Almost everybody loves music, don’t they? My favorite show on TV is – you guessed it – The Voice.
I’m always amazed at the incredible talent on that show, and I can never make up my mind which singer deserves to win. I am so hoping the runner’s up find success along the way as well as the winner.
Music has always played a big part in my life. As a young girl, who was also an only child, I had to find things to amuse myself. Music made that possible. My dad worked a night shift, but he left for work in the afternoon. After a shared early supper, my mom would read or watch TV, and I would sit for hours at our old spinet piano, and play and sing until she made me stop.
At six, mom signed me up for piano lessons with lovely woman, Mrs. Abbott, who was a retired professor from Birmingham Southern College. She was a sweet, dear, lady with infinite patience and a tendency to let a little girl slide on her practice. She did everything in her power to encourage my interest, but Bach and Chopin, all the torch songs and show tunes from Rogers and Hammerstein did.
I didn’t want to practice the piano – I only wanted to play. It didn’t take long for her to catch on – and I spent an entire summer playing the Baptist Hymnal from cover to cover to identify notes and learning four-part harmony in the process. Like anything worthwhile, the expertise is in the process. Needless to say, Bach and Chopin became far more interesting as time went by.
As much as I enjoyed playing the piano, the real love of my life was singing. My parents used to tell the story of me as a child of two. Evidently I would spend a great deal of my afternoon, rocking and serenading the neighborhood with my rendition of “Goodnight, Irene.” Over and over and over… well, you get the idea. Everybody on the side of the mountain knew of little Elayne, and prayed she would soon learn to sing another song.
The joy of singing (and performing) never left me. It was the only thing I ever wanted to do, and I pursued it relentlessly. I sang in talent shows, choirs, in community theatre, on the sidewalk, in our backyard, in the shower, in the car… need I continue? Oh, and before I move on – have you ever heard of a little group called The Folk Thing Trio? Yeah! I didn’t think so.
I still love to sing, but alas… now, it’s mostly to myself.
I suppose it was only natural that when I began writing, music would play a large role in the stories that tease through my mind. My first published novel was the story of a concert pianist who turned from performance to healing with the piano as her instrument. The heroine wouldn’t leave me alone, and the more I researched music as a tool for healing, the clearer she became in my mind. How wonderful to take something as fulfilling as a love for music and turn it into a way to save the minds and the personalities of those wounded in service to our country. That’s how Sonata by Moonlight was born.
Singing was supposed to be my vocation. But, life has a peculiar way of circumventing our dreams, doesn’t it? We begin on one path, and before we know it, we have to make a change.
Have you ever wanted to do something, and for whatever reason, it didn’t work out? Naturally, we’re disappointed, but I’ve found that the old adage is true… when one door closes, another one opens. Rather
than weekend gigs, I reared a family. In place of applause from audiences, the hands that clapped for my performances were tiny, chubby and precious. Instead of reveling in the adulation of strangers, I learned genuine satisfaction from fulfilling the needs of others.
Am I famous? No. Am I happy? Yes! It makes me wonder – perhaps there is a divine plan after all.
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