug in, because we all share the same eclectic tastes with Emily leaning more to Taylor Swift, while I am known to weigh heavier on Randy Travis tunes, and Wil has more Bon Jovi. It all works.
We attend concerts together as a family. Whether it is the band or orchestra concerts of our children, the choir or musical performances of a friend, a theatrical musical production or the concert of a group we all enjoy, these opportunities bring us memories that we long talk about and are steeped in Wixom Family Tradition, such as dinner before or ice cream after and even sometimes both.
October has been a month of these performances. We kicked off the month with Jon's first performance with the Dixie State College Symphonic Band. How fun to see our son performing with a group of individuals who were there not just because it is a class, but because it is a passion. We will end the month with Emily's dance recital and Lela's orchestra concert. How fun it will be to see these two shine and experience something for the first time.
In the middle of the month, we had The Piano Guys. Who are The Piano Guys you ask? Well in my opinion, they are some of the most amazing performers around - five dads from Utah who love music and who have followed their dream, but stayed true to their core values while finding success in the crazy world of music.
Our whole family loves these guys. From their imaginative videos on YouTube to Jon Schmidt's playing the piano upside down and Steven Sharp Nelson's strumming the cello like a guitar or thumping it like a drum, there are so many things to love. We even have a little history with The Piano Guys since Paul Anderson, producer/videographer, sold us the piano that now sits in our home. He was great to work with through all the chaos of insurance and rebuilding. Our family was so happy to learn that they were going to be performing at Dixie State College and I wasted no time in getting our tickets for Friday night's performance which allowed us to be on Row B. We took quite a group: Rick and I, Lela, Emily, Jon and his friend Kendra, Grandma Wixom, Wil's friend Nataly and her parents Rob and Totty. The days leading up to the concert were filled with their music via YouTube and CDs.
At the start of the concert we were a little disappointed to learn that Steven Sharp Nelson would not be there in person, but understood when we learned that his wife had just given birth that day. Lela and Emily said it was good he was with his wife where he should be and Jon said it just gave us a reason to go see them again. I thought about that and thought what a great example to my son and daughters of having the right priorities. I want my son to remember that his family should be his most important responsibility and my daughters to have husbands who will sacrifice for them.
Even with Steven Sharp Nelson's absence, the concert was so much fun. Jon Schmidt never disappoints. Afterwards we were able to meet him in the lobby and Lela shook his hand. She said she would never wash that hand again, except that she was afraid that all the sweat from being so nervous and excited to meet him had probably already washed it. The car ride home was filled with the chatter of two little girls talking about their favorite songs, what they were going to tell their friends and teachers come Monday morning, and how they wanted their piano teacher to teach them to play upside down and with their toes.
Last night as Lela practiced the piano, she got all excited because one of the songs in her book (her teacher uses Jon Schmidt's method to teach piano) was an arrangement that Jon had performed at the concert Friday night. She was so energized that she can play something she heard the maestro play himself. We all got treated to a little concert. Great memories!
Now you can enjoy one of my favorite Piano Guys videos:
And this is one of Lela's favorite Jon Schmidt songs: