What dreams sound like | Overstuffed Overstuffed

Friday, November 21, 2008

What dreams sound like

(Psssst! I know I wrote about music yesterday, but after writing that post, this one just kind of spewed out. And since I haven't really been doing any very serious writing lately, I was kind of happy about it...so, yeah, I'm still thankful for music! And for dreams.)

Whenever I walk down the hall near the practice rooms in the music building, I have to smile. Hearing the disjunct sounds of pianos, oboes, violins and vocalists playing Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Schoenberg and scales transports me back to the catacombs of the HFAC, where I lived and practiced in my own college days. Some people might cringe or cover their ears at the discordant medley of notes, but it is one of my favorite sounds in the entire world, and I could sit and listen to it all day.

I am in the music building often because I am blessed enough to be able to teach adjunctly. Even though I only have a few University students, I love being there, because it reminds me of the dream I had once upon a time. Yes, once upon a time, I dreamt of becoming a star on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera, or at the very least, San Francisco or Chicago. I wasn't going to get married or go on a mission or anything like that until I at least had a masters degree. I was going to sing professionally if it killed me.

Every day for several hours, I would sing my Concone and my Marchesi, my 24 Italian Songs and Arias, my german lieder and my french chanson. I did it in my assigned practice room while a pianist next door pounded out a difficult concerto and a tuba player across the hall blared loud and low. That crazy, noisy, wonderful hallway was my second home and I am sure I spent more time there or upstairs on the slab studying theory and music history than I did at my apartment. Such is the life of a music performance major.

It's a wonderful life.

But even a wonderful life has a way of taking a different direction than you planned. When the Spirit kicks you in the pants and tells you you must go on a mission, you go. So, I did. I'm glad I went, but when I came back to the United States, I had developed some unforeseen vocal problems that really inhibited me for a while. I was discouraged as I prepared for my senior recital, and felt like I could never be accepted into graduate school because of the issues I was facing. My dream was dying, and was eventually shelved as I forged onward to complete my degree and then pursue other things.

One of those pursuits was marriage. Two months after graduation, Joel and I began our life together. He immediately started on his masters degree, the first step in following his own dream of becoming an orchestra conductor, while I taught voice lessons and stayed home with our beautiful children. It was a great arrangement, really. And somewhere along the way, I realized my dream was not entirely dead. I would have to change the details a little, but I could still keep it alive.

Today, I keep that dream alive by singing in my community. It's not a big community, but it is an artsy one with plenty of music going on all the time. I was explaining to Joel why I insist on singing in choir and auditioning for solos and doing recitals and the like. It's because I need to hang on to my dream, even if it's just a tiny piece of it. It might not be New York or San Francisco, but I'm okay with where I am, although I often feel a twinge (or an avalanche, depending on the day) of jealousy when I look at some of the amazing things my college peers are doing now, like auditioning in New York or actually winning the National Metropolitan Opera Auditions. My dream has transformed itself to accomodate my life, but I am still lucky enough to sing on the stage and bless the lives of others as I share my God-given talent with the people of southern Utah.

And that's why I smile as I walk down the practice room hallway. Because I don't hear random snippets of music being played by various instruments. No, what I hear is promise and potential being bowed and blown, strummed and sung, plunked and piped into one beautiful concert of hope.

It is the sound of dreams.

33 comments :

  1. Good for you for sharing your talents with others! I would be too scared to sing in front of others. Isn't it interesting when God has a different plan for our lives than we do?

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  2. I am very glad for your talent and that you share it with others. I too love music. It is a very big part of my life.

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  3. Thank God for dreams...no matter which direction they take you.

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  4. Music is the stuff dreams are made of because it touches you soul, inspires you and makes all things seem possible...

    Dreams are great motivators and when you make them reality, it is so wonderful and the bonus ? There's always a new dream on the horizon, just waiting for you !

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  5. Beautifully said Lara. It's awesome that you can still fufill your dream!

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  6. I'm such a DORK.. I caught your comment on Gourmet Mom's blog (her open letter about Wolfgang Puck)... I must confess I didn't even read the comment. I saw that you have MY NAME!! That doesn't happen very often, eh? SO I'm just stopping by to say COOL NAME CHICKIE! Where you named after the love intrest in Dr. Zivago too? BTW beautiful kids

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  7. I love music, but I definitely have not been blesses like you have. I can sing, but that it about it. But I am a major appreciator!!! Isn't it funny how things change. I never wanted to be a performer in some major place, but I don't think I envisioned myself where I am now, and what I have done thus far in my life, but life is good!!!

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  8. Beautifully written, Lara. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on something you feel such passion for.

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  9. That was a great post. Love your closing line.

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  10. I'm so glad you're still singing. You never know what the future may hold (maybe you still have a future as a professional after your children are grown! You're young!), and singing is what you love. You should always make time for what you love.

    Your story also made me sad, because I know many talented people who have given up entirely on their dreams. My uncle is a beautiful pianist, and has a master's degree in it, but gave up decades ago, and hasn't touched a piano since.

    Keep singing, Lara! The world will always need music.

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  11. Soo beautifully put! You should also write.

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  12. I always figured that I would be a famous broadway singer... I feel your pain.

    Will you give ME voice lessons? And, where ARE you? I thought you were in Idaho for some reason...

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  13. Beautiful post!! You are a very talented woman!!

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  14. Wonderful post!

    I love these lines:

    I realized my dream was not entirely dead. I would have to change the details a little, but I could still keep it alive.

    Is it weird that they made me tear up? :)

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  15. great post.

    thanks for sharing - your talents and your dreams.

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  16. Interesting that you write about this topic as it has been on my mind.
    Wife of a medical student and two children leaves me no coice but to put my dancing dreams aside...forever. Unfortunately it's one of those in your prime things. Once we're done with this stage of life I'll be out of my prime.
    So now I have to try and not feel sorry for myself and think of this life as my dream life. Don't get me wrong I LOVE this life, but you know the dream of doing something for yourself.
    Thanks for the tutoring tip on the link. I figured it out.

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  17. I think that everything you said is so true. Sometimes our dreams change, or we don't realize maybe what our dreams really consist of.

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  18. Your post hit home with me as well. I love the additions in my life (i.e. kids, husband, etc.) that I couldn't have imagined when my dreams became the goal. And so the dream conforms to those additions. It is still there just more blessed. ;)

    And thank you for your sweet comments on my blog!

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  19. Can I share something embarrassing? I get jealous when I read about you and family's musical endeavors. Why? Because my music dream died. I never got to go back to school to pursue my music degree, but what I'm starting to realize that dreams change as life changes. What has changed? Children. Since music classes are only held during the day and I have small children at home, I'm unable to major in music. (I don't really know if I had much potential there anyway.) However, I have formed a new dream as I have come to understand other - possibly better - talents that I have. Music hasn't been discarded, just postponed as I work towards another goal. We all have dreams. Sometimes they need tweaking, but we should never stop dreaming.

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  20. This is beautiful, Lara! Really. You are not only talented musically, but you also have a gift with words.

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  21. Made me cry! :) Happy happy tears, don't worry. I might need to email my comment. It's rapidly forming into paragraphs....

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  22. Well put my friend! You are very talented and I am glad you share ALL your talents with others.. including.. you might add... WRITING. I'm glad you realized your dreams are not dead they are just different than how you planned them to be.

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  23. I envy you, Lara. You are so lucky to live out your dream in some form. I feel like I've had to let go of every dream I once had, and I'm left to wonder where my life is even going! You are extremely blessed, and I feel so lucky to know you!!!

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  24. those are some of my favorite memories of college and now my house sounds like that, between guitars and pianos... its' crazy but fun!

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  25. well im not going to be in town but i think jer would love that if you want to send me the details and i can tell jer for Joel. it is 7:40pm hes still at work but he can call when ever and just leave a message jer cell is 801-787-7313 and my email is ashjer2@hotmail.com

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  26. I read this post and feel a twinge of jealousy over your obvious talent, and I wish I had a smidgen of your talent.

    I did take piano lessons in high school at the university (USU in Logan), so I spent a lot of time walking down that same kind of noisy hallway. I miss it too.

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  27. I hope you will remember this post when you are feeling that your life is not progressing the way you want it to. You are very fortunate--a lot of people DO have their dreams shot dead.

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  28. My kids are all musical and I am blessed with music in my house so much of the time.

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  29. "It's because I need to hang on to my dream, even if it's just a tiny piece of it."

    ((tears)) I relate. I'm hanging on to my dream by a tiny thread.

    So, "Oh Holy Night" for Christmas, right? (lol)

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  30. I LOVED it when I was a music major. I got discouraged easily though and focused too much on the "practicality" of it all...so I went into psychology and ended up as a social worker...ha! I tell everyone I know now...just follow your dreams, you'll be happier. I too love being in a music building. And maybe one day I'll get to do a community play or something again...thanks for this post. It made me smile.

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  31. Ah... dreams are dreams. I have pretty-well let go of the professional flautist dream (and yes I totally was gonna do that back in the day). I have some arthritis and when I play now I wonder what I was thinking. But dang it, I get to deliver babies. Lucky me.

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