Da Musically Inclined Bomb

DePauw University's First Year Seminar on Writing about Music

Friday, September 15, 2006

New Musical History

My Old Post

So as I was thinking about our discussion after the first draft of this blog I thought about how I would change my last blog. I decided I didn’t want to focus on what got me here, today, as a student at DePauw School of Music, but rather to focus on what formed me as a musician in general.
I grew up as the daughter of artists. Ever since I was little I have been exposed to more of the arts than some people will see in their lifetime. As a toddler I spent my afternoons in the dressing rooms, lighting booths or studios of theatres. My mom’s a dancer, my father’s a techie, the arts was something I was just born for, or so I like to think. I started taking dance class at the age of 4, which doesn’t seem to relate to the topic of musician, but I think it does. The early years of my exposure to any type of the arts began to form me as an individual. In elementary school I was always ridiculously excited to go to music class. I was the little dorky girl who sat in the front row in class and sang her heart out, even if it was out of tune. Through out elementary school I did a lot of stupid performances, Lullabies and Sing A Longs, musical theatre class and things with my mom’s classes. I played piano for two years in early elementary school, but with the combination of me not wanting to practice and my teacher graduating I didn’t stay with it very long. It wasn’t until fourth grade that I actually began to learn music. I decided and I may or may not have been encouraged to play the cello. Yes, my teacher wanted me to play cello because she was a cellist and also needed cellos in her orchestra, however, my mother wanted me to wait until fifth grade and play flute like she did. I couldn’t wait.
Now, in the rest of elementary school I played cello with the advanced orchestra and went to ISSMA and all the other fun stuff, but thinking back on the situation I realize that I was singing the whole time as well. The first time I went to ISSMA for voice was in sixth grade when the general music teacher was Mrs. Butler. She decided that it was time for me to take singing more seriously so I began to come in after school to work with her. I don’t even remember what I sang at ISSMA that year, but I do remember her having a group of girls perform “It’s a Hard Knock Life” from Annie for the talent show.
Then I moved and went to middle school where I knew no one. I especially didn’t know the music teachers, unlike if I had gone to Clay like I was supposed to. Well, I signed up for orchestra and somehow I ran into the choir director and by eighth grade she had started a “swing choir” as a zero hour class so that I could sing with her. I hated it; it meant I had to get up at 6 a.m. just to go to school and sing with a group of people who didn’t want to be there either. Eighth grade was the year my parents bought me my own cello and that I started private lessons.
I loved cello. It was my passion for quite awhile, and somewhere it got turned around. I began to get exposed to musicals. In my seventh grade year I was in Saint Mary’s College’s production of Gypsy. I don’t know what my mother was thinking. I don’t’ know any other parents who would encourage their children to be part of a show about strippers, but I was. The one middle school kid amongst 20 college students and 2 high school students, it was interesting. Well, as I was leaving middle school I was encouraged to audition for the “show choir” at Adams, but I didn’t. If you haven’t figured this out by now I am a shy person. I don’t often get stage fright because there is a huge gap between the audience, and me but just singing in front of people really makes me nervous. I figured I would be content with just sticking with the orchestra thing. And I was content, until auditions for the musical Mame came around. Mame was one of those musicals that I had seen ever since I was little. My family was weird, instead of Barney my sister and I watched the Sound of Music. I grew up with Oklahoma, Gypsy, Mame, Sound of Music, Singing in the Rain, the list could go one forever. Sorry, that was just a random side not. Anyway, I had told my parents I was going to audition for the show and when I finally showed up for the audition I chickened out and left. I decided I would be content just playing in the pit. I wasn’t. I wanted desperately to be onstage. Well, again, somehow through the grapevine I got connected with the choir director and before I knew it I was singing with the “show choir” for ISSMA, something a freshmen never does, especially a freshmen that wasn’t even in choir. He also threw me into two other ensembles two weeks before contest and gave me a solo to learn. This man was insane, but I did it.
Sophomore year I was able to actually fit both choir and orchestra into my schedule. I loved choir, those stupid dresses and even stupider music. Orchestra began to slip to the side a little. I was still taking lessons and playing but I had stopped practicing, so I had stopped making progress. Well this year when musical auditions came around my friends who were seniors refused to let me not audition. So I went, signed up to audition for the chorus and came out with the lead, much to my senior friends disappointment. Well, I had the lead for a total of two weeks, I went on vacation and came back and one of the seniors had brought her mother in and my part was now double cast, which I didn’t really care about because I was still going to be on stage.
Junior year I was unable to take choir as a class so I worked on music on my own and occasionally with my director during our 17-minute homeroom class. I had auditioned for All-State choir and was working on that music on my own as well. My junior year I felt like I was very empty when it was coming to music because I was no longer in orchestra either, math and science had taken over my schedule. I decided to join the choir, bell choir, and praise band at my church. This had me singing every Sunday and Wednesday. I loved it. Singing with my church allowed me to be exposed to two different types of music, praise music, which I usually just, got to have fun with, and choral music again. There was no musical that year, instead we did Macbeth, I was pretty miserable. That was the year I decided I could never see myself being happy without music. The next year I was not going to let anything stand in the way of doing what made me happy.
Senior year I joined choir again, I still didn’t have time for orchestra but I was able to take Cadet Teaching my second semester. Senior year was probably my happiest year of high school. I was allowed to sing with the Saint Mary’s Women’s Choir so I was finally being challenged. I also sang with All-State again and continued to sing with my church. I took cello lessons until around Christmas time and then stopped because the musical began to take up too much of my time. My second semester of senior year was when I was able to Cadet Teach, first semester I had to take Econ, and I asked if I could teach at Edison with my orchestra teacher. I was allowed to and spent an hour and a half everyday with kids who were in the same spot I had been four years before. It was great, but I also learned that I would probably be driven insane if I ever tried to be a teacher. We also did the musical Grease, which was probably the show that I had the most fun with in high school. During first semester I did take voice lessons for a short while in order to prepare myself for auditions, but other than that I was pretty much on my own.
Music is my passion and I feel like that’s why I’m here. I’m sorry that was so long, but I don’t think I ever really realized all the steps I took to get where I am today. I’ve still left out quite a bit, and please let me know what more you think I should cut or expand on.

11 Comments:

At 9/16/2006 11:02 AM, Blogger Renee said...

Gnat, don't be sorry about your draft being long. If forever (lol) is how long it takes you to get your ideas across then that's how long it should be. :) But, I did notice that you used a lot of casual conversation (so, then, well, ect.) If you eliminate some of these words you might be able shorten your paper.

 
At 9/17/2006 2:38 PM, Blogger iheart-t-ravs said...

It's ok that your draft is long...it took you a while to get to where you are today! But I agree with Renee, edit out the conversation bits and it'll make the draft more like a paper and easier to read. I'm glad you liked senior year so much. OH yeah, did you sing in All State junior year? You only mentioned that you auditioned, but then you said senior year you sang in it again...

 
At 9/17/2006 3:15 PM, Blogger Melissa said...

I think it is really cool how your parents are both affiliated with the arts.

 
At 9/17/2006 3:31 PM, Blogger Godfather Outlaw said...

It's cool that you play cello, and found time for it your sophomore year.... you should find time for it your college freshman year in orchestra!

 
At 9/17/2006 3:37 PM, Blogger Nat said...

In response to Tommy I wish I could play in orchestra. I actually brough out my cello last week for the first time in over 6 months. I wanted to smash it to bits because I sounded sooooo bad. Maybe I'll work on it this semester alone and find time for orchestra next semester, but only if it all comes back to my fingers magically.

 
At 9/17/2006 3:44 PM, Blogger Emily Rose said...

I like your new blog. I think it's really cool how you realized how much music meant to you when it was taken away from you. However, I would take Macbeth over Grease any day! hehe

 
At 9/17/2006 4:41 PM, Blogger Becca said...

Your approach to this second draft is neat. It's kind of interesting to see how much you skimmed over, and then to go back and fill in the details.

Also, dance is totally related to music! Dance doesn't exist without it! They are inseparable. =)

 
At 9/17/2006 7:51 PM, Blogger Andrew said...

I am glad you added more about your musicals. I know that they are an intrickle part of how you became a musician.

 
At 9/17/2006 8:31 PM, Blogger Mistuh Bond said...

The little dorky girl at the front of the class...you say that like it's a bad thing. See, the truth of the matter is it's not. And the length: don't worry about it. You know, this draft kinda reminds me of driveways and sealcoating. See, first there's the new driveway. It's all pretty and black and smelly and stuff, but there's pugly gaps everywhere. Then when the nice sealcoating man in blue comes with the sealcoating, then POOF! there goes the gaps. That's like your revision right here. Bravo! See, that's me being dorky.

 
At 9/17/2006 11:32 PM, Blogger Vera Lynn Waters said...

first off, andrew, there is no such thing as intrickle. i believe it is intrecate. anywho, nat, i didn't know you play the cello! that's awesome. way to add in other details by the way.

 
At 9/18/2006 12:02 AM, Blogger Dennis Fuller said...

aww. we're musical buddies.

i added more about my musicals as well. i can't believe i forgot them the first time...

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home