I’m currently taking a course in music. It’s not in any school. It’s in the my home, my music studio, and the world at large. At times in my life I have taken music classes in various instruments, but it is only now that I have fallen in love with electric guitar, and am trying to get a band together, that I feel that I am always studying music wherever I am.

After my all-encompassing and life-changing experience at Ladies Rock Camp, music became a different experience for me. It even sounded different. When I listen to my favorite music now, I can hear all the instruments distinctly, whereas before it was just melange of sound. Every song I hear sounds so new, even songs I’ve heard dozens (hundreds?) of times. It’s like I’ve suddenly gotten a new sensory input. But the most important difference is that I have gone from being primarily a listener of music to a creator of music.

For now, I am collaborating with another musician who is only slightly more experienced than me. One of us comes us with a song and then we collaborate on polishing it. We also sometimes just jam and see what happens. I realize that this is what musicians do but it is all new to me. I have barely done anything in my life that is collaborative in real life other than having a conversation.

These processes appear to access a part of my brain which is so elusive I have no idea what to call it. Notes and chords appear to happen on their own at terms, and I can’t tell if they are coming from somewhere inside me or just floating into the room and I’m transmitting them like a radio. I realize the latter idea is scientifically impossible, but it’s hard to describe the feeling. I’ve experienced it when creating visual art, but being I have been drawing since I could hold a pencil, it seems more familiar and less bizarre to experience this type of creativity when I draw or paint. However, it also reminds me a bit of when I took calculus in high school and could ace tests without the slightest idea of what I was doing. That feeling of not knowing what I am doing is very present when I am playing music with someone else at this point, yet for the most part, it still works.

I don’t know where this experience is going, but it’s immensely exciting. It’s amazing to have such a powerful ongoing experience in mid-life. Life — you just can’t beat it.

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