Human nature drives us to music. We cannot travel to school or work every day without music, nor can we watch a movie that does not have a soundtrack. Yet we often lower the volume to background music, sounds to accompany our lives. But to sit and listen to only the music, the words and melodies, is something that too few have experienced. I believe that music speaks more powerfully than speech, and a careful listen can change lives. In my life, I sing for every audience that asks for it, and every person can take their own personal inspiration.
I attribute my interest in singing to my grandfather, who loved his show tunes and classical music. Drives in the car with Papa were always filled with Andrea Bocelli and Les Miserables, but despite all of this, he was certainly not a stiff old man. Papa never took himself too seriously, providing comic relief for every family gathering. But when I sang for everyone on Easter, I saw a side of him that I never knew existed. At the last note of “All the Things You Are,” I looked up and saw a tear in his eye. There sat the man who gave everyone a hard time about anything, crying. I don’t know what was going through his mind as he listened, but something found his heart, something that keeps me singing as long as I can.
Of course singing does not always have to be that deep. That moment in the spotlight is a time to be admired, and oftentimes that admiration is more than I expect. Last week, as a parting gift, I sang a song for the second graders I have been tutoring all year long. It was the first time I ever heard the classroom completely silent. As I sang, I looked out among young, admiring faces, anxious for the day when they can find their talents like this. But with admiration comes example, and that is why the music matters. Those kids looked up to me for the whole year, and seeing this confident singer, they thought, “I want to work that hard,” and “I want to have what she has.” There was a sudden understanding that high school is not always what is expected, that it is where a singer, or anyone else, can find herself.
For me, I bring together my grandfather’s love for the classics and the second graders’ love for the future. Singing has guided me to my place in life, where I can find success and happiness. I recently sang a solo in a song called “Music Down in My Soul,” and it suddenly hit me that this song expresses all that singing is for me. “Over my head, I hear music in the air” and “I’ve got this music down in my soul and it fills my heart with joy.” Music is my life; it makes me dance around the house when no one’s watching, and sing to myself to brighten a stressful day. Without music, I would never have the inspiration to smile, or even to cry, because music sets the scene for every indescribable feeling. This I believe.
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