I was born in 1963 in the marching band state of Texas in the small town of Hereford (yes, it's named after the cattle.) The football team and the marching band were the hottest tickets in town. Everyone supported the band and came to our performances.
My musical pursuits began when I was five years old when my mother made me take piano. She also made me sing in the children's choir in church. Though I resented it at the time, I am grateful to my mom for having the foresight to
know that learning music at an early age would be an advantage to me in the future. I joined the band in junior high, and because the band director needed a French Horn player, I played the French Horn. Little did I know it was one of the hardest instruments to learn. I put my heart into it though, and I received the John Philip Sousa band award in my junior year of high school and I won first place at many solo competitions. I studied music at the University of Texas at Austin and I received a bachelor of arts in music in 1986.
After college, my sister, who lived in No. Hollywood, California, offered to let me live with her while I looked for a job. I soon learned that my general music degree didn't get me very far. After many dud jobs, I landed a job as a secretary in the music publishing department at The Walt Disney Company because I could type. I was soon promoted to print publishing coordinator whereby I coordinated the production of Disney songbooks and arrangements with Hal Leonard Publishing and various other publishers. I also coordinated the rental of Disney orchestral scores to symphony orchestras. After five years in music publishing, I worked as a paralegal in the Corporate Legal department performing copyright research and managing the copyright registrations of Disney's intellectual property.
During this time (1987), I met John Pedersen while attending a computer class at Los Angeles Valley College. I was immediately attracted to his knowledge of musical instruments, and we both shared a love of classical music (and PDQ Bach). We married in 1989, and we had two children born between 1992 and 1995. Our third child (Freckles) the basset hound was born in 1999. I soon discovered that the 8-5 grind at Disney was not conducive to our family life, and I yearned to work at the music store with John.
In 2000 I made a big decision to leave the stability of a paycheck every week to work the store while John was at his Los Angeles Unified job during the day. I was able to re-organize the rental program and I collected on a lot of bad debts.
John retired from Los Angeles Unified in 2002 and we are at the store together until I pick our children up from school. I now have time to take my children to their after-school music ventures: violin for our older child, chorus for our younger child, piano lessons, and singing in the children's choir at church. (Sound familiar?)
As a parent, I encourage you to encourage your child while learning to play a musical instrument. Help him or her set up a time and a place without a lot of distractions where he or she can practice the instrument daily. Consistent practice, not the length of time, is the key to learning. If all your child has time to do is to get out his or her instrument out and play a few scales, then by all means, at least do that. Also, please go to your child's performances at school. You are your child's biggest fan and he or she will remember your involvement always.
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