How I Do Music

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I love music. I started on the piano when I was quite young – too young to remember, now – and studied seriously throughout my formative years. I also wanted to sing, but wasn’t gifted with the right voice for that, so I stuck with piano and became an accomplished accompanist as well, which kept me quite busy.

College brought new and fun times with music. I studied voice throughout, but my forte (see what I did there?) was choral conducting and arranging. As much as I enjoyed music theory and the human voice it was a no-brainer. I did direct several church choirs over the years, and also accompanied other church musicians quite frequently.

Then in my late 40’s I discovered my first arranger workstation keyboard. It was one of the most exciting things I’d ever found! After saving up for a long time I purchased a used Yamaha PSR-9000Pro. The first time I put several voices together I was in tears; when I added a backing I was outright weeping. The emotional high was so great I couldn’t even speak!

Since then I’ve progressed through a few other keyboards and now find myself with a PSR-S950 and a PSR-EW410. And a new, REALLY fun way to use them…but more on that in a minute…

3 ukuleles

When I was in my early teens my Gram bought me a baritone ukulele. I had no idea what to do with it but learned a few chords from the Mel Bay book she also provided, and occasionally picked it up again. After college it pretty much went into a closet and out of my life. Then a couple of years ago I thought it might be nice to try the uke again, and picked one out for my birthday gift from my husband. But this time I had great fun with it, and it was soon joined by 2 more ukuleles: first a tenor resonator uke (which now has low-G tuning) and more recently a pink plastic/carbon fiber concert uke (re-entrant).

AND during this time I started creating arrangements of songs on one or the other of my keyboards, which I then recorded as backings with which to play my ukuleles! The mellow sound of the baritone is perfect for traditional hymns and ballad-style contemporary Christian music (CCM). The resonator sounds fantastic on the Southern Gospel and bluegrass Christian music I’ve come to love, and the concert with its easy action is amazing for the brighter CCM as well as the older tunes I grew up with in the 60’s and early 70’s.

So my most-fun hobby lately has been creating backing tracks and playing along with them. I am also putting the keyboard .wav files on my tablet along with copies of the lyric/chord sheets so I can play anywhere, anytime!

And that, my friends, is how I do music!

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