MY EFFORT TO BECOME A MUSICIAN! MUSIC TO MY EARS
While there is some confusion surrounding his date of birth, famous trumpeter, composer, and vocalist Louis Armstrong was born on Aug. 4, 1901. While I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a jazz man, I have been a musician since elementary school, and music continues to play an instrumental role in my life. “Whenever you hear stories about young kids picking up an instrument, it’s usually the result of a shared familial pastime, but honestly, I’m not quite sure why I made the decision to start playing in the first place.” In the fifth grade, I tried my hand at the violin for the very first time. I started off with simpler songs like “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” and continued to work my way toward more advanced tunes. The joy I felt playing the violin those first few years was encouraging, so I decided to take up the saxophone as well. Whenever you hear stories about young kids picking up an instrument, it’s usually the result of a shared familial pastime. However, I’m not quite sure why I made the decision to start playing in the first place. Growing up, no one in my immediate family was all that musically inclined. I do, however, remember my grandfather having a great love for music. He was a deacon in the church we attended, and he also served as the worship leader. I grew up listening to him sing every
Sunday, but I also remember him humming or whistling a tune no matter what he was doing or where he was going. I can think of no
one better to stimulate my passion for music so early on.
Once I was in high school, I directed my efforts more toward sports. While my mom often suggested I join the marching band, my interests were elsewhere until college. A few of my buddies played the guitar, so I decided to give it a try. Fortunately, all the lessons I took early on stuck with me, which made strumming along with my friends much easier. All through college, we’d have some pick-up jam sessions to allow us a much- needed break from all the essays and exams. The fourth and final instrument I know how to play is the ukulele. On the Fourth of July back in 2017, I was on vacation in Hawaii. I came across a ukulele for sale and thought to myself, “I’ve been wanting to learn how to play for years. What better place to start than Hawaii?” These days, the ukulele is my favorite instrument to play. Not only does it provide me with some light-hearted fun, but it also gives me the opportunity to turn off my scattered brain after a long day of work. Being a business owner, I’m constantly going
from one task to the next, and, by the time I get home at night, nothing beats plucking a couple of relaxing, mellow, and breezy tunes to help me recenter my focus and let the stress fall off my shoulders. That being said, when those particularly bad days happen, I can play some faster and heavier songs to find a different kind of catharsis! The best part of my musical experience is that after a few years of watching me play, my son has begun to join in, too. He even has his own ukulele! If you’ve ever been on the fence about learning how to play an instrument, I encourage you to give it a try. It’s a fun, creative, and exciting talent to have, and I’m so glad I started when I did!
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