The power of the polka
Aug. 5, 2013
by Jenni Sebora

Each year, our church is fortunate enough to have Chuck Thiel and the Jolly Ramblers play for a polka service at our church. Many other area churches also host these events.

My husband is from a German town in eastern Wisconsin, and throughout his school days he played the tuba, so this event is something that he looks forward to every year. He always wants to get to that service early to enjoy some of the pre-service music.

Well, this is a tall order, because with three kids, getting to church on time is a challenge – let alone getting there early.

We did get two to church a little early, but, because of the popularity of the service, we ended up sitting in the choir loft. This really was a good thing, because we got a great view of the band and could hear everything just fine.

The band played about eight selections before and during the service, and one thing I noticed as the service progressed, was that everyone really seemed to enjoy it.

Of course, I would expect older people (like me) to get into it, but from my vantage point in the choir loft, I could see young kids and teenagers singing, bobbing their heads, and tapping their hands to the beat of the music.

My husband and I could be the ringleaders of this. There was definitely a great feeling with the combination of the church setting, the lively music, and the inspirational words of song.

One-time Minnesota resident Henry John Deutschendorf Jr., aka John Denver, may have said it best, “Music does bring people together. It allows us to experience the same emotions. People everywhere are the same in heart and spirit. No matter what language we speak, what color we are, the form of our politics, or the expression of our love and our faith, music proves we are the same.”

That was certainly true on that special church day.

Each time I attend one of my children’s band or choir concerts, I am always drawn in by the music and how it embraces my emotions and connects my brain with my heart, and my thoughts with my feelings.

I am always ready to get up and dance, or close my eyes to take in the serenity of the piece.

I am always tapping my feet, swinging my shoulders, and jiggling my legs – you get the picture.

I sometimes wonder why everyone isn’t doing the same. There are a few that are feeling the beat, such as my husband. I am sure many are, they just rope their tapping and jiggling in. I just can’t help transmitting those feelings to actions.

I also love classical music, but it can be dangerous for me when I tune into 99.5 on my car radio. I like to close my eyes while listening to Beethoven or Chopin, but that certainly is not conducive to driving.

The point I’m making is that music provides an outlet for expressing our emotions and feelings. Whether young or old, music is therapy for our hearts, minds, and body (well our hearts and minds are part of our body, but you know what I mean).

Whether classical, jazz, polka, or hip hop, music is entertaining and energizing. It is serene and soulful.

May we all find the music in our lives that uplifts and provides us a place where we can be. Attend a polka service; you won’t be disappointed.

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