Music contributes to well-being

By E.C. Schaeffer: Guest Columnist

Editor’s note: This is part of in a week-long series in which local columnists talk about their love for music in celebration of “Music in Our Schools Week” at Clovis schools.

Music has been a vital part of my life since my earliest piano lesson at age 5, through high school at the Chicago Musical College’s prep school, and beyond. When I was a teenager, my parents and I sang with the Chicago Mormon Choir, whose director was the assistant conductor of the Chicago Symphony. We once performed at Chicago’s famed Orchestra Hall.

Music was important in our family. My father was a child prodigy on the violin, but made art his career instead. Later in his life he taught himself to play the cello. We had a family trio with my dad on the cello, my brother on the violin and me on the piano. At Christmas, we would play carols for all the neighbors. Those are fond memories.

As long as I can remember there has been music playing in my head. A tune of one kind or another is always in the background running through my mind throughout the day. Once, many years ago I suffered a depression and the music in my head stopped. The time came when I knew I was well again — the music in my head had started up.

Nowadays, with so many wonderful venues for listening, it is a great joy to hear a wide variety of music on my XM radio and other devices. But I prefer to attend live concerts whenever possible.

I am grateful that I am still playing the piano as well as the organ, which I have done regularly at my church here in Clovis for the past 30 years. And I am singing once again, this time with the incomparable Wayne Anderson and his High Plains Chorale at Clovis Community College.
It’s extraordinary fun.

E.C. Schaeffer is a retired builder, a volunteer at Clovis Branch Family History Center and a Chicago native.