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Paradiddle. When someone mentions my father, this is the first word that comes to mind. You see, my father was a drummer, and this term describes the rudimentary basics of his hobby. As every good role model would, he utilized every mention of music, no matter how small, as an opportunity to persuade me to never follow in his footsteps.
He made sure to ramble on for hours about the horrors of getting to “gigs” early and setting up hours before the first audience member even set foot inside the venue. Perhaps, he said, I should learn to play harmonica, because all I have to do is take it out of my pocket.
Of course, as every good son would, I began drum lessons as soon as my mother could arrange them. Understand that my parents were divorced, and I was determined to find every advantage to this separation. This all too common drama supported my growth as an independent person, since I could no longer depend on support from a joint parental unit. It of course came with the added benefit of having two chances to get the answer I wanted. Before I knew it, I began to dream of being the next Buddy Rich or Gene Krupa, dazzling stadiums overflowing with adoring fans, clamoring to witness my peerless drum skills – lighting-fast fills and booming double bass induced crashes.
My first pair of sticks came to me from, in true musician style, the virtually unknown Victor’s House of Music. Once I acquired the tools of my noble craft, I set about learning the most important skill a drummer should possess — the ability to twirl sticks between my fingers. With that essential skill conquered, I immersed myself in my lessons with an overwhelming fervor, mastering techniques in a short span of time that would take others twice as long. From that point on, I was hooked. In the next couple of years, I found that drums alone would not satisfy my hunger andthat I had to turn to other instruments; guitar, bass, even piano, in an attempt to satisfy it.
It wasn’t long before I realized that if I could conquer music, I could conquer anything. Before studying at Don Bosco, I attended a private school in a different state, and I didn’t know a single soul in the new community I was soon to become a part of. This did not hold me back, however, for I had been transformed by my new passion. I immediately set out to find people to connect with, and soon I was rewarded for my diligence. I met people through wrestling, football, the various clubs I joined, and even the school musicals. Before I even truly comprehended what had happened, I was elected President of my class. Since that time, I have excelled in everything I have attempted all due to my first love: music.
So I thank you both, my loving parents, for providing the catalyst to open a new door to my life and the means to sustain it. My seemingly minute fit of teenage rebellion has led me to my true passion, and the determination that now drives me to succeed. And of course, without you, Dad, I never would have known what a paradiddle was.
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