After seeing the tattoo on my leg, I am often asked “Are you a musican?” and I always stumble through the response. “I was. I guess I still am. I’m just not a practicing musician. But it’s still important to me.” When I was growing up, I sang in a nationally recognized choir (from age 9 to 18) and played piano seriously enough that I practiced an hour or two every day. The music department at my college was kind of a mess, so, despite a couple of semesters of choir and private vocal training, I drifted from studying music and got busy with other things (like science and theatre costuming). I still snuck into the music building to bang out a Beethoven sonata or two in one of the practice rooms when I got really stressed out. When I moved to San Francisco for graduate school I brought an electric practice piano, but it was never very satisfying to play and I found I just wasn’t using it enough to justify it taking up so much space in my tiny little studio apartment, so I gave it back to my step-mom. So for the last 5+ years, I haven’t practiced any sort of music.
In January, I started singing with a choir again. Initially, I wasn’t totally sold on the experience. The choir doesn’t require auditions so I got frustrated that I learned my music much more quickly than the choir as a whole. My high range had suffered from neglect (hard to call myself a soprano when I’m barely able to hit a G). There was almost nobody else near my age in the choir (heavily skewed towards retired and elderly) and no time to socialize before or after so I wasn’t making any friends. I was wondering why I was giving up a whole night every week that could be used for sewing.
And then, during the dress rehearsal for our concert two weeks ago, I was hit by a wave of emotion that brought tears to my eyes. It all clicked and the frustrations disappeared. I was a part of making beautiful, powerful, emotional music. I felt again the peace and satisfaction from creating music.
I plan on singing with the choir again when they start up again in the fall. I plan on buying a piano as soon as we have a home of our own.
Are you a musician? Have you walked away from and later re-found an activity that is important to you?
Each week this year I’m going to reflect on an aspect of myself and how it affects me as a sewist, crafter, or blogger. It may get deep, it may get emotional, it may get totally silly. It may be something I’m proud of, it may be something I cringe at, it may be something I aspire to. I may say a lot, I may say a little, I may ask questions, I may not answer them. I don’t quite know where the project will take me, but I’m excited about the journey. I’d be honored to have you join me on this journey. Chime in any time this year in my blog comments, on Twitter, Instagram, or your own blog. Join me in my theme for the week or make up your own.