Sophia’s Smiling Song

For some, a trip to the mailbox is simply a piece of drudgery for the day. For me, both a giver and receiver of snail mail, I know that trip can hold a treasure. Today was such day. The corners of my mouth turned upward, as I saw not one, but two personal notes addressed to me. The envelope beguiling me the most possessed a return address from Sophia. More satisfaction came as I peered longer at the corner of that envelope, for she provided me with her new address at college.

Sophia and I go way back. Sophia was part of my very first kindergarten class. Before school began, I read through my roster. Her name, first, middle and last, produced a sound resonating with me. I knew before we met, I was going to like this little girl. As you can tell, like might not quite cover it, for at the onset of her adventure at college, we still hold a special place in each other’s heart.

A relationship continued after kindergarten. Sophia requested piano lessons to keep our connection going. In time, her little sister began taking lessons too. Charming like Sophia, with quite the dramatic, artistic bent, a bond formed over a keyboard and chats. From time to time, their mom invited me to stay after music lessons to enjoy a homemade meal. I always treasured those times.

I find it interesting rehearsals of the good old days in the classroom always involve music, whether it be Sophia or another child reminiscing. Gary Chapman coined the term “love languages” many are familiar with. I like to say music is a universal love language. Music touches your core, engaging all of parts of you, especially the soul.

Without getting on my soapbox, I must let you know I’ve always fought to keep music in the classroom. Special needs kids traveled through my class over the years. Largely unresponsive, these students would light up once I played the piano. Dancing, laughter, intense listening and requests for another round of a cherished piece line the walls of my memories with students. Music not only facilitated learning in my class, it cemented the bonds of our hearts with beautiful memories. We are connected by a powerful soundtrack.

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