Monday, April 23, 2012

Music and Me

A few years ago, my ward choir director asked me if I would sing a solo at a stake relief society meeting.

Yep, me, sing a solo.

She was under the impression that since I went to ward choir and knew quite a bit about music (as in, I could read music and understood the terminology) I could actually sing.

Fortunately, I was able to snag up a partner and we sang a duet, which was a much better proposition than me singing a solo.

It's interesting, though.  I've often been tagged in wards as a music person.  I've always been interested in music theory and history and so I paid attention in choir and in orchestra and learned about phrasing and dynamics and actually committed those things to memory.  I bet some of the kids I sang in the high school choir with don't remember some of that stuff.  But I do because I just love music.

What's funny is that I'm really NOT a musician.  I do a pretty good job at faking it, though.

I started out teaching myself how to play the piano.  I don't remember ever NOT knowing how to play it or to read music.  I think that once I could read, around the age of four, I just couldn't stop reading and one of the books I ran across was a beginning piano book.  So I took the book to the piano, read it and applied what it was saying to the piano in front of me and it worked!  I was able to play notes, then songs.

When I was in the third grade, my parents put me in piano lessons. I took lessons for about nine or ten months. In the fourth grade, I started to play the violin, due to our school's beginning music programs in fourth grade and my parents' access to a free violin.  I even got to take private lessons for the violin starting in seventh grade until I quit orchestra in the ninth grade.

In the ninth grade, I decided to join the choir.  I really didn't know anything about singing, but I knew how to read music and I knew that the majority of cute boys in school were in the choir.  I tried out for the mixed chorale but to my utter sorrow, I was placed in the all-girl choir.  Read music I could, but singing, I'm not sure I ever could sing.  I still try to sing to this day, but I've never even heard myself sing (and I avoid the idea of that like the plague) so as far as I can tell, I have a "choir" voice and not a very good one.  Which is why I always sang second soprano and never made any parts I tried out for.

In tenth grade, the only music I did was take piano lessons for about four months.  Junior year, I joined choir again and stayed in choir through high school.  I did University Chorale at BYU (no auditions).  I took piano lessons for one semester at BYU.  I even took guitar lessons one semester.  I sang in various ward choirs.  In my singles ward after college while I was teaching school, I was asked to be the ward choir director, which was an epic failure.  I took violin lessons again from January 2010 to December 2010 and participated in a community orchestra. 

Even now, people still think that I'm a "music person".  I understand music.  I love listening to music by classic composers and have introduced that love to my kids.  I've even taught the older ones basic piano lessons.

Hopefully nobody will ever ask me again to sing a solo in church.  Let's leave that to people who actually have a voice!  In the meantime, I might join a ward choir again just for the fun of it and I'll always love music.

1 comment:

swedemom said...

So glad you were able to find a partner to sing with. I'm sure you sounded great!


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