Thankfully I had slightly alternative parents. I never had too much emphasis on study, study, study. I’m happy and grateful. But growng up in small town Kottayam, Kerala meant that you were never far away from the disdain that doing music generated. Even my cool school was infected with it. A person who was good at music always faced a completely two faced attitude. Both faces ridiculous.
One level worship. ‘You guys are gods!’
On another ‘So what are you going to do…? no… other than music.’
One of the worst and best things the church ever did to us was to fire my dad. Stupid putrid politics typical of the church but it got my dad into music. I’m not sure what everyone thought of it. He was a priest.
So priest = good status, something worthwhile.
Now he was doing music.
Musician = not real life.
Priest + Musician = ????
My mom’s dad was a priest first who did music. So he was essentially just a cool priest. No one spoke of him as a musician though he wrote many songs and kindly passed on his talent to most of his grandkids.
But even I was infected by the fact that music wasn’t really a living choice. I tried a few things and every time God threw me back into this pool of doing music. Even today I’m very wary of saying ‘I do music.’ It seems to be a surefire conversation stopper. So I do the usual cowardly, spineless thing and say ‘I work in Christ college…. as a mentor.’ Shame on me.
My employers don’t seem to be that infected though. Hence I have a job. They believe I have something real to offer to the students there. Not too sure what the students think of it all. Not sure at all of what my fellow staff members think of it.
I could rant on and on. But my confidence has been often boosted by an innocuous verse in the bible. Gen 4:21-24 lists 3 brothers. Jabal the father of all who look after livestock, Jubal the father of all play the harp and flute, and Tubal-cain the father of all who work in bronze and metals.
Livestock, music, metalwork.
It’s all part of life.
Anything else is a lie.