“I Want to Sit Next to HER”

              3rd grade music class. No more recorders. Time to pick a real instrument, or at least that’s how I felt about it. Trumpets, trombones, drums, percussion, flutes and clarinets. So many options. What would be the determining factor? “HER”. Yep….”HER”. I heard our music teacher say “pick an instrument’, but I was thinking, “I want to sit next to HER”. With a smirk on my face I declared, “I’ll take the clarinet!” You know, when you watch a commercial on TV about a weight loss product, and they make a claim that this product is guaranteed to help you lose weight, but at the very bottom of the screen, they have fine print that says something like, “….in conjunction with a healthy diet and regular exercise”. Well, I think I missed the verbal fine print. I must’ve missed the part where he said, “Choose wisely, because this will be the instrument that you will be stuck playing until you graduate….from high school.” I picked the damn thing because she picked it and I thought I would be able to sit next to “HER”. I never got to sit next to “HER”. Not even close. I was two seats away from “HER” and eventually 3 when I switched over to bass clarinet. I made a 3rd graders decision for 3rd grade reasons. SMH. Crushes are stupid.

              So, I played the clarinet for 10 years, and even though I had reservations about playing it, I became a decent player. Despite the way it looked, and how I got teased for it, I’m grateful. I got to experience things and go places that most people never have and never will. I know a lot of people who grew up in Detroit who have never traveled further than Cedar Pointe. As a member of the band I traveled and performed in Toronto, Atlanta (got to meet Tatyana Ali), and Disney World. I got to perform for the governor (can’t remember which one lol), I performed at the FOX Theatre a few times, competed and won lots of awards at the state festivals, and won an opportunity to get private lessons from a member of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. I also went to band camp….TWICE. (Side note: I DID NOT WANT TO GO. My parents forced me. That year, I had won a video game competition and was set to go to regionals, which was during the time I was supposed to be at camp. They won that battle.) I had some memorable experiences there. I auditioned for the international orchestra and made it. Unfortunately I didn’t get a sponsor so I couldn’t afford to go. I also had one of the most embarrassing experiences of my life there (more on that another time), which is something I can laugh about now. The formal musical training I received all these years has stuck with me, and I think it has made me a more well-rounded producer. I think it allows me to hear the musicality and potential in a lot of things that most people would ignore or turn most people off. I believe it helps me to be open-minded and helps when I want to experiment and blend elements that on a first listen, doesn’t sound like they would go together. I haven’t played it in years, but I really feel like I could pick one up and play like I never stopped.

              Well, that’s enough for this week. I plan to get a little more into how I got started with making beats, but I wanted to lay a little more foundation on my background. All these pasts experiences have shaped me today. Once again thanks for reading, if you haven’t already subscribed please do so. Follow my social media pages for updates on what I have going on, and please feel free to give me any feedback or ask any questions.

Take care,

M.Gardner

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