Music in the Soul Haibun

Music in the soul can be heard by the universe. 
— Lao Tzu

Violin with Roses Black and White

When my oldest was an active, playful 18 month old, he asked: “Can I play violin?” That was one of his first full sentences.

We did not have a violin or piano in our home. I wondered how he knew what a violin was. I asked around, and other moms told me that children as young as three study violin. No one else I spoke to had a child asking to play an instrument.

During that time, we moved and I had our second son. When my oldest was three, I met a woman in my yoga class who was beginning a new group of 3- and 4-year old violin students in the fall. I asked her if I should take seriously his request despite his young age, and she said yes, of course.

I remember sitting outside in the sunshine on my deck, when I told my three-year old son that I was going to take him to see a lesson if he still wanted to learn. He said: “Mom, I’m sorry I’ve been so mean to you lately.” I was silenced.

My eldest sat calmly on my lap for 45 minutes listening to a chaotic double lesson with two siblings just back from a summer music camp in Colorado. He said not a word and barely moved, which was not his normal behavior at all. Eventually the teacher turned to me, and she said: “I forgot you were here, he was so quiet. That’s a very long time for a child his age, you don’t need to stay to the end.”

My son climbed down, walked up to the teacher and said: “That was the most beautiful music I’ve ever heard.” He had never heard live violin music before.

intense green eyes
unwavering on the strings
hearing with his whole being

My husband I had never studied music. Nine years after deciding to honor my young son’s wishes, my oldest and youngest play violin, my second son plays cello and drums, and all three play piano. My husband and I have learned some violin and piano as adults. In our house, we have three violins, a cello, a digital piano, a Yamaha piano, a marimba, a saxophone, a trumpet, an acoustic guitar, a sanza, a variety of drums, a cymbal. We have all played music together in several concerts.

The kids now see music as part of our lives. They are talented singers, in chorus and musicals, in addition to playing in orchestras. All three of my children make up their own songs and improvise by preference. Music has become part of the fabric of our souls. Perhaps it always was.

steel strings ring
my soul expands with each note

Copyright 2014 Brenda Davis Harsham

Inspired by the Weekly Ligo Haibun Challenge prompt, this one providing the quote at the top.

46 thoughts on “Music in the Soul Haibun

  1. We had a piano – I sang in choirs. Our boys got some background. But it takes a strong love and discipline to want to play and learn so many instruments. Not being good with math… Rhythm not my thing.

    I’ve got a cased up violin… that maybe the grands will use. I just need to find someone to put music to the lullabies I made up….


  2. Oh I had to comment on this Brenda I come from a family that is known for their musical talent. All my Uncles play guitar and play in bands and one is rather famous up in the Wisconsin area. My brother is a lead guitarist. My dad went to college on a voice scholarship. hello you think I could carry a tune. NOPE. Nothing. What happened everyone but me is musically inclined. I’m joking I’ve made peace with it because I can dance when they play. So I love story about your kids. Wow it’s so cool!


  3. Brenda, sometimes there is just magic in the air, apparently you have captured it. What a wonderful post. There is always music in my home as well, but I am just a listener, just an enjoyer, but it forever plays. Thank you for such a lovely post. Take care, Bill


  4. what a world you have created within your children…
    to me music is the soul within life….
    Thank you for sharing your story…
    Take Care…You Matter…


    • I like the idea that life itself has a soul, and that music is the way it communicates with us. It must be a beautiful soul indeed. Hugs, maryrose, scatterer of smiles throughout the blogosphere! Warmly, Brenda


  5. I so miss my daughter playing the violin. She started in 3rd grade and quit around 7th grade. I’m a big advocate for music education for our children and I wish every child would take up a musical instrument at some point in their lives. Loving your son’s enthusiasm for music at such a young age…that melts my heart!!


    • Thanks, we are definitely on a less traveled road, some of the few devoting so much to music, but we are all richer for it, I believe. Perhaps your daughter will one day play again. 🙂 Hugs, Brenda


  6. I love the way you describe your son as “hearing with his whole being”. What a beautiful story! It sounds like your whole family is now blessed with sounds of music everywhere! What a wonderful gift that you are able to all play together. Truly a wonderful blessing.


  7. I’m so thankful I read your post. It literally gave me chills because I have always known that I can play the violin. Everybody always laughs at me because they think I am kidding. I have not tried yet, but your children give me the inspiration to know that when the time is right….I will!! You have an amazing family!!


    • It is still unbelievable to me looking back. He has often not wanted to practice, not wanted to learn what others want him to, but he loves to play, and he has such sensitive fingers and beautiful sound. It enriches my life hearing him.


  8. Oh, my gosh! How amazing is that? And kudos to you for allowing your son to follow his passion. What an amazing gifted child you have. This is such a heart-warming, beautiful story!


  9. What a wonderful story. I was hooked from the very first sentence. I’m in awe of your son and the respectful way you have parented him. I have read that reincarnating souls chose their parents – the way you honoured your son’s desire to play music and nurtured the music in his soul bears out that idea. Both you and he are truly blessed.


    • What an incredibly nice comment! Wow. He certainly is his own person, and has been since a very young age. We feel blessed. Thanks for your supportive comments, Suzanne! Warmly, Brenda


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