If a person walked into my house and asked, “What makes your house a home,” my first response would most likely be, “Pardon? I can’t quite hear you.” The questioning voice would probably be drowned out by piano playing, guitar chords, trumpet fanfares, bouncing basketballs, shrieks of laughter, or by any of the other sounds of chaos and happiness that seem to incessantly sail through our home.
While I occasionally wish for a few moments of peace, I often find the greatest sense of calm and comfort in the craziness of our loving home. When a family of 6 includes 5 pianists, 3 guitarists, 3 trumpeters, 2 drummers, 1 bass player, 6 singers, and 1 band director, the numbers clearly don’t add up to 24/7 silence. Music has been one of the most influential parts of my life for as long as I can remember, and it still brings me some of my greatest moments of joy, especially at home. Our living room sometimes looks and sounds more like a busy music studio than it does a formal area for enjoying a cup of tea and sophisticated conversation. Crunched up against the window sits the drum set, just inches away from the piano.
Microphones and amplifiers are set up around the furniture, and a guitar or two usually join the crowded scene to put the finishing touch on the family band. Even though the occasional healthy argument interrupts our rehearsals, making music with my family gives us a special bond and provides unique opportunities for memorable performances around the community. Even when we are not making organized music together, our home is filled with the sounds of guitar and piano practice, trumpet duets and trios, and voices belting songs from the showers.
As the oldest of four children, I have been able to personally witness the exponential growth of chaos and fun as my brother and two sisters appeared on the family scene. Distant memories of sleeping babies, bedtime stories, and my dad playing classical music on the piano remind me of a more serene home environment. Over the last fourteen years, however, these cute sleeping babies have become vibrant and vocal contributors to the fabric of our family. Our sibling sounds range from laughter and bouncing basketballs to shouting and the sound of bodies tumbling on the floor. Our house is large enough to meet our needs, but small enough that there is no escape from these dedicated human noisemakers. I am not always thrilled with the volume levels as I study for the next test or attempt to get a little extra sleep on the weekend, but this loud sibling love makes our home come alive and helps bring us closer together.
To fully appreciate our home, bring along your instruments, your smile, and your enthusiastic zest for life. The continual music, the chaotic background noises, and the incessant sibling banter all soar and swirl together to create a symphony of sounds for the soul.