Monday, February 03, 2014

Reminiscing Joy(2): Music, The Stage and Me

As I was trying to organize some of my study cabinets, I saw a picture envelope from yesteryears. Not really very old pictures, because they were just pictures from my 2007 vacation in the Philippines. But somehow, they did bring back some childhood memories.

My niece, year 2007

In the picture above was my niece. She was about a year old that time. Now, she is 8 years old, turning 9.

My Niece, year 2013

My niece loves the stage. :) As you could tell in the very first picture above. She loves to join speech contest, dancing contest, singing contest, and whatever contest you could think of. :) She reminds me very well of myself when I was as young as she was. I loved all sorts of contest too. I loved all quiz bees for the prize money. I loved dancing contests for the cheering of crowd. I loved public speaking, debate, any contest that would bring me to the stage. The only contest I could not join before was singing contest, because I was always disqualified in the first elimination.

However, that did not stop me from wanting to be on stage during group singing. When I was in elementary, I applied for grade level group competition contest. Of course, I was not chosen. :) However, I was able to still join our grade level choir. How? I got a deal with our music teacher.

Me: " Teacher, I'll do anything so I could be part of our grade level choir. "
Teacher: " I am sorry, but you did not pass the audition. "
Me: " But I could learn! I want to improve myself in singing. "
Teacher: " I am not stopping you from improving your singing, I could help you with that. But right now, you could not join the grade level choir competition."
Me: "Teacher, please? I'll do whatever you ask me to do, just so I could be part of grade level choir. :
Teacher: "Okay, how about you pretending to sing, just open your mouth, but not sing? The moment someone tells me you confused them with your singing, YOU ARE OUT!"
Me: "That's easy, I can do that!"

Gee! Shameless me! Haha, that was during my elementary though, when being on stage was very important for me. I did not know why, but when I was much younger, I always wanted to be part of any activities, and I wanted to excel in almost all of them! But sadly, there are aspects, that however I tried harder, I just could not excel, such as in Music, and singing!

However, I owe it to my elementary music teacher for giving me the chance to be part of the choir despite of that "shameless" condition, haha! Somehow, despite I was just opening my mouth, but the daily training provided me a lot of music lessons I could have not gotten if I was not part of the group. Believe me, I listened to all coaching and practice hard at home, but I was so afraid to be kicked out from the group that during school practice, I would just really open my mouth. With my small group of friends however, who were all part of the choir ( for real ), I would sing with them, and they actually would tell me, "YOU ARE IMPROVING!" Haha! We would take turns in singing too with a microphone so we could record our singing rendition. I am not sure if we had shure pg42 usb at guitar center back then, but the accompaniment and sound in my mind was as good as a shure microphone. After taking turns in singing, we would replay our recording so we all could critique each other, and it was easier for us to listen to the critiques because we were also listening to our singing at the same time. I believe, despite I was told to just open my mouth, I still was able to learn enough because I would still practice on my own, and with my small group of friends.

Looking back, I don't think I would do it again, haha, volunteering myself to simply lip sync so I could join a competition. But somehow, when I was younger, I did not see it that way! I simply wanted to learn everything and take all opportunities to learn. I saw contests as a mean to motivate me to study harder. I saw getting on stage as means to celebrate my hard work, haha!

When I was in high school, I finally had gotten over my "stage" addiction. Except for academics, debate, and drama, I did not force my music teacher anymore to include me in the group, haha! I also did not join any dancing contest anymore. :) My interests changed, as Michael Crichton and Robert Ludlum were slowly invading my "stage" world. :)
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1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful nostalgic chapter from your life, betchai. So amusing to read about the bribe you offered to your teacher, speaks of your passion and enthusiasm for extra curricular and that is such an amazing thing to have! Kudos! I was completely the opposite actually, running away from stage assemblies, etc. because of my stage fright. I don't think I could ever get over that, even now I tend to go blank whenever I am asked to speak in public and I don't really know what to say. And that is one reason I doubly enjoyed reading your story, because it is inspirational to me in so many ways. Thank you for sharing, betchai -- your niece looks to be a wonderful and confident lady, all my best wishes to her. :)