No 7 – make time in my day for the music that I like


Ok….so music!!! Having spent the day yesterday with my youngest granddaughter, who is 9 months old, it reminded me how the enjoyment in making and listening to sound seems ingrained in us.  She shook her rattles and maracas, bashed her toys like drums, clapped her hands and smacked her lips as loudly as she could for the physical and musical pleasure….pure delight to watch, listen and join in with.  I enjoyed this morning listening to the birds singing, the water gushing into the pond and now the swooshing of the dishwasher…we are surrounded by music it would seem.

However my particular aim was to make time in the day to listen to the music I like.  Having turned 50 last year my tastes are varied and have altered ( like my reading material) but my CDs, unlike my books, do not reflect that.  I mainly listen to classic FM (and Jo Wiley on Radio 2) which is a wave of calming and then rousing music but it is not always what I need.  So I have bought my portable CD player into the kitchen and have purchased some new CDs to start me off (I have also preordered Rag’n’bone mans ‘human’  album)


1. Dean Martin (this time I’m swinging) how I loved him in a western movie

2. The Best of Jools Holland – rhythm and blues at its best

3. The very best of Kirsty MacColl ( a replacement for my much listened to and scratched copy) I am an 80s girl at heart and her lyrics are phenomenal

4.  Seasick Steve – Walkin’ Man – new for me but I just love his blues sound

It has been great listening to these and brightens my day, matching the music to the task, emotion, weather etc and I have listened to lots of my other cds too rediscovering my love for Freshlygrounds’ Nomvulu album particularly.

This has also been surprisingly cheap with most of the CD’s being around £5 (much cheaper than a book).So this brings me to my issues…actual CDs versus downloads.  I enjoy the physicality of choosing a Cd from the shelf, looking at the artwork, remembering the associations, listening to it in its entirety which I just dont get from choosing on the iPod.  But…..the iPod has the Bose speakers 🔊!!  And there is the dilemma…quality of sound or quality of experience??  For travelling and the garden listening via my phone, iPod etc is brilliant…but indoors??? Maybe the answer is I need a Bose CD player for my next birthday (… oh and a record player as I so want to listen to my albums too haha).

I am already glad I wrote my list…as this music has made me happy.

Have drum lessons and learn one piece of music – challenge No 1


Since we moved to Woodchurch, a fantastic village in Kent, we have spent quite a bit of time in our local pub The Six Bells where we have made wonderful friends.  It serves great beer, has a wonderful atmosphere and frequent live music.  I realised then how much I love the sound of the drums and became a dab hand at playing along with some wooden spoons (you can guess how well that went down!!).

A couple of years ago I got a huge surprise as Chris unexpectedly bought me a second hand drum set from a friend in the village, thank you Ollie, for my birthday and I spent six months following an online you tube teacher (JustLisa) which gave me some very basic rudiments. Unfortunately I could not read music, knew none of the technical lingo and as I have never played an instrument before I basically got stuck.  So for my birthday last year Chris bought me a years drum lessons and I set my 50@50 challenge.  In my dreams I wanted to play along to Stereophonics Dakota.



The first hurdle I had to overcome was that of reading music.  Having never played an instrument before I found this very hard.  Even though Ed, my tutor, was impressed with my improvised way of recording music which I then had to learn at home  I soon realised I would not be able to progress very far.  So I purchased Rock School Drums Grade 1, practiced very hard outside my fortnightly half hour lessons and finally (also with the aid of Chris’ Grade 1 music theory) it sank in.

Over the past year I have learnt rudimentary sticking, rock grooves, fills, syncopation,  paradiddles, how to open the hi-hat, the six degrees of separation, triplets, accents, flams and other fun things.  YET all along the one thing I could not do was just play along to any free to just play.  I became embarrassed and very self conscious and would resist doing this at all costs.

I worked really hard though and completed my task being able to play both the Kaiser Roll and Bend and Snap….both being musical pieces in my Rock Book, but Dakota still eluded me…..

Until my last lesson!!!  I spent the afternoon with friends sitting in the sun drinking a glass…or three…of prosecco and come lesson time I was on fine form.  Ed, bless him, had planned a fun lesson and we had a few warm ups which unbeknown to me were key beats from Dakota….he then cued the music and we were away playing freestyle accompanying the Stereophonics.  They went wrong a couple of times, but I helped them through 😉, and had a great time doing it.  I am so grateful to Ed for thrusting this upon me as I would never have done it otherwise..a great teacher who made each lesson interesting and enjoyable.  In return I was his model pupil who did their homework and bought in cake….a fair trade in my book.


It is now gardening season so the drum sticks are away but come Autumn I will be back drumming away and enjoying the sensation of making music ( of sorts ).  Whilst I never wish to be part of a band or play in public, I do particularly enjoy the sense of coordination it gives me, the awe I feel every time a child sits at my drums and freely expresses themselves with none of the inhibitions that I possess, the physical release it gives me to play really loud and angry or gently and rhythmic but  mostly the pleasure in the knowledge……you can still teach this old dog new tricks!!!