I believe in the power of music. I believe in its power to bring people together. In fact, many of my closest friends are in orchestra with me or in my band. I can remember my first day of high school, timidly walking through the halls and trying to make new friends. Then, I got to orchestra and saw a few familiar faces, though most of my middle school orchestra buddies had quit. Then when we started playing, Ms. Dosch, our orchestra instructor, partnered me up with Sohaj Singh, another freshman who played violin. Since that day we have been best friends and still sit near each other in orchestra.
Not only does music bring people together, music can shape people lives from just a single event. The first time I ever went to a true rock band concert was when I was in 8th grade. Deep Purple was playing that week on a Friday and my dad figured that since the Van Halen tickets he’d bought got refunded that he would take me to see Deep Purple. I agreed and my dad took me to see them on that cool Spring night. When I first walked into the doors I was awestruck by the intensity of the arena. So many people in one place for one reason, their love of music. Not only was that concert truly awesome, but it also inspired me to get better at the guitar. One of the first things I did after getting home from that concert was plop down on my couch, plug in my dad’s Gibson SG, and set everything to ten.
Music also serves as a disciplinary force. Much more so than school in fact, where teachers force upon you dates and other figures which you think you never need to know. The kind of discipline that music teaches you is the kind that gets work done. Never before had I sat down for two hours simply to master a technique on guitar, sweep picking (and I still haven’t mastered it). For someone who doesn’t know what sweep picking is, it can be compared to quantum physics. One of the harder aspects of the subject, it is reserved only for the masters and true scholars of the subject. I still remember sitting there with my guitar strapped in, playing the exercises at ridiculously slow tempos like 38 BPM or 45. I started off doing these simple exercises for a hours a day until I could get them up to a speed where an onlooker might think to himself “I wish I could do that.” This kind of discipline has leaked on to other things, and is now starting to show itself in my school work, though not quite as well as I would like.
I believe in the power of music. I believe in its power to bring us together, and teach us meaningful lessons of life.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.