You know how one small happening can change the complexion of your whole day?
Robert Frost depicts it best in this short poem:
Dust of Snow
The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree
Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.
The poem is simple and shows how the tender action of a bird has the power to influence a human heart.
That’s how I feel about music. It moves me. Its power captivates. Music has the ability to alter my outlook.
Recently, I sat down at the piano sort of tired and cranky and frustrated. A number of problems weighed on me, and all my solutions hit a brick wall. I began to pluck the keys, purely for my own enjoyment. Believe me, no one wants to hear me play but me.
But my personal recital moved me, lifted me.
I randomly opened the piano book to “Malaguena” by Isaac Albeniz. The intense emotion of the Spanish music released tension. When the score dictated “pianissimo,” I played very softly; and when it called for “forte,” I pounded out my passion in melody, with harmonic chords and measured rhythm. The prescribed order of the song soothed the chaos of my own thoughts. It felt good.
My fingers ran over the ivories with feeling, when I played Bach’s “Prelude in C.” I rolled with the repetition of the phrases and echoes.
Lastly I played “To a Wild Rose” by Edward McDowell.
My eyes fell on the instructions of how to play the song—a phrase of instruction—left by the author when the piece was written over one hundred years ago: “With simple tenderness.”
The music soaked into my soul with simple tenderness.
That simple tenderness “has given my heart a change of mood, and saved some part of a day I had rued.”