A commentor asked why I don’t just give up violin and take up guitar. Cue long-winded response:
I love music and always have. Making it…? Not so much. I’m like someone who loves cakes, reads about cakes, talks about cakes, and reads online about cakes, even works in a bakery, but never bakes. In a word: pathetic. I am a music sink, not a music source.
There are a dozen talented musicians in my family, none of whom are related to me biolically. I have one relative who, if aliens from Planet Spectra handed her an instrument, would be playing a medly of Moody Blues songs within an hour. There are music instructors, concert-level musicians, and so much talent that you need hip waders. Me? I appreciate music. But I always wanted to make it.
In first grade, they taught us the “song flute” (an easier version of the recorder.) I still recall the way the vice principal slipped me five bucks to feign sickness the night of the recital.
I’m musically dyslexic. When I look at music notes, they turn into a sea of dots and lines. Every time I come to a new note, I need to count up the staff (“Every Good Boy Does Fine…”) and then translate that to “and that means you put this finger there.” I got really good at memorizing music, but still. Ick.
In 4th grade, my class was selected for string orchestra, and as they explained the instruments, I knew inside that I would die if I didn’t get a violin. I was jumping out of my seat with anxiety until the fateful moment they asked who would like a violin. My hand was the first up–and I got one! I was stunned that some kids chose other instruments willingly.
I liked taking violin, but I never gave it the time I should have. It seemed more important to play with my Breyer horses, make up stories, read, and draw.
I’ve been in and out of choirs since I was 12. I met my Patient Husband in college choir. I’m not a good singer, but I love singing. (No kidding–I was invited into church choir because “You’re a live body.”)
Christmas, 1999: I got a bug to learn guitar. I didn’t becuase I was pregnant, and who has the time?
Two months later, we went for a “routine” ultrasound and learned that the baby, Emily Rose, had a fatal birth defect. She would grow just fine until she was born, and then she would die.
I did what any mother in that position would do: I bought a guitar.