An Autobiographical Essay

Everything that happens to a person, no matter how trivial it is, affects their personality in one way or another. Small events can have just as big an affect as large ones. I find this to apply to myself, because I have never had anything big happen to me. Some people have won awards, played sports, lost a loved one; none of this applies to me. The things that have affected me most have been small instances, many of them having to do with music.

My father, who played in a band, raised me to love music while I was a baby. He had all sorts of funny instruments that I played around with as a toddler, including some strange looking thing called a melonica. When I was a year and half, I swallowed the mouthpiece to it, but that did not keep me away from music.

There was always music playing in my house, mostly my dad's old records that I adopted as my own. I can distinctly remember listening to the Beach Boys "Endless Summer" as well as the Who's "Tommy", Steve Miller Band's "Book of Dreams", and many Monkees and Beatles albums. They have directly influenced my musical taste; those are most of favourite bands.

When I was a bit older, I went to visit my cousin Meredith in New York to see her star in her junior high school's production of "Annie". From that night on, I became obsessed with musicals. I walked around my house for months singing the songs from Annie. It was around this time I decided to join a children's theatre company called The All Children's Theatre Ensemble. I was a member for about three years, and I had a wonderful time. I even got to sing in a few musicals!

All the while, there were still various instruments lying around the house. My father had quit the band long ago, and our basement was full of his instruments, including that silly melonica. One day for no particular reason, I decided I wanted to play around on the dusty old organ buried in the basement corner. My dad plugged in the old amplifiers that went along with it, and left me down there to experiment with the thing. I stayed down there for hours, and quickly learned many easy songs on my own. Before long, I was duplicating the songs I had listened to as a small child; but my favourite song to play was Somewhere Over the Rainbow. I spent weeks perfecting that, only to have the precious organ die on me. I was devastated, but my dad decided to buy us a keyboard, which I also perfected quickly.

A few years later, when I was about thirteen, I saw my favourite band (of the time, anyway) in concert. I decided right then that I wanted to learn the guitar, and asked for one for Christmas. My little brother overheard, and decided he would also like to play the guitar. I was stuck sharing a used one with him, that would never stay in tune for more than five minutes. My mother decided that I we should take lessons, and I agreed. I had never taken them before, and was curious to see what sort of things I would learn there. When my first lesson rolled around, I finally got to meet my teacher. She was a nice woman, in her late twenties. She was a great teacher, and I learned many my favourite songs on guitar through her teachings. She was also in a band, and had to give up teaching. Her replacement was a strictly by the book teacher, and I just could not deal with him after Nancy had been so lenient with me. I quit lessons. For a while, I neglected my guitar. I just did not feel like playing anymore. Then I got into music again in a big way.

In May of '97, I started to watch my old favourite television show, the Monkees, on VH1. I was hooked all over again, and started to buy all their albums on compact disc. I cannot even comprehend how much money I have spent on my obsession, but it was all worth it. It was late in the summer of '98 that I decided I wanted to learn how to play some of their songs on guitar. I dug out the old guitar from my closet, printed out the chord progressions of a few Monkees songs from my computer, and got to work. I had forgotten two things though; how quickly the skills come back to you, and how much your fingers hurt when you are out of practice. My fingers were numb for weeks, but I was content because I was back with music.

To this day, I can walk over to my keyboard and play a song. I can do it on the guitar as well. Maybe it is in my genetic coding, but I would never have found out I loved music if it were not for all the events that had happened in my life.

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