My parents had six children; I was the fourth child. And while that fact is not particularly interesting, the fact that each child was required to take piano lessons during first grade, is more significant. At the end of the first-grade year, Mom would decide if the first grader in question had "the talent." If so, the child continued in his or her piano education. If not, you were done. Of her six children, Mom determined that three of us "had it" and three did not. Luckily for me, I was chosen to continue my lessons. I studied from 1st grade to 9th grade, and then again at Florida State University, as an adult student.
When I was fourteen, I was hired at St. Francis Xavier Church in Enid, OK as the organist. I felt comfortable on the organ manuals, but definitely needed some instruction on the pedals. After several lessons with a local organ master, my church career was born. Since that first job at fourteen, I have been involved in church music everywhere I've lived. Most recently (if 21 years is recent), I have been the Director of Music at St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church in Enid, OK. In addition to directing the church choir, I am one of two church organists for St. Gregory's. In addition to my responsibilities at church, I spend my time substitute teaching for the Enid Public School system, and St. Joseph Catholic school, enjoying time with my husband and 16-year-old twins, and of course, teaching piano lessons to beginning students of all ages.
Over the course of my lifetime, I've played for countless Catholic church services and numerous weddings and funerals. I've accompanied singers, violinists, choirs, even tuba players at contests. But what strikes me most about my musical career is the number of lives I've touched; touched in a happy way at a wedding, touched in a blessed way at a Sunday service, and touched in a poignant or sad way, during a funeral. However, if I had never had that first piano lesson in first grade, none of those blessed, happy, or sad moments would have occurred.
My music career happened to take place most often in a church setting, but musicians can be found in high school bands or choirs, community groups, college ensembles, monasteries, bars or pubs - even on the streets of our busiest cities! The only pre-requisite to annoying the fruits of a musical life...is that first music lesson. Take one today!