12 September 2008

I Want to Write a Song!

People always tell me that I have an amazing voice. It didn't come easily. I practice singing all the time. (My dad told me, when I was a little girl, that if I practiced every day, I would be able to have that beautiful singing voice that I wanted, and so I have!) I love to sing, and I hope it doesn't sound conceited, but I freely admit that I do actually have a great voice - it's an amazing talent that I like to share as much as possible, so I'm always ready to join a choir or sing a solo whenever I'm asked. Again, I'm not trying to brag, but I think people like to hear me sing as much as I like to sing for them!

I have even had people tell me that I should sing professionally. I've had total strangers advise me to audition for America's Top Idol (that doesn't seem right - what is the name of that show? - anyway, I'm sure you know which one I'm talking about). When Phil was at DLI, one of his classmates heard me singing lullabies to Ben and said that I put him to sleep too - which might not sound like a compliment, unless you take into consideration the fact that this guy had a really bad case of insomnia. He hadn't been able to sleep for about a week, and he was so tired that all he wanted was a good nap! But every time he tried to sleep, he just couldn't keep his eyes closed. He told Phil that, listening to me sing, he had the best rest he'd had for weeks!

Anyway, every time someone suggests that I might consider trying to make a career out of singing, I have always just kind of shrugged it off. I can't see myself as a famous person. I'm just little old me, quietly filling up the background and trying not to stand out in the crowd. I don't think I would even know what to do if the spotlight was on me!

Still, there is that part of me that really wants to try. I remember when I was in Jr. High School, and my sister and cousins and I decided that we would form a band and become famous singers. We wrote a song together and practiced hard - and everyone said that it was really good.... until we got in a fight over some silly little thing, and I tore up the music and stormed off. (Who knows? Maybe we would have been something great...) Ever since, I have wanted to try it again, but I haven't ever really had the courage to make the attempt.

Lately, I've been thinking about it a lot. I've found myself listening almost exclusively to music by artists who write their own songs, and I keep thinking, "what if?" I don't think I'll ever be famous - I have no clue as to how someone even goes about recording an actual cd. I wouldn't even know how to start that process. (I really can't see myself auditioning for one of those reality show competitions - since I can't even bring myself to watch them!!) Still, it would be cool to write songs.

Last year, I got to write the songs for our ward roadshow (for church), and I had so much fun in the process. I didn't write the music, I just put my own lyrics to music that people already knew (mostly Primary songs), but I was pretty proud of the lyrics I came up with - and everyone told me that it was really good. And I used to write poetry that people told me was pretty good - so I think I could write lyrics for a song....

Recently, I tried my hand a little bit at composing music too. There is a song that was written for our Stake Young Women's camp when I was 12 years old - I love this song! Anyway, the lady who wrote it for our Young Women (I think she was in the Stake Young Women's presidency) gave us the lyrics and taught us the melody so that we could all sing it together, but as far as I know, she never wrote out the music for the song. Over the years, I have wished on several occasions that I had the music so that someone could accompany me on the piano while I sang the song. So, finally, I decided to try it myself. I bought a program for my computer for composing music. You can put in the notes, and it will play it back for you so that you know what it sounds like. I played around with it, singing along with the computer until I got the notes, the rhythms and the tempo just right for the entire melody. Then, it occurred to me that I have never seen a piano accompaniment for a song that didn't have some notes for the left hand to play to fill in the sounds... So I spent a few weeks composing the rest of the accompaniment - and it turned out great! Right now, I am in the process of trying to learn how to play it myself, and it's pretty difficult, but I'm confident that eventually, I can learn it.

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to attend a Time Out for Women event in Sacramento. It's put on by Deseret Books, and if you've never heard of it (I hadn't until my friends told me that I should come with them), let me just tell you that it is such an amazing experience! If you ever have the opportunity, you need to make sure to go! (They also have Time Out for Couples and Time Out for Women & Girls - something to fit just about anyone!) It was a 2-day event, filled with musical numbers and inspirational speakers and a generous dose of the Spirit! As I listened to Kenneth Cope and Cherie Call singing their amazing songs, it reawakened my dream of writing music. I have so much to be grateful for - so many blessings that I have been given - and mere words never seem to be adequate to express my gratitude. So I have been thinking about it all week, and I've finally decided that I'm just going to jump in! I'm going to start writing songs. Maybe they will be amazing masterpieces, or maybe they won't be any good at all, but I'll never know if I don't try it, will I?

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