Da Musically Inclined Bomb

DePauw University's First Year Seminar on Writing about Music

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Self-proclaimed musician

According to legend, I started my musical life in first grade. The director of the “young strings” program came to class one day and described her orchestra program for students in elementary school. Well, I was pretty excited. Both of my older sisters played violin, and I always wanted to play like them. I went home that day and asked my parents if I could join the program. My parents finally decided I was too young to begin such an expensive undertaking, especially if I would just get sick of it and give it up in a few days.
However, I have never been one to listen whole-heartedly to my parents, and in this case the benefit was immeasurable. I singed myself up for the class at age six. I remember my teacher, Mrs. Farlow, handing me a small, hideous sounding school instrument every other day, and she always asked, “Emily why don’t you have an instrument of your own yet?” I usually made up some lie because I didn’t want her to know that my parents were unaware of my activities.
Eventually, she called home. I remember my parents’ shock at my determination to play the violin. They agreed if I wanted to play that badly, they would buy me an instrument. I was ecstatic. I have continued playing violin ever since, and I still do. I even brought it to college with me.
My foray into orchestra led me to want to be involved in music forever. In fifth grade I entered the ISSMA contest for singers. I had never sung solo before and I was terrified, but despite my doubts I learned the piece, “Getting to Know You” and won a first place ribbon. It was then that I discovered how much I truly loved to perform. I loved to portray a character through song, and I placed first in the contest the following year as well.
Once again, I took matters into my own hands. I decided that along with violin lessons, I wanted to have private voice lessons. I had to sign myself up for lessons again. This time, my parents trusted my judgment. I began lessons with Barbara Horine, at my school, in seventh grade. I tried really hard. However, I never felt like I was enjoying my singing. I didn’t know what I was doing wrong. My improvement was inconsistent and I knew I had not found my niche. Then, I tried out for the junior high school musical, Oliver!. I received the part of Nancy, and it was a huge scandal. A seventh grader getting the lead in the musical! The student body was really mad.
When I performed that role I realized what I had missed in my singing. When I was onstage, the music came to life. The music and I became one in the same. I loved the expressiveness of the theatre. I loved entertaining the whole auditorium. The musical was a huge success, and I managed to make a name for myself before entering high school. Since then, I have performed in many musicals at school and in the Indianapolis community.
The theatre made me relate and embrace the passion found in music. Suddenly, I wanted to do everything. I started to play the guitar, and later the piano. I couldn’t, and still can’t, get enough music in my life. Whether it is just sitting in my room listening to rock, or attending an opera, I love the concept of performance. I love being part of a room full of people who are all swept away by the beauty of music. To me, music is truly a way for souls to connect.


At 8/27/2006 7:59 PM, Blogger Ferdinand_The_Bull_Smells_Flowers said...

Your love for portraying characters was clear today during the recital- you really reeled in the audience.

At 8/27/2006 8:15 PM, Blogger Becca said...

Yeah, rock on! I want the details of that song... I might have to learn it... =)

At 8/27/2006 10:23 PM, Blogger Mistuh Bond said...

Wow, that's really cool how you were sorta pushed into that soloish spotlight and you found that calling that said "you love performing solo. don't stop or I'll kill you" yeah. I used to play the flute and a similar thing happened. See, back in elementary school I picked up the flute and I loved it, but then middle school forced me to choose, so I ended up continuing my baby. If you're confused about the relation: solo=love of solo. middle school=realization i love violin more. Whatever. The correlation's there! good job on your solo today. I liked the facial expressions and your voice. oh, yeah, I already told you at the party at Ralph's. duh..

At 8/27/2006 10:36 PM, Blogger iheart-t-ravs said...

I love the fact that you signed yourself up for lessons! Props for taking charge and going for what you want.

At 8/27/2006 10:40 PM, Blogger iheart-t-ravs said...

In reply to the comment you left me...I don'e necessarily think that starting music at a young age means you'll stay with it longer. I think doing any activity that promotes determination and persistence does. I played hard core softball from age 6 to 17. I've stopped playing that because I grew tired of it and my passion switched over to music as I got older. But playing from such a young age taught me how to stick with something and not give up if I want it badly enough. That's what we should be teaching children.


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