My Relationships with Music

I'd like to take this time to talk about music. It would be an incredible undertaking to describe all the different kinds of music that I appreciate, but I will at least try here to address a few important ways in which I've interacted with that most mysterious entity- music.

My mother is very musical, and she (and probably I too) would like to think that the music that I was exposed to from her in and out of the womb was very important in my early development. I believe I was seven when I started playing the violin, although I might be wrong. Seven was also when I first wore glasses, so maybe I'm confusing things; or maybe seven was an important age in my history. It might have been when I was nine. Anyways...

I began learning violin from Heidi Hays, who coincidentally I learned today will be moving to Seattle soon. At some point after several years I had developed quite a bit as a violinist and Heidi began saying that I had "surpassed" her. In retrospect especially, I find this to be ludicrous, but violin was not Heidi's primary instrument and she did a lot of other music, so I don't know what she really thought.

Then, again at some point, a professional violinist moved here because of her husband's occupation and offered to teach lessons. I stopped learning from Heidi and began a completely new experience in my instrumental career. Sarah Briggs Cornelius really taught me a lot during the years (maybe just a year and some months) that I took lessons from her. In many ways I started over in my playing of the violin and I think I really advanced. In retrospect, I think I should have committed myself more to my playing. With more effort I could have moved a lot farther. But that's the past, and eventually Sarah moved on from Ketchikan, leaving me and my violin alone.

Since then, I've practiced and performed very occasionally, and there was only one little stint where I got back into playing my violin regularly for a while. But although violin is the primary instrument with which I've made music in my life, it certainly isn't the only one.

In fourth grade, I entered band. With Ketchikan having only one violin teacher, then two, now zero, it's obvious there were no opportunities for me to play my first instrument in any local string orchestra. So instead, while I took private violin lessons, I began playing the flute in school. I actually have no idea why I chose the flute, but it was probably a better choice than anything else. For a long time I really didn't do very well playing it, and then some time before sixth grade I decided to stop.

In the second semester of sixth grade though I went back to band and in the third trimester of seventh grade, I played at the high school with other seventh graders while most of my class time was spent in a single class housed back at an elementary school. My middle school years were very messed up; this could probably be best explained by the fact that I never went to a middle school. Seventh grade was essentially an extension of elementary school and I for eighth grade I was at Kayhi. But back to music.
Eighth grade was much more stable for me. It was the first time I was taught by more than one or two teachers every day, and I'd like to think I got used to the system very quickly. One of my seven periods was spent in band, and seeing as I don't really have many memories of eighth grade band, it couldn't have been that bad. Well, actually, thinking some more about it- I think I really enjoyed it.

Despite this, my freshman year at Kayhi was the last in which I would have band. It was a very interesting year, and when I broke my arm in winter I began playing percussion, which was an interesting experience. Then one day I tried out playing the tuba and could produce a note perfectly on the first try. I was hooked. For the rest of the year, I traded off playing tuba, flute, and continued with a little bit of percussion. I found a lot of enjoyment in learning to play tuba and playing it well. Simultaneously, my flute playing was not getting any better and I felt as if I was doing worse compared to others in the band. At the end of the year, I was told that I wouldn't be moving up to the more experienced band, and I realized that I wasn't finding the satisfaction in band that I did before.

Next school year will not involve any music for me either, and I sometimes regret not playing my instruments more. Playing music is not a very high priority in my life, though, and I've had a lot of good classes that would have been compromised by taking band or choir in school. Making music is still a great thing to do, though. I get a lot of enjoyment from my playing, and I think I'll try to play it more often this summer and next year. I might be able to take violin to college.

The other side of my relationships to music is my listening to it. I enjoy a wide variety of music, as can be seen by looking at my profile. I'll put all those on that list here:

U2, Bruce Springsteen, MC Solaar, Led Zeppelin, Sting, the Police, Sting and the Police, Enya, Nirvana, Basshunter, Wierd Al Yankovic, Piazolla, Tchaikovsky, the Beatles, the Chieftains, O-ZONE, Sixpence None the Richer, Steve Riley, Rachid Taha, Huun-Huur-Tu, ABBA, Grieg, Vivalidi, the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, Coldplay, Sibelius, America, Barenaked Ladies, Billy Joel, Clearance Clearwater Revival, Dido, Duran Duran, Harv, IZ, Mannheim Steamroller, Mick est Tout Seul, Peter Paul & Mary, Tryo

Crazy, huh.

One thing I try to focus on though is not listening to music all the time. I'm currently listening to Clocks by Coldplay as I write this sentence, but whenever I go out for a walk or go to school I never bring my iPod. In fact, the main thing I use my iPod for is listening to music while in bed, and I don't do very much of that. I think many people listen to music too often, and when kids and adults are always plugged in to something it really takes away from ones experience of life.

I can't possibly discuss all the artists listed above, but I'll recommend to the reader a few things I've been listening to recently. Better yet, I'll give you the playlist I made today.

Viva la Vida - Coldplay
Vertigo - U2
Libertango - Piazolla (composer)
We Didn't Start the Fire - Billy Joel
Beautiful Day - U2
La Vie est Belle - MC Solaar
Clocks - Coldplay

Clocks just ended, so I think this post will too. I'm sure I shall talk more about music in the future.