I stumbled into a dream when I was a kid. 14 years old, playing percussions, got to audition for Duke Ellington School for the Arts. I got in. First girl drummer. Wallace Roney was in my band class. Debbie Allen was teaching dance there. Totally creative environment. I loved it.
But I and many other students were turned away from our dreams by unscrupulous people. I was suckered into walking away from the one thing I cherished.
1990, motherhood, my son is born. I never pushed him towards music, just tried to expose him. But since the age of 14 he's pursued it with such amazing intensity, I'd swear those unfulfilled musical dreams were birthed into him.
By 6th grade (his 2nd year of playing) he could read more music than I ever could. And by 7th grade, it was obvious something was up with that kid. He had the goods. He really had potential. He had a couple of odd traits memorizing pieces of music after he saw them a couple of times, and also a strong interest in what was going on around him musically. He would come home going on about what the flutes were doing in a particular song, or about the clarinet parts. And, this was classical music. He's never had a strong interest in classical. But he put himself into it completely, even though he was dying to play jazz in those days.
That told me the kid was really a musician. He could have done what I did in band class at those ages tune out. He didn't. And today at 20, he's still the same way. Puts himself into every piece he plays.
And the dream that I walked away from at 14, continues.