Sometimes I wonder if stuck behind on my music dreams because I didn't go to music school and already finished my bachelors degree. Or perhaps I should save up a bunch of money and get a second degree, sit in a building for a few hours a day working on ear training, ensemble, composition.
And then I go to music camp, stare up at the ponderosa pines during the breaks of my all-outdoor classes, goof off with my teachers into the night, and realize I'm creating my own educational path. In my checkin with Rachel Efron this week, I started laying out a more formal structure to invest more time in developing the skills I want to develop, learning from the people I want to learn from. Last time I asked all my musician friends about going back to school, I remember Sean Frenette telling me that all "Music School" just a building, and a group of people. "The question is, Melanie, do you want to learn in that building, and with those people?"
For now, I'll pick pines and red dirt instead of buildings and mixing 10 year old classmates with teachers like John Mailander and Keith Little. These performers have hearts are as vast as their skills, and teach as well as they play. And we listen - myself between the 10 year olds with their little painted fingers and glasses, and 60 year olds who are picking up an instrument for the first time, blowing me away with their courage and passion. I remember for all of us my favorite African Proverb: "The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago, and the second best time is now."