When I was six years old, I had my first piano lesson. I didn’t speak much English, yet there I was, standing in front of a keyboard, ready to learn the language of music. Six years later, I set bow to string for the first time. A blaring scratch emerged from my cello’s sound box. A few months ago, I picked out my first acoustic guitar. The gentle, inept strums comforted me.
Over the years, mindlessly pressing down black and white keys has turned into moving melodies. The discord I used to endure from my cello has turned into sweet strokes. The random strumming has turned into lullabies and love songs. Over the years, an inclination to press all the buttons in the elevator has transformed into my passion for music.
Playing piano has taught me discipline. Playing cello with an orchestra has made me humble. Guitar has taught me poetry.
This passion has transformed my life and connects me to a myriad of beloved people. My closest friends are in a band. My conversations with my best friend are satiated with news about upcoming concerts and our favorite bands. We trade mixes of our favorite songs that turn into soundtracks for our life. My orchestra friends teach me humility. Our passion for music, our passion to be a part of something bigger are our links. Together, we’re simply a chain of people looking for a way to interpret the world through music.
Music is the universal language. A single song has an indefinite number of interpretations. Songs without lyrics are just as meaningful as the songs of popular singers. The shape, the rise and fall of the notes, says it all. Crescendo, decrescendo. Vivace or andante. Piercing or gentle. Only when you put all these aspects of a song together can you understand exactly what the composer is trying to convey. Only then, as my orchestra director would say, would you be playing more than simple black and white notes. Only then can you understand.
Lyrics are audible poetry. They bear so much more than meets the ear. When I listen to songs, I listen to the lyrics and search for their real purpose. When I can relate, I can feel the singer’s emotions inside me. It makes me feel like I’m not the only person who feels the way I do. The words give me hope and strength. I see that someone else has already gotten through my current struggles, and that gives me courage to move forward. It gives me courage to not give up. It gives me enough courage to push through one more day. That is how I live, day by day, song by song, beat by beat.
The impact of a single song can change your life. Music can change your life. This I believe.
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