This I Believe

Kevin - Webster, New York
Entered on March 1, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

“Do the Ru!” I shout, indicating that I want to play one of my favorite songs, as my teacher looks at me, exasperated. He sighs as he pulls out the music for the song, telling the rest of the band that it is time to “do the Ru.” The small ensemble cheers and swings into the fast, upbeat jazz composition titled, “RU Chicken.”

I’ve been playing the saxophone for eight years now. Devoting much of my time to my instrument, I am never content until I believe I am as good as I can be. I work to bring music into my life each day. In turn, music has enveloped my soul and has taught me to look for music everywhere. I believe music can be an influence to all who will allow it to become a part of them.

My father was part of an elite group of trumpet players at Gates-Chili High School when he was my age, and this inspired me to become a trumpet player as well. When it came to be my turn to select the instrument I would play, I immediately asked the music teacher if I could try the trumpet. I was disappointed when she handed me a sliver trumpet mouthpiece, without the trumpet. When I put the mouthpiece up to my lips and blew, no sound came out. Frustrated, I gave the mouthpiece back to her.

I now asked for what I believed to be the next coolest thing: the saxophone. Once again, I was handed a black mouthpiece, but this time, she attached a reed and ligature to it. As I blew into the mouthpiece, a high, crisp, clear sound was emitted. I decided to become a saxophone player.

Pressure came from all sides once I started playing. Many of my relatives are musically talented, having played various instruments in their bands. Everyone genuinely believed I could be very talented. “You’ll do great!” they would say, as I expressed my apprehension for my ability. I wasn’t so sure.

Working my way to the top took skill and commitment, but that paid off, as I am now a loud, boisterous teenager with a bright future. Music gave me something to be proud of, a reason to hold my head high. It has allowed me to become an individual, the person I want to be, not just any average kid. Through my love for music, I have discovered the person I would like to be in life.

Now, music is everything in my life. I stand out in bands, not only because of my skill, but also because of the beautiful new black-and-gold Cannonball saxophone I now own. The school band is like my family. I carry a tune in my head every waking minute of the day, whether the catchy beat of rock, the smooth rhythms of jazz, or the melodious phrases of classical. I don’t plan on playing professionally, but I do plan on playing for as long as I can.