From a very early age, I had two major goals in life. I wanted to be a good father, and a good musician. Although my determination to be a good father to any children I may have was contributed to in part by a less then ideal upbringing, my tenacious pursuit of music was precipitated by much more positive influences. Initially I was going to be a lawyer. I loved the courtroom drama and the “presentation” part of things. And I was very good at public speaking and my mother was thrilled because the income prospects of such a career were very promising.
Then, during my high school career, the course of my life was radically altered. What started out as a simple extra-curricular hobby took on a life of it’s own. My involvement with music was as complete as was possible and practical. I was in Jazz Band, Marching Band, Concert Band and Pep Band. And in the last year and a half of my high school career, I discovered vocal music as a new way to be all that more intimate with the music I could make. It was as though I had discovered the ultimate form of personal and individual (musical) expression that I soon learned I would never be able to live without.
Music had then become a way of life for me, at that moment when I decided to take control of my own life. I found music to provide direction, focus, enjoyment and even emotional and “professional” growth throughout my high school and college years. There are so many aspects of a young boy’s life that he is required to “get a grip” on throughout the course of his school career, so he can move onto college and then on to adulthood. There is social, emotional and (for myself and some others) spiritual growth. But there are also practical concerns for the future or your “career” and maybe even a family. I could pursue law or medicine and many of these aspects of adulthood would fall neatly into place. But these answers created some spiritual and emotional conflicts. “Why would God have blessed me with gifts he did not intend for me to use?” “What kind of a father would I be if I was working 12 and 15 hour Dr’ shifts at the local hospital?” “And if one can pursue a career in that which makes you truly happiest, why not?” So in the end, music was the one career (of many which I may have been capable of) that seemed to make the most sense in the scope a future I felt I could be proud of AND happy with.
Music has always come easy to me. Until I actually started studying it! You see, we all know people who just seem to be “musical.” In much the same way others are “mechanical” or “artistic.” We make these comments because these people tend to be above the “norm” in regard to these areas with relatively little effort. But for those who choose to pursue their strengths, (whether it be music, math or writing) it is soon discovered that they may only be taking their first steps in a much larger (and more challenging) adventure. Music is an art, and a discipline. I chose a career in music on one...