Bringing Back the Music
posted June 8, 2012 1:23 PM by Elise Dunham
One of the things I’ve struggled the most with since moving to Boston is the fact that, for the
first time in my life, musical instruments haven’t been immediately accessible to me. Wherever
I’ve lived up until now, I’ve had access to at least a piano, and I usually had my mom’s violin
or my alto saxophone on hand. I took this privilege for granted (and grumbled way too much
about practicing!), and its importance didn’t become clear to me until I found myself feeling
stranded without a musical outlet in my apartment in Boston.
I dealt with this problem temporarily at the beginning of the spring semester when I borrowed
an alto sax and went to a few rehearsals with the Freedom Trail Band, Boston’s LGBT
community band. This group is fantastic. The atmosphere is laid-back--there were no auditions
and I could meet all of the skill-level expectations even as a self-proclaimed “hobby musician.”
Unfortunately, as the semester pummeled forward and my juggling act got more difficult to
manage, I decided I couldn’t commit to being a regular member of the band.
My residence in the musical desert re-started and continued until this past weekend, when a
friend and I walked into a guitar shop on Harvard Ave called Mr. Music. I’d been toying around
with the idea of purchasing a stringed instrument of some kind. After much deliberation and
consultation with my friend, I ended up walking out of Mr. Music with my very own ukulele!
It’s one of the more, er, affordable models, which was a big draw. I’m very happy with my
choice; the ukulele is so much fun! I’ve devoted a great deal of my free time to learning chords,
and thanks to the help of teaching tools on the free Web and the books I got from the Boston
Public Library, I’m already clunking through some songs. I’m starting with “Ring of Fire” by
Johnny Cash and “We Are Young” by Fun. My brain isn’t quite comfortable with all of it yet--
strumming and singing separate rhythms is really hard!--but I practice every day and I know I’ll
get over that hurdle eventually. My goal is to become a big YouTube star like this kid. Be on the
lookout for self-promotion via this blog in a future where I can strum and sing at the same time.
Next time you hear from me I’ll be fully re-immersed in the world of library school as my
summer classes will have started up. Be ready for reports on two core classes: Technology for
Information Professionals and Evaluation of Information Services. Bring it on, GSLIS Summer