|Relaxing Spa Music:|
My mom wanted to make sure that I got every opportunity to play the piano. When she was a little girl, she explained to me that she wanted to play the piano. However, her father would not buy her a piano because he needed the money to buy his booze. So, for years she longed to play the piano and when I came along and expressed my interest, she made sure that happened.
Buying a $35 piano from a neighbor was my first piano. It was a big upright piano that took several people to move it from the neighbor's garage into our house. It did need a little tuning but overall, the sound that this piano put out was as beautiful as angelic music. Even electronic keyboards do not measure up to the sound of this piano.
Because of the piano my mom bought for me, I was able to take lessons and learn how to play it. At the time, piano lessons were relatively inexpensive and so I paid for them through odd jobs and a newspaper route. Today, I hear horror stories of how much it costs for a piano lesson and I'm so thankful that it was not this expensive when I was a kid. If it would have been, I would have never gotten to learn how to play the piano. Our family was not wealthy and in fact, buying a $35 piano was a major expense.
Later on in life, I would play the piano for church, high school choir and any place I could find to play it. I loved the piano and I loved creating my own take on the songs that I played. I struggled with a perfectionist father that criticized me at every turn when he in fact had no musical ability. The criticism did not stop me and in fact, my piano was my escape from a traumatic life I lived through.
At one point, my mom wanted to learn how to play piano and as a teenager, I began showing her how to read music and find the keys on the piano keyboard. Even though she did not read music well, she could hear a tune on the radio or from some other source and pick it out on the keyboard. It wasn't a smooth rendition, but she could play what she heard. My talent is different than hers in that I need at least the melody to play the songs.
Ultimately, once I was away from home, I began experimenting more with creating my own little tunes on the piano. I had written my first song when I was in elementary school but my home life was not conducive to much creativity. Throughout college, I began to create in the moment and with the advent of cassette tape recorders, I was able to record some of what I created.
One of the things that I soon learned was that my creation was different than most artists. When I sit down at a keyboard, it is like a conversation which flows through me and through my hands. I usually don't get to hear the actual song while I create it. It isn't until I replay the music that I get to hear what it sounds like. As I began to open myself up to creating in this way, the digital error of recording to a computer gave me opportunities I did not have up until this point.
As we approach Mother's Day, I want to highlight a CD that I created with this day in mind. If it would not have been for the piano my mom bought for me and giving me a chance to learn, I would not have made the beautiful music on this CD. Many of the songs directly relate to my mom in one way or another.
In 2002, I lost my mom to a car accident and through my own grief and healing, my first CD, Dancing With Life, was released. It has been a few years now since I have released any new music, but I hope that changes in the near future. It is still difficult for me to trust what I create and to believe that it is good enough to share with the world. I sometimes listen to the criticism of my father and allow it to rule my creativity. It is a constant battle to find my true and inner voice.
I hope you will check out this CD if you have not already heard it and purchased it. It comes from deep within my heart. It is an hour of relaxing piano music. To check out this CD, Relaxing Spa Music: Mother's Day on iTunes, or you can also visit my personal website (www.donshetterly.com) to learn more. My CD's are also available on Amazon and most of the digital download sites.
I'm so thankful for what my mom did for me. Without her sacrifice, this music would have never made it out into the world. Today, I honor my mom and all the mothers in the world! May they truly know how much we care about them and how much they mean to our life.
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