Saturday, January 7, 2012

Hobbies and family support 3: Instruments

In part 2, I mentioned that my mother had taken a few piano lessons in college.  I'm not sure whether she ever took formal voice lessons, I would think I'd have heard if she had.  Mom & Dad actually had a guitar when we lived in Illinois.  I don't know what was wrong with it, but they put it out, cased, for trash pickup.  Mom said that the garbage collector did NOT put it in the back of the truck, it was placed in the passenger seat of the cab.

When I was in 4th grade, a band director (not our regular music teacher) brought in a variety of wind instruments for us to look at and try.  A classmate and I were looking over the woodwinds, both interested in the flute.  She tried the clarinet first, and couldn't get any sound out.  But I could.  She was able to get a note out of the flute, so the band director assumed I wouldn't.  I told my parents I wanted to play, either flute or clarinet. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Hobbies and family support 2: Elementary school Vocals

I have always sung, around the house, wherever I was.  There used to be an old cassette tape of me and my mom, I was probably in preschool, singing some Sound of Music songs.  When I was a little older, I can remember singing "Hard-Knock Life" from Annie while I was doing chores around the house.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Hobbies and family support 1: sports and classes

I read through Malcolm Gladwell's "Outliers: The Story of Success" within a week of Levitt and Dubner's "Freakonomics."  Many of the ideas in the two books complemented each other, so that there are some concepts where I am not entirely certain from which book they came.  Since they were both library books, I don't have them on a shelf to check.

Both books talked about how social class can affect talents and hobbies.  One book spoke about a child who sang at their school.  The child had talent, the potential to turn it into a career and live a different life from what her family had known.  But the family didn't think of it that way.  Music wasn't seen as a viable career that could/should be nurtured and encouraged.  Instead, it was seen as a minor hobby, just something that the child did.

That hit home, for me.  It reminded me of a conversation with one of my aunts, about how her father, my grandfather, always encouraged education, but on practical things.  I don't think it's coincidental that of his 8 children, the 6 college graduates majored in subjects like accounting and mathematics.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Wishing you all the best, health and happiness for the new year!

I mentioned earlier this week that Glee has been something like "The Artist's Way" for me.  Of course, it's not Glee alone.  It's also the Huntsville Feminist Chorus that I sing with, and a book from my summer reading (Horning in: The Grown-Up's Guide to Making Music for Fun), and waking up and realizing that all the things I had been stressing over for the past 4-6 years are... no longer worries.  Well, our son will always be a concern, but he's also a blessing :)

I've been reflecting a lot these past few months.  The previous time I wrote fanfiction was about twenty years ago, in partnership with a high school friend.  Thankfully, that piece of writing is NOT posted to the internet to embarrass me now.  The manuscript is safely unread on a shelf in my living room.