Singing is my main passion along side violin. Not just any singing, but mainly choral music, complete with psalms, hymns, anthems, responses... you name it, I love it! I have literally come back from a choir rehearsal right this second and I've got to writing this (short) blog now! Two services are coming up in a cathedral near me that I'm singing at, and we were running over the repertoire for them, when I noticed one of the pieces was 'God Is Gone Up,' words written by Edward Taylor and the music by Gerald Finzi. (This was the best recording I could find, and although it isn't in a traditional cathedral choir setting, it is still good).
The last time I sang this must have been when I was about 11 or 12 and a chorister at the local cathedral! The strange thing is, although I've not seen or heard this piece for at least 4 years, I recognised it instantly when I had a sneaky look at the music, and my heart skipped a beat I was so happy! Isn't it strange how even though some of these pieces of music are seemingly filed away in the back of one's mind, it pops up again as though it was just yesterday you last played or sung it as soon as you're reminded of it? That's the beauty of music - once you know a piece, you know it for ever.
I have probably talked about this briefly before in another blog post, but following the full-on conversation I had with a friend about it last night, I decided to write about it properly. Children, are strange things. Technically at 16 I am half adult, half child still, according to UK law. I am part of the murky patch that allows me to do certain things but not others. Legally, I can get married (with my parent's permission), get a house, claim benefits, leave school, start a family, play the lottery, smoke, even have an alcoholic drink with a meal in a pub, etcetera, you get the gist. Yet I cannot drive until the age of 17, I am not allowed to purchase tobacco or alcohol until I am 18, and I am still covered under numerous child protection acts.
Now, as I am growing up, I am experiencing a different life. I am becoming increasingly a part of a more adult, more mature and much more scary world. I am learning how to be much more independent and free, but at the same time, experience new anxieties I have never had about becoming my own person.
Each day is like a fresh start to a child, especially at primary school age. The only worries children carry around are the ones that their best friend may not invite them to their party if they fall out over something! Children learn and experience things differently. Everything is so visual, and so loud, and new situations are simply challenges can be overcome with just a little effort and guidance. Children start new projects only to never finish them. They find new crazes in popular playground gadgets and items. They follow the crowd, yet they explore so differently. Only a handful of children who for instance, start an instrument, actually take that skill into adulthood. They are the special ones amongst the crowd.
Also, as a child, people are just people and society is just society. There are bad people, and good people. When someone grows up, they can gauge personalities more, and how to deal with certain situations. A child has to learn this over time. Adults have more experience. Adults, however, are more rooted in their ways. They can be somewhat like stubborn weeds - hard to dig up. New situations can be extremely scary to an adult, and hard to overcome, as much as they may not like to admit it. They are the top of the tree as far as it goes with being exposed. They are the ones who will guide the younger generations and their minds are not as malleable as a child's.
I always remember my parents telling me that I should enjoy every single second of my childhood because it would be the best time of my life, the time where I could learn, the time that I could just be me. I used to roll my eyes and laugh and say 'I still have X amount of years to go, which is too many!' Every child can't wait to grow up. They want to get out there and buy a house and live away from people, get a very cool job and have lots and lots of money and live off take-aways and have all the luxuries to live like kings and queens.
(Me aged 9 in my first church choir's cassock and ruff)
But now I know exactly what they meant. I still remember so clearly sitting in the classroom as an 8 year old, busily writing down the names of music notes I was learning by thinking of the rhymes 'Every Good Boy Deserves Football,' 'FACE', and 'All Cows Eat Grass.' I remember it like it was just yesterday, and now I can rifle through thousands and thousands of memories which end up with me at this point, right here, right now, as I write this blog post for you to read. These are my thoughts at this moment in time. And it scares me. It truly scares me how fast everything has gone and how the time that I once had has vanished into nothing but memories.
Next week, I officially finish my compulsory education. Class of 2011 will soon be gone. All that nurturing, all that caring, that so many people have done over this time, will be over. We will leave school. We aren't the first class to have left school, and we certainly won't be the last, but right now, we are the ones who are facing these big changes. We are the ones who are making our final decisions before we are released into the big, wide world. Personally, I'll be returning to 6th form, although in another school. But it won't be the same. I am not legally required to return to education in any way. For all the government care, I could be going out and finding some sort of job.
As I near the end of my childhood and hold on to those few strands of innocent immaturity I have left, I just want to say this. I want to be proud of the child that I was, and I want to be proud of the adult that I will soon be. I want to take those memories of learning how to read music on a stave as an 8 year old, and all the thousands of other memories from my life, and I want to put them together like a jigsaw in order to shape my future. I will never become a vet or a forensic scientist or a ballerina or any of the other crazy things I wanted to be as a child. I will be Eloise Garland, a musician. I am determined that one day I will be a professional musician. And do you know what? As scary as it is, and as terrified as I am, I can't wait to start on the road towards becoming an adult!
Don't you hate that feeling where you just lose motivation all together? Well, it has been like that the past couple of months for me. In fact, my violin has hardly been out of its case the past few weeks, hence the sudden slow-down in blog posts from me. I don't really know what caused me to lose motivation so suddenly. Maybe it has been the recent thought and preparation over exams? Maybe all of my other music has taken priority in my mind? I do know that when I had singing lessons recently I tended to focus on that more than violin. And the great thing is I got a distinction at grade 8 singing (ABRSM), which I am very pleased about, but that didn't restore some motivation in me. It just seemed to vanish. I seem to be steaming ahead with some piano lessons I have taken up recently, but the violin has been sitting on the back seat all this time. Usually, I would force myself to pick up the instrument and play, but lately even that has been a struggle. I've hit a bump in the road all of a sudden. I even wonder if it is because I've not had lessons for so long and I am really fearful of driving bad technique into my playing?
I can go on asking these questions over and over again, but I don't know whether I will work out the answer. But, just before, all of a sudden, someone from school approached me about having a few violin lessons so he can just learn the basics. He was offered them by his school aged 7, but his mum refused to let him play (probably being the sort who was afraid of the strangled cat stage) and agreed to let him take up guitar instead. I agreed to teach him a bit, and we've arranged some simple lessons from now on. Now, my motivation has just sparked a little, and I am happy to say I'm off to do some fiddling right now!
Have a good day, everyone!
More entries: March 2011
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