First Word with Deborah Rogers

My ears are ringing this morning. And I’m very tired. I still have something of a stupid grin on my face; you see, last night I went to see a band. In a nightclub. On a Monday night! It was a fantastically loud, sweaty and crowded experience that made me dance and feel young and alive.

There’s the exhilaration of listening to a live band, but for me it’s also about reconnecting with the things I used to do way back when. I actually met my husband in a dark and grotty nightclub and we connected over a shared love of music, going to many gigs together. I was at university and working part-time at a large record store at the time, ah the glory days of staff-discount and no responsibilities!

Of course, we grew up, our lifestyle changed; there are children and babysitters to consider and less spare cash for concert tickets. But I guess the enthusiasm is still there, deep down – ready for a show like last night’s to rekindle it.

If I haven’t been into the concert scene for a few years, I still surround myself with music. Always when I work or run, driving the car, when I’m cooking or (ugh) cleaning – I like to have a soundtrack. There’s also the music that we’ve encouraged our kids to play. It’s not unusual to hear ukulele drifting from one end of the house and the clarinet from the other. This past weekend we enjoyed hearing my son’s friends as they had band-practice at our place. I’m always proud of my kids, but that was a special moment when all the guitar lessons seem to have paid off because playing music has become a social pleasure rather than a chore.

I make suggestions of course, but really I don’t mind what they’re jamming to, it’s another way for kids to explore their world and express themselves. But what about me I hear you ask, don’t I play an instrument? Well, sadly no, I never learned that skill. But realising the pleasure it can give to have music as part of my life I have recently joined a choir.

It’s not very rock and roll! We don’t sing the sort of music that I sing in the car or the shower, but it does have its moments of real joy. Singing as part of a group, harmonising, making a sound that is far greater than the sum of its parts is a special experience. It’s humbling too: it turns out I’m not actually that great at hitting the notes, but I can handle that.

Here’s hoping that you find some moments of joy in May, in whatever form that takes.

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