Music has always been a big part of my life. My mum and dad always sang and played different instruments. They would preform in our church, on conventions and in local churches. When I was 4 years old I sang second voice and didn’t take long until they would let me sing with them. At age of 8 years old I started to sing solo in church and since then always did something with the music. I was so proud of my parents and myself.
I learned to read notes before I even could read the alphabet. My neighbor lady taught me how to play the recorder when I was in first grade on primary school. I was lucky; My parents didn’t have money to send me to music school and second we aren’t really allowed to go to the music school since they do teach worldly music. So my neighbor taught me the basics. Mum and me would play the recorder together and we would have so much fun.
Later my dad tried to teach me the organ but I was to impatient though I learned some basics. When I turned 12 my parents gave me a guitar for my birthday. My mum tried to teach me but it went to slow for me. So I grasped the book and taught myself how to play. The guitar and me became best friends instantly. Where I would go, the guitar would go with me. I played and sang in church and on conventions. By the campfire and together with my friends. I would play from the time I woke up until I would go to bed.
We weren’t allowed to listen to the radio
We weren’t allowed to listen to the radio or sing other songs than Christian songs. Even the Christian music was selected. If it would be just a bit to modern it wasn’t approved. We were taught that if you are not filled with the Holy Ghost that Rock & Roll will get you. Elvis Presley drew all his fans to hell etc. Music was always giving me one of my biggest struggles. I always have music in my head. There is always a song I hum and it never stops. I had this constant battle inside me against the worldly music that I would hear at school or on the radio at work. It really made me depressed. I tried once to bring some music off my own to the store that I worked in, but realized very quickly I turned it into a church.
In the 90′ my dad decided there wasn’t enough “Bride” music around and started his own recording studio. I was hooked. I could sit with him hours and hours listening to his music, discuss it and help him out. We made some albums together as a family, I made one with my sister and I helped on albums from others. I loved the work. Even wrote some songs myself which got recorded and people would sing them in their churches. Working together with my dad on these projects was one of the things I missed the most when I married and moved to Norway.
Playing the piano in church
When married and living in Norway, the girl that was playing the piano in the church we attended then, moved so there was this spot open. My Father in-law (who was the song-leader), came to me and asked me, well no! he actually told me to play the piano in her place. I wasn’t that good at it but with some extra practice and them avoiding these complicated chords, I managed to play. I played piano in church until we left.
It is never to late to fulfill a dream
One year before I left the cult I decided it was time to fulfill my childhood dream and to learn how to play the flute. So I bought a second-hand flute and tried to teach myself. Really quick I realized it would be so much better to go to the music school. Even though I had some doubts and reservations against it, my thirst for learning the instrument was bigger than my fear for playing worldly music. I would play the flute from the time I woke up until I went to bed. Learning it really fast.
About four months later I got an invitation to play in the local korps. I think I was lucky that they only played Christian pieces for the Christmas season at that time. If it was all modern I would have fled never to return. But I loved it. Even though it was so hard to play with them, there were parts I actually could manage. After the Christmas season I remember we played this one rock and roll piece and I argued with myself and Johan that it isn’t that big of a deal if I only play it when I am with the korps and not going to much into it. These things make me laugh now. It is kind of sad that it was such a big deal what kind of music we were playing or listening to.
I lost my music
One of the hardest part after leaving the cult was the feeling I lost my music. I lost my platform to sing and preform and I didn’t know what to play anymore. I didn’t know any other songs than the ones we sang in church. Every time I would sit down and would play on the piano, I found myself playing church music and that brought up all these emotions inside me that I didn’t want to feel. I had lost my identity and myself (read more about that here).
Not listening to any other music for most part of my life made this gap that is so big it is really overwhelming. There is this whole new world of music and I don’t really know where I even would start to find the music I like. I don’t even know anymore what kind of music I like. But turning on the volume of the keyboard, the bass and the drums and just jam with all the positive energy I can find inside myself, really helps. Step by step, one song at the time, I start to find my way back to the music.