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The Reason I’m a Musician

Everyone has a reason why they get started in music and why they make music. My reason? This guy.

That’s me and my dad at the baptism of my oldest daughter. He’s the reason why I’m a musician. You can tell by his collar that he was a pastor. But he loved music and he loved to sing. He regularly played organ music, choral music and (randomly enough) country music. I grew up with his love of music, and regularly in church, I always tried to outsing him. It took me until I got to high school to do it, though.

Today would have been his 85th birthday. He passed away 4 years ago and I miss him deeply. I miss him buying me music (much of the time that I already had) because it was his way of supporting and encouraging me. I miss him saying after I finished playing the organ, “I heard a few mistakes”. He listened to the music enough to know how it was SUPPOSED to sound and while that comment drove me up the wall, he wasn’t saying it out of spite or disappointment. It was encouragement. It took me a LOOOOOOOOOONG time to completely understand that, and now I wish I could thank him for it.

My dad is the reason that I’m a musician. Since he passed away, it’s been challenging to redefine what my reasons for making music are. I feel like I’m making progress on that more and more lately. And I believe that would make him proud of me. Music has always been a part of my family. My paternal grandmother played the piano, cello and sang. In fact, the piano that was in my grandparents’ house growing up is now the piano I use to teach on in my home studio. That love of music was passed on to my dad, then to me, and guess what? My girls love music and make music constantly. That’s the joy of making music. That’s honestly the biggest reason why I make music and why I teach music. It brings people together and connects them through generations. And that’s such a beautiful thing to see.

So, happy birthday Dad! I miss you every day and I’m so thankful for the foundation you laid in me and the encouragement you gave to me. I love you.

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