|Red Priest at the National Gallery of Art|
If you follow 10KP, then you know that I spent February considering some great pieces of music with my friends Rebecca & Jack. We've been blogging about our musical adventures on their new years resolution blog, 12. For our last musical piece we took their 4 year old, Spoon (who, by the way, was a major inspiration for this blog!) to a Vivaldi concert at the National Gallery. The performers, Red Priest, played several pre-Vivaldi Baroque pieces, as well as the famous, engaging, lovely and familiar Four Seasons. (They have a Youtube channel. Check them out. They're amazing.) This was Spoon's first concert, and she knows The Four Seasons really well (its a great way to introduce kids to Classical music because there is such clear imagery in it), so she was just thrilled. They put on a wild and fun show--and she was enthralled.
I still haven't posted my thoughts on the Vivaldi concert, but I wanted to share with you some of Rebecca's thoughts, because they will prove interesting to all you parents out there, I think. Rebecca is a stay at home mom, and, besides Spoon, has 15-month old twins. Here are her thoughts on music and child-rearing (or, perhaps, cultivating is a better word):
I was reminded though, sitting in the midst of the dimly lit potted green palms and smooth marble columns, with others surrounding me who were not micturating in their own pants, that the whole aim of my business with the children is precisely not just scraping up filth and responding to constant need. It is in fact to lead these savages to not only engage in order and loveliness, but to seek it out. To rule their intensely real emotions, whims, and needs by self-control--being convinced of what it true, beautiful, and good. And because of this to revel even more fully in the wild tumults of creation, creativity, and passion.There's more: read it all here. For more posts on music: click here. For Red Priest's music: click here.
...The delight though, for me, was something beyond just hearing afresh the overplayed, under-attended music of Vivaldi. The Baroque seems to easily signify the heights of civilization that I am striving for in raising our children. In all it's force and beauty--the struggle of bombast and storm against the exquisite limitations of an instrument played by a man. Encapsulated by the sheer delight of the musicians with each other (community), their shared endeavor (politics), they produced music that delighted their audience (articulate communication)--producing both wild flights of imagination, the exultation in the sheer capacities of man, and the pathos of the storm, the struggle with nature, drunkenness, and the hunt.
The tensions between fancy and storm were not merely competing experientially, but rather made coherent a whole experience of life, and this only made possible by the devoted study of music and practiced skill of the players.
What could be a better view of our lively engagement with the world as God has given it to us to pursue?