Judith Edelman, age 3

I hate music. I hate it the way you sometimes hate the person you made a beautiful, if innocent, commitment to a long time ago, on the best day of your life. You are still together, living, perhaps, in a smaller and less glam place than you had imagined, and they still have that annoying habit of leaving their dirty [your least favorite type of undergarment or personal hygiene product here] out for you to step on, clean up after, or throw on the floor of the closet before the guests they invited over without asking see it, even though you've been having the same conversation about please, please, please, trying not to do that anymore, for years. Yeah--that's how I hate music.

Music and I have had this ferocious and unsettling relationship since before I can remember being unhappy about anything. That puts me at about five. The only spoken rule I can recall in my parents' house was that each of us kids had to choose an instrument on which to take classical lessons before we hit kindergarten. The choices were piano and violin. I picked piano. It never occurred to me to wonder if there were other instruments out there, nor did it dawn on me until recently that my dad may have just wanted to start a band. Were we actually conceived to be a family band? After I had been taking lessons for a few years, Family Chamber Nights were born.