This I Believe

Valerie - Denton, Texas
Entered on April 3, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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“Music is life.” I remember the first time I heard those words from my head band director, Mr. Jackson.

I had just entered the marching band in high school and all the students and I were attending freshman/newcomer summer band camp. “You must be crazy,” I thought to myself, but I was young and did not know what was in store for me for the next four years. Mr. Jackson preached to us, with good intention, about music being apart of all of our lives and how it would soon become who we were. “Music is life,” he kept saying to us. Following that statement were accounts of his life of how music had changed his life and how it would soon change ours.

We heard at least once a week, “music is life.” I tried to fight it for months. “Music can’t be my life. I could get out of it in a second and not miss it.”

I contradicted myself when I began attempting to try out to get into every band program available. There was Wind Symphony, Jazz Band, and Winter Drumline. Once I knew the audition dates, I was there to prepare a selected piece on my clarinet, endeavor improvisation on the saxophone, or master the skill of rolling my marimba mallets as fast as possible. I began to notice how music had been apart of my life since my earliest memory in my childhood. I was in second grade when I received a recorder from my music teacher. I was finer than the other kids who began when I did so my teacher let me perform with the more advanced.

However music was involved did not really matter to me. I could be writing it, singing it, playing it, dancing to it, or listening to it. Music became my way of escaping reality and expressing my feelings. When I was sad or angry and needed to get troubles off of my mind, I would practice a piece I was familiar with and perform how I felt. Singing or dancing problems away became easier than sitting in my room dwelling over them.

Music was my way of living and it did begin to consume me, or maybe it already had. Maybe it did when I was smaller and played the recorder. I am not sure, but I finally realized what Mr. Jackson was preaching about my freshman year and throughout high school. It is not music that consumes you, but you that consumes the music. You let it fill you and pray it never leaves because it uplifts your soul and makes life ten times better.

Not a day goes by when I do not regret realizing my life would forever be filled with music. I am glad I realized it. I hope those incoming freshman at my old high school are not as stubborn as I was and happily surrender to it, because I believe music is life.