When I was 4 years old, I made a song. I remember it was about my favorite things at the time: ballet, cotton candy, carnivals and drawing with pink and purple crayons.
Singing it made me happy. I couldn’t wait to share it with others. I imagined it would make them happy too.
Then, one day at my preschool, we were having “circle time” and our teacher asked: “Does anyone have a song he or she would like to share?”
Oh my goodness, I was so excited! My hand shot up “I do!”
“Okay,” she said, “wonderful.” I started to sing the song I made. I got a little lost, but stuck to my main themes, repeating: “I went to ballet and then I ate cotton candy” and so on…
After a brief moment, the teacher cut me off and said to the group: “Can anyone please share a song we all know?”
Ouch. I knew I had done something wrong, but I wasn’t quite sure what it was.
Then I got it, I was supposed to have sung “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” or “Happy Birthday.” I felt ashamed and the moment was cemented in my brain (but also consciously forgotten).
I didn’t make any more songs for 20 years, when I finally started singing again the way I did back then, just absent mindedly, making up words to melodies when I was out walking or driving. One day when I was cross-country skiing in the woods, I started singing about a bird and a snow bank just for the fun of it and I finally found my way back.
These days, I listen to my 2 and 4 year-old daughters singing to themselves the way many kids do when they are lost in the moment and in a zone of sorts.
I hear them making up songs from their car seats, singing about lunch, the sun, flowers, and hide & go seek, and I get to say to them:
“I love that song you’re singing, will you teach it to me?”
Ps: My Spring “Creative Happy You” Online Songwriting Circle begins Monday, March 23rd! The theme is Write Songs You Love! For more information, click here
*ALSO for the very first time*, I’m offering a workshop for beginning youth songwriters aged 11-15. I’m so excited for this! To learn more, go here!
As always, feel free to leave a comment below (especially about any good or bad creative experiences YOU had as a child). I keep forgetting to invite people to leave a comment and so many folks just email me directly (which I love too) BUT it’s so nice if EVERYONE can read your comments as well! Xoxoxo!