Monday, July 12, 2010


It was the first day. The first day of class in Music Theory. My eyes wandered the room and saw many empty desks. There weren't very many students tackling this first step towards becoming a Music Major. There were possibly fifteen nervous looking faces glancing around the room. None of us knew precisely what Music Theory was, but we were about to find out. The professor introduced himself and said that he was only one of three who would be teaching that course. Music Theory is written, listening, and rhythmic. He would be teaching the written portion of the class. There was scuffling of shoes as several students shifted in their seats.

I later learned that there were several people in that class who were far more talented musically than I, but they could not read music. This class was going to be very painful. It was a shame for them. They could listen to any song on the radio and play it on their given instrument, but to read the music off of the page... Ah, but that is their story.

That day, that first day, I experienced what I call a time of knowing. The professor stood in front of us, a ragtag group (at best), and asked if anyone could sing/hum a "G" for him. In my head, I could hear middle "C" and just worked up from there to "G." And I knew that it was "G." Was I scared to sing/hum my "G" and have it be wrong? Of course. The thing is that I was in my time of knowing. I couldn't stop myself and it came out. He was standing beside the piano and he hit the actual "G" while I was singing my "G" and I was dead on. It wasn't flat, sharp, or the wrong note. I nailed it. It was "G."

Looking back, I know he must have been delighted. He thought he had a student with perfect pitch. Not so. He had a student that every now and then has moments of knowing. It turned out that Music Theory was the hardest class that I have ever taken, and nearly stole every last ounce of love and joy music radiates from my soul. I dropped music as my major at the end of my freshman year and didn't look back.

This is me as a freshman in college.

I recently wrote another post where a moment of knowing saved a life. If you missed that one, you can click here. The more I think about it, the more moments of knowing I recall.

Is this just a Robin thing, or have you ever had moments of knowing? Do you feel like sharing? Were they like mine in that they lasted only seconds? Do you have them frequently? Or was it a one time occurrence? How do moments of knowing make you feel?


  1. Ah, I've had moments of knowing -- knowing intuitively, knowing truth -- and yet didn't listen ... have paid some painful prices for that. Knowing should never, ever be underestimated; it is not dependent upon logic or upon anything rational, but should be trusted implicitly ....

  2. I've had a few...the coolest one was when i just 'knew' my algebra teacher was pregnant...and she was.
    that was kind of creepy.

  3. Hi Robin! No! I'm not offended! My best L# was been home from Wisconsin this week and I have not been able to get on line hardly at all because we have been out having fun! ( :
    I will get online tomorrow and read all of your recent posts!

  4. Indeed we all have our moments...fluke or otherwise. But I think its up to the educator to encourage consistency. If this class took "nearly stole every last ounce of love and joy music radiates" - then I think that this lecturer was a moron. Its up to the educator to take the MOMENT and keep it burning bright.

  5. everyone has the moments of knowing but what's most amazing is, in my opinion, to share 'the knowing' with someone else - I mean, when it's not just you who knows something, but when also someone else KNOWS it in the same exact moment. it's perfect then, because it's like this cliche line in novels - that you understand each other as if you were reading each other's thoughts (oh I made it sound poor. my grammar sucks today). I had a friend in high school and we were very often thinking the same exact things and, yeah, understood each other without words almost. but I think I'm straining from what I was gonna write about.

    music theory? wow! I've graduated music school so I can imagine how terrible that is :) my sister is now is sort of music high-school and she had music theory advanced last year. she said it was worse than math!

    And as for your comment: you're brilliant you know that right? it's SO true - I was trying to sort of hide that little message about book amongst other stuff. And no I haven't seen that video you mentioned yet, is it in your blog? (I'm gonna look for it in a moment). The funny thing is- for the first time in my LIFE I've got the whole plot meticulously planned, I've got the ending written (well, not the ending but the most important chapter that's almost the end). My worst problem now is: self-discipline (I am brilliant in coming up with excuses to why I'm not writing today) and being consistent I guess. And I wanted to tell my parents because that would be like: "No, I can't go back now that I told them, this would be shame". But - of course I wouldn't let them see that :) I don't think I'd let anyone see that until it's written...okay that's the end of my rant. this comment was way too long!

  6. Excellent post. I would have been that student that irritated you. I can't read notes. Well, strike that, I can...but it is quite painful for me. I can however listen to any song and play it on the piano.

    Moments of knowing...Yes, I have had them...generally fleeting moments of knowing...but knowing untheless.

  7. It sounds like a good moment too bad the class wasn't what you expected.


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