mellicious: pink manicure (me - age 4)
[personal profile] mellicious
When I was in 5th grade, I joined the choir at school. I didn't want to - I wanted to be in the band. My mother made me do it. She said I'd like it. And at my school, for some reason band didn't start until 6th grade, but choir started in 5th. I had already started taking piano lessons a year or so before, so it wasn't much of a stretch to think I'd like it. And I suppose I had sung in the kids' choir at church, too, although I barely remember it. Just do it for a year, my mother said.

I never did join the band.
Apparently school choir grabbed me in a way that church choir did not - I'm not sure, after all these years, really why. For one thing, and I know this isn't true everywhere, but the church I grew up in believed that choirs should be inclusive, not in a racial sense or anything (this was the late 60s we're talking about, in Texas - and I'm going to get completely derailed if I try to go there right now), but in the sense that they didn't make you audition, not even just to see if you could carry a tune. So the church choir was usually pretty awful. I wonder if they still hold to that - with the contemporary services and things they do now, I have trouble imagining that they do. The other difference I can think of is that the school would have had a music teacher that was actually really trained, presumably, and the church, probably not, at least not for the children's choir, back then. (I remember Miss Connelly, the school music teacher, more because she was my mom's friend than for what she was like as a music teacher. A lot of my memories of that period are really pretty vague. But then, hell, we're talking about nearly 40 years ago.)

I was better at the piano than I was at singing, although I was hardly a prodigy at that, either. After a couple of years of lessons, I was more advanced than most of the kids my age, at least. I think I played "Fur Elise" pretty creditably by my 6th grade piano recital. (Also, the Pink Panther theme, which was a big hit around that time. Most people were probably a lot more impressed by that one, to tell you the truth.)

By junior high I was thinking that I wanted to be a musician. I don't know that I knew what that meant, beyond maybe being a choir director or something - I can't recall that I ever seriously considered trying to be a pop singer or anything like that. I was mostly more interested in classical music. My first piano teacher quit teaching private students and I had a new teacher who was more ambitious and pushed me considerably harder. I doubt that she really thought I was good enough to be a concert pianist - besides, I was a girl, and it was the early 70s, by that time, and the options for girls in small-town Texas were still considered to be awfully limited. Music teacher, yes - concert pianist... that's probably a big stretch. (And heck, that's true enough, male or female.) But she took me to Houston to see Van Cliburn in concert, just the same. I don't remember what he played - I do remember how huge I thought his hands were.


More later.






Remember when I said I had an idea about Holidailies, a week or so ago? This is part of it. It's not exactly a profoundly original idea, but it came up in somebody else's comment section that hardly anybody knew that I was ever a music major, or any of this stuff. It's not that I actively hide it, but just that it's so long ago that it doesn't really come up a lot. So I decided that would be a good thing to talk about. And if I get around to it, I might dredge up some other long-buried pieces of my autobiography, for good measure.




The title is William Byrd (1535 - 1623). I remembered it from a song, but had to Google it to see what it was. (And upon seeing the context, I remembered a lot more of the piece.)

"Since singing is so good a thing,
I wish all men would learn to sing"





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