When I was 6 years old, I started attending an arts elementary school in Montreal, Quebec that offered art classes, acting, and my favorite two disciplines: band and choir. Music has always been a huge part of my life and I can’t remember a moment in my life where music didn’t play an utmost important part. Sometimes we are madly in love with music, and sometimes, when pushed too hard, we can start to fall out of love with music, but like any other true love, we eventually come crawling back knowing that living without it is just not an option. We are obsessed with music.
Growing up, I sang in lots of choirs, alongside playing trumpet in jazz bands, taking a few piano lessons here and there, and even played the french horn for a year. (Of course, we all dabbled with the xylophone and the recorder right!?) In High School, I found a huge love for musical theater, finding the music much “hipper” than classical choir music, and I became a devout musical theater performer for all four years of high school. I even went on to major in musical theater in college, but performing arts college is definitely not for everyone. I was indeed pushed too hard, and I inevitably dropped out of musical theater college after a measly two and a half years. I was lost. I had no idea who I was outside of music, and singing. What would my life possibly look like without music? I had absolutely no clue. I tried working various odd jobs, flower shops, bike shops, outdoor sports stores, even a kids party store. It was a miserable time. The very lack of music in my life was a clear reason for my unhappiness but whenever I tried singing old musical theater tunes, my body would start to feel sick, just singing along to the radio no longer felt enjoyable like it once had. Music had turned into a negative experience for me. I couldn’t believe how this ever could have happened to me but it had.
After a couple years of trying to find out who I was without music, a dear friend told me that enough was enough, and that we had to get me singing again, and so he invited me to be the singer of a cover band. Enough time had passed, and music felt new to me again. It gave me great pleasure to be singing again. I was unsure, but I felt myself craving music again the way I had before.
Funny enough, some guy I was dating at the time gave me a gift of a mini guitar which he told me he never used. I was so excited to have my own guitar. It felt so right! This guitar was a huge reason for beginning songwriting. I had always wanted to learn an accompanying instrument. I started teaching myself a few basic chords, and once I had learned a few, the melody lines over the chords came so naturally. That was the moment I fell in love with the guitar and singing over it. There I was, songwriting for the very first time in my life. My songs were extremely simple but nonetheless they were songs. Sometimes the best songs are the simplest. Sometimes the naivete that we possess as new songwriters may yield certain qualities we may miss as we strive to become professionals. There is something very special about the beginning moments we have as songwriters. What was your first experience like? 😉