Actually, I’m Not only Ready, I’m Drumming to My Own Beat

Tomorrow my girls begin their new school year, one as a fifth grader and one, a sixth grader. But, unlike other years, they are starting remotely. I think we’re ready. I think they’re ready.

And their readiness to dive into a whole new year of learning despite it being remote learning got me thinking about me and what I might do during this remote learning arrangement. Honestly, I already know what I want to do; it’s just a matter of committing to it. Because so far, I’ve avoided committing to anything except thinking about the idea. Until today.

no hi-hat yet, but it’s a drum kit

You see, I received an amazing birthday present from a friend at the end of February. He secured me a drum kit. He’d seen my social media posts in which I was learning drums on an assortment of pillow-covered chairs (à la Dave Grohl learning by using pillows as a teenager in DC). For several years I’ve talked about how I wish I were a girl drummer. Whenever I hear an amazing drum fill, that same idea fills my thoughts.

Rewind to early February this year (before 2020 became the amazing sh*t show we all know and loathe). This was the year, I told myself. This was the year I was going to shift my focus and do those things I repeatedly said I was going to do. All the things I talk about doing be never actually do. Example? Learning to play the drums.

To solidify my commitment, I ordered a pair of Vic Firth drumsticks. When they first arrived, I carried them in my oversized shoulder bag with me everywhere. I liked knowing they were there; they were near me when I picked my girls up from school (you know, before the shutdown and the sh*t show), they were near me when I ran into Target, they were near me when I went to coffee with a friend.

They were there.

my makeshift hi-hat and snare drum

I wanted drums, but I couldn’t afford a kit, so arranged my dining room chairs as a hi-hat, a snare drum, and a couple of Toms (well, only one to start). I searched YouTube for beginner drum lessons. I sat on my fancy couch drum throne and began drumming. Badly.

Enter my friend, Josh, and my brand new drum kit.

It was time to get serious, right?

And I did. At first, anyway. And then this thing called Covid-19 made its appearance. My girls’ school shut down and they came home for remote learning. Other things began shutting down. We were all home all the time. It seems like the perfect time to up my drumming commitment. Alas, not so much.

My girls are 10 and 12. They have some sensory sensitivities, and loud noises are not a good mix with them. Slowly, steadily, my practice time eroded and my attention turned to other things. Some of what I’d learned didn’t stick (see what I did there?). And every day I have to walk by my kit knowing I’m not giving it the love or attention it deserves. Every day, I walk by my kit and shake my head, telling myself tomorrow, tomorrow I’m going to sit down and play.

Well, tomorrow finally arrived today. Today, I sat down and started back with the basics. I promised myself 30 minutes, and 30 minutes is what I did.

And knowing that school starts back tomorrow, I decided it was time for me to get back to the school of rock, even if it is only remote, and become the girl drummer I’ve wanted to be for way too many years now. She’s in there, I know she is.

So, trust me when I tell you, it’s not just a remote possibility. It’s a real one.

School starts remotely tomorrow for my girls. And it starts for me, too. No longer just a remote possibility. I’m drumming my own beat, and, eventually, I’m hoping to cover at least two or three Foo Fighters songs.

So, stay tuned. Follow along. Follow the drumming sticks. I’m dong this.

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