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My Music Progression

I have been surrounded by music since birth. My mom is an elementary music teacher, and has a college degree in clarinet performance and music education. While I think this is where I got my love for music, it has also developed over time and has become personalized, just like anything....

When younger, I was very involved in my church, and always was in choir (from age 3) throughout high school, played in the handbell choir, and often did music performances with my friends and siblings throughout many church services. In school I played the violin in orchestra in 4th and 5th grade and then switched over to band and played the oboe beginning in 6th grade. I was then in band and orchestra throughout high school and participated in competitions, private lessons and group performances. I worked one summer at a music camp on the UW campus and I also took piano lessons from age 5 through college. I was a music minor in college in oboe performance, and was able to study under a fabulous oboe player who was in the MN orchestra, and was able to play in orchestra hall and with top conductors. I was also in Women’s Choir and Gospel Choir at the U of MN, allowing me more great experiences – singing with the orchestra at Orchestra Hall, singing at the halftime of a Vikings Game, singing at the State capitol and more great experiences that I will never forget! So, playing music is definitely in my blood and still is an important part of my life.
Music has also helped me to become an independent and confident woman. Performing in groups as well as individually at piano and oboe concerts has taught me great performance skills and has allowed me to discover new parts of my personality and what I am capable of doing. Music also has the capability of bringing different people together, and some of my best friends in life are from my musical experiences.
As far as the “other side? to music, I enjoy listening to music as well. When growing up, I never really knew the “popular? groups, their songs or who was who. However, I had friends who did, so I mainly just followed along and liked what they liked. I think part of this was because when I listen to a piece of music I hear the underlying chords, progressions and the backbone vs. the lyrics, so I can never remember words to popular songs! I also truly appreciate all different types of music, so I was never picky even in middle school. I also did not have cable! MTV even then was a big deal, and since I did not have it (I probably would not have been allowed to watch it anyways) I was left out of the “popular music? culture.
Through the process of discovering my personal likes, dislikes, and just the process of discovering myself (that everyone goes through; especially in college) I also developed my own music tastes – or at least became strong enough to voice them. I still enjoy all different types of music, and different life experiences and relationships have influenced those tastes. During college I started going to many concerts – all different types of music. I continue to enjoy going to concerts, in fact I just traveled to New York City to see Pearl Jam at Madison Square Garden with my husband, and had the best time.
Music will always be an important part of my life, and hopefully in the future my children’s lives as well. It really has helped me to discover who I am and will continue to do so. I think it can bring people together, can open communication and has the power to heal and to motivate.