I remember it like it was almost yesterday. Back in 6th-grade, one’s coolness and social status were almost exclusively tied to their athletic ability— at least in the world of boys.
I was moderately athletic. I was good enough to make the “A” team in most sports but not good enough to get much playing time. So I sat in this awkward world of being almost there, almost “good enough.”
Then came the first day of band class. My first choice of instrument to learn was the saxophone because it seemed the coolest of all the choices. But there were already had too many people playing that so I chose the clarinet, a close relative, of but decidedly less cool. I figured maybe eventually I could switch to sax.
Never-the-less as we started playing and learning our instruments something amazing happened. I was pretty good at this playing music thing! While I was always struggling to keep up in sports, just to remain “in the game” so to speak, with music I was naturally one of the better students.
What an experience that was. While it wasn’t the coolest thing, it still built my confidence and I quickly latched on to music as my thing.
Even before starting in band, I had a love of listening to music. I came by it naturally as both my parents were musicians (my mom played the piano and my dad the guitar). The sounds of music accompanied most activities whether it be skateboarding, doing homework or just hanging out.
But playing and making music, that was different and it opened up a whole new world. I began to dream of playing professionally, starting a band and touring the world, making millions of fans happy.
I continued playing and participating in organized school musical groups through high school and college where my involvement took me on some great adventures including a trip to Florida to play at Disney World and a national tour as the sound tech of my university’s A Capella group.
By that time I had begun to see how difficult and competitive the world of professional music is. My dreams of playing professionally hadn’t totally subsided but I had a backup plan. I would work in the music business so I could still be close to what I loved.
My senior year in college I was required to do an internship for my major and landed mine at a management and marketing agency for local bands. There I met a cute red-head and we quickly developed a friendship. Here was a girl who loved music as much as me (maybe more) and enjoyed going to concerts and talking about the finer nuances of music.
Two years later we were married. We like to say that music brought us together.
Fifteen years and three boys later music is still playing an important role in our family. It is an almost constant presence in our home and the backdrop and soundtrack to much of our life.
So far none of our boys have chosen to play an instrument but they are developing their own musical tastes and discovering their own favorite artists. They are also educating us on some of what is new and exciting. It is great to see them developing a love for something that has been such a powerful force in our lives.
Hopefully, someday they will pass on their love of music to their children as well and the current of melodies that has flowed through our family will continue for many generations to come.
Photo: Getty Images