Sunday, May 17, 2015

Follow your passion

If you feel a passion for something, don't let anyone or anything stop you. In fourth grade, I wanted to learn to play the violin - and actually any stringed instrument would have suited - but what was offered was the violin. The music teacher had a test in which I performed below expectation. In fact, he insisted I had no natural musical ability. I was having none of that and insisted that I was going to learn to play the violin (with the help of my father). After a year of violin lessons, my music teacher insisted I switch to the cello. I loved the cello! And he was likely grateful.
At the end of the sixth grade, much to my dismay, they ended the orchestra program and there was no path for me and my cello. Another music teacher accepted me as a guitar student for the summer. Then in seventh and eighth grade, I sang in the choir and loved it. So, entering 9th grade, I auditioned for the senior high school choir and was not accepted. I was crushed.
Meanwhile, my parents had discovered a guitar teacher in town who was a lovely man. Every week for .50 I took lessons and spent many hours in my room playing and singing songs. In 10th grade I auditioned again for the high school choir now under a new director. He not only accepted me for the concert choir but also for the madrigal group. Under his wonderful direction, I learned to sing.
Now some 40 years later, I am still singing and still playing my guitar. My first music teacher was right. I don't claim any natural ability. Music is somewhat mysterious to me. I am in awe of those who seem to understand it and perform it with ease. But I love it. I have always loved it. Most of all I love sharing music and the belief that if you desire to play and sing - you should and you can.
My first music teacher would never have imagined that I would someday make simple little stringed instruments and travel where ever they lead me in hopes of sharing a passion for music. It is my greatest joy. If I would have believed him and that first choir director, I would not be sharing that great joy now.
Whatever your passion, stick with it. Do it for yourself. If it brings you joy, you will have opportunity to share it one day. Most of all, give yourself that gift. Stick with it.

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