From: Margaret Whitaker, Harswell.
I AGREE entirely with Nan Preston (The Yorkshire Post, October 19) on music lessons. We are all born sentient beings; with ears to hear, eyes to see, voices to speak and sing, fingers to create. Helen Keller, who was born deaf dumb and blind, learnt to communicate by rhythmic touches on her skin.
The 1930s were a time when penniless ex-servicemen wandered the streets playing various instruments for money to survive. I recall vividly a man calling at our house playing the violin. At the age of three, I had never heard such wonderful sounds, so emptied the contents of my Mickey Mouse purse into his cap!
From music children learn resilience, and how to withstand disappointment. It is a help at times of mental distress, so essential in today’s bullying, angry society. When, as a psychiatric nurse, I used music therapy before it existed, one lady, who never spoke, clearly sang every word of two songs I played. An unexpected breakthrough! I started at school with a penny whistle and, aged 12, joined church choirs and eventually sang in cathedrals and played church organs. Only deafness has put a stop to all the pleasure I have had from music – but I still hear much-loved melodies in my head.