April 10, 2013
by Sharon Planer, Pianist for Parties
"You must love having a profession that involves participating in happy events" was a comment I received this week when meeting a gentleman for the first time.
I heartily agreed that I love sharing my piano music for events that celebrate happy occasions. Tailoring my piano repertoire for anniversaries, birthdays, corporate milestones, graduations, engagement parties, and weddings is great fun!
But I reminded him that some events such as funerals are solemn and at times heartbreaking for many of the guests.
My comment caused him to recall his father's funeral and how important the music was to his family.
This week two separate events caused me to reflect on the effect music has during times of bereavement. Earlier this week I had a lovely grand piano at my fingertips just inside the main doors of a beautiful funeral home. As guests arrived for the visitation with the family they were greeted with colorful floral arrangements, a flowing fountain, and my elegant piano music. The visual and musical atmosphere helped create a relaxed and welcoming setting. Guests would occasionally stop by the piano to comment on the effect of the music. Even though this was a time of sadness, the music helped create an uplifting atmosphere.
his evening there was a intimate memorial service for a gentleman from my local church. As guests gathered to greet the family, I softly played songs of faith. During the service I loved accompanying the guests as they sang the family's choice of well-loved hymns. This allowed the guests to express their hope and faith through music. The widow told me that the funeral was 'so perfect' and was exactly how her husband would have wanted it.
he quote from Aldous Huxley sums it up beautifully. "After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music."
Have ou experienced an event where music really affected the setting in a significant way? I would love to hear your comments!