Thursday, August 4, 2016

Memories Part I - Music

From the last post I wrote, I thought maybe I should begin to write a memoir of sorts. I thought about my memories from 2 years ago, from right before I moved to France but I thought I should start at the beginning...try to think of my earliest good memories. Sadly, for me, the bad memories are what stick in my mind because there were plenty of them and because of their impact they had on my "becoming" as I began to write about in my last post.

So what do I remember as a child that was good aside from my rock-crushing fascination and small observations of nature? Well, even before I really got interested in the visual arts, I was very interested in music. At age 5, when I attended kindergarten (interesting German word, huh? Side note: For my non-US readers, kindergarten is the second level of school we go to with the first being pre-school - mostly for socializing. Kindergarten actually begins the real learning process in addition to the socialization of humans), I had trouble adapting to other children, except for a boy that I chased around the classroom until I cornered him and gave him a big kiss on the cheek. I lost interest in him after that kiss though, and he said hello to me every morning, I hid from him. I suppose I felt I conquered him so it was time to move on.

But I digress. It was kindergarten that I was introduced to a woman that would inspire and influence me for many years to come. Mrs. C was a huge light in my life. Her personality, and hair, was huge. She would walk into the room and whatever mood I was in at the time, would change dramatically and my focus was on her. She was the lead music teacher not only in my school, but in our town community. Her involvement, musically, was everywhere. I clung to her that first year, following her wherever she was in the classroom. In fact, she told me at one point to please let other kids be near her also. I wanted her all to myself though. When she taught music, I was attentive 1000%. I learned rhythms, I learned how to read music and from that moment on until I graduated from high school at 17 years old, I either sang in the choir, played clarinet, the bells, and guitar. I participated in the County Music Festival and I helped her sometimes after school. 

In high school, she was asked to teach the guitar class for one year - coincidentally a class I was in but had no idea she would teach. One very proud moment for me was when the very-tough band teacher came in to teach alongside with her. In the class, I was the only female student and in the 80's, among guys that had long hair and wore leather everything thinking they would be the next Eddie Van Halen or Randy Rhoads. The band teacher casually quizzed everyone with their knowledge of music reading. I was the only one that answered every question and correctly. Mrs. C smiled at me proudly while the guys in the class stared at me stunned. The band teacher pointed to me and said "This girl knows her stuff so she will be the successful musician, NOT you if you don't learn how to read music. You need to take her example!" 

So why did I not become a musician? Maybe it was  because I found the visual arts/photography more of what I needed, perhaps it was the discipline I lacked at some point but it was also the lack of support I had at home. I took private guitar lessons for awhile but I really wanted to sing. However, at that time, my self-esteem was pretty low as well and I was too afraid to stand in front of an audience (especially alone) to perform. Strange, how I can model nude now in front of a large amount of people...maybe it's because it's silent performance? Hmm...

A number of years ago, I learned that Mrs. C died. I believe she died a legacy. If not in my town, in the very least, in my heart.
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