I was super fortunate to have been able to grow up in a house filled with music and musical instruments. We have a whole room in our house called the Music Room. True story. I had access to a piano and guitars and my own violin and mandolin and bodrhán, and wind instruments and an electric bass guitar. I was spoiled rotten, musical-instrument-wise, and I’ll be forever grateful for it.
And the really great thing about it all is that I was also surrounded by musical people. Not only my parents and my sister, but my friends. I went to a very musically-inclined elementary school, and then on to an even more music-nerdy high school, and was involved in almost every musical group I could be. As a result, all my friends from high school were musical, too, and we all sang in the choirs together and played in the ensembles, and took part in the musicals. And it was awesome.
And even my family friends, those people with whom I grew up, were steeped in music. One my my parents’ friends was my piano teacher, for example. And every time that big group of musical families got together, we’d bust out our instruments, and we’d play and we’d sing, sometimes until the wee hours. I mean, we still do, when we can all get together. But that doesn’t happen as often anymore. Kids grow up and move away, and it’s harder for everyone to get together at the same time. And in the same way, sometimes we don’t have as much time to do the things we used to love, like getting together with those people and making music.
Sometimes we find time to sneak it into our lives, and sometimes we don’t. Some instruments are just easier to carry from place to place. My instrument of choice is a piano. Guess what I don’t have in my one bedroom apartment. I do have my violin, but working three jobs, guess how often I get to play it. Exactly. But that doesn’t mean we give up on it! I picked up my violin the other day for the first time in months. And MAN I was rusty, but you’ve got to re-start somewhere. Maybe I’ll pick it up again once I’ve finished writing this post.
All these things just struck me the other day, how much I miss the music and playing my instruments, and I thought that maybe taking some time to write about my favourite instruments – some I can play, and some that I want to learn – may inspire me to make more of an effort to pick them up again. And it’s already working, actually. You may ask why I don’t just pick up the violin instead of sitting here writing about it, which is a fair point, but I find so often that when I make a move to open the case, there’s always something more urgent pulling at me, and that my mind flies off to that thing. So, I’m taking the time here, to spell it out for myself, to make my brain prioritize music. And I thought I’d bring you along for the ride.