As a humble third grader, I loved to sing. I cannot begin to express how much I loved it. The problem was, at least according to my sister, I was tone deaf.
I had not yet acquired the Criss family gene, handed down through my mother, for musical aptitude.
That would change when I entered the fourth grade and had my first experience with instruments.
It was then, through school, that I learned to play the violin. Over the years, I was able to lose the tone-deafness, and now can sing my then favorite song - Toto's "Roseanna" without missing a beat ... or a note.
I went on to teach myself to play the cello, viola and upright bass - none of which were terribly difficult after learning the violin.
It grew from there, I taught myself to play the piano, and later the guitar. Making the switch from four strings to six was tough. So tough, in fact, I've not gone back.
It also helped me learn to sing.
Though I loved singing Roseanna at the top of my lungs - much to my sister's dismay - I wasn't much for public performance.
A few years ago, I finally worked up the nerve to sing during an open mic night in Charlottesville.
But were it not for a school program, none of it would have happened.
It was through a school program that I learned to play the violin and read music, which then gave me my 'ear' for music appreciation.
Since then, Im never long without some tunes, whether its classical music, tunes from the 1980s or a little hip-hop.
March, it should be noted, is Music in Education month.
I cannot think of a more worthwhile endeavor than to have music, and music education in our schools.
Sure, other subjects are very important, if not more so. They're the foundation of a good education. But I firmly believe that music education enhances the overall learning process.
Let's celebrate the month, and support our students, by attending the band concert at Henry County Middle School March 18.
Jonna Spelbring Priester can be reached at email@example.com.