This I Believe

Melissa - Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania
Entered on December 12, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

What type of music do you like to listen to? Do you prefer jazz, blues, classical, rock, alternative, techno, rap, grunge, or punk? Have you ever wondered why most people answer with a simple, “I like a little of everything?” Some would say that these people do not really feel passionate about a single genre, but I like to think otherwise. There is such a wide variety of music that I would never expect someone to be able to classify what they like in one word. It is a universal language that allows us to express every emotion. I believe in the power of music.

When I was growing up, I learned how important music was from my grandfather. On birthdays, I would receive books and cassette tapes on classical composers such as Bach and Beethoven. While at his house he would let my brother and me play on his organ which some may argue was not truly “music” more like noise. In my imagination, thanks to the encouragement of my grandfather, I was playing beautiful music for thousands of spectators.

I learned how to read music by playing the clarinet in elementary school, and this helped me eventually become a singer. While some high school students perceived those interested in music as nerds, I chose to disregard the stereotype to pursue my passion. Singing is a release, much like sports are to those who need physical activity. I can leave frustrations and stress at the door, and escape to a place that a composer has created.

It does not matter if you’re making music or simply listening to it. What matters is the feeling that the combination of sounds evokes. Sometimes, I will find a song that will immediately bring me back to a moment in my past that will seem more vivid than when it actually took place. Other times I will hear a new song and say to myself, I know exactly how that person is feeling. Music tells stories, both through lyrics and instruments, which allow people to identify with someone else; it makes you realize you are not alone in the world.

The power of music comes in many forms such as a protest or a benefit. In 1969, Woodstock connected a generation of music lovers celebrating peace, and in 2005, the Live 8 concerts joined together over 3 billion people in support of fighting poverty. Others may use it as a form of therapy or education, for example, hospitals use it to help the physical, emotional, and social needs of patients. In any case, I believe music to be a powerful tool. It has spanned countless centuries and continues to evolve. Every day, a new song is created. It may not be played on the radio, but somewhere, someone is expressing what it means to be one’s self.