This I Believe

Jennifer - Columbus, Ohio
Entered on January 26, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in the power of music.

Before I came to the United States, my family and I lived in a tall apartment complex in Shanghai. It was a quaint little place, but it was where I first stumbled across the power of music. Once when I was four, I glanced at the television set and there stood a young girl playing the violin on the screen. She played so gracefully, like a swan dancing on the edge of a lake. I tried to grasp the images on the screen with my hands. I wanted to play music as skillfully as she did. I ran to the kitchen to grab a pair of chopsticks. I propped them on my slight shoulder and mimicked the girl’s flourishes. I had been enchanted. From then on, I dreamed of becoming a musician able to enchant others with inspiration and hope, like that girl did for me.

As a musician, I have experienced moments of frustration, success, ignorance, and most important of all, incidents of self-doubt. Music has led me to lead a carefree lifestyle, and as a result of that, the closest individuals in my life began to doubt whether I had the passion to partner with music for the rest of my life.

To become a musician, I needed long hours of practice daily. Most of the time, I played through the music I had been given without any thought, and that was it. My family began to think I didn’t put my heart into what I played. I felt I couldn’t prove myself even if I tried. If my family and friends had given up on me, the last step to fulfill my downfall was to give up on myself. For a long time, I felt I had lost my place in the world, that I had no special identity.

Then I discovered the true power of music. It spoke to my soul and it was so simple. My reason for living is to make myself and others enjoy the simplicity of music. I didn’t have to be amazing, but as long as I could express my love through music, I could prove my faithfulness to it. This world I live in is fascinating because it is enraptured by sounds. Music is like a surrogate mother to me. It has taught me to read, to listen, to respect, and to love.

Music has taught me to face the future. I will never look back until I have accomplished my dream of becoming a musician. “Without music, life would be a mistake,” cried Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche. If I had not headed into the direction of becoming a musician, MY life would be not only a mistake; it would be meaningless. Music is the language of the heart, my way of speaking. I believe in the power of music.