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A Family of Instrument Players
Background in Music
Making a joyful noise with music, songs and instruments was a daily event in my family from before I was born and is to this day! Learning to sing, read music and play various instruments took a very important role in my home schooling and that of three brothers and two sisters. But it was more than that, it was a way to praise God for His never ending goodness to us and as children we loved to sing. Every day began and ended with song. When we were yet too young to read music in order to play it on our early instruments, my grandmother rewrote the notes from all of our songs into letters until we were able to read music notes on a staff.
Our first instrument was the keyboard but with so much enthusiasm for making music ourselves it was not long before different instruments were brought into the family “orchestra.” My brother, Fred Prince, learned to play beautiful melodies on the pennywhistle, taking that simple instrument to new heights of loveliness. Fred also went on to play the clarinet, a natural choice for him, and, with several of us, he learned the guitar as well. It was a delight to hear the guitar sessions that sometimes took place in the evening. My sister, Barbara Alice, had in her repertoire the keyboard, harmonica, and guitar and later added the violin. The keyboard was my favorite instrument (I am partial to anything electronic!) and I often accompanied the others on it. My mother learned to play the trumpet when we were young adults and it was not long before we were wakened to its call every morning! Two brothers who did not take up playing instruments still added clear, full voices to our songs.
We studied our instruments, learning how they were made, and how and why they worked. In addition to learning the classics, we wrote new songs and composed new music for them. Consequently I am familiar with and enjoy many forms of music and instruments; music that celebrates the goodness of God and life, simple music that is fun and uplifting, melodies of praise and thankfulness, the music of the great composers, marching bands and beautiful ballads that have stood the test of time. I am very thankful that I was raised in a family where music is a way of life and a joyful noise unto the Lord.
U.S. Army, Hawaii
October 18, 2013