There’s a great Mojo Nixon song called “Elvis Is Everywhere” which you can listen to and watch if you stay with me on this “Opera is Everywhere” post.
To a child, the world is full of music. There is no division in their minds between music and sound, or between voice and song. Ever listen to a small child talking to themselves in that sing-song little voice they use? Ever leave a small one alone with a cup and a hard surface?
Even as adults we’re want to tap that pencil as we suss out a sudoku puzzle.
So when my daughter was young, we used to have “Opera days” where, before going off to daycare, everything had to be sung. No talking, only singing. As hard as this might sound at first, you pretty soon get into a groove of your choice; be it reggae or gregorian chant. You’ll even find that simple things like “Do you want some toast?” can take on Wagnerian proportions, much to the delight of your little ones.
The point is that even a rarefied discipline like opera is, at its heart, nothing more complicated than “sing me a story”. Anybody can do it about anything they like. And equally important, this game you play with your kids lets them know that music IS everywhere, and that anything from “everybody clean up” to “time to go to sleep” can be music.
And somehow dropping her off to the tune of “So Long, Farewell,” from Sound of Music seemed to draw far fewer tears on those days when it was hard to be separated.
So get your Mojo back, discover your inner Elvis and give “Opera day” a shot. There’s nothing quite like starting your day with a standing ovation.
And now, I offer as a reward, the musical stylings of Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper:
About the author: Christopher is married to the beautiful and talented Michelle, and dad to four year old son Roan and eight year old daughter Faith. He is a self-described opera, sci-fi, literature, and music geek. Follow Christopher on twitter @wildsheepchaser