Music taught me a lot

I have loved music from a very young age. My papa used to play various cassettes when he was at home. He is a good singer too and I know his many songs such as Sinatra's 'My Way' and the one we call 'And I love you so'

I just checked that there are videos of Dan Mclean singing this on YouTube. And I know the first stanza by heart!

My father is also a brilliant musician. He has taught himself the guitar and
piano, and years later I found out that he can also play the saxophone. Better than me! Not that I was very good, but as a teenager I play the tenor saxophone almost every day.

One day I came home with my saxophone and he played it. He showed me all the vibrato and jazz techniques. I think I stared at him and wondered is this the father I knew! Shouldn't take anyone for granted; even your nearest and dearest.

I've always wanted to play a musical instrument, but they were too expensive for my parents to afford. So when at the secondary school welcome assembly the band master invited new students to join, I jumped at the chance.

Mr Chan was a kindly father figure, but also strict in his leadership of the band. So I learnt on my own, coached by the seniors on how to play the tenor saxophone. It took me a whole afternoon to get a sound out of the mouthpiece that first time. I remember the seniors around me trying to tell me how to blow. But not like blowing a balloon, they said. The trouble was, I didn't even know how to blow a balloon!

I tried and tried again. I'm glad I didn't give up that afternoon for playing the saxophone has given me tremendous pleasure over the years and taught me a lot. Being able to play the saxophone was my proudest achievement because I came from nothing and to be able to read music and play the most beautiful melody was such an accomplishment indeed.

And when Kenny G became famous right around the same time, I had street cred!

Music has opened up my interest and now I love the opera, going to concerts and even promoting music. CDs are fine but everyone must experience a live music concert. There is nothing like listening to a rousing percussion section or to a flute whistling a jolly melody.

Music has taught me discipline and to work well with others. You must work with your band mates to achieve the right sound, otherwise the whole symphony wouldn't work. I learn to watch and to listen.

It's been a long time since my school days and I no longer play the saxophone, but when I was at university, my then boyfriend bought me a clarinet. So I took lessons and now I join my local university wind band.

The younger players are very good, but rusty ones like me also feel welcomed in such a group. We are all equal and equally play our part in making the whole piece.

One day I felt tired and lazy but I dragged myself to rehearsal (discipline!) and playing actually lifted my moods so much that now the more tired I am the more I know I need to have some music. I go for relaxation even more now than just music making.

I hope after reading this you will look into your attic or garage and find that old musical instrument of yours and take it to play with your nearest amateur orchestra or band. If there is none, gather a few friends and have a jamming session.

Music is good for you and it may give you more than just entertainment.


  1. I couldn't agree more! Music most definitely lifts your mood. Many a time I've thought, "Uh, can't be bothered to go to band/choir/band practice tonight." But then left there buzzing.

    A lovely piece - thank you x


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