I was up last night thinking about what I wanted to do for my next blog post. I thought about the Music Edition of my blog and how I haven’t put anything up on here yet. I haven’t determined what exactly I want to do with this section, though I figure I will probably end up posting some recordings and sheet music at some point. Since I don’t have any recordings to post yet, I thought I would share a little bit of my background in music.
I have always been drawn to music. When I hear something that seems to have perfect harmony it gives me the chills. I remember sitting down at the piano with my grandmother when I was young and her teaching me some simple songs—she always wanted to set up formal piano lessons with me, but I resisted for quite some time.
In fifth grade I started playing the clarinet. I continued playing in the school band through sixth grade, until I switched to online school—and well obviously, there is no school band in online school. It was at this point that I decided to take up my grandmother’s offer of piano lessons. I cannot tell you how excited she was! Piano was basically her life, between teaching, composing, and performing (not professionally—just for anyone who would listen), so it only makes sense that she wanted to share it with someone.
So I started taking piano lessons. She lived about half an hour away from where we lived, so we only did one lesson a week—but it was usually a two to three-hour lesson. During the remainder of the week I was expected to practice and come back having mastered whatever technique or song it was that we had gone over together. She gave me an old keyboard that she had lying around to practice on since I didn’t have a piano at home. I personally had no problem practicing—because I wasn’t being forced to take the lessons—and would often sit at my keyboard for a couple hours a day trying to fix my mistakes and prepare for our next lesson.
These lessons went on for about nine months before my grandma passed away unexpectedly. My mom wanted to put me in lessons with someone else so I could continue advancing, but I had no desire to take lessons from anyone else—so from that time forward I self-taught using the teaching manual my grandma had written along with YouTube tutorials (oh, to have so much knowledge at our fingertips).
It has been just over eight years since I started taking piano lessons, and a little over seven since my grandma passed away. While it was sad to have lost her suddenly, I am grateful I got to have those nine months with her.
Since then, I have dabbled in playing several other instruments, including the clarinet, flute, ukulele, and organ, but none of them have stuck with me quite the same as the piano has. I love the feeling of the keys gliding under my fingertips, and the sound that resonates when I play a flawless arpeggio. Because I only took lessons for nine months, I am far from a know-all when it comes to piano pedagogy. So rather than focus on technique, I focus on the sound and feeling of whatever it is that I am playing. It is rare for me to play a piece the exact same every time, taking out a note here or adding a note there. But I love playing and creating something beautiful.
As for how I have actually used my skills, they have most often been used to accompany singers or other musicians, perform solo musical numbers, or accompany my church choir. I have composed several arrangements of modern music and church music, though mainly for my own use.
I also enjoy singing—though I am no professional considering my only real experience is one college-level vocal course, singing in my church choir, and directing my church choir. But I like it anyway.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, and I hope to have something recorded to share with you soon! Music has proven to be one of the greatest gifts in life for me, following family and friends of course!
“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” -Victor Hugo