By Nina Badzin for Brain, Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers
I grew up in a musical family. And by “musical” I don’t mean that any of us in the Sackheim household was blessed with the gift of song. I, for example, took piano lessons for eight years, but never progressed beyond a fourth-grade level. Likewise, I remember sitting through my sisters’ choir concerts when, to tell you the truth, I don’t think of my sisters as people who can sing. I cannot sing either. Nor can our parents. My husband, who has an excellent voice, dramatically winces when he hears our rendition of “Happy Birthday.”
Yet for all we Sackheims lacked in the ability to produce music, we more than made up for in our desire to consume it. We were (and still are) musical fanatics—Broadway musical fanatics to be exact. Many of my happiest childhood memories feature excursions to see Broadway shows.
Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, my family had access to excellent productions in the city. And since my mom’s family lived in Rochester, New York, my parents often attached two days in New York City on to our annual grandparent visit. Sometimes we saw three shows in one trip. I was spoiled one could argue. But not spoiled rotten. Because rotten is so negative, and those shows were good times. Those shows were joy.
The Broadway experience in our family was also educational. My parents made us read about the musicals weeks before a show and listen to the music since it’s hard to truly capture the nuances of what’s happening when you’re hearing the lyrics for the first time live.