Da Musically Inclined Bomb

DePauw University's First Year Seminar on Writing about Music

Sunday, October 29, 2006

An Ordinary Life Take 4/5

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.
The oldest story I can think of involving music took place when I was about two. Every time the McDonald's commercial came on the TV I would run in the room and start dancing. From the time I was about three or four I would insist on going to choir practice with my mom. I know it would seem boring to most people, but I loved sitting in the room for over an hour listening to the choir sing. And by the time I was eight or nine, I knew every word to every Oldies song ever made, and had attended my fair share of Oldies concerts, including Jan and Dean and the Monkees. I was in love with 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. 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. During Christmas break, although it was two months after marching season, we travelled to Florida and got to march down Main Street at Disney World. 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 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.
I continued on with all my music through highschool. I went through some private teachers in the area, eventually quit taking piano lessons, taught myself saxophone and bass, and then it was time to select a college.
I knew I wanted to continue with music, but I had no clue where. Luckily, I did know that I did not want to be more than 4 hours from home and that I wanted to study music business. I did some research and found there was really only five or six colleges that fit that criteria. 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 five days a week and they offered Music Business as a major. 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. I got here and something just clicked. It seemed to be so much more welcoming than anywhere else. Almost everything here looked well kept and up to date, whereas even the buildings Evansville claimed were newly renovated looked like they were still in the 1970s. Plus there was a pond! Then I found out the pond was going to become a moat as soon as the highly expensive addition to the music building was done. On my way home I knew it. I informed my mom that DePauw was my new number one. Of course I could not fully decide until the financial aid information came in, but when DePauw blew everyone else out of the water, I knew it was meant to be, 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 10/29/2006 5:11 PM, Blogger iheart-t-ravs said...

I like the revision a lot, Melissa. Very to the point, nicely done!

At 10/29/2006 5:24 PM, Blogger Kitt_Katt said...

I never was allowed to watch cartoons or play with Barbies! Not fair....

At 10/29/2006 9:42 PM, Blogger Godfather Outlaw said...

I think Ronald McDonald has made each one of us dance at one time or another...

At 10/29/2006 10:08 PM, Blogger Mistuh Bond said...

ronald mcdonald and barbies. two worlds i was both not interested in or not invited to. you have an interesting childhood in that aspect.

At 10/29/2006 10:17 PM, Blogger Becca said...

Nice. I like your style. Next time, though, I'd like to know more about your forays into bass and saxophone. And what about music business do you like, versus performance or ed?

PS - The moat was definitely one of my deciding factors, too. =)

At 10/29/2006 11:35 PM, Blogger Vera Lynn Waters said...

first 0ff, i want t0 say that r0nald mcd0nald scared the living crap 0ut 0f me when i was little... well, and all my life actually. als0, i agree with becca. y0u c0uld definately expand 0n y0ur 0ther instrumental experiences.


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