Musical Experiences through the Early 1930s
This introductory chapter explores Alec Wilder's musical experiences through the early 1930s. Wilder's decision to pursue a career in music came in 1925 or early 1926, following a passion that had been growing for some time. During one recent summer vacation, he had taken up the banjo and had learned to play well enough to be hired for dances and welcomed into local bar bands at the Jersey Shore. He had also begun teaching himself to play the piano and read staff notation. Eventually, he had amassed a collection of popular sheet music and had made a few attempts at writing songs of his own. These were the musical experiences he brought with him when he decided to return to Rochester in 1926, seeking enlightenment in the elegant halls of a relatively new institute for serious musical study.
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