HOW MY SONGWRITING CAME ABOUT

By Judy Lee Jenkins
Judy_Telling_About_Raggedy_Ann

It began with storytelling, trying to find ways to enhance and embellish every story I would tell to the children.  After collecting many children’s books, I discovered that puppets also helped a lot to hold the children’s interest and then I discovered that songs were even greater.  Children love to sing especially when it’s about their favorite story character.

In the beginning I would go to the library to search for the perfect song to go with the story.(before I owned a computer)  However, I often found myself getting frustrated if I couldn’t find the perfect song.  Then like a light bulb coming on in my head, I asked myself the question, “just how hard would it be to write my own?”

That was the beginning of my songwriting, fun songs about birds, teddy bears, dinosaurs, sly foxes and wolves, the gingerbread man and rag dolls like RAGGEDY ANN AND ANDY. However, when my storytelling came to an end after my father’s death, I started thinking more about spiritual things, our dear Lord and what happens to us after we die.

I always loved to write poetry and in the beginning my spiritual songs began as poems.  However, because of my love for music, I began as I did with my children’s songs to build melodies around each of my poems.  I found myself in tears many times as beautiful melodies would come to me.  I spent hours composing these melodies at the piano building them around my poems.

Then I realized that I needed to record them with someone who had a great voice.  Fortunately I have 2 nieces with well trained and gifted voices. They both have the voice of angels and terrific range!!  The downside however, is that neither were available due to distance and family responsibilities. It also seemed that no one had any interest in singing my songs as well.  I have written around 61 so far.

So I got on my knees and after giving praise and thanks to our God requested that HE give me the ability to sing my own songs..  I have heard all my life that you either have the talent or you don’t and if you don’t, just forget it!!  But I also know we have an awesome and great God and nothing is impossible with HIM!!

The only training I had was from some music classes in college and self studies.  I had learned many years before about scales, chords, and major and minor keys. The minor scales has always been my favorite.  It is so beautiful to me!!  One can create the most beautiful and haunting melodies such as the composer did with the famous Christmas carol, I WONDER AS I WANDER.

Thus I began on a singing voyage and spent countless hours trying to develop the skill of just singing.  I had already enjoyed playing the piano immensely but singing was indeed a new adventure!!  I hired a well trained musician (made his own albums) to help me sing my first songs and help me put my songs to beautiful music.  He required that I play them on the piano first and then he built around them with his own musical skills.  That was the easier part.  Then came the singing!!  I was terrified!!

He indeed had to have a lot of patience with me.  However, no matter how bad I was, he always made me feel I could do it and gave me much coaching as well as some singing lessons.  With his knowledge and skills I was able to produce 8 songs.  That was not a lot of songs but I went through blood sweat and tears to get them done!!

I have  a brother who has played the drums in dance bands for years tell me boldly that I had no singing abilities whatsoever and to basically abandon ship. Criticisim always hurts and so discouraging!!  Negative thoughts never accomplishes anything!!

With the exception of only a few, I have received no encouragement whatsoever, from most of my friends or family.  Many times I wanted to call it quits but something inside of me wouldn’t let me give up.  I remembered that I had asked God to help me!!

My first real uplift was when I was able to buy my first digital piano.  I had a smaller keyboard before that I loved, but it was very limited as to what it could for me.  This new one gave me far more abilities with my creations and had advanced  recording methods built in which the other did not.  I was elated when I found out what it could do for me.  However, the storms did come!!

I realized I was working against the stream with almost every song!!  It was as though my songwriting became a source of anger for those closest to me!!  I felt I had to work in the closet where I wouldn’t upset others with my passion!!  Once again I felt like throwing in the towel and calling it quits!!  But after praying with tears countless times I kept going with my goal!!

As I went along I also discovered that even I got in my own way!!  I would listen to my own recordings over and over and feel that my songs were so beneath what they should be.  Due to some problems, I wasn’t able to edit any of my songs and had to perform then straight through without any mistakes the best I could.  In other words I wasn’t able to piece any of them together as my former musician friend had done for me on my first 8 songs.

I never have been completely satisfied with the performance of any of my songs but due to time restraint and fatigue had to accept them as they were so I could go on to the next song.  I realized that other things in my life needed attention also and especially my husband who has not been well.

What I have achieved however, has taken me several years to complete and much effort and love has gone into my songs!!  I have shed many tears over a project I was determined to do!!

No one realizes more than I that my voice is still not where I would like it to be but I do think it has improved since I first began.  There is a scripture in 1Corithinans:1-27 that says God uses the weak things of the world to shame the strong!  If anyone is weak in this kind of talent, it is me!!

But my purpose in this project is not to show off a beautiful voice which I wish I had, but to convey a message.  The message is a testimony that I have of our wondrous God and Savior, Jesus Christ.  He is everything to me and I hope if you don’t know our Lord, that my music will help direct HIM to you.  We all need HIM in our lives so very much!!

So when you hear my imperfect voice, please remember that I bring a message of a PERFECT SAVIOR and I am still a work in progress with HIM!!

© Copyright 2014 , All rights Reserved. Written For: Judy Lee's Music | Wonderful Heart Warming Music
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One Response to HOW MY SONGWRITING CAME ABOUT

  1. admin says:

    What a wonderful way to develop a talent

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