A new season

Well, marching band is over. I’m sure band kids ’round the nation are feeling the same feeling as I am right about now:

FREEDOM!!

And also: what shall I do now?

I am a bit sad – to say goodbye to our wonderful seniors and goodbye to our wonderful show – but what I realized is that this is just one season of the year. I loved it, but as the seasons cycle in nature, there are seasons that cycle through my own life, too. I was planning for this moment about two weeks ago – I could feel the season winding down – and I am relaxing into my new schedule. Yesterday was my first official day off and I spent it fooling around on the computer, then went on a MUCH-needed excursion to the Sunday jazz session at a place in town. I brought my guitar, but I didn’t feel much like playing – I just wanted to hear music that wasn’t a marching band show.

It hit the spot. I felt in my element. It was the feelings that originally drew me to jazz in the first place (besides accidentally throwing myself into it because a) I didn’t know what I was doing and needed lessons, b) I wanted to do music in school and jazz band was my only option, and c) that is what I was taught…I thought all guitarists learned these elements in lessons…silly me.) – the chilled yet extremely skilled atmosphere, the trading and exchanging of ideas, and the comfort in the network of knowledge that is jazz standards.

If you really look at jazz from an aerial view and not “how the heck to people play this” or “this sounds hard” or “this is boring music” (by the way, you’re wrong if you think that) it is a fantastic network. That’s the word. Network. It is really connected. There are so many ways you can go in your musical journey. It’s so hard to explain to non-musicians, but basically there is our bible of songs – the Real Book, or jazz standards – that jazz players strive to learn. You could learn those and just use those, reinvent those, and do gigs off of them. Or, you could write your own jazz, but a lot of cool ideas are already within those pages. It is a language, and once you become proficient in it, you can understand different dialects, create your own vocabulary, perfect the vocabulary already around. If language and linguistics excites you, study jazz. Because it is a language – like English, it is always evolving and is spoken around the world. That’s what I remember when I despair or feel down on myself: that jazz is a vast network as well as an exciting language, and I’m just learning to speak it. That’s what I love about jazz. That’s what brings me back each time. It’s hard to explain, but I hope you glean some understanding from this spiel.

I have some books I’ve read to discuss, and I have new ideas to share, but right now I am just decompressing from this schedule change. I will hopefully be embarking on some non-school music this winter, as well as nourishing my other interests, such as cooking/baking, reading, German, BLOGGING, and any other adventures I stumble on. I want to ride my bike more often, breath some fresh air, balance out all the school-air I’ve been breathing these past three months. I don’t want to make too many goals yet, because that is just over-whelming and counter-productive, but there are many things I want to do now that I have time to spare. At the current moment, I am hurrying to learn all the bass parts for the winter band concert which actually occurs three-ish weeks before winter (i.e. the week after next) and I am way behind! I also am fiddling with trumpet (I think I hit an A above the staff yesterday, so yay) and I am returning to my beloved guitar, whom I fall more in love with everyday…I’ve been attempting to organize a book group at school, so that equals more books to discuss here!!

All in all, I am content. The cold winter air is my element, and I still have two days until AP Calculus begins, so I am grateful. Just in time, too, with Thanksgiving ’round the corner. Happy November, since I haven’t posted yet in this month!

*P.S. November is World Vegan Month, so everyone eat lots of fruits and vegetables!

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