Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Easiest Listening

I can't carry a tune. This has been a real dilemma for me in life. Everyone needs a method of expressing themselves artistically. Music can make people feel a range of emotions from inspired and introspective to despondent and depressed. My music is a different story. It doesn't create emotions, per se, but something vaguely similar to mortal pain.

I play no instrument except the one or two songs I've memorized from my electric keyboard's lesson files. I cannot sing, having such a limited range that it's in negative figures. I have, however, learned the fine art that is lip synching. As a kid being short meant that I was always in the front row in choir and nobody was directly in front of me to hear the lack of sound actually emerging from my body.

I can hear unique tunes in my head and imagine them played outloud but I can't get them outside of my head, for the world to hear. It's like those artistic things I envision but have no artistic skill to accomplish. Sometimes I feel frustrated by my complete inability to express myself artistically. I can see or hear things in my head but I can't get them out. It's likely that they only retain their intriguing qualities in my mind and that, once out, I would be disappointed at the physical representations of my introspection. Maybe there's a loose wire in there and perhaps my lack of skill is saving me from myself.

Somehow my kids have managed to have their wiring intact--or at least the artistic expression portion of their wiring. The jury's still out on the rest of the circuitry. They seem to be sufficiently skilled at drawing, writing and playing music to accomplish the expression they desire. Both of them have somehow managed to become first chair in their preferred instruments (though I don't know about Sid this year). This is, of course, beyond my comprehension because it obviously doesn't reflect their devotion to practice. It would be nice if their chair status had been more reflective of their will to practice. That can be a very effective motivator.

Lolly took lessons from a percussion instructor last year. This was partially motivated by some suggestions made by the Davis program instructor who helped her with her mild dyspraxia. Since then she's started playing trumpet in her music class at school. Her percussion instructor had pegged Lolly pretty well, which is something I can't say about most of her life's instructors. She's kinda "unique" in her approach to life but he continued to get her on track undaunted. He taught her a little piano and we found out she could memorize songs very quickly.

Sid plays the trombone. This is her 5th year playing it. Her first instructor said that trombone was a good fit because she had long enough arms to have sufficient reach for all of the notes and she had full enough lips to work the aperature. Now she's in Jazz band at her high school. Last year, she pulled off a stint in the pit for marching band. This had her playing bells, the xylophone and keyboard. Since she can't march (juvenile arthritis) it was the only way she could participate in marching band.

Lolly's music teacher approved of her choice of trumpet which Lolly was desperate to play. I don't think Lolly would have played trombone even if it were the only choice available to her. Thank goodness. I'm not saying she's a clutz or is totally and blissfully unaware of the world around her but I could somehow imagine her accidentally launching the slide into the air and into the head of some kid in front of her.

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