My ninth-grade social studies teacher was named Mrs. Schoppert, and she was pretty awesome in a sassy kind of way. As great teachers often do, she peppered her lectures with stories, often personal, and this brief vignette has stuck with me.
Mrs. Schoppert’s two siblings are artists, and when they were little, their artwork covered the walls of her father’s office. Mrs. Schoppert herself had no drawing talent; she was a singer. A very good singer. When she had recitals and such, her family was proud of her. But it rankled her that nothing of hers was displayed on a refrigerator.
So one day, she grabbed an index card and a purple marker, and she wrote “Ericka Schoppert, age 13 — I SING!” in giant letters on the card, and she marched into her father’s office and pinned it to the wall. And she was represented.
Some might consider this story and be moved to ponder the transient nature of performance, how live music is a creature entirely of the now. Some are pretentiously philosophical, aren’t they? What I want to know is this: as a musician, you can’t exactly put your talent in a frame or bind it in a book. How do you wish to be recognized?