Music Lessons – Lessons for Life

Growing up in a house of professional musicians, I really didn’t have much of a choice of getting involved with music. From the very first day my parents brought me home from the hospital as a newborn, a life surrounded by music was inevitable. Well, even before that really. Both of my parents are professional musicians. They met at a conservatory of music during their college years. My mom was studying music education and my dad was studying voice performance and had dreams of making it big in the world of opera. He practiced like a mad man, obsessed with making his dream come true. My mom still tells stories of how she would go looking for him on a Friday or Saturday night (this was well before the time of cell phones, my parents are ancient) and he would be the only one still in the practice rooms at 2 or sometimes even 3am. He was so focused and so determined to be the best singer he could be that he would completely lose track of time. In the end he chose a stable family life over touring the world as an opera singer. What a nice guy. After receiving their degrees, my dad continued his education with a master’s in voice pedagogy while my mom became a elementary school music teacher. Soon they were married, and a few years later I came into the picture. I remember playing in the den with my little brother while listening to my mom’s piano lessons and my dad’s voice lessons go on all day long. I remember hearing beautiful songs some of my dad’s more advanced students would be working on as well as the cracks, moans, and other strange noises that somehow leaked out of the beginners’ throats. I remember going to the churches my dad was the music director at and listening to their rehearsals. I remember going to my mom’s school rehearsals and seeing the musicals she was putting on. I guess music was ingrained in my head from the get-go. When I was 3 years old, I started begging my parents for piano lessons. My mom says I used to ask her almost everyday, “Mommy, when are you going to learn me the piano,” until she let me start at the age of 4. Asking my mom for piano lessons at an early age was one of the best decisions I ever made.