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I remember listening to the tunes of The Beatles in elementary school thinking, "How did they do that? How did they find the right words to sing?" Then I wanted to try. I started my musical career by writing poems, my mom's personal favorite being one entitled, "I'm not cute, I'm gorgeous," written by myself at the worldly age of 10. I began playing piano by ear and impressing innocent relatives and family friends with America's greatest rendition of "Chopsticks." By middle school, I was singing my poems and giving them all catchy refrains. They were essentially like musical diary entries. I even kept them secret.
In high school I was deeply influenced by Jewel, Susan Tedeschi, and Jamie O'Neal, some of my favorite artists to this day. But it was the Christmas of my senior year that I got my first guitar, a gift from my dad, who encouraged me to take classes while in college. During my two years of studying guitar from Mr. Scott, I began writing my music by guitar, jotting down lyrics in my classes and on napkins, texting them to my best friend, and leaving her voicemails of me singing the melody so she could play it for me later in case I lost it. But I never lost it.
I'd grab my guitar from my car at every opportunity and work out the chords and the strumming patterns to accommodate the lyrics and melody I'd heard in my head. I became obsessed. I began to hear words and melodies at the same time, especially in the shower, or just before falling asleep, and I'd have to get it all down on paper for fear that my beautiful song might flutter away as quickly as it had found me. And I still do that.
So that's me, Amanda Dove. A Singer/Songwriter from Orange County, California, and a really lucky girl who hopes you think I found the right words to sing.
Mom and Dad, thank you for the guitar and the love. Mr. Scott, I'm so glad you were my teacher. Best friend, thanks for not running away the first time I sang to you in a voicemail.