For the Love of Music

For those of you who are well acquainted with social media, the term “tbt” or “throw back Thursday” is nothing new to you. In fact, if you’re anything like me, on occasion it can be a bit overkill. Not that I don’t love watching people walk down memory lane and seeing old photos, because I absolutely do, but I can only take so many throw backs before I start to confuse present day with current day people. It is, however, endearing on occasion. And I might be saying that as a disclaimer since I’m about to throw us all back. Grin.

Recently I was at my parent’s house and my eyes came across an old photo that is framed on my dad’s dresser and could easily be labeled as one of my favorite pictures ever. I actually happened to spot it just after our small group from church had gone around and shared how long we’d been impacted by music and how we initially came to love it. That picture reminded me that truly, I’d been immersed in it since the beginning of time.

I dearly love my immediate family. And despite all of our differences, quirks and challenges, one common theme that flows through all five of us is music. At any given moment when we’re all together, not a minute goes by that we’re not discussing artists (old and new), harmonies, bass lines, records and well, I’m sure you get the idea. From the beginning of time my mom has either been a music teacher or, for the better part of 23 years of my life, a piano teacher. Countless students from ages five to 18 are constantly flowing in and out of our home. Needless to say, while living there, you hear the good, the bad and the ugly. I say that endearingly since I’ve watched student after student come in with zero knowledge of anything musical, at the beginner level, and graduate as a high school student knocking out pieces that leave you speechless. (For reference, look up David Lanz. Beautiful.) We all have to start somewhere. And practice really does make perfect.

You might be wondering if my mom taught each of us to play the piano. And what might make you laugh is that, because we are her stubborn children, she taught each of us as much as she could before World War 3 broke out. You know, because when Mom is teaching you something, clearly you’re right and she’s wrong. Our lessons were short lived. But thankfully, the Lord graced us and we all play a little. Actually my older brother plays the most out of all of us, as he went on to do a little bit more with music in college, while I only took one measly piano class after graduating. But still not a time goes by that we don’t walk in her house and either sit down or tap at the piano ourselves. It’s our first instinct.

On top of that, I literally cannot remember a time that both of my parents have not served on the worship team at their church. I’ve lost count of how many years my mom has played the piano while my dad has simultaneously played the guitar or bass. And it goes without saying that we were all involved in the choir and or praise team, you know, when choirs became less cool. Laughing.

Needless to say, music runs through our blood. And I imagine it always will.

My dream would be that, although I’m no music or piano teacher, the love and appreciation of music would be carried onto my children, and their children, and so on and so forth. I’m not sure much more would make my parents happier either, besides the obvious of growing up to love Jesus. I’m almost certain that when I was 16, my dream of marrying a man with any musical talent was a deal breaker. Meaning, if he was musically challenged, it would be absurd to even consider liking him. I’m laughing now. And while that would still make me so happy, to marry a man with similar gifts and passions, I’m letting the Lord work that one out. It’s no longer a deal breaker, but it would be a bonus.

I’ll never forget my freshman year of college when all five of us did the “special music” at our Christmas Eve service. Yes, you can just call us the Von Trapp family. We might as well have become a traveling band. Talk about a throwback, every time I hear “Light of the Stable” by Emmylou Harris, I immediately think of Christmas 2003.

I recently came across this quote by an actor I’m not well acquainted with but it summed up my family perfectly, “I’ve always thought people would find a lot more pleasure in their routines if they burst into song at significant moments.”

And all the people said amen. Those that have been around our family know we don’t just do this at significant moments, but really at any given moment a song that would be appropriate for that occasion pops in our head. In fact, I should apologize in advance to anyone that, in the future, might spend any amount of time with us.

Music calms. Music is universal. Music speaks where words fail. Music ministers. Music is simply a part of us. Music, after all, was created first and foremost by God. He put that gift in us.

Nearly every time I drive up to my parent’s house for a visit, and they live only 20 minutes from me, without fail my mom is found playing the piano. When we were little and all living there, people used to ask me if the constant sound of the piano, and people coming and in and out for lessons was annoying. I can truly say that not for one minute did it annoy me. As time went on, I found it very comforting. It was normal. I can’t speak for some of her students who may have been annoyed however when I, on occasion, would be yelling at my brother from the top of stairs, at the top of my lungs, mind you, because he was picking on me, but that’s another story for another day. Big brothers are both a blessing and a curse. Some of you may understand.

This entire post sums up my love for this “throw back Thursday” picture. For the love of all things music.

My mom and I sitting at the piano. Where all is right in the world. She always has and always will by my favorite piano player, and for once, I think it’s okay to be biased.

And those glasses? Well, they speak for themselves. Love you, Mom.


31 Responses to “For the Love of Music”

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  1. 1
    Cyndy says:

    I always have a song playing in my head. I don’t dare sing it out loud for anyone else to hear. In my head, I sound great. Out of my mouth, well, that is something only Jesus takes joy in!

  2. 2
    Margie Pendergraft says:

    I love lots of music genres, but I’ve never been quite the same since discovering contemporary Christian music. I love singing along to my favorite songs. I’m not a performer – it just feels right! Music is in my bones – took piano for 8 years, played the flute for 6 years in band. Sang to my children from birth, sat them on my lap and played the piano for them as soon as they could sit up. Both of my kids took piano lessons. My son(22) is a commercial piano music major who also plays trombone and sings. My daughter(19)also plays flute and loves to sing. My most favorite moment is when I’m in between them at church and they are both singing! My favorite saying is – “Music washes away the dust of everyday life”. God Bless!

  3. 3
    Betty M says:

    Yes! Lindsee!
    It is said that music is the language of the soul! It sets the tone for what ever mood you wana be in. I often play something for back ground music when I write if I am looking for a certain mood. I hated music lessons! I remember having to wear my first formal for a piano recitla at age 8 or 9. I was a pure TomBoy and when I got my first formal it was pink with lotza ruffles and lace. I hated it! When I was walking into the auditorium to play one man looked at me and chuckled and said ‘now that’s a TomBoy!” You see my arms were deep brown from being outside all the time. I probably looked like I was in total misery too!! The neatest thing is on Sun AM’s in our little church our family loves to sing parts to the hymns and we are louder than the whole church so you can really hear us. Some people comment on us all singing parts. It is a real joy. No, we are not gifted beyond words but we can sing respectfully and it is always fun to sing together. I made my daughter take piano lessons and we went round and round too over it but she now gives beginner lessons in the city she lives in and it is a nice little extra income for her. Wish I owuld have taken them more seriously now.
    Betty M

  4. 4

    And I am ever so honored that I was able to be her student for a decade 🙂 Love her. Love your dad. Love Bri Guy. Love Kevbo. Love YOU, Lindsee Lou.

    • 4.1
      Lindsee says:

      And I love you, sweet friend. Don’t think for one second I didn’t try to cram you into this post as well! 🙂

  5. 5
    Judy says:

    Love your post. My mom was also a piano teacher and unfortunately, she got tired of fighting with us about practicing. So while I can play the piano, it is at a very basic level. I really regret now that I didn’t practice. My mom was also the choir director at our church (for over 40 years). I would substitute for the organist when she was gone — and thankfully my mom would choose easy hymns and anthems that I could play. Music has always been a huge part of my life. I think I know all four verses to almost every hymn! People at my office are always chuckling at me because I’m always humming — I spare them from breaking out in full song 🙂

    • 5.1
      Lindsee says:

      Judy, I am ALWAYS humming. Always. Without fail. That or singing a part of a song. And yes, my mom was the kids choir director growing up. In fact, she still is! 🙂

  6. 6
    Tilly says:

    Loved your story, Lindsee. What precious memories you have. God bless you!

  7. 7
    Traci says:

    For “reference” I did look up David Lanz and found out he will be playing a concert in my city this September! Both my girls play piano and have for a long time – I’m getting tickets! Thanks for the post – we ARE music lovers around here. :0)

  8. 8

    OMG! How adorable! My family is musical too. In my house though, it’s not the instruments as much as it is the singing. My mom sings all the time – something I used to find annoying (she will burst into song in the middle of a conversation, especially if the radio is on, and not understand why I suddenly can’t finish a thought). But I have slowly learned to appreciate her sudden worship, as she calls it. It’s still hard to talk to her in the car, in fact I usually don’t, but I wouldn’t trade knowing her worship is true and sound for all the quiet in the world.

    • 8.1
      Lindsee says:

      Chrissie, we’ve all been known to burst into song as well. It would be such a hard habit to break!

  9. 9
    Pam T says:


    I just laughed when I read this. I teach piano. My daughter takes piano, but not from me. Everybody assumes that I teach her. They are shocked when I tell them that I don’t. She takes from my teacher! So you understand why!!!!!

    Music is who I am not what I do. Loved this post.

  10. 10

    Lindsee, I love this post! You reminded me of when my husband, our two girls, and I sang at church on our Christmas Eve service. My memories make my laugh out loud. We sang “O, Christmas Tree” … we got up there and I got so nervous I could barely breathe. I actually had to mouth the words because I knew I would be so off key if the sound came out (with no oxygen). My husband was about the only one to be heard!! He gives us such a hard time … we all got up there and left him stranded. And he is not a great singer!! I am laughing so hard writing this right now. He says he will never sing with us again, in public! Ha ha!

  11. 11
    Lisa Baker Kail says:

    My mother was a piano teacher also and since she was a PK she played the piano at church. I learned to play “Mary had a little lamb” when I was 3 by a color chart. I also grew up with kids and adults coming and going out of our house taking lessons. Still have friends from those days!

  12. 12
    candifer says:

    i have a picture eerily similar to that! minus the glasses (;

    i also thought musical ability was a deal-breaker. haha!

  13. 13
    Diana A. says:

    We did “singspiration” at our house. My mom played the organ in the key of “C”. All songs had to go with that!
    After evening service mom/dad invited our whole church over to singspiration and the house was full! Thankfully tho’ we did attend a fairly small church. Cookies and juice were staples…sometime homemade, and sometimes store-made 🙂

    My mom and her sister were the great musicans of our home, and so often we did sing and play instruments and Glorify GOD with our offerings.

    Boy talk about old memories, mom is singing with all her heart at the feet of Jesus, and my aunt lives many miles away…but the thought of those days brings such joy and warmth to my heart…Thanks for the idea to look back.

    Truly miss those Singspiration days!

    • 13.1
      Diana A. says:

      I meant to say… I see that great smile of yours started from day one! Way to go Lindsee 😀

  14. 14
    Robin says:

    David Lanz is my all time favorite artist! I love his music – so glad you do too!

  15. 15
    Joyce watson says:

    there is something about music
    that touches my heart,
    there is something about prayer,
    that keeps me trusting in Him
    And there is something about worship
    that brings me even closer than from the start,
    Oh, how I love Jesus
    forever my Friend
    there is something about His love,
    that tells me only He can fight all my battles and always win.

    There is something about joy
    that comes after sorrow,
    There is something about peace
    that comes after the battle,
    And there is something about hope
    that keeps me holding on to Him
    Oh, how I love Jesus
    forever my Friend
    there is something about His love,
    that tells me only He can fight all my battles and always win. ~joyce

  16. 16
    Pam says:

    Hi Lindsee,

    Thanks for sharing. Its fun sometimes to think back of the “olden days.” Although I am more the generation of your mom, I have memories of my mother playing the piano at church and she would sometimes teach students piano. I remember taking some lessons from her, but as a child not really appreciating it. I suppose it is human nature to not really appreciate the opportunities you may be given. Looking back many years later, I wish I would have fully embraced the lessons and the practicing and the knowledge that my mom could have imparted to me, but alas never really put my heart into it. I do love to listen to music though, and if someone asks me if I play anything, I just say, the radio!

  17. 17
    amybhill says:

    i had to comment to say you were the cutest baby EVER. i have a little miss that cheeses for the camera just like you are cheesing here. ADORABLE. i want to pinch your cheeks. xo

  18. 18

    Lindsee, your comment that you dreamed of marrying a man with musical talent reminded me so much of myself. I didn’t come from a musical family, but I was in band in junior high and high school. Loved it so much that for a while I thought I’d be a band director one day (an idea I eventually gave up). While in college, I did a Bible study for single women that asked you to list what traits you’d like in your future husband. Extreme love of music was on my list, but after much thought I marked it as WDW (Willing to Do Without).

    Well, I didn’t meet my husband, Garrett, until I was 32, so I forgot all about that list. My sister reminded me of it because Garrett was a middle school choir director and professional singer (he has an amazingly beautiful voice). That moment was so surreal to me as I realized that God had answered a prayer I’d first prayed so long ago. At the time I considered it to be a bonus, but the last couple of years I’ve wondered if maybe his musical ability is a major part of a ministry we can do together someday. We’ll see.

    Anyway, just wanted to encourage you as you pray for your future husband. There’s no shame in desiring that your future husband have musical talent, with the attitude that God knows best and may have a different plan. The truth is that, whether or not he has musical talent, you may be married for quite a while before you see God’s greater plan for ministry together. It’s all part of the journey.

  19. 19
    katiegfromtennnessee says:

    Your pic makes me smile of you and your momma:)

  20. 20
    Hannah says:

    Lindsey, this made me laugh because my husband and I are the kind who burst into song at random, but we make up the most ridiculous stuff and I would hope nobody ever has the opportunity to eavesdrop on us! At least we can’t say we aren’t joyful, right?

  21. 21
    Jennifer T says:

    Lindsee –
    I loved this post! I grew up with a singing mom and all four of my brothers and I played instruments at one time or another (I played flute but switched to oboe and english horn). I love to sing but can barely carry a tune in a basket. The funnier part is that I married the best rock star that never was. Smiling. He is a drummer and loveslovesloves having music on at all times. It may not be the style I like, but something is always playing here. Now our 11 year old son is becoming quite the gifted piano player and has an amazing ear and singing voice. (He can figure out a song on the piano after hearing it for the first time – it’s a blast to watch.) I wasn’t looking to marry a music man and I certainly wouldn’t have said “home life is not complete unless there are three drum kits, one piano, several keyboards, amps and mics all about.” But, well, ours wouldn’t be. And God prepared me for it in amazing ways. So SING ON and look so forward to how HE writes His next few verses over you!!

  22. 22
    Deborah says:

    Deborah from Seward, Alaska
    “My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me.”
    John 10:27 HCSB

  23. 23

    I smiled when you mentioned the thing about your mom trying to teach you to play piano. It took me back! I remember when my husband first got his training to be a lifeguard and swim instructor training completed and telling my mom we’d never have to pay for swim lessons, cause Josh is even certified to teach them! My mom laughed and reminded me that my father is a professional horse trainer and also is paid to teach others to ride, but how many people they paid to teach me to ride even though my dad had taught hundreds of others to ride a horse! She said the reason she did that is because none of us would listen to dad. She was right. Guess who paid for swim lessons even when her husband was a certified swim instructor? LOL!

  24. 24
    Dana Goodwin says:

    Dana Ashland, KY “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.” Judges 17:6 & 21:25 NIV

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