This I Believe

Andrew - Wilbraham, Massachusetts
Entered on May 8, 2007

I had a late introduction to music. Although I have played trumpet since elementary school, I never became serious about playing my horn until my senior year. Before that time, I had stopped taking lessons. My effortless rise to first chair in my school band made me think I didn’t need any more instruction. Well I soon realized that I was wrong. And that’s when I met José. Although he’s in his declining years, planning to retire to Florida in the near future, he still takes every Thursday off from work to sit down with his students and try to teach some of us how to play trumpet just a little better. José has been an amazing influence for me. He plays at a level many times greater than even my highest aspirations. The skill and passion he employs inspires me. But most importantly, I see that music is what drives him. Beyond technique, José taught me that if I didn’t play from my heart I’d end up being played myself. He meant that if you don’t love it, it’s just a big waste of time. Passing on his love for music is the one thing he has left.

Music is truly a powerful force resident in the soul of every creature. I believe in this power of music. Music is what keeps me going, what gives me motivation. Despite my other talents in other fields, and my somewhat mediocre aptitude for the world of music, I still love to create music. Artists put all their passions, their dreams, and their hopes into music. What else is a song but someone’s dream?

Music transports me to a land of make believe where I can focus, or not focus, do whatever I feel like. I’m provided with a freedom like no other. The right to sing and not care who listens, the power to hear music where there is none, and the craving to play the same old song again and again. Music gives the ability to go anywhere with anyone and do anything I wish.

Yet music not only fuels the power of imagination, it heals the body as well. The calming effect of music on recovering patients has been well documented. Music can relax patients with tubes inserted everywhere to sustain them, who feel like they’re gagging and can’t breathe. General discomfort is put out of mind as music helps patients ignore what is happening.

Sure, I have always enjoyed great music when I am healthy in mind and body, but often when I am ill of body or low in spirits are the times that music sounds the sweetest. Music heals, this I believe. So the next time you’re feeling blue, take a listen. There are gorgeous melodies everywhere, even in silence.