Not your average suburban mom. I’m more your typical, normal, commonplace, everyday, garden-variety suburban mom. With a thesaurus.

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Beat Goes On

Aaaaand now you're singing this.
I posted this because I am a trained
music educator
and I know how to
get others to tap into their own
musical potential.  You're welcome.
I majored in music.  This is an actual thing you can do. It's kind of like majoring in philosophy, but with less chance of a Jay Oh Bee once you have a diploma in hand.  (Unless, of course, you are going to teach.)(And if you are going to teach music you are constantly plagued by 1. Performance majors who snidely remark that "those who can't, teach" and 2. the knowledge that your department is the first cut when funds are tight. So, yay job security.)  That's why I'm using my four and a half year music education degree as a SAHM; if my funding gets cut, at the very least I still get to show up everyday.  Making myself indispensable = win.

What being a music major really means is that now I can do some fantastic impressions of other music students.  And vocal coaches.  And especially conductors. (In fact, Esther can do some fantastic impressions of conductors, which I'm pretty sure means I have succeeded at parenting.)

The integrity of this piece depends solely on how exuberantly I can portray this crescendo using my body and facial expressions and hair.

I also spent all day being surrounded by what the rest of the world describes as "those artistic type personalities."

Like the really quiet organ performance major (think church organ, not like your pancreas) who never talked to anyone but would occasionally don a Superman costume and run through the super creepy basement hallways of the music building because ... why not?

Or singers vocalists who insisted upon wearing scarves all the time to protect their throats (this was the 90's, way before the scarf fad exploded) from weird vocal strain that is apparently brought on by cold necks.

Or kids who are still legit pissed about that line from Goonies when Andi has to play the bones and she's trying to read the music and says, "I can't tell if it's an A sharp or a B flat", which is totally the same thing.  (Didn't the writers have any musicians on staff?  Or at least a freaking FACT checker?)

Or the guitar player who sat in the hallway playing the same opening verse and chorus of "More Than Words" a millionandfourtimes to the same three groupies for two solid years. #getsomenewmaterialamiright?

Not everyone was a WEIRDO.  I met awesome people who became great friends, many of whom have succeeded in the music industry and I will call on them if I'm ever in some kind of radio contest for Six Degrees of Famous People*.  (*Six Degrees of Famous People is a radio contest where listeners are challenged to get the most famous person they know to call in for them so they win a prize.  I don't know what the prize is; I'm sure bragging rights would suffice.  I'm actually quite prepared for this if it ever happens.  Antea, my favorite writer/music producer in the history of the world,  I'm banking on you to get me Jennifer Lopez or Justin Bieber. Or Beyonce.  Whatevs, I'm not picky.  I have faith in you.  Kris, touring/studio musician and producer extraordinaire, you are in the bag to connect me with Gwen Stefani or Billy Corgan.  (Because remember when you played at my wedding and I payed you in chicken fingers from Red Robin?) And since I personally know* rock legends NEEDTOBREATHE, I can always contact them via Twitter or their webpage personally.  And NTB obviously knows a TON of famous people, having opened for Taylor Swift.)(Daaaang, it's like I totally know Taylor Swift.)

*personally know = I've met them a few times.  Spread over a few years.  I am their muse in my head only.

Another awesome person was my piano teacher of three years.  This man was a Chinese citizen who trained in the Russian Conservatory of Music.  (One thing we did luck out with at my college is that since we were in the heart of Detroit, we attracted a lot of great musicians who played with the DSO and sang with MOT.)  He scared the bejeebers out of me.  He was the nicest man in the world (who would occasionally slap my hands when I made the same mistake too many times) but he was so talented I was beyond intimidated. He did not speak a lot of discernible English, but he tried valiantly to connect with me, his silly American teenage student.

"KELLY!  HOW IS YOUR BOYFRIENNNNN?"  He asked me this every.single.lesson.  At the time I was dating a guitar major named Brian, and my teacher was so tickled at this relationship I didn't have the heart to tell him when we broke up.  Thankfully my very next relationship was with another guitar major named Brian (yes, my Brian that I eventually married) so I just pretended it was the same relationship the whole time.  (Me, saving face through a big fat lie.) (Kids, don't try this at home.) (But Mr. Li was thrilled about the engagement.)

(Other fun piano teacher facts:  He made me wear red to juries, which are like final exams for private lessons.  Juries are judged performances in front of other faculty members that also play your instrument.  Red symbolizes good fortune and joy which apparently I don't possess on my own.  He also made me cut my fingernails, claiming, "I want you to play majestically, not have majestic fingernails." I truly miss this man.)

Mostly what music school taught me is that I never want to go into music again.  Until, of course, I become a rock star and tour the world performing for the masses that understandably know unmatched talent when they see it.  The End.


  1. My mom was a music major and a pianist. I know all about that "Musical Type." My dad was a theater geek and together, they spawned me: the musical theater loving, oil painting, vocalizing, ceramics enthusiast who has an MFA in Writing but will make more money bartending than teaching in this economic climate. I know all about the job security issue. Le sigh.

    1. Dude, it's almost like you were genetically programmed to shun job security. In my Happy World your book sells billions of copies and you COULD retire for life but you won't because your fans will demand more to read so you'll keep writing. Because you owe the public.

      This is why I should be put in charge of the world.

  2. I loved this post. I know NOTHING about music, except that I like to listen to it, so I admire you greatly. Not to mention, I'd love to see you conduct. :)

    1. Me conducting is a treat, I assure you. And? Listening to music is the best part ;-)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...