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smilingheart1's avatar

Do you sing, dance or play an instrument?

Asked by smilingheart1 (6431points) October 17th, 2011

I do not have a musical bone in my body nor does anyone in my family. No instruments, no breaking forth in song, no dancing. Can those of you who are musical out there, paint a picture for me? Please go back to your childhood roots, did your folks “push” you at first to practice, practice? Tell me what it is like to grow up with music in your blood. Does it comfort you when you are sad? Please just tell me all about your world written in all that enviable mystery.

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20 Answers

saint's avatar

I have played guitar and piano since I was a pre teen. I play my guitar everyday. If couldn’t do that, I would become a prisoner of my vices.

blueiiznh's avatar

Music was a part of my growing up and still is a huge part of me.
I was given the opportunity to learn many musical instuments. Once past that opportunity you certainly have to practice. Of course I was reminded. It was my choice however to do it and how many years to do it.
Music lessons should not be pushed. Yes, it was in my blood as my parents and grandparents had an appreciation and background in it as well. All 5 siblings have that appreciation/talent and have done something with it.
Yes it does affect mood. I sometimes use it to pull myself out of a down mood, to find peace, or to kick the energy up high.
Just beacuse you say you “do not have a musical bone in your body” does not mean you can’t appreciate it.

tom_g's avatar

I have always “had an ear” for music. For as long as I remember, when songs would come on the radio I would imagine them with different arrangements – I wish they could have brought the guitar or drums up here, and maybe this break needs to happen here, or the vocals have too much reverb, etc.

I would tap all the time – all kinds of rhythms. And when I did, an entire band was in my head along with me.

Nobody in my family played music, but they allowed me to take recorder, violin, and trombone. I had an electric piano/keyboard growing up that I would use all the time. When I graduated high school and earned a few bucks, I finally bought an electric guitar. Then an acoustic, harmonicas, banjo, bass, and 4-track recorder.

My daughter can’t (I am not exaggerating) keep a simple tune, like “Happy Birthday to You”. My oldest son, however, can hear a song once and be able to accurately reproduce the melody. He doesn’t have the hand coordination to be able to play an instrument right now, but he gets by with a great voice and some beat-boxing. He’ll also sing and beat/box and keep perfect timing.

Ayesha's avatar

I play the guitar, my bother plays the drums really well. Music is a huge part of my life.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I sing. Mostly classical and musical theatre (although I am not very jazz hands!). My claim to “fame” was touring with a Meat Loaf tribute band for a while as a backing singer!!! I tried to learn to play the piano but, after over a year of lessons, I still couldn’t grasp it enough to get to a decent standard so I gave up. I can’t dance well at all but when I’m alone and a favourite song comes on I will dance my little heart out!

Keep_on_running's avatar

No, no and no, but I do like listening to music. Kinda wish my parents were more pushy…

wundayatta's avatar

My parents can’t carry a tune, but when I was 8 years old, my father started taking recorder lessons. He actually made it sound good, and soon us kids were trying to play, too. In 4th grade, they brought someone from the instrument vendor in to demonstrate all the instruments. When I heard the trumpet, I didn’t need to hear any more. That was me.

In a way, it’s a strange choice for me, because I am not an “out front” kind of guy. I’m more a Miles Davis—a person who would prefer to play with his back to the audience. The audience scares me and changes the way I play and I just don’t want to think about them when I play. I’d rather just be into the music.

But in the band and the orchestra, unless you have a singer, and even if you do have one sometimes, the trumpet is the guy who cracks the jokes and plays out front. This is not a personality that I fit in naturally, but I have learned how to do it in theory, even if I’m not comfortable doing it. What I need to believe is that people love me to start off with. I can’t make them love me, but I can play into their love, if they have it.

After college, I stopped playing, although the horn was always there in my heart. I needed people to play with, but I didn’t have any. Maybe fifteen years later, I started dancing and for several years I danced in this dance workshop that had live music. Then I got in a car accident and hurt my back, and I couldn’t dance. So I started drumming with the band (I’d been studying djembe for a couple of years), and then, since my chiropractor had gotten me back into my trumpet, I started playing trumpet.

Since then, I’ve added a flugelhorn, dijeridu, piano and harmonica. Together with guitar (I learned in college) and recorder (I’ve been playing all along) and voice (as an instrument, not to sing songs), I use six instruments regularly, and can manage a bit of harmonic structure when necessary.

Music and dance helped save my life. They are reliable methods for getting out of my head and into my body, or other non-linguistic spaces. Getting out of my head is probably one of the most important things I do. If I stayed there all the time, I’d probably be dead. It is not a pleasant place.

But being out there in the ether, connected with the people near me and with the space and environment around me, I feel whole and complete and in a world where I don’t matter and am not relevant. It is bliss and when I was sick, it offered me a few of the moments when I felt like I wasn’t worthless that I needed so much.

My children have both been learning piano since age 4. I do this because I wish my parents had made me learn piano. I would understand so much more theory if they had. My daughter kept up lessons for maybe 8 years, but quit when she went to high school. She still composes at the piano, but I am disappointed she quit. Perhaps she will take lessons again some day.

My son is much stronger at the piano. He’s 11 now, and is developing a repertoire of fairly serious pieces. Both children can carry a tune, and both laugh, along with me, whenever my parents attempt to sing happy birthday. Seriously, you could not be more out of tune if you were trying to do it. Which goes to show that music isn’t in the genes. It’s in the mind and the childhood.

And also in the adulthood. I know of several groups that offer music training to people with “tin” ears (like my parents). They promise that anyone can learn music, and they, somehow, do it, like magic.

YoBob's avatar

I sing and play a couple of instruments. I grew up around music and it truly is something that is in the blood, but that’s not to say it can’t be or isn’t a learned skill as well. I did the obligatory piano lessons when I was younger but it wasn’t until my teens when I became a young “guitar strangler” that music really became an integral part of my whole social identity.

Can’t dance a lick though. I was always one of the guys in the band sweating bullets pulling off fret board gymnastics while the other kids were learning to dance.

Sunny2's avatar

I started singing at age 9 in a church junior choir. Except for a 20 year hiatus, I’ve been singing ever since. Around a girl scout campfire, I heard harmony being sung and wanted to sing that lower part. Luckily, I turned out to be a contralto. The concentration it takes to learn new music and perfect it takes me out of any cares I may have and the resulting gorgeous sounds fill my spirit. My group of 80–90 voices comes in on rehearsal nights tired and leaves energized. Me too.

Male's avatar

I played the clarinet in middle school and high school for 4 years. We had quizzes and tests throughout the year, so I would practice for those. Other than that, I wasn’t really pressured to practice…my parents didn’t really care for band and I mainly used it to fulfill some extracurricular activity requirements. I wouldn’t way it was really an emotional experience, but it was damn fun for sure. We played for the student body during school assemblies, we performed at our city’s annual fair, we played at theme parks, we played for football games, and the list goes on and on. Good times.

zensky's avatar

Yes, a little and fairly well.

dubsrayboo's avatar

Growing up all three. I love to dance even though I haven’t for years. I also sing. That gift came from my mother who is a trained opera singer. I also play piano, have for years and years. I’m trying to learn guitar, but it’s not coming to me that well. I need to practice more.

AshLeigh's avatar

I’m the singer in a band.
My parents never made me practice. I just like to sing.
I can’t really dance, or play any instruments.

Berserker's avatar

I’m musically illiterate. I can’t play any instruments, and the only success I’ve ever had with singing was in a karoke bar, to a Rob Zombie song. I can tap dance though, from lessons I took as a kid. Forgot most of it though. :/ Just like my Karate lessons, haha.

Jellie's avatar

I sing in the shower, dance when I win at something and play the drums with my pencils and coffee jar. So yes you can say the arts have played a big role in my life. From childhood till now I have found ways to express myself artistically. Sometimes I will even do pelvic thrusts after I have pwned someone.

harple's avatar

I play and teach the harp for a living (I’m so lucky!)...

I grew up in Wales where the harp is something of a national instrument, which at a basic level means that more schools there have old harps kicking around and more people who have once played and can pass on the knowledge. Before they let me learn the harp they wanted me to be able to read music in both treble and bass clef, so I had to start on the piano first. But before they let me learn the piano, they wanted me to be able to read at least the treble clef, so I started on the violin. Luckily, I kept all three going, and later added the viola to that (which reads from a different clef again). I dabble on the ukelele for my own amusement, and am happy playing around on recorders, harmonicas, and even a little on cello and double bass.

My parents were very supportive of my music (I still look back and marvel at the fact that they didn’t bat an eyelid at my doing music as a degree and career, even though I was always considered very academic and theoretically “could have been anything I wanted”). I was encouraged to practise all 3 instruments every day, and they bought me an egg timer to use. When I first started I practised just 10 minutes on each, whether I felt in the mood or not. By my mid teens I was doing up to an hour on each a night. They compensated me for this by allowing me to not do chores around the house. Ironically, whilst this was a lovely move on their part, I am now rubbish at household chores and wish I had it more instilled into me!

I teach people of all ages, the youngest being 4/5, and the oldest (to date) being 82. Whilst children are more geared up to learning (their brains are still very much in that mode and are used to doing it), adults tend (as a whole) to be more motivated and to put the greater amount of work into achieving their aims. (Also, adults are generally paying for their own lessons, so have a greater feeling of their worth.) Conversely, adults tend to have an inner dialogue constantly telling themselves off when they “get it wrong” whereas children tend to be much more happy go lucky with it and so don’t beat themselves up over it. Teaching an instrument is fascinating, and different with every individual, I adore it!

wundayatta's avatar

@harple If you want your students to get over the idea of “getting it wrong,” either you should get Music for People training, or you should get your students to get it. I don’t know if Music for People operates much in Britain, so it might be more efficient for you to get the training. They have an awful lot of ideas about how to get adults to play instead of criticizing themselves all the time. It really works!

harple's avatar

@wundayatta thank you – I do rather well at helping them to move beyond that way of being, I just mentioned it as a notable thing about adult learners. I shall have a look at what you’ve linked to though – much appreciated. The Inner Game of Music is also a valuable book dealing with similar issues.

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