Music is said to soothe the savage beast.  It has been told that music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.  Some say that music is the poetry of the air.  But Charlie Parker, also known as Yardbird or Bird, a highly influential American jazz saxophonist and composer, sums it up best for me, “Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom.”  I shall never forget when my brother and I was watching the “old folks” dance at our family reunion back in the day to a song called Green Onions by Booker T and the MG’s and just how much joy it brought to their faces.  My mother and father were even dancing like people in a trance; something we had never experienced at home.  Much to our chagrin they continued with the “oldies but goodies” and never once allowed us, the children, to play any of our music that was popular to our generation at the time.  The music for us, in the 70’s, were performed by the likes of bands such as Earth, Wind, and Fire, The Ohio Players, The Bee Gees, Elton John, and The Jackson 5 just to name a few.  When we did muster up enough nerve to ask to play some of our favorites, my uncle Clifford in just a few short phrases, gave me a life lesson that I still quote to this day some 40 years later.  He said simply and succinctly, “Boys there’s going to be a time when you tell your kids about Earth, Wind, and Fire and they(your kids) are going to look at you like you are crazy.”  We dismissed that as “Unc” having a little too much of the old joy juice if you know what I mean?  But, as most of us discover as we mature, those were words of wisdom.  Music is an art form and cultural activity whose medium is sound and silence, which exist in time.  Throughout history, some new forms or styles of music have been criticized as “not being music”.  That ranges from Beethoven’s Grosse Fuge string quartet in 1825 to hardcore punk in the 80’s and in my opinion, whatever they are recording today!  Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, but for the most part, I am now my uncle and my brother and I of yesteryear, are the millennials of this era.  So, here it is;  I pulled up to the Gate gas station and there was a woman of “baby boomerish” age playing some of the loudest,  most vulgar, disgusting, music, I had ever heard.  At first glance, I dismissed it as a different stroke for different folks scenario. But, a second look into her car was when I was truly appalled.  There were two younger generations in the car all bobbing and weaving in unison to the beat (I am reluctant to say music, I’m 52).  I dismissed it as an anomaly, but as I traverse the city now, I am more cognizant of similar situations. When my granddaughter gets into my car, she listens to what I am listening to; its clean, wholesome, spiritual and wrapped in love. Period.  She wouldn’t even dare ask me to turn to anything else, my daughter is 26 and adheres to the same rules and principles.  It seems that somehow generations have been fused together and we, as responsible adults, have been desensitized to the things that generations before us would not have stood for.  In many instances, the students have become the teachers. Teachable moments can make a lasting impression on a child, don’t miss them by being as The Manfred Mann’s Earth Band said back in 1976, Blinded by the Light!

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