What Music Means to Me: a Personal Journey of Melodies and Memories

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The Tucker Family Musical Legacy

I am fortunate to have been born and raised in a very musical family. Out of eight family members (two being in-laws), seven of us participated in the band during school, and most of us still tried to participate in the band. The seven of us cover almost every range of wind and percussion instruments. The only thing we lack is clarinet and tuba, but even four members of my extended family play clarinet. I am also fortunate enough to have a community band in my area, where I can play in an ensemble with My father, aunt, cousin, sister, brother, and sister-in-law.

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The director jokes that the band should be called “Tucker Family and Co.”

My first instrument was the piano. When my sister turned five, she started taking piano lessons because my parents wanted us to be able to play hymns and Christmas music, and I was really jealous. The next year when I turned five, I started lessons as well. My teacher was a very strict Korean lady, and all of her other students were also Korean. I am truly convinced that Dr. Hye-sook Jung, my teacher, hated us. We were not as good as her other students, and we wanted to play fun music, not the boring sonatas she had us competing with. We never placed in any competition, and I honestly don’t think I ever made it through a recital without messing up. I hated practicing with a passion, and I could never seem to be able to read the bass clef. It probably sounds like I took lessons for a few months and gave up. Unfortunately, that was not the case. We took lessons for seven years before Dr. Jung told my parents that I had absolutely no potential in music.

Transition to the Euphonium and Self-Learning

We stopped taking lessons when I started middle school and joined a band. I chose to play the euphonium for the sole purpose of the word sounding funny. Instantly I picked up bass clef (much to my parent’s irritation. Why could I not learn during piano?), and this truly began my musical career. My middle school band director was not very good, and I never learned anything past the basics, so I had to teach myself a lot of concepts. As soon as I was eligible, I started to work towards auditioning for Allstate with the help of my brother. Through those terribly written and poor excuses of musical etudes required to audition, I truly learned how to play my instrument. When I was in eighth grade, I made middle-school Allstate, a feat that none of my other siblings accomplished. I can attribute that to the fact that I started taking lessons with a man that helped out at the high school, Mike Guzman. Mr. G would become my ultimate mentor to me and would eventually fill the assistant director position at my high school.

High School Musical Adventures

As soon as I started at Tuscaloosa County High School, I also picked up a trombone to participate in the amazing jazz band at the school. My first year was very difficult because I was immediately made the principal euphonium player in the top band. I struggled to keep up with the college-level pieces that we played, especially “Dum Spiro Spero,” which had a massive euphonium solo while everybody else in the band sang. Naturally, we performed that at AMEA, the highest honor for a band in Alabama, in front of all of the band and choir directors in the state. The next year I was fortunate enough to make Jazz All-state. Four people from my school had made it, and we were all shocked that a one-year-old trombone player could sit with the top 12 jazz trombonists in the state, but there I was. That experience was amazing and only fueled me to practice harder for honor bands. From that point on, I would make almost all honor bands, including Allstate. The ‘almost all’ part is because I never made jazz Allstate again. Through my high school program, I also learned tenor clef, which is basically just bass clef but shifted down five times so you can play higher notes without leger lines. Additionally, during my senior year, I began to play trumpet because Mr. G needed some more instruments for the third and lowest band. I struggled with having to relearn treble clef, but the instrument itself came to me easily. At my graduation, I conducted the wind ensemble to play the piece “Hymnsong of Philip Bliss,” which is the hymn “It is Well.” Between conducting my closest friends in a beautiful piece and the fact I was about to graduate high school, that is among the most emotional memory of music I have.

Exploring Different Genres and Instruments

My taste in music is very eclectic and honestly depends on my mood and what I am doing. For homework, I listen to Celtic Woman, bossa nova, or jazz. When I am driving to and from school in Fayette, I squeeze in almost two hours of electronic dance music (EDM) because the drive is long and boring, and the upbeat music keeps me focused. When I am listening to enjoy music, it is often cinematic music or old country music. I am very picky about country music, though. I love Tennessee Ernie Ford and Marty Robbins with the occasional Johnny Cash. I will sometimes listen to the symphonic band or orchestra music, but I typically only listen to the pieces I performed in high school.

Music as My Personal Memoir

Music is what brings back the strongest and most vivid memories for me, and sometimes I can even clearly visualize movie scenes by just listening to the musical score. Music has truly been a part of what defines me as a person, and I hope I never stop listening.

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What Music Means to Me: A Personal Journey of Melodies and Memories. (2023, Jun 17). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/what-music-means-to-me-a-personal-journey-of-melodies-and-memories/