What does music mean to you? Perhaps it’s something that you enjoy to listen to, in the car, on your phone, at concerts, on the radio. Perhaps it’s something you like to do – maybe you play an instrument or you sing. Maybe you do it for fun, with friends or on your own. Maybe you’re a music legend every time you sing in the shower!
Music was a huge part of my life. My earliest musical memories are singing in the car with my mum – we were the Everley Sisters, doing the harmony along with the Everley brothers! From here I progressed to the recorder – then flute, sax, piano, university, music teacher! Music was a huge part of my life. Even if I watched the tv I would make notes of the music I heard in the background if I thought I could use it in some way. On my travels I would buy instruments and search out local sheet music.
You may notice that I have been talking about music in the past tense. That’s because my multiple sclerosis causes cognitive issues for me. My brain gets overloaded if it gets too much stimulus, and then it shuts down my body. Music is one of those stimuli that shuts my body down. I can’t move or speak. No car radio, no concerts, no playing instruments. Music is gone.
However, this is not a pity party!! I have been looking for other ways to keep music in my life. My 5 year granddaughter has been playing the piano since the age of 5, and even though I’m biased, I can tell you that she is amazing! I use an app called Notate on my iPad and I compose pieces for her to play in her recital twice a year. It’s a wonderful way to use my knowledge and see it come to life through her fingers.
This time of year is fundraising and awareness raising time for the MS Society as we approach the MS Walk on May 15th. I decided to start my own campaign – Make Music to endMS. You will see and hear me, and my granddaughter, and even a couple of attempts at playing my flute and sax. Along with that, a song a day from now until the MS Walk. For example, what better anthem for MS than Chumbawumba’s Tubthumping, with lyrics “I get knocked down, I get up again, never going to keep me down!”
Want a sneak preview before you go to the page? Here’s the video that launches the whole campaign!