As mentioned, Mary's sons are grown and she couldn't be prouder of them. Her oldest son is a Catholic priest in Missouri and her youngest son is a pilot in the Navy, stationed in Hawaii. She is also a proud UT alum...hook 'em horns, Mary.
Here's Mary Lins with her essay for KUHF's This I Believe.
"Music hath charms to soothe a savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak" wrote William Congreve hundreds of years ago. I believe it is true.
Since the first mother made up the first lullaby, music has had a soothing effect on little ones.
I believe that exposing children to music early in life is a lasting and inexpensive gift we adults can share with them. When my sons were young, I promised to give them a quarter for every song on the radio that I didn't know. I paid out only about 75 cents in all the years I was driving them around! The bet caused them to listen intently to music playing on my favorite stations — pop, oldies and classical.
Music makes me feel good, hopeful and joyful. It takes away my discomfort and transports me to a sublime plain. I can pop an aspirin or pop in a CD and get similar results.
When I had my wisdom teeth removed and couldn't stomach the pain medication, I turned to Gregorian chants instead. My mouth hurt less. I relaxed...my "savage breast" was soothed. Cheaper than Vicodin, music is just as addictive.
For me, making music is even more therapeutic. For 21 years, I have been a member of the Bay Area Chorus, a 44-year-old community chorus in Houston. Singing in such an ensemble — whether a church choir, a glee-club, or community chorus — is a commitment of time and talent, yet its rewards are manifold. Lending your voice as part of a Master Work enables you to become part of that immortal music — and it becomes a part of you.
When I experienced an emotional upheaval 12 years ago, not only the friendships that I developed through the Bay Area Chorus, but also the music itself helped me re-group and heal. Music works the left and right sides of my brain in harmony and produces an endorphin-like rush of pleasure.
I believe William Congreve was right when he proclaimed the transformative charms of music. I believe music has a therapeutic affect that can help overcome a bad day, a crushing year, or a hole in your life.
This I believe."