I have been influenced by music my whole life. My first memories of this love begin years and years ago in the 80’s. My mother, Sandy, has a picture of me sitting in font of my fisher price plastic record player -- it had different songs that toddlers might enjoy, like happy birthday, camp town races, humpty dumpy, and songs from the Sound of Music-- smiling and enjoying myself.
Next came the real record player in the family room where I spent time playing my parents old records, and of course the new thing in our home the CD player and the Wilson Philips CD, the only CD in our home for about 6 months.
We also had a piano in our home that when I was younger would put olives on my fingers and try to play. I remember my sisters bringing home flutes from summer music school and playing with them not knowing what to do. My sister Audrey for Christmas one year got a interactive computer program to teach you how to play the piano. I tried my hand at it but I guess when you are 7 or 8 you don’t have the patience to learn that way, or at least I didn’t. When our family moved to Oregon I tried to teach myself how to play the piano, I mastered a few songs but nothing note worthy. And the piano was Audrey’s thing any way so I moved on.
I would even take my old Walkman and tune to the AM classical music station and fall a sleep to it every night. Falling asleep to the intertwining melodies complicated rhythms and tones and the monotone voices of the classical station DJ’s, till I could no longer find batteries.
I joined the Sunlight singers, my elementary school's choir, when I was in the 5th grade and the school band, I played flute, rather poorly I recall. But I kept it up though the 7th grade when the elementary schools merged and there was a plethora of flutes so I changed to the French horn. The transition was not smooth. I would play in the bathroom to try to muffle the sound, but it ended up amplifying it. I would practice outside and people would yell out their doors for me to shut up. But in those 3 years of junior high and the freshmen year in high school I became rather good, and no longer was I taunted and jeered or locked in the bathroom by my sisters.
When I switched schools my sophomore year, because of class conflicts, I could no longer play in the band. Yearning for some sort of musical outlet I joined the choir. I loved it! Harmonizing, blending and movement, it was joy.
After High school, however, I didn’t have much of a musical outlet except for the music that I listened to and discovered. The years past and just last fall I found it again. I joined the university choir and took piano lessons. Walking back to my apartment after the half an hour lessons once a week I was refreshed and happy. I was for so long denying that part of me. The part where music lived, without it I was not all the way whole. I have always been drawn to music and have delighted in making it and enjoying listening and revel in its passion.
Monday, February 15, 2010
I read this poem and felt that it needed to be shared. Enjoy
Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream! —
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.
Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.
In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!
Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act, — act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o'erhead!
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow; 1807-1882
at 10:49 PM