I’ll share with you how I came to music and developed as a musician since around 7 years old. In my story lies a “secret” to following your callings and getting yourself to take effortless action.
My parents love music (present tense cuz they’re still alive, thank god).
I consider my dad a musician. He can play only one instrument. And that is the harmonica. But he plays it as any musician plays – with feel, aliveness, and joy.
My earliest memories of music were around 1 or 2 years old. I was sitting on my dad’s lap on the living room carpet. We were listening to music on his record player.
One song in particular I remember was Police’s “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da, is all I want to say to you
I remember feeling so happy. I felt content sitting nestled between his crossed legs, listening in bliss. I suppose my dad knew which song would please a toddler.
And I guess from then on I began associating music with good memories and joy.
My mom doesn’t play any instruments but she does love music. And her instructions to my first piano teacher were pivotal to my WANTING to learn more and get better. It’s what kept this motivation engine naturally going. More on this later.
I also remember being at my friends’ house (two brothers). They would run and hide in the upstairs bedding cabinets whenever their piano teacher would come over. They hated it THAT much! So I ended up taking a few of their lessons because I wanted to learn, and the teacher didn’t want to waste her time.
This was a sign to my parents that their kid actually wanted to learn and that he was willing to put in the work.
So they bought my friends’ grand piano and hired the piano teacher.
But just a few lessons into it I became bored playing her cheesy “Mary Had A Little Lamb” songs. ALL her songs were like that!
Plus her saliva would splatter on my face whenever she spoke (yes, her breath stunk)!
So I never practiced. And she complained to my parents.
My mom, with her wisdom, explained to the teacher:
“Look, we’re not expecting him to become some prodigy and play at Carnegie Hall or anything, unless he wants to. We just want him to develop a love for music. His love for music will naturally propel him to want to learn more and get better. So just teach him what he wants to learn.”
My teacher began teaching what I wanted to learn.
What was I inspired by at that time? “The Phantom Of The Opera.”
It just came out and I was blown away by the broadway musical and the music itself. I had my teacher teach me how to play the main theme song. It was a rock pop-opera song.
And I practiced. And not only did I just practice but I started taking the extra steps outside of my given assignments. I began to figure things out on my own, like the embellishments, and dynamics. And I was getting better without pushes or enticements from anyone or anything external.
Why? Simply because I was enjoying it.
And from then on I took this to heart and keep it in mind always – that there has to be joy in the process of learning and growing.
It’s the fuel that provides you the motivation to keep going and surmount any challenge.
Otherwise, without joy what really is the point? It’s just another thing you don’t actually want to be doing.
From there, having been embodying this mind frame it lead me to learn the guitar, and then how to sing. I learned the same way – by learning the next thing simply because it’s what made sense and needed to sound good. Because it was fun.
This made me want to get better, which made me want to take lessons, and the rest is history.
Though it takes a lot of energy to learn to play music, it seems to me when following that inner inspiration it feels effortless. It’s that inner compass that tells you what you‘d enjoy learning and causes you to want to get better.
I mean, you DO have to put in the effort. But it’s an effortless effort.
There’s no real struggle. Even though it could be the most challenging thing you’ve ever done.
It’s just you with a heightened sense of focus and presence. And bliss.
But this all may not have been if it weren’t for my parents. For my dad sharing his love of music with me. And for my mom having the wisdom to guide my instructor in setting me on the right path in following my callings.
I’m forever grateful for them.
And I want you to follow your inspirations too if you want to. You have your whole life waiting for you!
Do you have things you felt called to do your whole life, or even more recently? Things that are important to you? Let me know. I’m curious. Just comment below. I’ll definitely read your posts!
That’s it! May you continue to follow your callings. The world needs you to be who you truly are.
Peace out, Michellion
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