Da Musically Inclined Bomb

DePauw University's First Year Seminar on Writing about Music

Saturday, August 26, 2006

An Ordinary Life

When I was young, I did all the normal kid things. I starting dancing at age three, and I started playing softball and soccer when I was five. I played with barbies and I loved to watch cartoons. But there was one thing missing.
My mom sang in the church choir for as long as I remember. I would live for Thursday when I could go to practice with her. I loved being there and hearing the music. Finally, in third grade I started taking piano lessons from a lady from my church. It was great for awhile, but eventually I wanted more. I went to a private school, so we didn't have band or orchestra, but my mom had a clarinet, and in fifth grade, after a while of me scaring the animals with my squeeks and squawks, she asked her friend's daughter to teach me. I loved it from day one!
Elementary school came to an end and my parents sat me down and told me I had three choices- I could continue with sports, dance, or music. The choice came easily, I had to go on with music.
So I enrolled in public middle school and joined band and choir for the first time in my life. Half way through the year my friend convinced me to start cello, and after the first playing test I seated first chair, ahead of people who had been playing for years, but all obviously hated it.
I did my thing for awhile, joined jazz band to play piano in 7th grade, and continued on with that and all three ensembles until I was done with middle school.
When it came time to try out for marching band, it just kind of seemed like it was already set in stone. I had been planning on it, along with my parents, so I tried out and got in.(Everyone gets in). It was probably the best choice of my life. I had a whole new group of friends before highschool even started. We bonded quickly and it was like we had always been friends. Freshman year started and I joined orchestra, chamber orchestra, jazz band, and pep band. Marching season ended and I was one of a few freshman placed into our highest band. We travelled to Florida and got to march down Main Street in a Disney World parade. It was one of the most amazing experiences in my life, seeing the castle in front of you and knowing all these people are watching I you.
At the end of freshman year I was selected for pit orchestra, which meant I was now in all the ensembles I could possibly be in. I was THE band geek. But it didn't bother me. People would call me one, and I would say "Yeah, so?". I had found my passion. (Can I get a high five?).
I continued on with all my music through highschool. I went through some private teachers in the area, eventually quit taking piano, taught myself saxophone and bass, and then it was time to select a college. I knew I wanted to continue with music, there was just the question of "where?". I had three in mind-University of Evansville, Elmhurst College, and Millikin University. I visited all three and was set on Evansville. I was going there, no doubt about it. Then one day my mom asked why I never looked at DePauw University, since they sent me mail about 5 days a week. I said I didn't know and so she decided we should just go look at it and I could just use it for a practice audition if nothing else. Well, obviously, my visit changed my mind, and here I am.
I have led a pretty ordinary life. I haven't studied with any famous concertmasters or recorded with anyone from an amazing band. But all the same I am here for the same reason as everyone else. Music is my life, and I can't imagine doing anything other than continue with it.


At 8/26/2006 4:37 PM, Blogger Becca said...

*virtual high five* Rock on.

I have led a pretty ordinary life. I haven't studied with any famous concertmasters or recorded with anyone from an amazing band. But all the same I am here for the same reason as everyone else. Music is my life, and I can't imagine doing anything other than continue with it.

I loved the way you said this. It was so perfect and so true, and I think many of us can agree. I know I can.

At 8/26/2006 6:18 PM, Blogger Andrew said...

yes Melissa, you can get a high five. Thats a great story.

At 8/26/2006 6:27 PM, Blogger Nat said...

Melissa, i totally agree with you. I was the music geek to, but you were at least lucky to begin being well-rounded. I never played a sport, which I might actually be happy about. "Music is my life, and I can't imagine doing anything other than continue with it." I totally agree with this statement. Doesn't it feel great to be surrounded with all the band geeks? Now WE"RE the cool kids :).

At 8/27/2006 11:26 AM, Blogger Godfather Outlaw said...

heck yeah, music rocks! I started off doing everything too... sports, music, art.. not dancing. that would be a little ga...different. Anwyay.. if it wasn't for music, I would just be another stupid jock.

At 8/27/2006 12:21 PM, Blogger Vera Lynn Waters said...

that's amazing, nat. you obviously were made to play music. for your next draft, check for a couple of things: make sure your tense stays the same, rhetorical questions aren't the best for a formal paper (which this will be in the end), and you don't want to do what i just did which is to set things aside with parenthesis and/or commas. in english last year, my teacher ground this crap into us. but if you don't need it, don't use it and if you do need it, then don't put it in parenthesis. last thing i noticed was when you listed those three schools, you used a dash to introduce your list and i think you're supposed to use a colon. i know these are things you could figure out on your own, but these comments have to be worth while, so la di da, i hope you don't take it as me insulting your intelligence. :)

At 8/27/2006 1:11 PM, Blogger Renee said...

Hey, so I know I'm here obviously for my "passion" NOW. But when I first started to pursue music seriously I think it was because I wanted to show all my teachers up... or because I sucked at all the other stuff. Anywho, one way or another we all realized we have a special talent!

At 8/27/2006 6:32 PM, Blogger Kitt_Katt said...

You are lucky your parents made you choose between music, sports and dance. My parents didn't, and my the time I got to middle school I was doing everything, and it was just too much. I'm glad I stayed with music this whole time.

At 8/27/2006 11:36 PM, Blogger Dennis Fuller said...

ymy parents never made me choose, which really sucked, because i never knew which direction to take, and i still don't know if i went the right way.


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