My Official Job Is DRUMMER!

Michelle Sandlin: Drummer

This is an unusual week for me. Technically, you could say that I am unemployed.  Actually, I just have a little time off this week before beginning a new job next Monday.  So that means that my official job this week is drummer, and I couldn’t be happier!  In fact, I would have been writing more often over the last few months, only I have been really wrapped up in my drums.

To bring you up to speed, I started taking drum lessons in April.  It was a lifelong dream of mine, so I finally did it. About 2 weeks later, I bought my awesome Pearl drum set and converted our game room into my music room.  See the smile on my face in the photo to the left?  That is the real deal!  Drumming has become my instant passion, and fortunately I seem to have a bit of an affinity for it.

For as long as I can remember, I have been an air drummer.  I know that we were all phenomenal air drummers and guitarists when we were in high school, but I never grew out of it.  If anything, my air drumming has only intensified over the years.  As such, I was always convinced that I would make a great drummer, and now I aim to prove it.

But first I want to share a funny story about air drumming…

When I was 19, I lived in Atlanta for a year.  One day, I was supposed to meet my mother at a restaurant for lunch.  At the time, we had only lived in Atlanta for a few weeks, so I didn’t know my way around.  So my mother gave me directions to the restaurant and told me that she would be waiting outside for me to get there.  She often gave directions something like this:  “You will see a big curve to the left with a McDonald’s on one corner.  Take a left at the McDonald’s and keep going.  When you see a big tree, take the next right and drive down the hill to the four-way stop and take a left.  Look for a red brick shopping center with a restaurant out in front.  I will be standing there looking out for you…”  You get the idea.  And remember, this was before the days of cell phones, Google Maps and Navigation.

So anyway, I was on my way to meet my mother and looking for the landmarks that she described, when all of a sudden, “D’yer Mak’er,” by Led Zeppelin came on the radio.  So, naturally, I started playing the air drums.  Please understand that when I say I was playing the air drums, we are talking arms flailing, head bobbing and a whole lot of crazy motion going on.  For this song and at this moment, I was so into it that I missed the restaurant completely, as well as the sight of my mother who was standing on the corner trying to waive me down and yelling and screaming while witnessing my whole performance.  We both laughed at me over lunch.  I wasn’t embarrassed in the slightest, because I knew that I had nailed the drums in that song!

OK, so fast forward to August 2012.  I have been playing the drums (for real) for about 4 months now.  While music has always greatly punctuated my life, the drums now and always have provided the beat.  I have never wanted to be like everyone else, or do things because everyone else is doing them.  I live my life on my terms, doing what I like and what I want (most of the time).  I just don’t know how to do it any other way.  I don’t look my age, and I certainly don’t act my age, and I hope I never will.  I am happily unconventional, and I like it that way.  One might say that I march to the beat of my own drummer….ME!

My only regret is that I didn’t pursue my love of drumming sooner.  So here’s my advice to you: If there is something that you have always wanted to do, but just haven’t pulled the trigger yet…what are you waiting for?  Just do it!  You will be glad that you did.


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