I had a moment of extreme sadness tonight where I suddenly felt, quite strongly, the full force of unlocked potential.
It's one thing to have one's own ability to enjoy and perform music impaired, but quite another to not be able to pass down musical ability and nurture it in someone you love.
I've done my best with piano lessons but my aunt and uncle weren't wrong when they suggested that perhaps proper lessons may be in order if my son is to get serious about it. After all, I never trained as a teacher. They both did, and though they wish they lived nearer so they could teach him themselves, they did the right thing suggesting he gets lessons.
Anyway, that's a slight tangent. What got me tonight was the fact that since we moved out of nursery rhymes I've not heard my son sing a song all the way through. And that struck me as quite incredible. Then I started crying.
Now, I can see that it's not all my fault. Apart from having a condition and a prescription that together have done a great job of destroying my senses, I am also up against the National Curriculum, which places music firmly at the bottom of its list of priorities.
How can it be so? Doesn't anyone in education recognise the value of singing on a regular basis, of having access to free music tuition and regular music lessons within the timetable? It should be right up there with Literacy and Numeracy, Art and Science. That's what I think. But the days of singing en masse seem to be over. I used to sing in assembly every day. And in a choir at primary school, and then in a Saturday music school, and then at GCSE, A Level and in the university choir. And several shocking bands. But we won't go there.
I know a vocal coach locally. But I think my son is now a little too old to be learning World Music and shaking a tambourine in a room full of earnest hairy mothers with their flora and fauna-named offspring. Which is a shame. Sort of. To be honest it's the only access to group music around where I live, and I suspect in many other areas. The years he would have enjoyed that with me have disappeared in a blur. And that's what I'm struggling with. It's a huge chasm, a divide that cannot be bridged.
So I'd like to share a memory with you. When he was very, very small my son stood in the middle of his Grandma and Grandpa's living room and shyly managed to sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. All curly locks and big brown eyes, he sang it very softly and yet with that magic only music can bring of knowing he was sharing something that brought pure happiness.