What would I be if I wasn’t a musician?
I think the simple answer to that is ‘lost’!
Music is my whole life. I have made a living from the thing I love. Every day is different. I can be teaching young people how to play the flute, piano, clarinet, keyboard or sing during the day, and be running a choir or musical theatre rehearsal in the evening. I love nothing more than immersing myself in a wonderful piece of music, like Rachmaninov’s 2nd Symphony or The Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis by Vaughan Williams, and feeling the notes wash over me. But then I may pop on some Black Sabbath, Queen, Midge Ure or Tony Christie, and feel the music come alive around me.
There is music for every emotion, thought, feeling, and event in our lives. Music can make you think of a time and place, evoke memories, bring you closer to loved ones. It can be a shared or a solitary experience, and it is amazing to know, that as a musician, I am part of that. There is nothing more special than watching a dementia patient twitch their finger in time with something you are performing, when there has been no response until that point. You know you have made a connection, and that is an amazing feeling.
But…. I nearly walked away from it all. I was bullied at school because of the music, and the sense that I was different because of it, and as a result I was ready to give it all up.
Thank goodness I didn’t!
That isn’t to say I didn’t come out the other side unscathed. My confidence took a bashing, and even now, after everything, I still lack confidence. I still doubt my ability as a musician. I still marvel at what I have achieved. I fight that feeling every day, but I also know how fortunate I am. How fortunate to be doing something I love and am passionate about.
So, will I eventually retire?
How could I? What would I do with myself? And there is still so much more to explore – more than you could fit into one lifetime. Music is constantly evolving, growing, developing, and I want to continue exploring, developing and growing along side it.