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Music's Day Off
It seems that with each day I go, music guides me towards somewhere. It’s guided me from the start of my life. The only thing is, where will it lead? I thought this to myself, sitting in at a band practice for a band that I was in. I had high expectations for it too, and we had loads of fun. On top of that, I was in choir and planned to be in it every year from my freshmen year in high school. But the question still remains on where do I go?
“Okay, so, Jake, I need you to try galloping, rather than hitting it on every eighth.” The guitarist, Paul spoke to me.
I nodded and asked, “Through the whole song?”
My fingers were burning. We had been practicing several songs over the course of the day, when we had a day off on school, and we still had another hour or two to go. Our drummer, John, was not getting tired at all, which seemed to keep us going. But I’d look over at our singer, Sarah, and she looked to be in a foul mood. She never spoke to us about it, and she seemed like she would sing anyways. That’s what I hoped, at least.
“I need a break.” Sarah simply put it as we sat thinking of ways to play a song we were in the process of making.
Paul looked over the rest of the group and he asked, “Is everybody good for a small break to eat?” Before we could even speak in reply, we were stopped by Sarah.
“No, I don’t need a break for food; I need a break for maybe a few weeks.”
“Sarah, what are you saying? We only practice twice a week. We hardly get much as it is.” John tried to argue against her, but I knew it wasn’t going in the right direction.
“Yeah, but we practice for so long, my voice is giving out, and I don’t feel like singing.”
“Then you can go home today, but for a few weeks? You don’t need that long.” Paul said, making a point the rest of us agreed on, besides Sarah.
“Yeah, I do.” She spoke and put us all into a state of confusion and frustration.
“Okay then, why?” I asked, not being able to keep myself out of this.
“Because, you all work me like a dog.” She raised her voice towards me, as if she could get me to stop talking.
“No, we don’t.”
“Yes, you do.”
I had a feeling, we’d get nowhere with this. I ran my hands through my hair, trying to think, and I looked down at the floor, not being able to understand any of this right now. “Okay then. You realize that if you take this break, we’re going to be really behind?” I pressed on another question, wanting to see if I could convince her.
“I do. So you guys should still have your practices and I’ll catch up later.” She replied, thinking she had the whole thing solved.
“What about a new song?” Paul asked, sure that she hadn’t thought about it.
“I’ll just learn it later. Singing isn’t as hard to practice as it is playing guitar.”
Even Paul was having problems understanding all of this. Eventually, he gave up. “Okay, just go home. If you think this will work, then go.”
She had a small smile that I was sure was because she won. “I’m just saying sorry for leaving you like this for two weeks.” She spoke before she left the room. We all exchanged looks between each other in disbelief.
The next day, I sat on the riser in the choir room, reading over a sheet of music. I was stopped when the room flooded with red shirts that people were wearing. These people weren’t even people I knew, but it made sense when I read the shirts out as “Phoenix High School.” Our choir teacher spoke to us with a tone to hurry us that she always gave us, “Get off the risers and sit here. These guys only have a short time here, so let’s hear them sing and then sing one of our songs before they go off to Lakewood High.” I was interested at first only in the fact that the choir was going to Sarah’s school. Maybe then she would actually get more interested in singing. I thought that to myself a little bit sarcastically. After all, I wasn’t happy with her. My interest was small, but I got off anyways and joined the rest of the choir as an audience in chairs that were pulled out for this occasion. One thing that raised my interest was the faces of the choir that had joined us. They looked psyched to do this, without an ounce of nervousness. I wish our choir was like that. Their voices were great too. On the first note, we were blown away by minor chord of voices. Each of the faces in the choir looked like they were having so much fun I wished I was part of them. But then again, I myself had a hard time smiling while singing. This group was the image I always loved to see. People making music that they enjoy.
Four days later, there was another band practice. I was late to arrive since I stayed after school. Though, to my surprise, Sarah was there, laughing with the rest of the group.
I didn’t ask about it, instead I just asked, “Hey guys, how’s it going?” I smiled and sat down with my bass and joined the rest in a series of bad jokes about music. “What do you get when you throw a piano down a mine shaft?”
“I don’t know.”
I smiled a little bit, and replied, “A flat miner!” We had plenty of jokes like that, including the fact that you can’t tuna fish. It was a bad joke. Later on, we all sat around the room for practice and we were all kind of wondering.
I was about to speak when somebody else did it for me. “Why did you come back from a break you wanted?” Paul asked, about as confused as I was. Sarah looked a little bit embarrassed at the fact that she pulled out from her own idea.
“Well, did anybody else have that Phoenix High School choir come to their school?” She asked, wondering if she was the only one.
“I did.” I relied, assuming what this was all about.”
“Well, I guess I listened to them and kind of just got inspired to sing again. The choir director for them told us that they’ve practiced at home, and during some of their free time as well as in school for several days straight to get it. I felt bad about leaving you guys here, and I was inspired enough to come back here.” She replied
I smiled a little, and just cheered, “Wooh!” It seemed like music’s day off was cut short. Sarah was back!
It was always a great feeling when things just go so right when making music. Music isn’t just something we listen to. It’s an essential of life that some people, like us, would build around. The people who do that can’t, live without music, and normally end up being the ones creating music to inspire others. That’s what I love about my life.