When I arrived at camp on Friday morning along with 30 or so other women I had no idea how to play guitar and had definitely never been in a band before. We started with some silly activities to help us get to know each other. Among the diverse group of equally amazing women included a school psychologist, a physician, a project manager and a couple of women who were retired and this was on their "bucket lists." I came with a good friend of mine from work but many of the women had never met anyone else in the group before.
We met our coaches who are all professional musicians:
Beth Kille - www.bethkille.com/
Shawnie Marks - http://www.reverbnation.com/shawndellmarks
Anna Vogelzang - theanna.com/
Emily Hurd - http://www.emilyhurd.com/
**One of the songs she sang for us made me cry like a baby**
Henrieta Tornyai - http://www.henrietatornyai.com/
Julia McConahay - www.juliamcconahay.com
Then all the women who wanted to play drums took a spot around the room and the rest of us wandered around and joined a drummer until there were 5 bands.
My band from left to right is Karen (drums), Char (keyboards),Lynn (vocals), Pepper (bass), Nicole (lead guitar), Me (guitar).
For three days we learned our instruments, learned how to write music and worked with our band coach to bring it all together. With the help of Beth Kille and Shawni Marks we wrote our song called "Don't You Wish You Were Me" and "Free Byrdz" were born.
On Sunday night at 7 pm we performed our song at The Brink Lounge in Madison WI.
I wore this AlyxAndrea Design original to help me feel like a rockstar :)
I can't wait to go back next year!!!!! I think the blisters on my fingers have finally turned to calluses so I can start playing again and hopefully learn a little more before then. A few of us even talked about continuing to play and start our own band.
It was a truly remarkable experience. You wouldn't know to meet me now but I was always terribly shy. I barely spoke until I was in middle school and would have panic attacks when giving speeches even in college. Making phone calls, talking to strangers, asking for assistance in a store, the list went on and on of situations that caused extreme anxiety for me for most of my life. I got over my fears by doing what I feared over and over again until it didn't bother me anymore. Every time I go to a training or seminar I make sure to ask a question a least once as a way to practice speaking up. I took a job as a hospital switch board operator several years ago to get used to making and receiving phone calls. I do group facilitation and volunteer to lead trainings, classes and meetings as much as possible in my career in social services. I haven't completely cured my social anxiety but I work on it every single day.
So getting up in front of a bar full of people to play an instrument I had just learned was a huge deal for me. I admit I was a little, ok a LOT nervous, but once I was on stage I felt exhilarated and just had fun. I REALLY had fun.