The Beginning of My Musical Journey
“I really am just an ordinary girl who loves doing extraordinary things.” ~ Elizabeth Rose
Once upon a time an idea popped into my head. It sounded like a rational one, and yet my little nine year old self wasn’t exactly sure how to obtain the vision that flashed before my eyes. I imagined training my pony how to dance to the song “On Eagle’s Wings” recorded by Michael W Smith. Simple, right. So what did I do? I borrowed an old CD player from the house, strutted a half mile to the horse barn, saddled up my bratty old pony named Princess, hit play on the well-used boombox, cranked up the music loud enough to hear on the other end of the riding arena, then jumped on my pony and got to work.
It didn’t take long before Princes and I were practically floating around the arena as she walked and trotted and loped to the verses and choruses of the “On Eagle’s Wings”. Words can hardly describe the joy I felt in my heart knowing that not only had I overcome the obstacle of taming my bratty little pony into a dancing Princess, but now we had this special bond that somehow magically came about because I’m pretty sure she liked the music too. If you can imagine my excitement as I dreamed up the other many possibilities that now included music.
As my mind raced, a prayer began to rise up to heaven from my young nine year old heart.
“Lord, how can I sing and bless people with my music”.
That is still my prayer today, almost twenty-one years later! My heart’s desire is to share the gift of music that I believe is a gift from my Creator.
Fast forward only a little while and another profound experience took place. As I was yet again “down at the barn”, I was singing a few of my favorite songs a cappella while feeding the horses. Strutting around carrying 5 gallon buckets of feed and hay, my heart was content just letting the music flow. Little did I know that our neighbors were driving by with their windows down and heard me singing. They didn’t want to interrupt, and were parked out of sight behind a tree, so of course I didn’t pay any attention and just kept on singing.
When I arrived at the house later that night for dinner, mother asked if I would be interested in taking voice lessons. Curious how she got that idea, I asked why and who she knew that taught lessons. She then spilled the beans (she’s not great at keeping secrets) about a call she received from the neighbors. Shelly Murphy said, “I was driving by your house and heard your daughter singing, stopped behind a tree and listened, and I just couldn’t believe the sound that was coming out of that little girl.”
“She has the voice of an angel!”
Come to find out, Shelly’s son had recently graduated from college with a music degree and was starting to teach lessons. So, what do you guess happened … at the age of 12 I started taking voice lessons from the cutest dude in town (wink wink)! But guess what … for the first month he wouldn’t actually let me sing. He made me do all these weird exercises like lip trills, and singing through the vowels. Ahhhh, Ehhhh, Eeeee, Ohhhh, Ooooo. What the heck!!!!!
He event made me lay on the floor and put books on the stomach and taught me how to breath from my diaphragm! The books went up and down, up and down, up and down until my abs were sore. Oh, and the one where you stand against a wall with your head and shoulders and butt and heals touching the wall. Try singing like that!! But honestly, to this day I check my posture by standing against a wall to make sure that my head is not too far forward and my shoulders are nicely arched back. WOWWW! The things we remember from a young age.
I remember him writing the words “13 is fun!” on the first page of “Spirit Of The Living God” in Michael Crawford’s music book. And YES, I still have that music book and still practice from it periodically.
I remember one Christmas when my teacher sang the lead solo part of “Mary Did You Know” for a choral concert. Mom and I got super decked out to the nines. I’m talking white lacy gloves and a poofy white dress and heals! Yep, that was me. I wouldn’t wear pink (ohhhh no, not this girl), but boy did I know how to dress up.
Mom and I sat mesmerized by the music, the solo, the choir. And I had another ah ha moment. “If I could just sing like these people and create beautiful music, the world will be such a better place.” There was something so touching about each musical note hitting my heart like fingers picking a harp. I literally became all fuzzy inside (no, it wasn’t just because my super cute teacher was singing) but because the music really touched my heart.
Well, fast forward to college - Belhaven University in Jackson, MS. It was the Christmas of 2008 and I had been asked to join the performance choir, the one with all the best of the best vocal students! We had rehearsed for weeks and the night finally arrived to perform Handel’s Messiah. We began the “Hallelujah Chorus” and something strange happened. Everyone in the audience stood to their feet! I got a sudden tingle in my fingers and butterflies in my tummy. Then the story came back to memory of when Handel first performed this oratorio for the Queen of England, she was so enamored and touched baby the music that she stood to her feet. Because of her action, now each time the “Hallelujah Chorus” is sung, the audience stands to their feet!
It finally came full circle … and continues to circle back again as I have done many more memorable performances that each have their elements of awe and joy. I live for those moments when I can feel the music resonating throughout my body and that same tingly feeling comes back. I long to share music so that others in the audience can have that same experience and somehow transcend the moment and be fully immersed in the beauty and fullness of the moment.
Thank you for reading this! I look forward to sharing more of my story in future blogs.
For now, I pray that you find yourself in music. Find your purpose and the meaning of life, find your identity, find hope, find peace. Choose what music resonates with your spirit and the moment you are in. And be very, very careful what you let effect your soul. Not all music is created equal, yet every note, every song, every melody will indeed effect your body and your mind in a tangible and physical way.
I’ll leave you with this - one of my life mottos …
“Music is food for the soul”
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23
Thank you for reading and going on this musical journey with me.
PS, you can follow me on social media @ElizabethRoseMusic on Facebook and Instagram. I’d love to get to know you and your story!
💖 And write a comment below if this blog inspired you 💖