Do you play a musical instrument or did one of your family members? What instrument did you or they play?
This Carnival seemed intriguing. I started thinking about my ancestors and realized I had no idea if any of them played a musical instrument! My father played harmonica, and I used to love sitting and listening to him. But did his parents or grandparents play anything? His grandfather whittled a wistle from a piece of wood and that whistle was passed on down in the family.
I figure that someone somwhere way back did play because I could hardly wait to get into High School so I could take Music and play in the High School Band. I'd been desperate for piano lessons since I was very little and a friend's mother taught me a few simple songs one week when I stayed at their home for a summer holiday. What a joy that was to me! But I never got to take those lessons as we were very poor and there simply was not any extra money for such things.
In High School I took French Horn. I wanted to play drums but that was only for the boys, so I opted for that shiny beautiful brass instrument. I have to admit I was somewhat disapponted as all the French Horns got to play was the alternate beat. Oomp. Pause. Oomp. Pause... and so on.
But I played for 6 years and was in the band. We travelled all over, won some competitions too. I can still remember the notes for some of the songs. In my last year, we made a record - an L.P. 33RPM. Wow, talk about dating myself! I still have the record!
I took guitar lessons - classical as well as folk, when I was in my late 20s. I didn't want to play classical but my guitar teacher encouraged me to do both and once I started, I loved it! I eventually dropped folk and stuck with classical. I was never much good but I sure loved playing. That stopped though as my arthritis worsened, it was too difficult to move my fingers fast enough or far enough to sound decent.
When I was in my 30s I decided I'd try the recorder, so I taught myself to play. We've all heard the screeching sound of a woodwind badly played by children, but if a recorder is played well it is quite pretty. Recorders were popular in medieval times - perhaps one of my English ancestors played one! I wanted to play duets so I learned the alto recorder too, then taught my husband to play the soprano recorder (usually what we hear if only one is being played). We made some great music together!
I never did get to learn piano but music has been a pretty part of my life. No one else in my family plays or is interested in playing any kind of musical instrument so I have to believe that one or more of my ancestors did play an instrument. I just wonder who it was and what they played. I have a vague memory of my father playing the spoons and I like to imagine my Irish McGinnis ancestors sitting around playing the spoons or a fiddle, neither of which I was able to master!
I think musical interest and talent is genetic to some degree, as my son is a very talented guitar player. He started lessons at age 13 (classical and instrumental) and at the age of 15 he was hired by a local restaurant to play Classical guitar for their customers once a week. He began composing classical music and bought his own recording equipment to record his songs. My cousin is also a very talented guitar player and singer whose band is doing well.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not talented at all - but I do love making music. My son and cousin however must have some genetic musical DNA from a distant musically talented ancestor.