This I Believe

Josephine - Austin, Texas
Entered on January 8, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: creativity

I believe in the power of the piano. The piano is the language of angels. It is the air I breathe. It is the world I walk on. It is the nourishment of my soul. Yet eleven years ago, my passionate infatuation with this mysterious marvel did not exist.

As a toddler, I assumed I was musically inept. I was highly intrigued by the alluring power of music, and I longed to play an instrument. I even owned a tiny toy piano, and everyday I would “play” it to my heart’s content. But the inane racket that emanated from my red toy piano merely emphasized my musical ineptitude. The cacophony of disharmonious chords and stringent notes exploding from the piano dampened my dreams of ever developing any musical creativity. My family began to joke that I had “the rhythmic ability of an erratic warbler, the pitch sensitivity of a drunken hobo, and the musical aptitude of a tone-deaf ogre.” My early years did not indicate that I had any palpable inclination for music. Subsequently, I developed apathetic sentiments towards my tiny toy piano, and the dust atop its red wooden surface slowly began to accumulate.

My aversion and antipathy for the piano slowly grew, and I vowed to never lay my hands on the lonely red instrument lying forlornly in its corner. Days later, when my mother said she had enrolled me in piano lessons, I was mortified.

After my miserable past experiences with the clamor that came from my toy instrument, I never thought I would enjoy piano lessons, unless by some blessed act I was granted a musical miracle. Dread crept up in my throat; pent up anxiety gnawed at my stomach.

Yet when I went to my first piano lesson, my apprehensions dissipated and my fears died away. I loved every minute that my fingers glided across the ivory keys of the ebony Steinway grand piano. Though I couldn’t yet decipher those cryptic notes upon the mysterious musical staff, I became enthralled with the feeling of empowerment that began to wash over me. I sensed the consoling warmth of the piano surging through my veins. Music became a way for me to express in song what I could not express with words.

I became a blank canvas, ready to be etched with the notes and masterpieces of Brahms, Chopin, Haydn, and Liszt. As the years flew by, my musical repertoire and ardor for music swelled into a crescendo of passion, enchantment, and allure. Whether expressing my sorrow through Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, or pounding out my wrath through Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor I have realized that life’s greatest empathizer is music. Music narrates the lurid tale of life, the impregnability of human emotion, and the invincibility of creative inspiration.

Ten years have passed, and I still love playing the piano. The most influential moments of my life continue to be the cherished hours that my fingers glide across the ivory keys of my piano.

The jumbled notes, cacophony, and dead music of my old toy piano have altered into the melodious cords, sweet harmony, and life of an ebony grand piano. Who knew that a melodically incompetent toddler could develop a forte for music? Who knew that a child who couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket could grow into a girl who could carry music in her soul?

The piano is the language of angels. It gives allure to the universe, passion to the heart, vivacity to the imagination, and life to everything.