The piano behind the music

Bonnie - West Palm Beach, Florida
Entered on October 9, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

When I was a child, I heard sounds, I heard beats, and then I heard music. From toys like the xylophone to the grand piano, which I fell deeply in love with at the age of seven and still, play today. I believe music can guide my life and lets me express myself. It makes me feel like I can be myself and just forget about everything from schoolwork to the chores that I see no point in doing. It can influence me greatly, changing my mood from down to up or vice versa depending on what’s playing. I believe in the power of music…

I remember the first time I heard it…. His name was Jacob, and he was a World War II veteran, a very nice neighbor who was pretty much lonely since his wife passed away the year before (this was in 1998 people) so he expressed his feelings of loss and pain through his piano playing. I can tell you he was a phenomenal musician. All he did was play and I remember sitting on the edge of my bed listening to his melodies till I fell asleep .He was the one that influenced me and he was the one that taught me to play…

One day, my mother and I came over to bring him some homemade food. This was the first time I had ever stepped into his house. The first thing I saw was the wonderful grand piano. While my mother and he were conversing I walked toward the piano and sat on the seat and started to play. Well not really play, but more like touching random keys. I thought what I played sounded like his music but it definitely sounded wrong. So I kept trying to hit other keys but I wasn’t getting close. Suddenly the old man sat next to me and patiently showed me the keys, ”Alright Bonnie, calm down. A piano isn’t just for playing random keys; you make beautiful music with it. Look, here’s C”, and he tapped the white key that didn’t look any different then the others. I think I slammed G but thank god he was patient. It took me a few tries and I guess he got tired of it so he took my finger and gently let it down on C. I was delighted and he showed me the rest of the keys. I never knew what happened to my mom but I guess she got bored and left.

Time passed and I was generally doing well. I visited old man Jacob often, at least two days a week and in my free time I played. I began to love it more and more because of the feelings it ran in me. I was so happy. Jacob eventually moved to a retirement home but that never stopped me from playing. Every time I heard good music on the radio or shows, I look it up and try to play it myself either that or its classical pieces from Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, or any other good composers. One day I got mad that my parents didn’t think I cleaned up my room good enough and instead of getting all pissed and muttering stuff to myself, I played my piano and it calmed me down as soon as I finished the piece. I was surprised how soothed I became just from playing the music and that works out for me nowadays when I feel down, mad, or too emotional.

So now I realize the music is my power. It has guided my life and it brings me to who I am today. Because life is like a ball of clay, you can be creative, you can break it down to something small or just make something beautiful. That’s music and that’s life.