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The older I get the busier I get. It makes life fun because there are endless possibilities of where I’ll end up before the end of my life. Music was the only thing that was important to me since I was in the second grade. There was much I didn’t understand then, but as I look back at the many twists and turns my life has taken, some good and some life threatening, I wouldn’t be where I am today if I had not gone through it all.
By the age often eight I knew I was going to teach music but I had no idea how I knew that. I certainly didn’t know what I was doing. But it didn’t stop me from dragging my friends into my house because I was going to teach them how to play the piano. As long as I knew more than they did I could teach them what I had learned from a short span of lessons at age seven. I took lessons again as an early teen but was fired by my piano teacher because I wanted to do things my way. I practiced what I wanted to practice. I taught myself.
I didn’t buy 45’s of popular bands. I knew who they were and I had teenage crushes like all the other girls. I even lied once and told my friends I saw the Beatles. But the only music I listened to was classical piano. Van Clyburn was my favorite. In my mid teens I’d load my record player up with albums so it would play for hours as I slept. At seventeen I went back to the teacher who fired me and told him he had a year to polish up what I couldn’t figure out. Through his teaching career I was the only student he ever had who played professionally. I wanted him to teach me because he was a good player and played piano bars in the evenings. I didn’t want to be a classical pianist but I knew instinctively that I needed to know how to read it in order to create it. I started writing music when I was nineteen, in between hustling pool to pay the rent. I was crazy.
I understand now why there is such a draw in me to create – to play by improvising. To feel an emotion and let my hands play what I feel is a high people try to reach with drugs and alcohol. I don’t think about it. It pulls me into the middle and I feel as though I am laying my piano from the inside out. If I try to write by calculating the theory it never works.
I can’t explain what happens inside during this experience, when emotion and the body together produces a something real. When I listen back after recording – usually days later – and if it pulls on my insides and catches my breath I know I have music I’ll keep. The older I get the better the music gets. So if I live to 90 and my hands still work I’ll be pretty fucking awesome. (Pardon my French)
The first pages along the top of the page will take you on the ups and downs and complete crashes of my life and my music with it. But you will also learn what brought me out the other side and gave me a reason to play again. My music changed and I began to evolve into where I am traveling now and I couldn’t be happier. All 63 years of me.