Monday, June 13, 2011

Suburbs of our Discontent

If Music Be the Food of Parental Pride . . . then play on!

This entire weekend was about attending my daughter's violin concerts (she's a beginner, but this Suzuki stuff is seriously intense. Can I get a "hey" from any other Suzuki sistahs out there?).

To be honest, I was expecting a Crazy Parent shit show at these things. Like, I'd be going into the belly of the Tiger Mom kind of thing.

I'm delighted to report that, when it comes to parenting, music may actually have magical properties, much like it does in Shakespeare. Specifically, the music scene turns out to be pretty sane, with nice parents having a good time with their nice kids. People were relaxed and happy. In many of my other experiences with child performances, this is unthinkable.

Usually you get the decked-out parents in a full-body cringe, watching their kids as if they threaten to reveal the secret family imperfections to the general public.

In the first scene of Twelfth Night, Count Orsino talks about music and food like someone with an eating disorder: he's trying to fill himself up with it, to excess, so that he can deal with a sad feeling (unrequited love).

So, as far as music is concerned, perhaps a better allusion would be to Caliban's description of the island's "twangling instruments":

"Be not afeard. The isle is full of noises,
Sounds, and sweet airs that give delight and hurt not"

Or, as No Fear Shakespeare translates:

"Don’t be scared. This island is full of noises, strange sounds and sweet melodies that make you feel good and don’t hurt anyone."

1 comment:

  1. This makes me feel vaguely guilty about the complaining I've been doing about the 72-act (not exaggerating), 3+ hour, marathon dance recital that will take place next weekend. TWO full performances. It may be more "cuteness" than I can take, but you make attending children's concerts sound so positive...