I was blessed to grow up in a musical family. My mother was aways singing and humming as she did whatever she was doing. (She still does, at age 101!)
She also played the piano by ear, as well as being able to read notes.
She taught me to do both, and made sure I had piano lessons that took me beyond what she could teach me. When we did dishes, my mother, sister, and I delighted in singing old folk songs and hymns in harmony, which we could also do "by ear."
When our family went on car trips, we spent a lot of time singing all kinds of songs, from "the sublime to the ridiculous" as my mother would say with a smile.
I still enjoy playing the piano as a way of praying as well as relaxing.
And in the past few years, I have also learned to play the native american flute, which I love. A native american flute player told me "just take a deep breath, center yourself, and then let whatever is in you come out as you blow out into the flute." That is what I do, and for me it is the most intuitive way to play music, and it does feel as if it comes straight from my soul.
In earlier years, I learned to play the accordion and psaltery and auto-harp and mouth organ, and even the ukelele a little bit. I never got really good on these instruments, but was content to play them for my own enjoyment. That is one of the reasons I love it that we use the word "play" for what we do with instruments. Playing is something many of us could use more of, and playing music seems to me to be one of the best kinds of play possible.
I think I'll go play a thank-you song on the piano now!