Music seems to have that effect!

It soothes the soul. It evokes memories. It brings up emotions that we thought were buried. It makes us laugh or cry, makes us angry or uplifted.

Music has been a part of my life since I was 6 years old. That was when my mother started me on piano lessons. I'm not sure what made her decide that was the best time to do it. Maybe it was because of the piano teacher that lived across the street at the time. Maybe it was because she, and her mother before her, knew how to play the piano and wanted her daughter to know, too.

I was willing. I liked playing the piano. Over the years, however, I vacillated between being happy to take the lessons and practicing, and arguing with her about every minute I spent at the piano.

As most people say whose parents "made" them stick with something - I'm glad she did!

I also began playing the flute in junior high school, after my parents decided that would be the safest and least annoying for me to learn. (If you've ever heard a child learning the violin, you know what I mean!) It helped to already be able to read music. It also got me interested in teaching myself other instruments.

I initially wanted to get serious about the piano and planned to pursue a career in concert piano or something similar. Once I got to college, however, I realized that I really didn't want to get THAT serious! I would have had to practice even more hours than I had already done! When you're 18 years old, that's a prospect that doesn't appeal.

Since becoming an adult, I have been able to play the piano off and on, depending on whether a piano was available. It's an instrument that you don't just carry with you when you move or take with you when you travel!

But the ability to play - and hear the musicality of any song - has stayed with me. I now play at the 11 a.m. service of the Mancos United Methodist Church, collaborating with a guitar player, vocalists and a drummer. It's been a beautiful, therapeutic experience for me, not only to play, but to practice, too.

I've found that playing the piano is a release for me. I can embellish, change or invent my own pieces. And those who listen and hear me get the satisfaction of listening to the music that I love playing.

That's the beauty of music. It can be savored in any form, in any way, and by any one.

Jeanne Archambeault

Mancos Times editor