This I Believe

Pete - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on December 13, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: creativity

I believe in motivation and drive. I believe in inspiration. I believe in revolution. I believe in music.

My entire life has been blessed by the presence of music. Its earliest influence was the lively Greek music that drove my feet from baby steps to the energetic steps of my first Kalamatiano. This beat represents more than just a simple dance; it represents the pride, history, and culture of a nation.

A few weeks ago, I traveled to Indianapolis with my high school marching band to compete in a national competition in the RCA Dome. Although we did not advance past semifinals, we watched the twelve finalist bands give the best shows they could have given. These bands never ceased to amaze me with their dignified style and superb showmanship. Their performances made me feel that I could do something incredible with a single song. I realized that I could change a person’s outlook on life just by playing a song on my saxophone, and that was a remarkable sensation. Music has the power to make you believe. It has the power to keep you going when nothing else will.

Before the abolitionist movements and the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment, slavery was a common, cruel practice in the United States. Slaves had no possessions, nothing worth living for, and certainly no rights. However, they had two things more important than anything else: each other and music. From their lively folk songs, they drew happiness, energy, and most importantly, hope. The same hope that led Harriet Beecher Stowe to write Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The same hope that led Martin Luther King, Jr. to have a dream. Music has the power to inspire. It has the power to jumpstart the mind.

Music is an art above all arts. Words are constantly called upon to flow like music. Artists use music to inspire themselves-whether they are writing a high school essay, painting a revolutionary image, or even designing the eighth world wonder. Some say that a picture is worth a thousand words; I say that a song is worth ten thousand, a feat that the former could never accomplish. One symphony can express an entire decade or just a walk through the park.

From the beginning my feet were driven by music. Its beat leads me through every day, every decision, and every obstacle. The same beat will lead my feet to their proper destination. It will drive my feet until my death, when the chanting of the Greek Orthodox Church will take over.