Where the inside of my mind leaks onto the screen.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Wait... This Isn't Normal??

First - read the article here (if you didn't click the link on FB yet).

Then - close your eyes and remember back to the lesson on genetics about dominant and recessive genes.  Remember the fun little matrix where you'd line up "Big B - Little b" and "Little B - Little B" to find out that according to simple genetics, a (Bb) brown eyed and a (bb) blue eyed parent would have a 75% chance of producing a (bb) blue eyed kid?  Well, let's alter the inputs to consider N as the dominant, non-musical gene and m as the recessive, musical gene and then consider child X with parents (mm) musical and (mm) musical.  Statistics and scientists agree that child X is going to end up (mm) musical.

Enough of the vagaries.  Let's apply the theory to a whole family.  My dad was raised in a musical family.  Each of his siblings plays one or more instruments (and plays them well).  My mom is the daughter of a concert pianist who made certain each of her children were able to both sing and play (again... well).  They met in choir at Ricks college, and most people who happen upon this blog know one or more of the (mm) musical results.

Finally - read my explanation of how scary true this is and the thoughts that went through my head:

1.  Family Reunions always consist of family concerts around the piano.


  • The Casdorphs (specifically my dad and his siblings) performed "Country Roads" at my grandparents' 50th anniversary party.
  • The Nelsons like to sing parts of "The Messiah" for fun on Christmas Eve.
  • One Nelson reunion literally involved a pre-printed songbook so we could all sing along.
2. You've been to more orchestra, band, and choir concerts than rock concerts.

Examples:  Just since the time Kirk joined the family in 2001, I estimate my poor husband has attended at least:
  • 16 choir concerts (estimated 10 high school and 6 college)
  • 2 band concerts (glad Jack didn't stick with that...)
  • 30 or more elementary or junior high choir performances
Those numbers don't include musical theater.  Following Michelle alone has probably been over 30 shows.

3. Every sentence is finished with a line from a song in a musical:

More accurate for my family: "Every situation can be summed up with a quote from Into the Woods."

4. You could name every instrument in the full orchestra before the age of 10.

I'm not saying that one was true.  But I am going to point out that Kirk recently showed what it's like to be a (NN) non-musical kid.  An LDS missionary with a passion from drumming had been dining at our house and pointed out Skye's nice "hat stand."  Kirk laughed at him and pointed out the poor elder's folly.  "No, that's for the drum set.  It's where the cymbals go."  The room when totally silent as we all tried to determine whether he was serious.  Michelle and I finally explained to him that the cymbals (or HIGH HAT) did in fact go on the aforementioned "hat stand."  And then we laughed a very (mm) laugh at his expense.

5. Thanks to the mandatory piano lessons, you were the best in your class on the recorder in elementary school because you already knew how to read music.

  • Yep.  That happened.
6. No matter where you go for family vacations you check to see if there are any musicals in town.

Once upon a time, my family loaded up into a truck and 5th wheel trailer and drove from Utah to New York and back.  We saw lots of stuff along the way and made one unexpected but memorable stop in Ogallala, Nebraska.  The truck had broken down, and with parts a day away, we ended up with time to see the sights.  I tried to be all sullen-teenager (seriously, my journal from the time reflects little beyond missing the two guys I was trying to decide between and how much I missed then having been dragged away for 2 1/2 weeks), but I just couldn't resist the charms of the singing cowboys at the local dinner theater.

7.  As a kid you thought it was strange that your friends' families didn't all know their vocal part.

My family doesn't really like sitting together in church.  It was all fine and dandy before Michelle and Jack could pick out their own harmony parts - Mom, Dad, Lisa, and I could each trade between the soprano, alto, tenor, and bass lines in the hymns without having to double.  Thankfully the tenor and bass can be doubled up an octave with is almost like getting to sing in six-part harmony.

9. Your family is always asked to perform together at events - and you can literally throw a concert together in minutes.

We have binders.  Literally.  If we don't have time to put together something new, we have a go-to standard set of both sacred and secular Christmas, a few Sacrament Meeting favorites ("Bow the Knee" and "Come Thou Fount"), or the original music from the original fireside co-composed by my mom and me.  No piano available?  We can always do "Prayer of the Children."

11. Every family vacation schedule started with blocking out rehearsal time and performance dates.

Still does.  I hope it always will.  (Though this is one of the major reasons I decided to leave EYT behind.)

16.  All of your black clothes were originally purchased as concert attire.

Okay, this one applies more to band members (though I can certainly pull together a quick concert-black).  For choir kids, this should read, "All your formal dresses were custom made to match the rest of the choir," or "You've owned your own tux since you were 16."

17. Somehow your house always had twice as many music stands as people living there.

I own two of my own.  So, yep - twice as many people as I am.

18.  You got the "good" part in music concerts as a kid because you could read music and sing in tune.

I'm not certain if everyone would agree that "alto" is the good part, but I do remember wanting nothing more than to be cast in the quartet in my high school choir's top 40 revue.  I don't need solos - just give me an exciting harmony.

21. As soon as you are alone as a family after any performance the critique session begins.

Oh how I wish I could teach this skill to Kirk!  "How was it?" I ask.  "Good," he replies.  Doesn't he know that the whole point in going out to ice cream after a show is so there is plenty of time to pick it apart?

23. It is not unusual to find rosin, reed water bottles, or valve oil in any drawer in the house or cup holder in the car.

Again, this one needs an edit for the choir and musical theater crew: "It is not unusual to find sheet music in every bag and binder and on every flat surface in the house (and probably somewhere in the car)."  Also, "It is not unusual to find mic tape in any drawer or cup holder."

24. When talking with friends in sports, you would accidentally refer to try-outs and practices as auditions and rehearsal.

Oh. So. True.

25. Half time??  Oh, you must be talking about intermission.  I only came to see the band.

I went to two high school football games.  To sit with the band.  My high school basketball team made it to some important game that meant playing at Rice Eccles Stadium (edit thanks to friends who point out my mistakes: the Hunstman Center).  I went.  To sit with the band.  My dad came with me.  And embarrassed me terribly by asking to play Dave Dunn's trumpet.  

26. You know the terms "front of house," "stage left," and "upstage," and can use them without thinking.

I just referred to a part of my classroom as "stage right" this week.

29.  Family birthdays aren't over until there's a rendition of Happy Birthday complete with harmony and a descant.

Yep.  And now every time it happens, I think of "The Office" episode about the high harmony.

30. You're basically the Von Trapp family, just without the Nazis.

Whatever.  We're the Casdorph family - which is even better.

Oh, and we aren't snobs, which means we're willing to let even the non-purebred hang out with us:

Adam: Nm, Alex: Nm, Dylan: Nm, Kirk: NN, Brett: Nm, Suman: probably NN (I'm classifying Skye as mm, which makes Tyler and Ryder mm, too)  (Though Brett got Nm, his efforts at making the m dominant make John an mm)