This sampler my mother made hangs in my piano/living room. Its truth and beauty speak to me, and I notice it often when I go into that room. What a gift God gave us in music! It is a language of my soul, and a language I'm thankful my mother made me learn to speak as well as enjoy. Like many of you, I started the dreaded piano lessons while in elementary school and took off and on for seven years. Seven years sounds like enough time to be pretty darn good, but I'd probably leave off the darn and just say pretty good with a bit of hesitation in my voice while still trying to sound somewhat complimentary. Let's just say I could play about anything I want if I was willing to plod through a bit. It wouldn't come easy - and 16th notes and triplets still make me nervous.
I find I play in spurts. When life feels a little out of control, I tend to play more. I think the combination of the beauty of the music and the fact that I am in control while in front of those keys is just the salve I need at those times. (If I'm particularly agitated, Prelude in C# Minor, an old recital piece, provides the perfect combination of pounding and pessimism. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IlDxUyQVB0 ) Mostly, these days, I peck away at Clair de Lune - so haunting, so beautiful. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlvUepMa31o I also bought the music from the movie Pride and Prejudice a couple of years ago. I want to learn to play it. Maybe that needs to be a Follow Through...
Singing has been another musical outlet. Although publicly, that has waned in recent years. In fact, the last time I sang at "big church" was the Sunday before my dad died seven years ago this March. He and my mom had been begging me to sing "My Forever Friend" - a song they love. It really wasn't my style, but I love them and sang it that Sunday, dedicating it to them right before I sang. Turns out that a gift to them was really a gift to me.
When I was even younger, I did the wedding circuit. I think the first wedding I sang in was my sister's in 1978. I think the last was Beth Falcone's - can't remember the date. Both of those couples are still married - kind of feels good to begin and end on a positive note.
One of my most memorable singing performances happened on a Thursday night at Thursday Musicale - a ladies music club I belong to. I was pregnant with either Luke or Hannah. It was Broadway tunes night, and I and two other pregnant ladies sang "I Can't Say No!" from the musical Oklahoma. If there has been a night at that club where we've all laughed harder, I don't remember it.
And just like I took piano lessons, I took a few voice lessons also - compliments of my parents. They loved my singing so, they even paid for them after Lou and I were married and moved to Bolivar. While cleaning out the music cabinet, I found the following sheet with my voice lessons for the week. (I can't for the life of me remember who I even took voice lessons from!) There was also a little reminder at the bottom.
Even though I don't remember my instructor's name, I do remember that the stomach surgery issue wasn't for me! I must have also asked for info about the Guidance and Counseling program at SMS. I did end up taking a couple of classes in that field the first year we were here. And, I have been singing to my teeth ever since I saw this!
Well, it feels like I got a bit sidetracked chronicling the actual Follow Through project. It just didn't seem noteworthy to describe how I organized and arranged all this music. Finding these bits of my history were so much bigger for me than actually getting a clean cabinet. You talk about what's really important to you. But, the great thing is - I got an organized area to boot. Now I know what I have and where to find it. That makes life a lot more harmonious.
Next week: I know this is vague, but I can only say that I have a major loose end to tie up in regard to a project I've been involved with for about 4 years. I'm not really sure how I'll describe the resolution next week, but I need this deadline to overcome my inertia in regards to it.