Thursday, December 6, 2012

Me and the Mozart Myth

Upon suggestion from UM’s Center for Integrative Medicine’s Facebook page, I read an article from Experience Life Magazine called “The Creative Habit.” After reading the section titled “Active Body, Creative Mind,” I immediately thought of my journey partner Steph because she is an artist. My initial thought was, “wow…with regular exercise, Steph’s creativity will go through the roof!” I shared the article with her and that was that.

…Until my car ride home. With traffic, I have about an hour commute each way, so I have a good amount of time to think. Last night, this article was on the forefront of my mind. I kept pondering the Mozart Myth and realized that it really pertained to my life. In particular, I considered this paragraph:

Sure, some people might be predisposed to certain skills and talents, but all our natural predispositions need time, practice and dedication to become real genius. As another artistic genius, the Renaissance painter Michelangelo, once said, “If people knew how hard I had to work to gain mastery, it would not seem so wonderful at all.”

I kept thinking of my singing talent. At one point in my life, I was a really good singer. In fact, if I had tried out for American Idol in 2002, I would have had a pretty good shot at going far in the competition. (Yep – it would have totally been me and Justin there at the finale!) I definitely had a voice that could rival Kelly Clarkson’s. But also at that time, I was singing constantly. I had been singing in class and in concerts 5 days a week for eight years straight. I sang constantly in my car. I had a karaoke machine and a keyboard in my bedroom that were constantly being used. I performed in musical theater. I sang practically every Sunday at church. I was hired to sing for weddings. I did a few funerals. My mother would even scold me for singing at the dinner table. (My sister hated it when I did!) The point is: I sang. ALL. THE. TIME. I had mastered my talent.

For whatever reason, when I joined AmeriCorps in the fall of 2002, I stopped singing. Completely. And I suppose a part of me died at that time because singing was my true love, my joy, my constant companion.

Today, I have an average, so-so voice. My talent has gone extremely downhill. I really would love to sing on the Worship Team at my church, but if I’m being honest, I’m not good enough anymore.

But, alas, there is hope! That’s the beauty of the Mozart Myth! He worked extremely hard to master his compositions. He needed “time, practice and dedication to become real genius.” I know that with enough time, practice and dedication, I could be really good again.

One of my intentions for my wellness journey is to sing more. By doing so, I think I can start to come back to life again in a whole new, healthy way.

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