Why I Make Music…
I was only 6 years old when I discovered my love for music.
I still remember what it felt like to sit at my medium-sized Casio keyboard in Fairbanks, Alaska (it seemed larger at the time because I was only 6 years old) and play something for the first time. It was like I had been doing it for years.
I apparently had a good ear. So good that my teacher decided teaching me to read music was a waste of her time. So she taught me by ear. My first recital was playing The Blue Danube.
I’ll never forget it. I’ll especially never forget falling on my butt going to get my trophy afterward (heels are not my friend. Never have been, never will. Why I was wearing heels at THAT age, I will never understand.) But, I’ve decided that now, if a STAGE is present, heels on my feet will not be! I may even go barefoot. Just to be safe.
So…that first time at the Casio keyboard was the beginning of my love for music. And I guess you could say that the rest is history. Well, maybe not history yet. I’m not THAT old 😉
Music has been an integral part of my life ever since. It is in my blood. It is who I am. Playing, singing or creating is how I breathe and definitely is when I feel the most alive. If you haven’t discovered what makes you feel that way yet, keep looking. The feeling is worth it.
It was the same when I picked up the flute. I could play it as though I always had. A natural they say. It’s a blessing to me and one I will never take for granted. Many other instruments are the same. And singing. I remember singing Right Here Waiting for my 6th grade talent show. Beforehand I had sung a little for my friends who said “you sound JUST like him.” A gift I still have with, no not every singer, but many-I can match their tone, timbre, nuances. Sadly during the recital my microphone was off (I was singing a duet so everyone thought I was JUST playing the piano). I didn’t really start singing for people to hear until recently.
My piano teacher in Washington after I moved at the age of 9 finally decided to teach me to read music. And thank goodness she did. It opened up a whole new world for me.
I played the flute in the band starting in the 6th grade and also played in the Vancouver Youth Symphony in high school.
I remember once, because I wasn’t much of a fan of practicing, my mom threatened to stop my piano lessons. I burst into tears. (I actually did practice…when no one was home, because my sister didn’t care for my “learning” mistakes-but of course my mom didn’t believe this.) But I was always prepared for my recitals and played perfectly (minus the stage fright freezes). My teacher used to make us memorize our songs, which I was good at…except when the nerves would hit and suddenly my mind was a blank.
It took me quite a few years to tackle my stage fright issues and I’m happy to say that they have dissipated greatly. Although…if I ever play on a stage wearing heels in front of a big audience…I can guarantee you I’ll be nervous! But then…I’ll probably opt to leave the heels at home.
Having music be my “career” was never my plan. I wouldn’t even call it my career now, because for me career has a negative feel to it, since so often people aren’t doing what they love. But for me, music IS what I love so although it is hard work to produce and market and get my creations out there. Creating is never work. Creating is magic.
Composing didn’t happen for me until I stopped taking piano lessons at the age of 18. Suddenly, I discovered a new facet to music I had never known. My first album was created solely for me. I had no choice in the compositions, they simply came to me and I wrote them down. Writing them down was the hardest part. After I had 12 songs I decided it would be cool to have my own CD. So I made one and bought 1000 copies. I figured those 1000 copies would sit in my closet for years and just be given to friends and family.
But then entered YouTube. I decided to put one of my songs up with some pictures as a visual for the sounds. And all of a sudden I had fans! Global fans. And many were requesting sheet music. I didn’t even have sheet music!
It was an accidental introduction to what is now my livelihood, not just financially. But spiritually. Creating music and writing books is everything to me. I never feel more alive when I have written something that 1 second earlier had not existed.
It’s exhilarating. Liberating. And simply amazing.
And that is why I AM a Creator. It is who I am. The only choice I have in the matter is actually taking the time to do it. And that is hardly a choice sometimes. 🙂