Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Rock Chick Story-Episode 1 (Blogathon #7)

This is me at 15 starring as Bonnie in my high school musical production of "Anything Goes" in 1982.

If you check out this post, The BahUna is a product of the same musical education program that I was fortunate enough have been able to participate in.

Obviously, that program totally rocked! Everyone should be lucky enough to have one of those. Help support the VH1 Save The Music Foundation by clicking here!

I was fortunate enough to grow up in a musical family. My father had a beautiful tenor vocal range and he introduced us to music from the day we were born. I remember going to extended family members houses for Christmas and everyone would pull out their instruments and warm up their voices and play some Christmas carols. It’s one of my most favorite memories.

My sister and my mother are both talented artists, too. My sister draws and paints with such creativity, it literally knocks me over. Once she even sent one of her masterpieces to Joan Miro and he sent her something right back, quite impressed with her work. I have always envied artists and always wanted to do what she could do. I’ve never progressed beyond the basic stick figure art-wise. It's just not gonna happen with me.

Of course, she wanted to be involved in music. Hard as she tried, she just could not get any instrument to make any sound even remotely resembling music. She joined the choir in high school and was actually asked to drop the class! (I still find that hysterical to this day!)

All of that, of course, only made me want to be even better at music, you know, just to show her up. Nothing like a little sibling rivalry to light a fire under your butt, I always say.

My own introduction to actual music education came when I was in kindergarten. My Kindergarten teacher, Miss Cello, used to have all of us sit in a circle every day for a sing-a-long. While we five year olds rocked a version of “Wheels On The Bus”, she played the piano. She was very cool and I wanted to be like her.

I started soon after with private piano lessons. My teacher, Mr Giannone, was an old man with a very heavy Italian accent and his house always smelled of tomatoes and garlic. Gravy, he called it. I have to be honest, as much as I loved Mr. Giannone, I really think that is why I have such a dislike for pasta and pasta sauces. The garlic smell was just overwhelming. Anyway, back to the story....

When Mr. Giannone sat at the piano, though, it was his music was overwhelming. I thought Miss Cello could play, but I watched his fingers dance across the keys and listened to the sound it produced and I wanted nothing more than to do that, too.
I practiced my scales and after a while I played a few songs. Before I knew it, I was playing songs! I had the music in me and I was hooked! When I was in Jr. High, Mr. Giannone was giving up teaching piano and I really wanted to switch to vocal lessons at that time and that’s just what I did.

All though high school I sang either Second Soprano or Alto with the Concert Choir, The Madrigal Choir, The Swing Choir, an a cappella group and participated in all of the variety shows and musicals and statewide competitions.

I sang with similar groups all through college and even had a couple of roles in community theater musicals! I played the role of Rizzo in “Grease” and Ado Annie in my favorite musical ever, “Oklahoma!”

Yes, I am a “triple threat” as they called them on that Fame show. I can sing, dance and act! I would have kicked all those reality show butts!

I haven’t done any of these things in a long while and I miss doing them, but I am able to live vicariously through my very musical children for the time being.

Which leads me to the next COMING UP SOON: I’m checking to see if YouTube is back in cooperation mode and I will be posting a performance by my daughter, Samantha Hollywood! If not, it’s another Q and A!

Help support the VH1 Save The Music Foundation by clicking here!


Jessica Morris said...

YAY I am the first commenter for this post - Go me! I am even Jessica in this post! I took the effort to get onto my own computer to stay caught up with your half hourly updates! =)

I greatly enjoyed reading about how your musical interests started!

I am going to post a yummy cookie recipe soon - if you lived closer I'd send you some to help you through the rest of the day/night!! =)

The Rock Chick said...

You can probably FedEx them to me by the time I'm done here :)

Thanks for all your support and help Jessica!!! I really appreciate it!!

JAM said...

That's great. Absolutely nothing but records in my family, no live musical instrument playing or singing.

Looks like you've had great training to be a world-class stage mom. Maybe you can break out the JessiCat on unsuspecting directors and whatnot for your kids.

The Rock Chick said...

Well, you have to irritate me to meet JessiCat and so far, none of the kids music teachers have ever done so.

We had a lot of 8-tracks in my family. My dad played his Jim Croce's Best hits 8 track over and over again!