Musical Musings

If music be the food of love, play on.

~ William Shakespeare

To me, music is emotional and expressive. Music is thrilling and exciting. Music is constantly moving, touching, exploring. Music can be happy, sad, beautiful and tragic all at the same time. Music is exceptional.

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I love listening to music, I love watching music, but most of all I love performing music. I’m no professional or anything. I don’t get paid to sing but that doesn’t stop me from doing what I love. It is important to me to always have some sort of creative outlet be it music, dance, art or drama. I strongly believe that the creative arts help us as human beings to connect with one another on a more meaningful level. It doesn’t matter what language we speak, what social background we come from or what religion we believe in a C major chord will sound happy to everyone.

I’ve been involved with the arts from a very young age. My mum had me in dance and music making classes at the age of 3. While I’ve tried my hand at many various art forms my go-to has always been singing. I really became passionate about vocal music in high school. I was very lucky to attend a Creative Arts specialty school where I was given exceptional instruction in music theory, music history and music performance. In addition to all my regular high school courses. Here was where I fell in love with choral music. There is nothing more magical than performing with a group of singers as one entity. Below is a video of one of the three choirs I participated in singing a super fun song called “I’m a Train”. This piece is originally by the King Singers. (I’m standing in the light of the window).

See how fun was that?! Sometimes choral singing gets a bad reputation as being “boring classical music”, but that is so not the case!  I may have left high school over 6 years ago but I am still singing. In university I sang in the musical theater productions and I sang in a choral group. And currently I am getting my singing fix through a local young adult choir in Toronto. We practice once a week, on Tuesday evenings. The music we sing is everything from regular choral mass arrangements, gospels, jazz numbers, ect.

Last night was our first concert of the New Year. It was held in a small church with amazing acoustics. This means that the sound rings and bounces off the walls. It makes for a great performance space. We sang a medium length 5 song set and it was so much fun! Two of my best friends sing in the choir with me. We all stand next to each other and it is such a fun way to spend time with them on a weekly basis. Lucas also came out to see me sing last night. It means the world to me that he supports my music when he can. I know that choral music isn’t his favourite but he is always happy to come and listen. I think he is learning more and more about the art form with every concert he attends. The choir has more concerts coming up in April and I cannot wait!

How do you get your creative fix? Share in the comments!

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“Books are a uniquely portable magic.”

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.”

– Stephen King

There is something uniquely special about January that inspires newness. New year. New adventures. New goals. This year I have really jumped on board the goal setting train. I think it is because as a student my goals were, in a way, pre-set: “Get into a good university”, “ace all classes”, “graduate”, ect. As I am no longer a student I could wake up, go to work, sleep and repeat for the rest of my life, but that is such a hollow existence. Without goals, where are you going? Absolutely nowhere. So for the first time in my memory I am setting goals, writing them down, sharing them with my friends and family (and you guys) and I am following through. Read about my 2015 fitness goals here.

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If you have read my about me page you will know that I studied English Literature in University. Therefore, I did a lot of reading. The sad part is that at some point I stopped enjoying the books and the stories, it became work. I was never allowed to just appreciate a good book. I always had to analyze and examine, and I was sick of it. So when I graduated I stopped reading. I gravitated towards movies and television. Sometimes I would pick up the occasional Harry Potter book, a chapter here and there, but I wasn’t reading. Then, about a year ago my dad introduced me to an action novel author by the name of James Rollins. I fell in love with his characters and I loved tagging along on their wild adventures. It was wonderful to be reading again! However, I realized recently that since then action novels are the only thing I’ve been reading.

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There are so many genres, so many different types of stories that I’ve been missing out on. So this year I am challenging myself to expand my literary horizons. I am doing this by setting a goal to read 50 books in 2015! The catch, no more than 5 books in the same genre.

I’m keeping track of my progress using the goodreads app. It is a great tool for reading reviews, categorizing books and monitoring progress. My friend Kim and I are also starting a book club! She works for a publishing company, so she is really well read. Together, we decided that books are always better after you exchange opinions with someone. So we have invited some friends to join us, she picked the first book and I am handling the more administrative things such as selecting a date and a location. The first book on our list is The Wind-Up Bird Chronicals by Haruki Murakami. Lucas’s mum loves his books, they are described as fantastical realism and very non-linear. Obviously this is going to be very different from my action novels but that is exactly what I wanted. The first meeting isn’t until late February but I’ll be sure to let you all know how it goes!

Have a book that you think I should read? Share in the comments!