I know I’m a tad bit late, but the idea for yesterday’s Daily Prompt didn’t really hit me until I was on the brink of sleep last night, and . . . seeing as how my laptop is dead (RIP TARDIS), I had to wait to write it up and post it. Don’t you just hate when inspiration hits you late? But I say better late than never, right?!
What was I saying? Right, instruments.
When I was younger, let’s say I was in young high school, I remember seeing little children playing with their recorders and thinking ‘that’s so lame’ (don’t know why though), until I had a recorder in my hands. I don’t remember where I got it from, who gave me, or anything like that. But I taught myself how to play and made sure I could play at least one good song on it. That song . . . Mary had a little lamb. Don’t judge, at least I could play something of repute.
After that I vaguely remember playing or learning to play the flute. My granma had a flute at some point and I was beside myself with glee thinking I could learn the flute. I love how the flute sounds, always have. But unfortunately I didn’t get anywhere with it. I tried to teach myself again, but something about the notes and the fingering and the sound just didn’t work for me. It never sounded like I knew what I was doing. So I gave up on the flute.
I then moved onto the acoustic guitar. I don’t know what made me think of the guitar, I just remember going into the music store and picking out my guitar. I was bummed they didn’t have a black one but I worked with the one I got. I figured if I got really good with it, then I could splurge on the black love of my life. It didn’t get there. Again, I taught myself how to play. I learnt the strings and the chords and even went so far as to tuning my guitar at my Church Hall. At the time I was on the Youth Choir as an Alto, and we had regular practices in the church hall so I had access to a piano there. I learnt the keys and the chords on the piano and then translated them to the guitar. I know it’s kind of backward, but I liked playing the guitar. And I loved listening to music to hear the strokes of the guitar, paying attention to the acoustics and listen to me talk about these things like I’m some musician extraordinaire.
I joined the Youth Fellowship’s band that usually played during worship. There was me on the guitar, Lisa on the piano, Delano on the bass, his brother Craig on the drums, and Deno on the congos. It was fun jiving and playing with these cats especially because we were all on the Youth Choir together as well, so we knew each others strengths and weaknesses and supported each other. But then it occurred to me that I couldn’t hear the guitar through any of the music we did nor could I tell whether I sounded any good or not, and no one could seem to tell me either. So that too was dropped.
But shortly before my journey with the guitar ended, I remember learning to play the saxophone, this time professionally, when I was at college. It was cool being the only female playing an instrument like that. And the fact that I caught onto it quick was a plus. I remember the instructor mentioning that I didn’t have the bloated look most people had and I had good lung work which was attributed to my time with the choir; I had learnt how to breathe properly and I applied that to the sax. I liked playing the sax, but unlike the guitar that was mine and I could take home to practice, I had to leave the sax at school and subsequently it got left behind when the stress of the semester hit hard. Yeah, so I dropped the saxophone as well.
Throughout all of this though, the only instrument that’s made it through all those stages of my life were my vocal instruments. I started as a soprano but slid into alto shortly afterwards and I loved it. There were always about five to ten sopranos and only 3 altos, most of the time all three of us were never there together. So, when I sang my part against the sopranos I had to make sure I was heard. All three altos were strong singers, but the other two had their own singing thing going on. I never had the confidence to sing solo.
I remember this one time, the first time I was asked to do a solo part, I practised and practised until I could sing the song in my sleep. And on that fateful day/night of the performance I came down with a cold . . . o.O my voice cracked and I thoroughly embarrassed myself. I vowed never to sing solo again. That was until our choir director sought me out years later and asked me to do a duet with another lady, one who’s sung with the University Singers, and this choir, and that orchestra and what-not. Big big singer he wanted me to sing with. I learnt my part and did everything I could to not get sick that night. Anyways, the night came, I sang, she joined in, and I think we sounded beautiful. I don’t remember much of what people said or thought, but I was just happy to not have cracked up on stage, or went off-key, or forgot a line, or the timing, or anything. I am just happy I had a solo/duet, my voice was heard, and it didn’t sound bad to me.
So yeah, that’s the extent of my musical journey. I just hope I can pass on some of those genes to my children but be cognizant enough to ensure they stick to it, and tell them when they’re doing great.