Saturday, October 29, 2011

in which I like BYU, steal a friend's phrase & brag about my skills

I have never been a very confident person. I think all women are that way. We know we're good people. We can list all of our good qualities and we think we're pretty average and that's just dandy. But, then there is a list a mile longer which includes all of our faults. It lists every quality we want to have, and listed next to each quality is the name of a perfect friend who does have that quality. Then we think about it and feel bad again.  If you're a woman then you understand. And, if you're a man you are probably not reading my blog anyway.

But that's not what I am supposed to be blogging about.

Once upon a time (10 years ago-ish) I was a student at BYU. I was actually quite lucky in the matter. BYU was the only school I even applied for, and I only ever wanted to major in Music, which is what I did- and never changed my major. But, on the other hand, that Music Major did just as much harm for my self-esteem as it did good.

When I got into the music program at BYU I was pretty excited because I definitely was not the best voice in the program. Nevertheless, I somehow convinced the right person to let me in. The majority of the vocal faculty didn't like me. They often told me I wasn't good enough and they made me feel like the dirt underneath the dirt. In fact, when I left BYU, one of the faculty members told me I shouldn't be able to even graduate because I was such a bad singer. He said that if he heard me singing in church and then found out I was a BYU vocal grad he would think less of the BYU vocal program. That comment still hurts me to this day. I know I'm not that bad. (Actually, I have gotten much better at singing since college. It's amazing how much more you can excel at something when you're not judged on it). In fact, oodles more people have told me I'm great than have told me I'm bad. I think that nutty professor must have been PMS-ing when he told me I was awful. I never want to see that man again. If I do, I will hide. And then I will shoot him with a bb gun.

But that's not what I'm supposed to be blogging about, either.

I'm supposed to be blogging about the fact that I like BYU. Which I do!!! I loooooove BYU! I definitely have blue blood and I'm very proud of my alma mater. I had a great education!

And now I will praise the Music Department. Though I had a less-than-stellar experience as mentioned above, the BYU music program was awesome for my musicianship. This is where I will brag about myself-------> Because of BYU, I have a really great foundation of music theory and I am quite good at it. Also, I was a really good elementary music teacher for 3 years after college, having learned my skills from BYU. And lastly, I have some mad sightreading skills. I know my do re mi's better than I know my own mother. I hear solfedge (do re mi's) when I listen to songs on the radio. I can look at almost any piece of music and sing it for you because I have such mad skills. Seriously. I don't like to brag, but I really am pretty darn good at it. And now you might think I'm a pompous brat. And that's okay. Because I'm not.

So.... why do I bring this up (and after 4 neverending paragraphs?)? I bring it up because it is something I actually excel in and something that makes me happy. My musical skills help me find solace in a world full of strife and heartache. You see, I joined this incredible community choir called the Mapleton Chorale. And it has been so wonderful. (Props to my husband for letting me leave him for 3 hours every Thursday night!) My soul has really needed a musical outelt, and I am so glad that I have one. This choir is a lot of work. We have to memorize a new piece of music every week which is not an easy task for a busy mom. However, my mad sightreading skills really help me accomplish that goal (see it all coming full-circle?). Also, because of my mad sightreading skills, I get asked to sing different musical parts all the time in choir, because the director knows I can read anything. It makes me feel really happy. It makes me feel like I still have some skills besides changing 11 poopy diapers in one day. It makes me feel like I didn't just throw my expensive education out the window; I am still using my education!

So... maybe there was really no point to this post after all. I just felt like venting about my BYU experience and also felt like saying how happy I am that my BYU experience led me to be able to enjoy my musicality again. Church choir just wasn't cutting it. Now I get to be in a choir with an amazing conductor and we get to sing beautiful, inspiring, faithful music which warms my soul.

So, thanks, BYU.

(oh, and the phrase I stole is the phrase "in which I..." in the title of my post. My lovely girl friend over at Pensievity pretty much owns that phrase, and I should probably be sending her a check for $600 just for borrowing it).


The Jessee Journal said...

Loved this post. When I started at BYU I actually thought I wanted to be a music major (insert hysterical laughing here). I had a really really nasty experience w/voice lessons from one of the professors there my freshman year. And as a freshman w/little confidence it totally rocked me to the core. So I hear ya. And Way to go for sticking it out. And way to go for showing your children by example what a gift and joy music is. Love this post :)

heidizinha said...

Harmony, you're an amazing singer. So glad you didn't let that professor turn you off to it forever.

Aso, I think you should send your check to A.A. Milne, the author of Winnie The Pooh. He starts all of his chapters "In Which..." ;)

Tami said...

Well, I think anyone who thinks you don't have an AMAZING voice is a pooh there. You are an amazing singer and amazing at so many other things! I am sure glad to know ya!

That Girl said...

Yeah, BYU! Yeah, using your talents! Yeah, happiness!

And I SO do not own the phrase "in which" - there are a lot of authors who use it. I think I may owe some of them checks myself.