Da Musically Inclined Bomb

DePauw University's First Year Seminar on Writing about Music

Friday, August 25, 2006

Forced into music - Tommy

I know as much as some of us might not want to admit it, we were all forced into starting off, whether it was taking suzuki violin, private lessons, or just starting off through the school - not many kids wanted to be the "band geek". I grew up in a very non-musical family. My father was the jock/prep in highschool/college, and my mom was the farm girl. They both were very regretful that they never learned music, and forced piano lessons on all three of their son's (I'm one of them). I always hated practicing, and would always argue with my mom about it. All I wanted to do was go ouside and play with Scott and Kyle, cuz it was such a great day out. My mom kept me going though - a half hour a day before i could do anything else. Eventually, I got into fifth grade and had to choose a band instrument. I chose to play the bass line on the keyboard, because I didnt want to pick up another instrument, that would just mean i would have to practice more. I was a pretty decent piano play for that age, and when my parents saw the first school concert it sickened them that I was wasting years of practice playing a bass line with one hand on a keyboard. One day, when I was 12, I came home and there was an upright bass in the middle of the floor. My mom said that it was my new band instrument. This thing was so big, and it looked so cool! who wouldnt want to play it? I started going through books and got a private teacher eventually. My mom finally allowed me to buy an electric bass, which in her mind was the devil's instrument. I started getting into a few rock bands and that, but still not giving up the upright. I finally gave up piano sophomore year of high school. I took a few years of symphony, and then junior year joined a college jazz band instead. I have been in 6 or 7 different jazz groups and have played gigs anywhere from farmer joe's market to riverboats and business meetings on Mich. Ave. I have been to All-State both for Orchestra and Jazz. I have won the Illinois State Fair Talent Competitiion and the "Best Teen Performer in Springfield" this past year. I played tuba in my high school marching band, play accoustic guitar and sing for church services now and then. I am now very grateful that I was forced into music because I would have never dont it on my own. I am a bum.


At 8/25/2006 5:27 PM, Blogger iheart-t-ravs said...

My family's not musical either! Except my parents never forced us to learn any instrument. They were al into "do what you want" and all that jazz...I wish they would've made me learn something.

At 8/25/2006 7:02 PM, Blogger Becca said...

I don't know about being "forced" into music... I haven't heard you play, but if you got in here, you definitely have a passion for music. Or at least great practice habits.

Besides, you also play(ed) piano, tuba, acoustic and electric guitar and sang in grade school. Don't tell me you were "forced" to learn so many instruments! There's definitely something else there.

As for you being a bum, that's your call, I guess. =)

At 8/26/2006 10:15 AM, Blogger Vera Lynn Waters said...

Hey Tommy! My family isn't musical either. Other than my uncle, I was the first to pick up an instrument and go with it. I definately was the first to get scholarships and go to college with it. The only difference between us is that I wasn't forced to start, I was forced to keep going.

By the way make sure you read through your essay again and correct some minor grammer issues. Paragraphs are always nice. I know this is your first draft and all, so I'm probably not telling you anything you don't already know.

I like your story, it's fun to see how everybody started. Have a nice weekend!

At 8/26/2006 11:46 AM, Blogger Emily Rose said...

It's strange how many of us do not come from intensely musical families! My mom and grandma are tone deaf and my dad can only pick out notes tentitavely. However, as you will see in my blog, my parents never suggested I try music at all. I was really young when I signed myself up for orchestra and I found it frustrating, even at age six, that my parents weren't the kind who pushed their children into certain areas of study. I guess their laid-back attitude about becoming involved in music was what encouraged me to become interested. I guess, at that age, I felt like I was defying my parents by becoming dedicated to an instrument early on in my life. What I am trying to say is, even though I was not "forced" into music by my parents, their lack of opinion drove me to "force" myself into music.

At 8/26/2006 11:59 AM, Blogger Mistuh Bond said...

Well, my mother was quite musical, but she carried the same idea over, that I should go into music. That's pretty cool how you started with the piano and ended up with a bass. I used to wish something like that would happen to me, but I ended up loving my instrument. Good for you.

At 8/26/2006 3:04 PM, Blogger Andrew said...

I played bass because it look cool to, that and I wanted to place Jaws. I wish I had played in jazz bands too.

At 8/27/2006 11:23 AM, Blogger Renee said...

"Forced," such an interesting way to put it. When I first read that I new right away I was going to prove you wrong. You will find in my blog (once I write it) that I don't feel I was forced to play whatsoever. But then Alex? pointed out that she was forced to continue playing and when you think about it that way... I guess we were indeed all forced in one way or another.


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