“The Life of an Actress” was awesome. Her vocal range was amazing! Peggy captivated her audience and took us on a roller coaster ride of all the ups and downs in the life of an actress. – Robert Attanasia
Peggy Valenti’s show was a joyful way to spend an afternoon! Her beautiful voice and choice of songs was perfect! – Jeannie Zyla
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As I reflect on my life as an actress, singer, teacher, wife, mom, and now… a retiree. Music has been a huge part of my life from as long as I can remember! I knew at the age of 7 (my earliest recollection) that I wanted to be a singer, a teacher, a wife and…a mom. No one ever told me that I couldn’t “have it all,” however, doing so certainly has had its challenges!
Now retired, and age 64, I can focus on my passion…performing and “giving back.”
I would like to share my journey with you! My journey is no different from yours. We explore things in our youth, we grow up(perhaps) in mid-life. We lose jobs, only to realize a new path. We meet strangers, only to realize they bring to us a new purpose. We divorce, only to learn that being alone is often a gift unto itself. We learn, we grow, we keep moving on. During our darkest times, when nothing seems to make sense at all, a new pathway will emerge if we simply embrace it. I have always said that I pray when I sing. My prayer is this, “Thank you for the music, for giving it to me!”
These are difficult times. These are stressful times. These are scary times. These are unsure times. These are lonely times but these are blessed times! Blessed times you ask. Yes …. blessed times!
During this time of Covid 19 when countries are struggling to find answers, when scientists are rushing to find a cure, when medical personnel are struggling for supplies, we all find ourselves at war. A different kind of war. A war with an unseen enemy. A time we are forced to spend quarantined time with immediate family or perhaps even alone.
How often have we wished we had more time alone ? Now we have it. How will YOU use or rather, how will YOU CHOOSE to us it?
As a 64 year retired music educator, a mother of three and a grandmother of 8, I have decided to challenge myself to take this time to learn a new style of singing. Trained as a classical soprano, the jazz standards were not in my comfort zone. Phrasing and vibrato are used differently. So….. practicing and learning something new is what I am challenging myself with. What are you challenging yourself with? I’d love to hear!
As for being alone… well…. I know that I will cherish the times “ with” more than ever!
A special thank you to all who have served and continue to serve. My son served in the Marines and I thank God he is now back home…safe and sound. I dedicate this to the parents and families of all service men and woman…and of course to all our veterans on this special day! Thank you all for your service!
So on November 30, 2016, I flew back to Nashville to re-record the vocal to my first single. Titled has been changed and instrumental tracks brought out a bit more. I am feeling pretty good about this first project. Of course there is always things to change…and learn.
Learn more about how you can hear “Tears on My Pillow” on my Song Page with this blog site.
Grandmother of 7 Releases First Country Single
It is said, that with age comes wisdom. I say, that with age, we are more determined to seek wisdom and learn about the journey we are supposed to be on. Music has always been an important part of my life. My career was based on it. Singing and performing has always been my way of finding comfort and expression. Of course, life’s responsibilities took precedent over the years but now with my children grown and…
I’ve pondered a lot today about how our lives are “rerouted” without our being aware. We loose jobs, only to later realize a new path. We meet strangers, only to realize that they were brought to us with a purpose. We retire, we morn our old lives, only to discover new journeys. We divorce, only to learn that being alone is a gift onto itself. We learn, we grow… we move on. We are given a diagnosis of a chronic illness, only to find out that that diagnosis has introduced us to new friends who need the same support we do. We help each other. We have made new friends.
During our darkest times, when nothing seems to make any sense at all, a new pathway will emerge if we allow it to. If we have the courage to trust that better days lie ahead.
Most recently, after being diagnosed with RA, not being able to hold a fork in my hands, I turned to an online support group. It brought me great comfort. The group, which has members world wide, inspired me to start a support group in my home state of New Jersey. I decided to take the road that might lead to somewhere new. Instead of giving up and feeling sorry for myself, I decided to take my illness and allow it to give myself a purpose. That is, to bring people together who had a common element who could support each other. My days may again be dark from time to time but as darkness falls upon the earth so to the sun always rises.
Don’t let your heart rule your head! (This is one that I particularly love as with HSP, our hearts are intuitive and most of us are taught to “think things through” which of course implies to “use your head!”)
When you were a child, did you daydream a lot? (Perhaps you still do!)
Do you tend to empathize with people (perhaps a little too much).
HSP’s are wired differently and that’s a fact proven through scientific research. In fact, the term, HSP, was first coined by Dr. Elaine Aron. Dr. Aron, began studying the temperament of highly sensitive people in 1991. I was thrilled to read some of her work as I now know that I am NOT crazy….different yes, but crazy, NO! There is a whole community out there who are just like we are….and science is now acknowledging who we are.
HSP’s tend to be very creative people. Our highly sensitive approach to life is what makes us see life in a different dimension then most. We see colors that others don’t see and we hear things that others don’t hear. Have you ever stopped dead in your tracks to look closely…really closely at something that no one else would ever dream of doing? I recall my oldest daughter stopping to take a picture of a single snowflake on her jacket. (Her picture is featured at the beginning of this blog). She shared the picture with many. I stared at it with wonder! This is an example of a HSP! Would YOU stop, while walking the streets of Chicago, on your way to work, to take a picture of a single snowflake?
We even hear voices ( I’ll call that intuition)that others do not. We are people who often just “know” things. We often know what is going to happen. We may not know WHY we know it….we just know!
Highly sensitive people are effected by everything around them. Our sensory system is easily bombarded, making it difficult to focus on one given thing at a time, We hear EVERYTHING …we see EVERYTHING! We seek out that perfectly quiet place where nothing else can distract us. This is why many artists (I use the term broadly) seek solitude. They have to calm their minds and their hearts so that they can “pay attention” to their OWN thoughts.
The increase in technology, today’s “hurry up world,” make it difficult for the HSP. It becomes harder and harder to quiet our minds.
Today I leave you with this challenge. Turn off the TV, put down your phone and step away from your computer. Just allow yourself to “be.”
I realize that the subject of death and dying is thought to be a somber conversation. Lately, I’ve been wondering if it needs to be. My father passed away when I was very young (16). He was born with a defective heart and he left this earth way too early (55). The last verse of my song, Tears on My Pillow, is about the loss I felt (check out my “Heart Song page). He had open heart surgery about 7 months before he passed away. We (my family) never spoke of his illness nor his impending passing. I remember seeing many tears in my mother’s eyes and my grandmother’s eyes. I felt pain but did not fully understand why I felt it. I understand now, that by not talking about the inevitable early passing of my father, my mother sought to protect me from pain. As a result, I have…
I realize that the subject of death and dying is thought to be a somber conversation. Lately, I’ve been wondering if it needs to be. My father passed away when I was very young (16). He was born with a defective heart and he left this earth way too early (55). The last verse of my song, Tears on My Pillow, is about the loss I felt (check out my “Heart Song page). He had open heart surgery about 7 months before he passed away. We (my family) never spoke of his illness nor his impending passing. I remember seeing many tears in my mother’s eyes and my grandmother’s eyes. I felt pain but did not fully understand why I felt it. I understand now, that by not talking about the inevitable early passing of my father, my mother sought to protect me from pain. As a result, I have always had a horrible fear of “death.” So much pain throughout my life caused by unresolved “issues.” Perhaps I do not fear my own passing (although I think about it more and more as I try to deal with my RA) but rather, the passing of those I love. The fear of loss often cripples me. As parents we do the best we know how. I no longer blame my mother for “making it a better transition,” but instead I now look to her to teach me how she’s doing it.
Several years ago, while visiting my mother (then about 88 years old), I was admiring a paper weight that had belonged to my father. When I turned it over, I was surprised to see a label that read, “When I die, this goes to Peggy.” Hmmm, I began to look at other things in the house only to find out that she had “labeled” almost everything! At first, I though it rather morbid and told her so. Now, we laugh about it and it has begun to make more sense to me. My mother (soon to be 92) is a strong, dignified and proud woman. There was no doubt that she would handle the planning for her final years the way SHE chose to. Many times I felt her decisions to be wrong (for any number of reasons) but I have come to realize that we should all have the right to make our own choices for as long as we are able. By making choices early on we are able to make them with a sound mind. I am beginning to see the wisdom of her ways. The sooner we begin to discuss our inevitable passing the better not only are we but the better are those we will leave behind. (That is a story for another blog day). Mother will be 92 very soon. She herself has forgotten her plans but has left them in the hands of someone she trusts to carry them out. This too is a subject for yet another posting.
Death is a part of living. We leave this life to become a part of another. Perhaps it is time to think about and plan for how we want to travel.