Friday, July 15, 2011

Thinking about Thinking about it.

I've been thinking about music again. (Notice I say "thinking about" and not "making" music).

For those of you joining this story already in progress, I was a music major in college and dropped out half way through a masters in voice performance. So many years of practicing every day.  Then nothing. The muse took off and did not leave a forwarding address.

When I finally got around to watching Tim Burton's film version of Sweeney Todd I flashed back to myself age 11 sitting on my bedroom floor, album cover in hand singing along to "Green Finch and Linnet Bird."  I had forgotten that I spent most of my middle and high school years listening to LPs of musical comedies and operas in my bedroom in our old Victorian house which provided enough room to sing and dance along. Seriously. Hours and hours each day memorizing every line and choreographing little dances. Of course by the time I was in high school I was also sitting at the piano with actual scores to these things (my dad had a surprising collection of Gilbert and Sullivan vocal scores.) And naturally in college each day there was a couple of hours of voice, an hour of piano, an hour just listening to the repertoire in the listening library (they had this awesome copy of Gounod's Mireille in a fuzzy orange box. I remember checking that out a lot) on top of music theory and all the regular undergrad classwork. Now I would have been embarrassed to enumerate this to any of my instrumentalist friends, because it would show what a lightweight I was. I mean, if your practicing less than 6 hours a day you're obviously not that serious, right?

So yesterday I had a little tune in the back of my head. It's one I've managed to learn the 4 chords for on the mandolin.  I thought maybe I should sit down and work on it. Then I had this thought "music is so much work for so little reward" as I sat clicked on the computer with a fresh cup of coffee ready to work and re-work the sermon I will be preaching this Sunday.  It occurred to me that I spend 10+ hours a week on a 20 minute sermon.  If I spent 10+ hours on 20 minutes of music week after week, it might be worth listening to.

Then I thought about my yoga practice (I practice yoga at least as much now as I practiced my voice lessons in High School). I've spent the past 5 years working on pincha mayurasana  and am thrilled with even the tiniest improvement. (seriously- after all those years of practice I can now occasionally kick up without using the wall and squeal with glee every time.) Again, it's possible that if I put as much time into music as I put into yoga, well, we'll probably never know.

It's like being in the middle of writing a novel or short story. You wouldn't bring music into the plot at the beginning if you weren't going to come back to it some day... would you?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Keep thinking... :-) I'd love to hear you play mandolin someday! S