Music and Why its important.

I recently read about how a school in Essex had cut music from its timetable for children aged 11- 13.  This combined with an article I read back in March about how music could be “extinct” in secondary schools,  made me think back to my schooling and how important music was for me- and how the things I learned back then help me now.  I know this post is a bit different to things I normally talk about but I think its something I need to say so I’m going to say it.

A fair few people know that I was bullied in both primary and secondary school. I was the fat kid who  was not only fat, often with greasy hair, i also had a name which could be used as ammo.  I was the fat girl often known as ” Anal a pussy”.

It was music and english lessons that helped me escape all of that.  Both lessons I could be creative in. I could be in a new world through it all.  Maybe another day I’ll talk more about the english lessons but today I want to focus on the music.

I started learning the clarinet just before my 8th birthday in 2005. I would leave my normal classes to go to another room in the school, and I would learn the clarinet with a woodwind teacher. A year or so later, after persuasion from my clarinet teacher ( a different one from my first teacher) at the time, I joined a wind band. It was a place that I felt accepted in. I didn’t feel out of my depth like I often felt, I wasn’t bullied like I was in school.  I had something that I was good at, that I enjoyed, and I made friends in a place where we all had music in common.

I would have lessons once a week with my clarinet teacher, then on a saturday morning, we would have the Beginners Concert Band or whatever we were called. Don’t get me wrong, the whole learning to read music and play clarinet, and have to play WITH other people whilst trying to learn how to stay in time with the conductor – it was hard work for a 8/9 year old, BUT IT WAS FUN.

We would perform in concerts, and I would perform in assembly’s at my school – and my confidence improved, and my love for music grew.

I’ve always loved music, even before this. I remember being fascinated by musical instruments, and listening to music and the different types of sounds that could be produced. Cher has always been a love of mine- seriously, ask my parents and my godfather. I asked for a Cher CD when I was about 2, My godfather brought me it- it was “Believe”, and I STILL Have it today.

ANYWAY I DIGRESS.

I found something that I loved doing.

Years passed and I did all kinds of cool things involving music, I did day courses which ended in a performance or two, I left beginner group and went in to the junior one, I did a whole load of performances, AND I ALSO JOINED THE CHOIR! (which was even cooler! turns out I loved to sing too!)

I had a clarinet teacher who I loved but then sadly left- and was replaced by someone who although was lovely- just wasnt the right type of teacher for me. In this ones defence she was my third clarinet teacher at this point and the one she had replaced was bloody amazing- tough boots to fill.

I had a keyboard at home at this point too and had started to learn ( mainly self taught). I could read music fluently and would muck about and write my own stuff too – mainly to play on the clarinet or keyboard, nothing with lyrics.

I then had to choose a secondary school.    I didn’t get in to My first choice, and a V E R Y long story short, I ended up having to decide between two different schools.

One school, all of my friends were going to, another school I didnt know people.

I went to look through the school I had never looked round before & I didnt know anyone who was going to (it turns out I did know some people in the school but at this stage I didn’t know this!).

I Looked around and it all seemed so big and scary, until the deputy head who showed us around , asked me what I enjoyed doing… When I responded music, she took me upstairs and we walked in to the music department and I honestly fell in love with it all.

I saw pictures from their concerts, and the staff that spoke to me that day were so lovely ( and they are lovely people who I will never forget!) – and then I noticed a piece of paper on their notice board… which said “woodwind lessons”… and the name underneath it was The clarinet teacher that i had before, that was in my eyes the best (no offence to my other clarinet teachers but she was the best!), and I  was so happy and I knew it in my head and my heart that this school would be amazing for me, because good lord look at their music department… AND I COULD STILL HAVE CLARINET LESSONS.

I made a decision to go to that school. Now, I had a few problems at the school don’t get me wrong, but this post isn’t going to be a post about the whole school, just the music department.

I loved that department.

I played my clarinet,  I did well in my music lessons, and I joined the Junior Choir where we did songs in the pop concerts.

I was still bullied in secondary school , but in the music department I could be myself. I could play my clarinet, and I could sing, I could play the piano/keyboards, and I could be me without fear of judgment or bullying.

I didn’t join the main choir until the end of year 8, but when I did join The Choir? I loved it and I had so many amazing moments being a part of it.  We sang in competitions, in projects with the BBC, we did all sorts-  and to this day I am still proud of what we did back then (and still to this moment I can remember all the words to the songs we would sing- and the dance moves/actions to the two we had moves for).

Music was what kept me from giving in to the bullies. It was what kept me grounded, what kept me sane.

I began composing and arranging more music as my time at ICC went on. It was something I would do to relax.

Music was, is and always will be something that I find enjoyable and something that I love.

It is important to me, and I know its important to a lot of people, especially younger people.

Music lessons weren’t just about playing a tune, it was about the history of music, culture, the building blocks that make each song, the ways that music can be used for different things.

It wasnt a “doss about” subject like other departments seemed to think, and it wasnt always easy, even for someone who spent most days involved with some sort of musical project. It was hard work, but so worth it.

My mum often says its sad I didnt take my music further, But the thing is I never saw myself in the music career.  Music was my release. BUT i’m always thankful I took it as a subject at GCSE as it challenged me in all the right ways.

Music is important. its a part of our every day lives. Go to a shop, and 9 times out of 10 they play music.

Get in a car, turn on the radio- music.

Turn on the tv, theres music.

So why do people think its ok to deny the next generations of a music filled education?

Music as a subject isnt just about learning to play an instrument or sing, its about culture, its about history, science (breathing techniques), Design technology (the designs of the instruments and how they actually work), languages, its an art, its everything rolled in to one.

Music for me is important not just in my education and hobbies.

When I became ill, music was what helped me through it.

I became too ill to continue my education. But I would sit in my bedroom and compose music, page after page it would all flow out and It would give me something to do at 3 in the morning when the pain was too much and I felt like I was drowning in the never ending shit that was my life.

Things I  learned physically helped me too. Breathing techniques that were taught to me by my teachers and choral directors/conductors help with an array of things such as relocating a subluxed rib, coping with the pain of my daily dislocations and my chronic pain, the aftermath of a seizure and often get me through panic attacks.

Fun Fact for you – When I had a panic attack in a mri tunnel recently, I layed there and sang Fiela. (a song we used to sing in choir) – IT CALMED ME DOWN, but I  have no idea why that song popped in to my head.

When my best friend Natalie died in 2013 – it was music that got me through the first stages of grief. The day she went in to a coma, I came home and played on the keyboard. Music was kind of our thing too. we would sit and listen to music together, and sing, and she’d laugh as I danced around her living room. I wrote her song after song, one was specifically for when she had died, and its still on youtube now.

Then when Faith died this year, music helped me through that too. We had many songs that we used to sing to each other to distract each other when things got tough. She had written a few letters to me for when she had died, and one was just a list of songs. When i’m upset or I really miss her I listen to our playlists.

I did a favour for a company recently that were doing a charity concert. They needed someone to rearrange some music (basically do arrangments for them in various parts etc). I did it for them- and they sent me a beautiful thank you gift of an conductors baton. I always ALWAYS wanted to be a conductor. Don’t think itll happen now but we shall see.

My life is beyond unpredictable, and I as a person have changed massively and I’m so glad I still have things that I enjoy, and things I’m passionate about, and I’m glad that I still have bits of the old me that haven’t left me completely.

Music Matters.

 

 

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A Fresh Start.

After the seriousness of this weeks events ive decided that I have to remove the negativity in my life.

Life truly is short.

So I’m cutting out as much negativity in my life as possible.

I am also single again. so its a fresh start in every sense of the word.

From now on , im concentrating on getting better and kicking ehlers danlos ass and making the most of my life.

for those wondering what went on ill explain soon, I am okish I am home and I am resting and taking all my meds like a good girl.

Unfortunately this is our reality – the complications of my illness are many and serious BUT I wont go down without a fight.

Big thanks to those that have been there for me and that have sent lovely messages etc it means a lot xxx

 

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Dear Faith- Lana Parrilla, OUAT and other stuff.

(Just a little letter to faith. I might do a few of these- I have spoken to her parents and they said its perfectly ok to talk about her and about the recent events to do with her)

Dear Faith

Everytime I get a delivery from a certain company recently, its a man called Mario that hands it to me. We’ve got a great rapport building you know. We’ve got a little game going on. Everytime he rocks up at my house, he talks about a different famouse person called either Lana or Alana (yeah don’t go there faithy, I know youd be laughing by now – you always laughed at my face when anyone ever called me by my sunday name of Alana.). So far we’ve had all sorts from Alanna Knight to Lana Del Ray. Sometimes he’ll even start singing. The other day I was in a foul mood. I’m talking F O U L. He arrived and I was just not in the mood… then who was that days famous Lana?

LANA PARRILLA. Your Favourite actress, and one of my favourite actresses, one who I came to love – because of you faithy.  I then spent 15 minutes talking to this Mario guy about lana parrilla. I found us another evil regal in Mario the delivery guy.

He came back today and did the evil regal hand sign when I opened the door. I was so so so impressed. It really did crack me up.

It brought back a whole lot of memories of time with you, and how you LOVED Lana Parrilla, and Once Upon A Time.

I sat and read through our old texts.

It took you such a long time for you to convince me to watch OUAT.

You sent me text after text saying how amazing it was and that I would L O V E  ‘Regina’ and the actress that plays her (Lana Parrilla).

My favourite text you sent was “LANA PUSEY YOU NEED TO FRIGGIN WATCH THIS FRIGGIN SHOW FOR FRIGS SAKE YOU TWAT. YOULL LOVE IT. AND IF YOU DONT YOU STILL HAVE TO WATCH IT BECAUSE YOU LOVE ME. YOULL LOVE LANA TOO BECAUSE SHES GORGEOUS AND AMAZING AND JUST FUCKING FAB. AND YOU FRIGGIN HAVE THE SAME LAUGH AND YOU’RE BOTH L P ‘s AND SAME SENSE OF HUMOUR SO JUST LOVE HER AND WATCH IT PLEASE”

My favourite voicemails from you were  the ones from all around that time. the hilarious ones where you tried to convince me to watch OUAT. The ones where you would ring me and just put the phone next to your laptop speakers. So I had voicemail after voicemail of you just playing OUAT down the phone at me and at the end of each one youd scream YOU WILL BE AN EVIL REGAL.

I eventually watched it just to shut you up and fell in love with the show as you well know. The smug look on your face as I face-timed you after watching the first episode.

It took me a while to watch beyond the first season due to everything else going on.

In fact it wasn’t until after you died that I watched beyond the third season.

I wish I hadn’t waited so long.

It’s funny because there are so many other shows that you tried to convince me to watch. I haven’t gotten round to them yet. but you really were right. I do love OUAT and I do adore Lana Parrilla. just like you did and just like you said I would.

And you know what? I AM proud to be an evil regal.

I want to say thank you to you in this letter. I certainly wasn’t expecting your dad to turn up a week before my 20th birthday with presents from you. Already wrapped and ready for me to open.

I certainly didn’t expect a bright green mankini and a happy birthday cake hat thing.

I probably SHOULDVE expected it with you. Always have to have the last word don’t you.

Your dad explained about all the letters they’re finding around the house, in your things, in your aunties house and land.

Trust you to go all PS I love you on us. Hiding letters everywhere. pre wrapping presents with instructions.

I know why you’re doing it. You were scared you’d be forgotten. I get it.

I forgive you for leaving me by the way. I know why you did and sure I was pissed at you at first, but I get it now. You said you were sorry the last time we spoke on the phone, just hours before you went. When I asked you what you were sorry for you said “for yawning”. But it wasn’t for yawning was it.

Do you remember why I sang Demons to you a week before you died on the phone? I only remembered about it because you texted me saying “thank you for singing  Demons tonight it helped distract me.” and re reading our texts brought it back to me.  I know you kept laughing saying “Its a lana parrilla song and a lana pusey song how fabulous” – but I honestly cant remember what I was distracting you from, or why that song in particular was being sung. I wish you were here to ask. I’m constantly singing it to myself trying to remember. (that and I DO Love the song, you knew that though.)

Another song that keeps making me think of you is “lets have a kiki”. That time when we were waiting, You were so shocked when this was playing through your speakers and I knew e v e r y single word and even did my own little dance up and down the corridor. When it was over, you were like ” HAVE YOU TAKEN YOUR STRONG MEDS YOU PRAT?”  – and I replied, simply with “nope I just really like the scissor sisters ” and calmly sat back down next to you and carried on the conversation from before the song started.

You’ll be pleased to know I still have mrs foggins. – I still hate her, sorry but its true. shes freaky. Who the hell keeps a toy orville with them 24/7 and calls it mrs foggins. (well you ofcourse)

I miss you.

I really do.

I’m moving at some point soon. Its excited scary and everything in between. Wish you were here to see it all happen.

I often wonder whether you’re actually with my NatNat now. You probably are. she’s probably corrupted you and got you pissed everynight up there. I hope you have met. She would’ve found you funny.

Love you shrimps xx

your beanie xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Time.

I’m sorry I’ve been absent from here again.

Life has been hectic and I’ve had deadlines for other projects and my diploma thingy so this has taken a bit of a back burner.

HOWEVER I think I’ve found a way to balance it all out now, so lets see how we go.

Anyway.

In a matter of days, I shall be 20.

I suddenly feel really old and like I don’t know where the years have gone.

Time is just going by too quickly.

My mum and dad were married by the time she was 20. how scary is that. If they’d have had me straight away I could be …well… a bit older than I am now 😉

New tattoo is this week, both myself and my dad are getting tats done. Stay tuned for that update!

speak soon (I hope)

L x

 

 

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Faiths last words.

As most of you know, my friend faith passed away in this year. Her letter to me can be read here (The Strangest Post I’ll ever do. )

Her funeral was… very much what she wanted. She had planned the day herself, and we followed her wishes.

Her music included the Macarena, Faith, Sex Bomb and Kiss.  Her hearse was a motorbike and side car. I wore my flamingo hat, and my “pink pj top” and white denim jacket as per her instructions. Her cousin wore her tiger onesie. Her parents, brother and very close family all followed their instructions as to what to wear too.

This is what I was made to read at faiths funeral. She wrote itself before she died, 4 of us had different variations of the same letter and muggins here was the one who ended up reading it. Her mum suggested I put it on here, so that’s what I’ve done. here goes.

Hello people that are still living this is written by the girl in the coffin in the front. Cant miss me there should be a giant zebra toy on top.
And if this version is being read out, its being read by one of my bestfriends in the entire universe, Beanie other wise known as Lana – the girl standing in front of you in pink and wearing a flamingo hat. – which are my wishes.
It also means my mum and co cant read out what i asked them too which means theyre struggling so please be nice to them.
Lanas got this shit covered though so im not worried shes a good public speaker.
Now, i assume the vicar will say all the usual stuff about me such as when i was born and where i went to school etc etc etc etc blah blah blah blah BLAH BORING You didnt know me really!
The ones that knew me are my parents, godparents, my beanie, my cousin jonny, and the zebras from our little group.
The rest of you are probably already muttering what the fuck are we at the wrong funeral under your breath, as my hearse was a motorbike and sidecar, weve had the macarena as an entrance, theres a sign up which says theres no programme of order or whatever its bloody called because its a waste of trees and #faithy aint a tree murderer and now we’ve got a flamingo girl reading out a letter from the dead girl in the coffin.
See most of you knew the boring rude slightly depressing reclusive Faith Valentina Maria Sally-Anne Grace .
Yeah mum and dad cheers for giving me more names than royalty.
But really if you REALLY took the time to get to know me youd have known faith the great big gay disabled comedian.
With lots of sass and lots of sarcasm and lots of laughter.
I was depressed and my brain could be a mental shit tip. but i was also so much more.
Most of you boring bastards are religious to the bones and happen to have the personality of a wet sock, i however am not.
Despite my name i do not feel like i have a faith.
So excuse me but i refuse to have a hymm.
Instead im having a song played after this which will probably make my mother, auntie marlene, Lana and Jonny laugh so much they will cry because of the memories.
That and the faces of the rest of you will be comical.
Its strange to think ill be dead when this is being read to you.
Ive made the decision to take control of whats going on. And i know a lot of you will never approve but its my choice and my decision. I cant cope with The pain like others can. My body and my brain is trapped in a living hell. My soul wants to break free.
I dont know whats next but whatever is next ill see my loved ones again one day i know i will.
Now.
Last things.
Mummy and Daddy I love you and im sorry youre having to have to do this today.
Auntie marley, Uncle Pete, Auntie Lillian and uncle richard. I love you  and thank you.
Beanie what can i say that i havent already covered in a letter. Aside from see you later bitch.
Jonny im sorry i never called you by your Real name of journey grace. But quite frankly you suit jonny better and your parents mustve been on crack when they named you. I love you always and i meant what i said about the tattoo in your letter.
Zebras – i hope the skype link is set up and youre watching this. Thank you – now look after beanie and look after each other.
James, if youre here I forgive you. Now dont be a shit son step up please. They need you.
Everyone else. You didnt do much for me but nows the chance to put shit right and be there for my family.
Look dont be sad. Im free.
Now enjoy the music, enjoy the boring shit that the vicar will say about me.
Over and out mother fuckers
Love Faithy.

 

 

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A wedding and a packet of rolos.

If you didn’t know, I have 6 godparents. (well 6 and a half but that’s a long story in itself 😉 ).

Two of my godparents are Rita and Paul. My auntie Rita and uncle paul aren’t here anymore bless them. So their daughter, Suzanne, is like another honoury Auntie to me.

Earlier this month, Auntie Sue got married!!!

Its funny, she was my mum & dads bridesmaid 30 odd years ago, and NOW shes a bride herself!!!

I went blue for the wedding!

I and a friend of mine took the photos and video footage for the day and it was just such a bloody beautiful day.

It knackered me out though, and I ended up paying it for it later that night and the next day. – bloody worth it though.

Our Sue looked STUNNING. And her groom, chris (now my uncle chris 😉 ) looked very dapper.

IMG_9441

I don’t do crying or tears, certainly not at weddings, yet on their big day I cried!!! not once, not twice but THREE TIMES! that’s how BEAUTIFUL it was.

Another huge part of the day was a proper reunion with my dems.

Demi is my godparents granddaughter. Through various circumstances we didn’t see each other for a fair few years. And to be reunited with her was just bloody fabulous.

One of the strongest memories I have from our childhood was that I always gave her my last rolo, no matter how many I had already given her from the packet already, demi always, ALWAYS got my last one- yep I really did love her that much (or maybe I was just a sucker who gave away their sweets 😉 ). So for traditions sake who got the last rolo at the wedding? My girl did. You’ll always be one of my bestests dems, no matter what ever happens or how long we go without seeing each other, family we will always be. Love you always! IMG_9426

Huge shoutout to those I met at the wedding- Mandy, Kayley, Jackie! you’re officially in my circle now 😉 welcome  to the gang and I hope to see you all again at some point!

Dear Auntie Sue and my new uncle chris (that’s going to stick you know)

You two are just so bloody gorgeous together.

Thank you for making her happy chris.

Congratulations to you both.

Thank you for letting me be a part of what was beyond a special day.

I’ll see you both super soon.

Congratulations to mr and mrs G! I Love you both!

L xx

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Silence

I’ve not been publishing my blog posts recently.

I’ve been silent. Again.

I’m sorry.

Things have been happening again. Not all of them are negative, a lot of positive things have happened too.

Life just got really hectic.

But I’m back with a vengeance.

watch this space x

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