Monday, 1 November 2010

My Teenaged Songstress

I'm the sort of person who loves to jump up on the Karaoke at family parties!  That's not to say I'm a good singer...I'm just keen!!  OK, sometimes it falls into place and I'll rock out a not too shabby version of Total Eclipse of the Heart or Bat out of Hell.  I did a pretty mean rendition of Fame complete with a Flash Mob of dancers for my sister's wedding reception.  (How I wish I could have taken advantage of the open bar before hand to give myself a bit of Dutch courage...but alas I'm tee total and had to do it stone cold sober.  I swear to you I peed a little with the terror of the situation!)  But generally, I'm the one that people laugh at.  I'm the one who cannot hold the notes during harmonies, which is a real problem in my incredibly musical extended family!  My version of Skimbleshanks from the musical Cats has gone down in family folklore as one of my more hilarious attempts at performing.  My niece Liberty who is a Grade 7 pianist could barely contain herself as I sang along to her accompaniment whilst wearing an ELC cat dressing up outfit.  To say it was poor would be a compliment...I was more strangled cat than Andrew Lloyd Webber Cats!  However, laughter is a joyous gift and if my lack of talent delivers this most treasured prize to my loved ones I will continue to sing my heart out whenever and wherever I can!!

With this musically challenged background, one would assume that my children wouldn't stand a chance.  Yet by the wonders of genetics and its wondrous complexity, I have the most talented little songstress for a daughter!  To be fair, my husband is a bit of a guitarist.  He has six guitars upon which he can strum and pluck various pieces including Stairway to Heaven (which never fails to impress me!) but sadly the singing never quite matched up to the finger action. 

So my little Ella, aged just 9 decided to tinker with Daddy's guitars and using a Three Chord Trick book taught herself to play Jolene.  It was pretty good although her little fingers struggled to hold down the strings and chord changes were a little tricky.  By 12, she had taken possession of my husband's guitars and declared them as her own.  She googled chords from songs and learned to play a huge repetoire by heart.  Before long she was cracking chord patterns by ear and correcting tablature.  Then came the songwriting.  Simple little songs at first that made me beam with pride whenever she performed for me.  Quickly they evolved into more complex pieces with a maturity that belied her age.  She can knock up a song in a day and post it on Youtube via webcam.  She is so quiet and shy when introducing her songs but comes alive as soon as the guitar comes into play.  I don't know where this songwriting will take her, but at just 14 years old she is creating her own music.  It brings her such joy and gives her an outlet for her creativity, her emotions and her angst.  I am very proud of my daughter and am so glad she does not take after her mother!!!

My Teenaged Songstress


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