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Sharon Bill Author & Music Tutor

´┐╝History Repeating

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In 1997 Dame Shirley Bassey released a single, ‘History Repeating’ and I’m sure that it’s something we can agree is quite true - history really does repeat itself.

I’m currently experiencing this very same concept. I teach piano at the same school that I used to attend and had piano lessons there in my early teenage years. Now that I’m on the other side of the fence it makes me very humble and I’m more understanding when confusion over timetables occur. When I’m left with an absent lesson I remember that, years ago, it was me that had missed their piano lesson, again! However, the sense of déjà vu goes much further than this - generations further in fact.

I started a new High School in Year 8, a year after most people had started, and so most friendships were already formed and cemented. Not surprisingly I found it quite difficult to settle in. (Being a very sensitive soul didn’t help my case much here either.) However, I began to play flute and piano and gradually began to settle into my own ‘set’. Being a part of the orchestra and going on annual orchestral holidays helped me to feel part of my own particular sphere and I became good friends with those that I shared lessons and rehearsals with. Not so long ago a young family member moved into the area and I suggested that they attend the same High School that I did - I’d fond memories and hoped that my encouragement would help them move into a new circle. Like me, he too was starting a year later than most and faced the same problems that I did (and many others, no doubt). In a bid to find a short cut to finding new friends I suggested starting instrument lessons, this time however the instrument of choice was the electric guitar. It just so happened that my son happened to have a spare guitar lying about the place (and I was keen to clear out some space) and so new strings were bought and our little relative was soon hiking up the road with a guitar on his back - which of course gave him instant ‘street cred.’ Within a few short weeks he was finding his feet and getting on nicely with those in his lesson group. My initial thoughts were that at least it had given him an introduction and maybe that was enough - actually playing the guitar was of secondary interest.

Imagine my joy when I discovered that he has now opted to take music as one of his options and is now also learning the piano and music theory (with me, of course!) What initially began as purely a means to an end has ignited a love for music and given us a common bond. I still have to pinch myself a little to find I’m sitting in one of the practice rooms teaching a member of my own family in the same place as my own fragile beginnings!

This principle can be applied in many different settings - people join all sorts of groups as a way to get to know people. I’m also part of a large amateur choir where we enjoy companionship and share a love of music at the same time. I guess that you can also do things which aren’t music related - but I’m bound to say that music, of any form, is a worthy pursuit. It has certainly been a big part of my family!