My Melodic Journey

Hello all!

First of all, thanks for visiting my page! I’m totally new to this blogging thing, so thank you in advance for your patience while I learn how the heck this all works! πŸ˜‰ I decided to start this blog as a way to express myself & share the things that interest me & give me inspiration. As mentioned in my “About” page, I am a pianist & love writing my own original piano compositions. My passion for piano started when I was 10 years old. I asked my mom if I could take piano lessons, she agreed, & immediately I was hooked! I played all the time. I flew threw the early “beginner” lessons & eventually started taking lessons for more advanced music. I had some great teachers throughout my piano journey, who really pushed me & inspired me to step outside my comfort zone.

When I was about 14, the creative bug hit me & I started to compose my own melodies. I remember the first song that I wrote, “Reflections of Joy,” I came up with the melody as I was taking a shower … I guess singing in the shower has its perks, right? πŸ˜‰ My first composition set off a domino effect, & I wrote 11 more songs in that year. Since they were all in my head, I remember being terrified that I would wake up one day & forget them all! So I played all the time. I remember playing my songs until my fingers were sore! Eventually, my wonderful mother had the brilliant idea to get me a tape recorder. It was the old school kind. I finally was able to record my compositions so I didn’t have the constant fear that I’d forget them! This gave me a lot of peace of mind. All it took was a quick reminder of how the song went, & I could bust out the whole thing. It’s like riding a bike, I always say! πŸ˜‰

After writing those 12 songs, my parents & I decided that it would be cool to record my songs on a legit CD. We contacted a recording studio in Yankton, SD (near my hometown of Hartington, NE) & arranged an appointment. When I arrived to the studio, I was disappointed, because he only had an electric keyboard (which didn’t have the full set of keys) in the studio. When I expressed my concern, he said that he had a baby grand piano in his house, so could take his recording equipment & record in his house instead of in the sound-proof studio. This took careful planning, because we had to work around traffic noise & other outside noises, but he lived in a rather remote area, so it didn’t have too much of an effect. Before we started recording, I asked him if he was able to edit the songs afterword & splice in certain parts that I made a mistake on, or if I had to play it perfectly how it was going to sound on the final copy of the CD. He said he was able to edit, so I just started to play, with no worries at all! I played through 9 of my songs straight & he recorded it all.

A few weeks later, I went back for my second session, & he told me that because of the complex nature of the grand piano, he wouldn’t be able to splice out certain sections or edit the tracks like he could do with all other types of music. This took the wind out of my sails a bit. I have never been great under pressure, & as a 14 year old girl, it felt like this was a massive undertaking. I’ve always been a bit of a perfectionist too, so this seemed like an impossible feat to play the songs EXACTLY how I wanted them to sound on the final recording. Honestly, that information took all the fun out of it for me. I remember shutting down in a sense. I kept messing up in that session & having to start over. I was way too uptight. I just felt way too much pressure & I remember thinking, “This isn’t how this is supposed to feel. This feels like a job.” That experience took away a little of my passion, to be honest with you. I suddenly felt this massive amount of pressure to keep composing music. In short, it became something that I felt like I had to do for everyone else instead of for myself. Because of this, my CD was never finished & I didn’t write another song through the rest of my high school career. I have a copy of the original recording session of those 9 songs. It’s by no means perfect, but it’s something! It has always been something I’ve wanted to finish…to finally get all my songs recorded on a CD that I was comfortable sharing with the world.

OK, time to get to the happier part of the story. When I went to college, piano was put on hold for awhile, since it’s obviously hard to have access to a piano while you’re living in the dorms or apartments through your college career. However, it was always something that I was happy to come back to when going home for break. Again, it’s like riding a bike! It never really leaves you.

After graduating college in 2012, I got married to my wonderful husband, Brandon, & moved to Valentine, NE, where we both work at The Prairie Club Golf Resort. Brandon had already been living here, so I moved in with him in his duplex. My parents gave me the best housewarming gift of all…my piano. I started playing more… playing for church, playing for weddings, playing for anyone who wanted to listen to me. I found my passion again. Over 10 years after writing my first set of songs, I composed another, which I named “The Echo.” I was hesitant to share it with people at first. Since it had been so long, I wasn’t sure if I still had “it” or not, & was nervous, wondering if it were as good as my original compositions. I eventually shared it with family & friends, & they loved it! That reassurance was all I needed to keep going. We just bought our first home this year & I joke that it has good mojo, because I’ve already busted out 2 new songs in 2015, “New Beginnings” (fitting title, huh?) & “The Road to Triumph.”

Wow, I didn’t really anticipate sharing that whole story in such detail, but I guess it was kind of the main motivator behind starting this blog. Since beginning writing what I like to refer to as my “second set” of songs, I’ve really found myself wanting to share them with people! I’m still on the road to discovering how to get all of my songs recorded, so that I can officially share them with all of you. I don’t want to go down the same path as I did when I was 14, going to a professional recording studio who bills by the hour & costs an arm & a leg. I know myself enough to realize that pressure would suck the joy out of the experience for me. Therefore, I’m toying with the idea of purchasing my own equipment & recording my songs in the comfort of my own home, on my own time, & exactly how I want to do it. I’ve just started researching this & there’s A LOT to learn! So stay tuned! Oh, and if any of you have any advice for recording piano music at home, I’d love to hear about it!

Although my passion for music was my main motivator behind this blog, I also have a passion for MANY other things! Therefore, I thought this would be a good platform to express my interests & share with you the things that make my heart happy. Honestly, I don’t know exactly everything that this blogging journey will entail, but I guess we’ll find that out together! Again, thank you so much for visiting & following my melody πŸ™‚

Until next time,

– Janeen

3 thoughts on “My Melodic Journey

  1. Pingback: New Beginnings – Original Piano Composition | The Melodic Life

  2. Pingback: The Echo – Original Piano Composition | The Melodic Life

  3. Pingback: I’m Recording an Album! “Reflections of Joy” to be released in 2016. | The Melodic Life

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