I remember when my daughter was born in 2012. It was a joyous occasion. I'm thinking, "WOW!! I'm actually a Dad". I had all these plans in my head in how I was going to be a great role model for her, how she will love music as much as I do and how she will be a great pianist like her Daddy and singer like her Mom. Even though those thoughts were great, a reality hit me and it hit me really hard. The reality was that I wasn't going to be able to play out as much as I would like because I have the little one. With my wife going back to work, I had to take care of her during the day (and no I wasn't being "Mr. Mom". I'm a father. I'm supposed to take care of my child. It's a God-given responsibility that I take very seriously.) I knew going in that my practice time would not be as much as it was in the past. I maneuvered past that by practicing while she was taking naps. It was good for some time but as she got older, the naps got shorter so I had to really make the most of the time that I had. (I was really grateful that I read the book "The Musician's Way" before hand). I had to make continuous adjustments.
During this process, I had to question my intentions with music. (I am going somewhere with this.) I sat down at thought to myself, "Why am I doing this? Is it for money? (Music is my passion and my vocation in that order) Competition? Bragging rights? Or do I really love music from the bottom of my heart?" I asked myself this question everyday because I felt like the world was passing me by. Don't get me wrong, I love being a father. I would love that my daughter and any future children that I will have with my wife see me as a great Dad and a great musician. I just didn't know how those two aspects would connect. I knew that practice is the lifeblood of the musician and it is a means to an end. I was practicing for something great in the future.
I realized one day that in this season that I was practicing for me and for no one else. I had to be conscious of that. God gave me a gift and He wants me to use it the best way possible. I learned patience, self-control, attention to detail. I also learned how my mind works in practicing. (Slow and steady is the way to go! Mindless repetition is a waste of time.) I learned to practice and I went back to my fundamentals to reinforce my foundation. Now I am a much better and seasoned musician for it. I am more ready for any opportunity to make music.
Now that my daughter is about 15 months, I felt that God released me to go out and play more. I am glad for every opportunity to play more than ever before. My passion is still here and heightened. I believe that this time was used to hone my craft and skill in a more intense way. There are no regrets looking back at all!! There is so much that I want to do musically and I know it will be done. It's still a journey. I believe that God is the great orchestrater, composer and arranger in my life and I am just sight-reading along the way. I know that I will make God, my wife, my daughter, my family and friends proud. So is it safe to say that I love music, love playing music and everything else that has to do with music? I really love music and it really comes from a pure place!