Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Nobody Ever Asked Me To:

#2: Become a musician.

Another post in my series of really cool things I've done in my life that nobody ever asked me to do - and some actually tried to discourage.

Fourth grade and my school offers lessons in instrumental music. I ask my mom if I can learn to play the clarinet. "No," she says. "I have to rent the instrument and you'll lose interest in a couple of weeks."

Fifth grade. School offers again. I ask again. "Oh, all right," my mom says. She rents the clarinet, I learn how to read music and start playing.

I stop playing somewhere in my junior year of college. But by then I had picked up singing, since I had this musical knowledge.

I sing off and on, ending with a performance for Elizabeth Taylor at the Kennedy Center Honors, backing up Dionne Warwick and Burt Bachrach. Well, me and 250 others in the chorus.

Nobody asked me to start the music thing. School offered. The parents said no. I wait another year, and get a yes. My musicianship ends up taking me to Carnegie Hall, Europe, and the Disney Symphonic Spectacular. Pinnacle moments in years of performing.

These days, I think I need to rack up more "no's."

3 comments:

Maria Palma said...

My parents signed me up to play piano, but I ended up not really getting into it. I played the clarinet, but my dad got tired of me squeaking all the time, so they urged me to play the flute instead!

Anonymous said...

I read this post four times and every time came up with the same response: "Huh?"

Mike Ambrose said...

Thanks, Maria, for your contribution - glad to hear that your parents encouraged you to try other instruments - for your interest and their sanity!

And to anonymous - I look at my life sometimes and come up with the same question...