This I Believe

Elise - Moraga, California
Entered on January 7, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: creativity
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Musical Simplicity

A few days ago, I was flipping through the pages of a local newspaper. I came across an article written about Robert Close, a Bay Area opera singer. For the past decade, his singing has brought life to the streets of San Francisco. What drew my attention was Close’s willingness to spread his love for music from the pure sincerity of his heart, without demanding a salary. If only something so simple could bring as much joy to the world, as the voice of Robert Close brings to San Francisco. In our hectic lives, however, happiness doesn’t always occur quite when we need it. We are continuously tied down to endless commitments. In fact, it’s easy to lose sight of the hidden treasures surrounding us, such as, music. Fortunately, I have found music’s beauty within the black and white keys of a piano. I believe that happiness can be found within the simplicity of music.

Music has always been a fundamental component in my life. For as long as I can remember, I have been playing the piano. I can even recall my first recital, each tiny finger stumbling over the notes of “Moon River”. I have come a long way over the years; however, every day brings a new song and, therefore, a new challenge. Lately, I’ve realized that the piano serves as an escape from my crazy, confusing life. When I am playing, the world of responsibility and complicating decisions is put on hold, at least for an hour or so. With the piano, I can control what I want to play, whether it is a calm melodious Sonata or a soulful jazz number. There is no one to judge or criticize; it is just the me and the music, in a moment of complete serenity. Unfortunately, my dream of becoming the next Chopin or Beethoven disappeared when I was old enough to realize it was only possible if I had been born a musical prodigy. Although I may never become a renowned composer, I will never stop learning and growing from my experiences as a musician.

Not only is music an art; it is a gift. A gift, sent through numerous messengers, musicians of course, who share it with the world. A gift, which will continually pass from generation to generation, forever. Music can be appreciated by anyone. The secret is: opening your heart. This does sound cliché but it is, without a doubt, the truth. Human beings, like Robert Close, inspire me to touch the hearts of ordinary people.

I leave you with the words of the greatest romantic composer of all time, Frederic Chopin. Encompassing the basis of my belief in just two sentences, he states: “Simplicity is the final achievement. After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art.”