Juli

Feel The Joy

Winter Turns To Spring

I’m finished!! I completed my first year at Berklee and as far as I can tell I am miles ahead of where I was when I started this journey.

My challenges this semester came from unexpected sources.  I imagined my stress might come from trying to memorize scales and chords and ear training melodies, but it was freezing cold and blizzards that threw me for a loop.  There was the panicked feeling in my chest as I sat at the T station for my entire French class and running into my Ear Training class 15 minutes late.  Waiting over an hour for that T in -10 degrees has got to be the most uncomfortable feeling, next to labor, I’ve experienced in my life.  (I know I don’t get out much)  I discovered the difference between fashion hats, gloves, and scarves and winter hats, gloves, and scarves. And shoveling snow!  I didn’t even understand why one would have to shovel snow thinking it would disappear the next day in the rain like it always does on the West Coast.  What?  You mean this stuff is staying around for three months?? You’ve got to be kidding me!!

There were the days consoling my 6 year old daughter who was having terrible trouble reading, weeping with her when she got a zero on her spelling test, hugging her through meltdowns in the morning because she absolutely, positively didn’t want to go to school.  I remember nights boiling inside because she was fighting with me about doing her homework.  All I could picture was the piles of homework I had waiting for me after she fell asleep.  Then my 13-year-old daughter started to act 13.  I never saw that coming!!  Some nights I would ask God ‘Are you sure I’m the one you wanted to send to Berklee?  Because I just can’t possibly see how this is going to work out for me right now’ I have to choose my kids first.  But I so deeply, desperately want this…I have to somehow make this work….

Going to music school as a mom has its challenges, but there are also so so many wonderful things about music school that make it worth the struggle.  Like going to Peter Bernstein, Dweezil Zappa, and Guthrie Govan master classes, having a lesson with John Knowles, debuting ‘Always Remember Atahualpa’ in a symphony of 75 guitars, playing with amazing musicians in my ensembles, learning all sorts of new music, learning all sorts of crazy music theory that blows my mind, yes these are the perks. 

And check out all of the incredible teachers I got to learn from

Abby Aronson Zocher, Recital Prep Professor, life guru, and all around loving person

Abby Aronson Zocher, Recital Prep Professor, life guru, and all around loving person

Sheryl Bailey, Guitar Professor www.sherylbailey.com

Sheryl Bailey, Guitar Professor www.sherylbailey.com

Kim Perlak, Contemporary Classical Guitar Ensemble Professor www.kimperlak.com

Kim Perlak, Contemporary Classical Guitar Ensemble Professor www.kimperlak.com

Paul Stiller, Ear Training Professor

Paul Stiller, Ear Training Professor

Daniel Ian Smith, Harmony Professor danieliansmith.com

Daniel Ian Smith, Harmony Professor danieliansmith.com

Lawrence Watson, African American Music History Professor www.lawrencewatson.com

Lawrence Watson, African American Music History Professor www.lawrencewatson.com

Gates Thomas, Arranging Professor

Gates Thomas, Arranging Professor

Curt Shumate, Jazz/Blues Lab Professor

Curt Shumate, Jazz/Blues Lab Professor

Anne Squire, French Professor

Anne Squire, French Professor

I also had the privilege of having lunch with Roger Brown and some other students.  It was such a great experience.

Roger Brown, President of Berklee College of Music

Roger Brown, President of Berklee College of Music

There are times when I miss my old life.  I miss having amazing gigs to look forward to every weekend, rocking out for tons of happy, dancing people.  I miss my friends.  I miss my co-workers and manicure/pedicure clients at Foxfire Salon.  I miss my cute little apartment on Proctor.  I sometimes think living your life and having a dream is a good life.  Sometimes that can get a person through the rest of their days.  But going after your dream is something different.  It takes work.  It takes stepping backward so you can move forward.  It takes going to the bottom so you can move to the top.  It takes more energy that I ever imagined it would take.  It takes reaching deeper than your arms can reach. But in that reaching and searching there is such deep satisfaction.  I’m sounding so cheesy but this is the life! This is the good life to me and I’m going with it.