Da Musically Inclined Bomb

DePauw University's First Year Seminar on Writing about Music

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Forced Into Music - 2

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 high school/college, and my mom was the farm girl that didn’t go to college. They both were very regretful that they never had learned an instrument, and more or less forced piano lessons on all three of their sons.
I always hated practicing, and would always argue with my mom about it. All I wanted to do was go outside and play with Scott and Kyle, because it was always such a great day out. My mom kept me going though - a half hour per 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 didn’t want to pick up another instrument, and 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 simple bass lines 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 wouldn’t want to play it? I started going through books and got a private teacher eventually. After a year or two, 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 definitely did not give up the upright. I finally quit piano lessons sophomore year. I took a few years of symphony, and then junior year joined a college jazz band, which I enjoyed much more than orchestra.
I have been in six or seven different jazz groups and have played gigs anywhere from farmer Joe’s market to riverboats and business meetings on Michigan Ave. I have been to All-State both for Orchestra and Jazz. I have won the Illinois State Fair Talent Competition and the "Best Teen Performer in Springfield" this past year. I played tuba in my high school marching band, and play acoustic guitar and sing for church services now and then.
When I say I was forced into music, it may seem somewhat silly and unbelievable, but until that bass showed up in my living room, I really had no passion for music. Don’t misinterpret me though, I do really enjoy playing music now, and am always up for learning new instruments, ideas, and anything music.
My mom always said I would thank her someday. I hate to say she’s right.

my first blog -


At 9/17/2006 4:53 PM, Blogger Becca said...

You got into so many instruments, Tommy... was there any reason you chose upright bass as your primary other than having lessons for so long?

At 9/17/2006 7:35 PM, Blogger Andrew said...

Tommy I really liked your revisions. Your last sentence was perfect.

At 9/17/2006 8:04 PM, Blogger iheart-t-ravs said...

Dude, your last sentence is brilliant! Anyways, I like the revisions and it's really cool the variety of instruments you know how to play. I'm jealous...

At 9/17/2006 8:39 PM, Blogger Mistuh Bond said...

I agree with Andrew: your last sentence is very good. You know, if you found a way to combine all of your instruments, you could be like that one guy in that short before Cars with that guy with all the brass instruments competing with that guy with all the violins and stuff. You'd have all your stuff propped on you, playing your heart out for that one golden coin that the little peasant girl was going to give to the fountain. Good luck.

At 9/17/2006 8:46 PM, Blogger Kitt_Katt said...

I wasn't forced into music, I forced my parents to let me play.

At 9/17/2006 11:40 PM, Blogger Ferdinand_The_Bull_Smells_Flowers said...

It's really cool that your bass sparked an interest in music out of nowhere.

I don't think you needed to argue for yourself at the end, like you did in your addition. Maybe if you incorperate your love throughout the essay then you don't have to say "DOn't misinterpret me"

cute thank you to your mom. tres sweet

At 9/17/2006 11:54 PM, Blogger Dennis Fuller said...

i thoroughly enjoyed your blog.

my parents think they know everything. they do. maybe.


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