I’ve been a musician all my life. Some of my first memories are being taught songs in the car by my mom while we waited for my dad after work. For some reason I don’t remember where my brother was so he must have been pretty small or he would have been there too. Or sitting with my grandmother on an overnight at her house at the piano while she played short chants for doing things like weaving. I remember being so small that my feet didn’t reach the floor.
Mom and dad bought us lots of records and I’m giving my age away when I say the first ones were on 78 not 33 1/3 like LPs. We had a lot of folk songs and one with Danny Kaye singing and telling stories and one favourite I wish had survived, “Bozo and the Birds”. I was fixated on the Spoonbill.
My first instrument was the alto recorder, I think my parents didn’t want the ear piercing blasts produced with by the soprano, They didn’t buy me the soprano until I learned to play fairly well. I used to sit crossed legged on my bed and dad would ask me how the snake charming was coming or call me “swami”.
I started to learn the guitar when my best friend was being taught by her father and gave me her first guitar. She didn’t continue but I fell in love because it was smack in the middle of the folk song era and the Kingston Trio’s Lemon Tree was the first thing I learned to play and went on to the Child Ballads and then Peter, Paul and Mary and I was off.
Now that I’m going deaf playing the guitar is difficult because I can’t hear well enough to tune it and electronic tuners are too exact and don’t sound right. But the thing I miss most is singing with others and singing with other people takes very careful listening so that you match pitch and tone with everyone else. I spent a lot of time this last weekend Trying hard to listen when we were singing at the memorial and the FOI anniversary. Hoping I was in tune and fearing I wasn’t and too scared to ask how bad I was.
I miss playing my harp and guitar. I think I’m going to invest in a new recorder if just to have a way to fight back against my neighbor’s loud wall rattling video games and his monotonous electric guitar practice.
Anyway losing my hearing can be depressing