Alison Wonderland

Embrace your creativity

Learning music

One of the things I learned from Stevie Nicks is to embrace my desire to create.  To allow it to be the center of my world, regardless of whether or not it supports me financially.  While Stevie Nicks is presumably wealthy as a result of her creativity, she’s stated more than once she would pursue it if she were a waitress, too.  I’m a classical violinist.  I learned by the Suzuki Method.  I was taught to play the violin as a means of keeping joy in my life.  I began at age 4, and more emphasis was put on playing by ear than reading music, initially.

My violin became my first creative tool.  I passed it on to a 4-year-old boy when I was ready to move up to the 1/2 size.  I’ve played ever since.  I’ve been in ensembles and orchestras over the years.  I played in a quartet in Austria when I was stationed in southern Germany.  Mostly, I play for cows in the pastures just outside of town.  It’s one of my favorite things to do.  Playing music is joyful to me.  I’m interested in creating music as well and will share my progress as I learn.

I didn’t realize how much I was missing in my life by ignoring my creative urges.  I recently quit taking Prozac (for PTSD.)  It was a creativity blocker in my case.  I’m so blown away by the difference, I created this website.  I’ve decided to allow my creativity to be the center of my world.  I have no goal or expectation of getting rich or famous as a result.  My goal is to be happier.  It’s working.  I started playing the drums and bass earlier this year.  They’re now part of my daily life, as I practice and hone my skill.

I’m glad when I improve.  I have such a blast in the process it’s like a bonus.  I’m not taking formal lessons.  I figured, how hard can it be to hit things with sticks?  Turns out, there’s a lot more to it, (but I had the essence right.)  It feels like dancing hip-hop style with sticks, only you don’t have to look cool while doing it.  (I know nobody watches the drummer unless it’s Phil Collins or something.)  For me, the hardest part is not letting my mind wander while playing.

The bass is a more recent endeavor.  I’m mostly working on building up my muscle memory.  I’ve played the guitar since I was 13, but only took a semester of lessons.  The bass strings are spaced further apart, and they’re thicker than standard guitar strings.  It’s also huge.  It will take many hours of practice before I can play the riffs in my head at the proper speed.  In the meantime, I enjoy practicing them slowly, (with lots of errors.)

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