Music has always been a part of my life, from the time I remember there was always music in my home. My father was always listening to some sort of music. Though in my youth this music was the cause of great arguments. My father like to utilize the stereo surround sound in the living room which set directly under my bedroom. During my teen years we used to have music wars, my father who was listening to classical or big band music downstairs at volumes that would drift into my room over taking my own music of heavy metal or alternative. So I would turn my music up, causing it to drift down to the living room causing him to turn his up. My mother always said you if you would walk halfway up the stairs you could hear both of our music with perfect clarity.
Outside of recorded music, I played the clarinet in high school. I never took a lesson in music, but taught myself from beginners books. I became good enough through persistent practice to become the first chair, in concert band and marching band.
Even now music plays a huge role in my life. It’s kind of funny the music I couldn’t stand as a youth is some of my favorite to listen to. I listen to classical and big band era music while I am working and consequentially while writing. I find the music soothing.
It is probably no coincidence that I chose my main character, Malcolm Stone, to be a pianist. The piano was always an instrument of great interest to me, but I had never attempted to learn. While I was crafting Malcolm’s character I started purchasing books on composition and appreciation of classical music. I also started listening to a lot of piano music. While attempting to understand one of the driving forces of my character, I decided to attempt to learn the piano. I practiced in my spare time for about two years, before we moved. When we moved into our current home, we did not have room for the keyboard in the living room. So it was set aside.
Music inspires me and even helps me to write, mediate and just relax, but entering the mind of a performer has eluded me. I have noticed while my character does play, but I don’t delve into much feeling.
During this past week I reading blogs, I ran across one that was mentioning free online learning courses. I was intrigued. I started searching around and found a few courses of interests. After my post earlier this week about making time, I decided to sign up for a few courses for self-development. I signed up for two for work and four for my own development. The first class I am scheduled for is The Art of Drawing and Painting offered by Open 2 Study, an Australian company. I find painting very interesting and have taken a few Bob Ross style classes. Drawing on the other hand I have never been very good at. It will be an interesting experience.
The second class I am scheduled for is one of the most interesting ones. I am taking a class called Exploring Beethoven’s Sonatas offered by a website called Coursera. The course is supposed to be from the point of view from the performer, which is exactly what I am looking for. Later this spring I am also taking a class on developing your musicianship. I look forward to taking these classes, not only do I expect they will help my writing, but also help in my deeper appreciation of music.