03 October 2010

Day 2: Something you love about yourself

This topic was harder. I hit a wall earlier today. I gave up for a while, but now I'm back and hoping to finish in the next hour and 45 minutes, because that's all the time left before today turns into tomorrow. Clearly, I am much more comfortable with self-deprecation than self-love.

I did, however figure out something I love - my musical abilities. Before you set your expectations too high though, I should tell you I am no virtuoso. I have no intention of pursuing music as a career or even as a hobby. I can sing, but only in the shower, in a car, or in a choir. I play the flute, but not very often. And I can play around on the piano, but only when I'm alone. That's it. Musically, I would say I'm above average, but nothing to get excited about.

For a long time I wished to be more musically gifted. I daydreamed about having a high ranging soprano voice just perfect for the lead in The Phantom of the Opera, but in reality, I never made it out of the alto section. I was the first chair flutist (no laughs please) throughout high school, but never good enough to make all-state. I wanted to be skilled enough at the piano to at least play Jessica's Theme from The Man from Snowy River with ease, but could never do it justice.

But over the last year I haven't felt the need for more. I could never make it as a performer (I doubt I could make it through a karaoke tune). Sure, I like recognition and applause, but not from large audiences. What I do love is my ability to read music easily, carry a tune, improvise some harmony, and appreciate a variety of musical styles.

I haven't studied too much musical theory, but I can hold my own while conversing with a music major. I don't completely understand what Pandora means when it describes a song with the terms "extensive vamping," but I can recognize influences and identify chord progressions. I like the balance I have found in appreciating technical elements and just listening to music for fun.

I've met people who couldn't tell you the difference between a major and a minor key, or find middle C on the piano, and I've met people (like my dad) who can't appreciate a song if the singer's voice is too untrained. I think my musical abilities and limitations have given me a balanced appreciation for music. That is something I love.

*Oh, I looked up vamping. It's no longer a mystery.

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