To live and enjoy every day to its fullest, use my gifts to help others, I travel to wherever passion finds me.

What Will She Paint?

So many friends I met here...!

Monday, November 30, 2009


© After the concert....Watercolor, St.Germain
The voice of our soul is heard in music.
Just a snippet of how teachers have an enormous influence on the life of their students. In 5th grade, the teacher and the one of 4th grade teamed up to start a children's choir. I loved to sing, and in that choir I had my first public performance as a 10 year old with two other girls, who I became very good friends with. The voices as well as the instrumentalists who accompanied, were all 4 and 5th graders.

Music sparked so much inspiration that I not only learned to play the guitar and ukulele, but as a 14 year old began to compose songs. I sang these at public performances. My songs even got the attention to a performing artists - piano player -  who was studying for her doctorate in music.

I might have been ahead of others in my musical skills, but I was still a teen and needed to mature in some things. Unfortunately, my parents did not have the know-how to guide me in this.

One was about humility. I remember very well that I and a very talented friend both sang a song while she accompanied. (At 15 she gave adult recitals) We practiced half an hour, and received the second prize in a local competition. We told each other that we were not going to do this anymore, bcause it was too easy!

Something else I struggled with was that if one has a talent, others set that person apart. Suddenly one ends up having many friends who are not really friends.  I solved that problem by emotionally withdrawing while still being an outgoing person on the outside. Not a good solution!

Whenever I hear of someone young the public goes gaga over, I feel for them, for that very reason!

To pick back up my story line, I in turn influenced my brothers. They each play the guitar as well as another instrument.
Music brings people together. Music is one of the things my brothers and I always can talk about, even though our taste in music vastly differs. 
My brother did not let me go empty handed to the States. At that time he spent his yearly vacation in Spain and bought  several times a guitar there.  He gave me an Arita, which sound is comparable to the Yamaha. I love this guitar - it de-stressed me during my studies and gave me new energy.

Music is a torch to be passed onto the next generation. Since I know the power of music and how much joy it can bring in one's life, I made sure to take my children to their piano lessons,
even though I was always pressed for time during my grad. studies. It paid off. Both of my girls led a band at some point, and my son was is able to accompany singers.
The quick watercolor at the top of this post is one of my girls with her saxophone.

All that to say that I actually come from a musical family.
What about painting? That's just one of those unexpected quirks of life!


Barry said...

I neither paint (like my wife) or play a musical instrument (like my granddaughter) but I admire and benefit from those who do.

Gaston Studio said...

Too bad your parents didn't guide you Jeannette, as it appears you could have gone much further with a music career... but then, you were able to pass your talents on to your offspring. Wonderful!

Carol @ TheWritersPorch said...

I come from a long line of musical
ancestors however my musical talent came out in songwriting more than the playing end! :)

Protege said...

How interesting; I have heard that artists usually have multitude of skills. For example, a talented musician can also be a talented writer or an actor.
I do not play any instrument and my singing is not of the best kind either, but my mother played the piano very well and won competitions.;) But because both my parents were forced to play as children, they never encouraged us to play anything. And I guess, we never showed any interest in doing so either.;)

Gary's third pottery blog said...

you are quite talented with your unexpected quirk!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Interesting post Jeannette - I too am musical - my main instrument is keyboard, which is rather a lonely instrument unless on acts as an accompanist to singers (which I do sometimes) or to solo players (which I also do sometimes). Then in middle age I took up Early Music - harpsichord, rebec, recorder, crumhorn, cornamuse - suddenly I found the joy of playing in a group - you can;t beat it.

DUTA said...

You're right about music being "a torch to be passed onto the next generation." The same applies to languages. I hope your children know Dutch and any other language that you and your husband possess.
Any language one knows is an asset.

jeannette stgermain said...

One never knows how the ball of genes rolls!
Hope you'll let us hear some of your songs sometime, or post the lyrics?

jeannette stgermain said...

People like you (my hbby included) are our most stauch supporters! We need you:) because you can appreciate the skill, without putting us on a pedastal.

jeannette stgermain said...

My parents is an interesting subject. Looking back, they lived their whole life in Indonesia till 40 -a simple 3rd world country life. they were forced to move, or adhere to Islam. But I went to Dutch schools, had Dutch friends- all European influences, so they had no idea about my teen struggles.

I don't have the "I wish I could do it over again" though. Life was/is still exciting enough - if I would have gone into music more, I probably would not have pursued's a toss up!

jeannette stgermain said...

Parents usually go the other direction of their own upbringing, and in that they make other mistakes (I point at myself too). If your mother came that far, you probably have that talent or another one in your genes!

jeannette stgermain said...

I am thankful how the genes mixed, and I ended up with a generous amount of artistic-ness:)

jeannette stgermain said...

I'm afraid I didn't do too well in passing one that torch -it was circumstances- when we came to the States, 4 out of 5 family members needed to become proficient in English in a hurry, because of school:)
My oldest was 12 when we came here, so she still knows Dutch (with gaps). My middle has an interest in other cultures, so she knows a little bit, but my son has no interest in learning Dutch.

jeannette stgermain said...

Wow, that's great- So you have music and poetry! Have you ever tried to put one of your poems on a melody?

I don't mind either one- in group or alone (because I like to improvise). Harpsichord is the piano with the stick looking keys? The recorder is a flute, but I'm trying to get what the other instruments are...

Petrus Spronk said...

A wonderful image greets us interested viewers when opening your blog. Very Beautiful.....

jeannette stgermain said...

Guess you are referring to the new header? I like this pic too - Hubby took that on his field trip of his photo class -it's the ocean front in Long Beach. He never knew he liked photography till in his 60ties:)

Gaelyn said...

I love music, don't really play any instruments and can't sing. But I always tried to sing anyway and when a girlscout was always a song leader. Even as a Ranger I've lead campfire sing-alongs and when people complain they can't sing I tell them I can't either but we'll all sound good together.
How fortunate you are to have this musical ability in your life Jeannette.

jeannette stgermain said...

You're a trooper Gaelyn -my guess is that your job as a ranger fits you very well.If you've led singing, you probably can carry a tune:)

Reader Wil said...

You are a very talented girl! It's so great to play an instrument or sing. I also sing in a choir, though it's a senior choir, but all the same it's fun and the members are very kind.
Thanks for your visit. The ship was "De Johan van Oldebarneveldt", which sailed under Dutch colours from 1930-1963, then it was bought by Greece and renamed.
I didn't embroider the bell rope. I never embroider or knit. I used to sew some dresses long ago.

jeannette stgermain said...

Reader Wil,
A choir can be much fun! Good for you, Wil!
Well, I certainly butchered van Oldebarneveldt's name - glad that your memory is better than mine:) It was in "55 that we were on that ship.

I don't do embroidery either - I'm too impatient for it.

Diane AZ said...

I like the watercolor of your daughter after the concert. I think music and visual arts are related, and people who enjoy one art form are usually interested in others.

jeannette stgermain said...

Yes, they are related. In Holland where I'm originally from, it is very seldom that people practice more than one art.

neetzy said...

I loved this post. My youngest daughter is becoming quite the accomplished flutist. Her only regret is that she has to forgo Art class in school for more music classes. She is also very good in the visual arts. Oh to be so talented. I dabbled in guitar, my husband is quite good. They are all arts and they are good for the soul!

midwesttomidlands said...

I love music and cannot carry a tune at all! I so admire anyone who has any musical talent. It sounds like you have had a varied and interesting life!

jeannette stgermain said...

That's a toss up for your daughter:) It depends on her energy level if she can pursue both, and if she is willing, of course. Most often a life situation pushes us one or the other way. Don't worry too much about it!

jeannette stgermain said...

Thank you, you can't complain about your life being dull:) I have the suspicion that you cook quite well, and you have an eye for decorative things.
I love your blog, especially your thanksgiving posts (did you see my comment?). One of my best study friends moved to England, so I know there's an adjustment, even though it's the same language.

Merisi said...

I so enjoyed reading about your musical family (and your many talents)!
I imagine that the painting is dearly treasures, the saxophone has a life of its own, as if taking wings at any moment (I am sure it does, when your daughter plays it).

jeannette stgermain said...

Thank you! yes, this daughter goes 100 miles an hour, so she does as if taking wings, but up till not in saxophone (it was stolen)yet, but in guitar and voice.

You have hidden your follower's list - how can I become a follower of your blog? (I'm very un-technical in computer matters LOL)

dogimo said...

A beautiful instrument - love the warmth of the finish. I bet it sounds as warm!

jeannette stgermain said...

yes, it's a subtle soft sound -good for classical guitar music.
What sound has your guitar? Have to admit, I might have bought the ukelele too:)

dogimo said...

My guitar is rough and brash and quite overbearingly insistent, but I blame me more than the guitar.

It can have quite a pleasingly shimmery chime to it when I lay back a little and let it stretch out and ring.

jeannette stgermain said...

quite funny the way you describe the sound of your guitar:) Of course, it's up to you which way you want it to sound!