Despite my earlier complications being a part of the youth worship team, I decided I would give it another go in high school. I joined as a background singer, of course. I don’t think it was an option for the students to be the lead singer. There were several change of hands as to who the leader was throughout the years. This time around was a better experience than before when they turned my mic down, but it still wasn’t quite fulfilling.
Honestly, the music was not my type of music. We mostly copied the popular Christian band Hill Song. Everything was written for sopranos and I happen to be an alto. Around the age of 14 I decided that I wanted to learn how to play the drums. Though the lead singer could never be a teenager, the musicians could. There was already another drummer, an irritating boy that loved to be the center of attention. And a few other boys played guitar, keyboard, and bass.
I enlisted the help of the drummer of the adult worship band to teach me how to play, and I caught on pretty quickly. We came up with a way for me to write down what drums and cymbals to hit on what beats. Then I got to work on how to play the youth bands usual songs. Soon, I would have my drummer debut at Youth Camp. This particular camp trip I enjoyed because we had a lot of free time to do whatever we wanted.
It was up in a forestry area with a lot of trees and fresh air. Our camp made a unanimous decision to stay to ourselves as a church instead of combining forces with other churches that were there. We even had our own little house for our services. On the day that I was scheduled to play a few songs during worship, I was so nervous. I had the song lyrics printed out with my personalized drum symbols penciled in, and my sticks, and tried my best to keep calm before I went up. As I went up to the front of my peers, joining the band, I did really well, sticking to playing the basic beats I had written down, and not too many fillers. My hands were shaking and sweating but I kept going and powered through. I was so afraid that the sticks would slip out of my hand. I remember one specific song called Jesus Saves where the fill was more complicated and was a small spotlight moment for the drums. I hit through it with success and there was some scattered cheering from the audience. It was a great moment for me. From then on, I rotated with the other drummer. I liked drumming so much more because I felt like I was more essential to the band. I had a place. It also felt better to sit behind the band rather staring right into the faces of the audience standing a few feet away from me with a mic to my mouth.
Soon my dad borrowed a drum set from a friend of his and put it in the living room. I practiced a lot and built my confidence. Sometimes my sisters and my dad would come and sing and dance while I played different beats. I really liked when that happened. It was hilarious. I liked that I was good enough to create an fun and creative environment like that.
Though my playing eventually stopped when I was older and no longer in the youth band, whenever there was a rare chance to get behind a drum set, I was able to quickly get my bearings and play really well. A few years ago I became a part of a band with two friends who are siblings. I was pushed to my limit and challenged by the lead guitarist/singer. He was extremely gifted and wrote and composed all of our music. I had liberties to create many drum beats and he also dreamed up what the drums would sound like, a lot of it super complicated, demanding skills I had never learned before. But I loved it. I got to play, make music, and be a part of a team, and I was getting better and better.