So…Music Week on The Blog Tag. I have decided to combine two of the writing prompts: “How Music Helped You Through a Difficult Time” and “Musical Instrument”.
Do I play a musical instrument? Depends on who you ask. I play a little keyboard (badly) and about three chords on the guitar. The instrument I use most though is one one does not play…My voice. I sing. When I was younger I wanted to be a star. You know…name in lights and all of that. The only problem was that I hated the fact that everyone looked at me when I sang. I took part in musical theatre and sang in the school choir.
Then came high school. In grade 9 four of my classmates and I started an accapella group. We called ourselves 4GM (Four Girls and a Man). We thought it was the coolest name ever. We did covers of songs like Bill Withers’ “Lean On Me” and Bette Midler’s “The Rose”. Looking back those were interesting song choices for fourteen-year-olds. Teenagedom is an awkward time. A time when all I wanted was acceptance. To be part of something. Being in a group helped. Gave me some confidence.
4GM only lasted that one year. The following year I joined a new church and met a girl with a beautiful Alto. She tried to make the new girl feel welcome. However, in a predominetly Afrikaans neighbourhood this was difficult. This girl was very English. The one thing that helped was music. We formed an acapella group with a few other girls. Called oursleves “Faith”. We weren’t half bad really. We performed at weddings and birthday parties. We went to youth together. I gained a friend who to this day means so much to be. We met through music. She made me feel like I belong even though it was evident others didn’t want me around. Faith split after two years.
I took part in high school musicals “The Fiddler on the Roof” and “Grease”. Those were fantastic times. I was growing into my own…slowly. The greatest thing that could’ve happened though was meeting my voice coach, Mrs Barwise. She made me truly believe in myself and talent. She challenged me. Pushed me. Nurtured me. Helped me grow. With the confidence gained came the shucking of my awkwardness. Song after song. Genre after genre. She used music to show me I am capable of anything I put my mind to. She anchored my love for music.
Music was the vehicle she used to reach me. Music is the vehicle I now use to reach others. Music is integral to my existence. It fills my life.
I love the vocal instrument because it allows me to freely express myself and voice a message of great importance. The message of Grace, Mercy, Favour and Love.
© Shelley Smidt-Booys 2016. All rights reserved.