When I was a wee little lass, my mom used to beg me to take piano lessons. She took lessons, and of course I should want to as well. But I always resisted, yet I would sit down with her old piano books and teach myself to play. Nothing advanced, mind you.
When I was 10, I finally gave in to formally learning music – but on the flute. I had always wanted to play the flute. It was such a dainty instrument, with a pretty sound.
When I was about 11 or 12, I became a fan of Tori Amos, the piano player / singer / song writer. And finally, I agreed to take piano lessons. Because I wanted to be able to play Tori’s songs.
From age 12 – 17, I took piano lessons and played flute in the band. Looking back, I’m so glad I did. I enjoyed the solitude of playing a piece alone on the piano, but also loved creating music with a large group.
When I gradated from high school, I put my flute in the closet, forgot about the piano, and went to college. I didn’t play much music until my junior year, when I realized I could take private piano lessons for credit, even as a non-music major. I think I took for three semesters. For the first time in my life, I actually memorized music. I didn’t have a very strict piano teacher during my teenage years, but those nuns at Loyola that run the music department… they mean business.
But then I gradated college, and again, forgot about music. A few years later, I started getting an itch. I was in my mid-20s and I had no hobbies. I started thinking about what I enjoyed, and looking around the internet to see if I could still do any of that stuff somewhere. I found a few community concert bands in the area, and I thought about joining one of them. For about a year.
It took a year of thinking about it before I finally joined a band. And I’m so glad I did, but I wish I did it years ago. I wish I had joined the concert band in college (which you could as a non-major, a friend of mine did). And I wish I had joined a community band right after graduating. But, at least I finally did join a band.
We have a concert this Sunday; it’ll be my second concert since joining this past January. We’re not amazing – some of us (not me) studied music in college or teach music as local schools. But some of us (like me), played in high school and then didn’t touch our instrument for 8+ years. But we have fun. We’re not out to win awards or make a career out of it, we just want to create music with each other and every other month or so, share it with whoever wants to listen.