Saturday, November 22, 2014

Summary: My Life & My Music


Link To Free MP3 Music I've Composed: Mike Summerhays' Music

I took piano lessons off and on until mid High School. My dad also taught me the rudiments of playing by ear. My grandma had a nice Allen organ. With the above training, I taught myself how to play the pedals by sight reading and by ear along with playing it smoothly. I heard good organists at church and learned to mimic them.

In my youth, I also swam a good deal. I grew up in Hawthorne, CA and swam on the Hawthorne Swim Team. They introduced me to the sport of Water Polo which I enjoyed. I also went to Junior Life Guards at the beach every summer.

My last piano teacher taught me a good deal more music theory and helped me polish my ability to play by ear. She also introduced me to two of Beethoven's Sonatas: The Moonlight and the Pathetique. I became fairly proficient at playing all 3 movements of both. I played the first movement of the Moonlight in church once.

In High School, I became an avid Water Polo player and Weight Lifter. I also went to an early morning religious class. I got so busy my parents told me I needed to choose between playing ball or piano lessons. The decision was difficult. I choose playing ball as I felt I could pick up my music again later but, would not have another opportunity to play Water Polo with my friends.

In college, I became an Electrical Engineer. Most of my career has been devoted to RADAR and EW systems. This profession relies on computer analysis substantially and so I became relatively proficient with computers.

I met my wife shortly after graduating college. I was playing the organ for church (something I still do) and was introduced to her as a possible substitute while away on business. She does not play the organ but she sight reads piano very well - better than me.

I can find music I like within most music genres. But, I'm fairly picky generally. I hate sordid, immoral music and that rules out a lot of it. In searching to broaden the repertoire of music I liked, I realized I knew a few of Beethoven's Sonatas and of course his 5th but not much more. My parents weren't into classical music and of course they weren't playing much of it on the radio. So, I went to the library and checked out Beethoven CD's and came to love his music. I now have stacks of it.

As computers advanced, MIDI support advanced. I started getting into composing music on computers and having them play it back and recording it. I first bought a MIDI keyboard with a standard MIDI music bank. Later I bought a Yamaha Motif Rack synthesizer. As of late I've also acquired a vocal processor which I'm attempting to master.

I compose all kinds of music - however, a lot of it has been classical under Beethoven's  influence. My Webpage:  "Mike Summerhays' Music"  is devoted to my compositions which sooth my soul even if no one elses.

I now have four children. They all enjoy music and all play various instruments.