About a month ago, I got a letter saying I'd let my car registration lapse. I'd also lost my previous letter, so upon opening it I wasn't able to drive my car again until I'd taken it for inspection. I needed a temporary movement permit, a mechanic who could look at and approve it to drive and the licensing centre to cooperate - preferably all within 8 hours so we could continue our lives as normal. It also came after an issue with my driver's license and two incidents with our other car (plus a whole day with lost car keys) in the space of two weeks, so my patience with cars in general was waning to say the least. It was an unexpected life admin day, midweek, interrupting me when I really didn't have brain space to deal with it.
I found myself that afternoon with an hour to kill in the business park where a mechanic had managed to squeeze us in for an inspection and started wandering in search of a coffee - but wandered right into the music store down the road instead. Through the door, a quick hello to the person at the counter and into the acoustic guitar room. One of two left-handed guitars was off the wall, into my hands and I settled on a stool to start my first rendition of Kacey Musgraves' new song, "Justified". Halfway in, I'd forgotten why I found myself in a random music store with no car and no baby at 2pm on a week day. By the time I finished, I was feeling grateful to have had the time to do it. There was a calmness in the space that arrived so quickly, it literally took one song to alleviate the stress from the morning that had been cold calling every mechanic in my area.
(the car was fine and registered again by that afternoon, but this is where we stop caring about the car).
This is why I teach music. YES, it's an amazing educational tool for so many reasons and I love that too - but mostly, because maybe when my students are thirty and have a really hard morning, it will take one acoustic room and half a new song they love to bring them back to earth. My music classrooms, people I have played and learned about music with and my personal experiences with it bring a comfort and a stability that is as ever-being for me as waves in the ocean or stars in the sky. It allows us to come and go, ebb and flow, ready to be immersed in or roll along in the background of our every day lives.
Having the knowledge to access - and activate - this wonderful part of life is something I am and will always be grateful for. That's what I want my students to have, and that's why I'm so passionate about music being an accessible subject for all young people should they want to try it in a way that works for them.