Music: The Language of my Life

Grace - 67203, Kansas
Entered on March 6, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Music: The Language of my Life

Sitting in my childhood church as an eight- year old one Sunday morning, music entered my heart and I knew it would never leave. That particular Sunday, a woman of the congregation played a simple, yet beautiful hymn on her cello that seemed, to me, to fill the seams in the walls and to wash peace over the room. No matter how cliché it sounds, that moment inspired me to learn cello, allowing me to experience the realm of music firsthand. I believe in music. It has shaped me and given me the strength to keep moving.

Growing up, my dad covered our walls with original paintings and my mom played the piano, singing us songs at night. Each possessed a deep connection with art and music, emphasizing the importance of creativity and imagination. I didn’t realize my own connection, though, until that Sunday morning. That same year I decided to begin lessons, however, I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, a rare condition among children that usually meant a lifetime of joint pain and physical struggle. Now, playing cello became an extremely difficult venture as my fingers hurt after only finishing an octave scale. I refused to give up lessons entirely, though they became sparse. I refused to give them up because I passionately loved playing. I couldn’t and still can’t get over the way phrases develop, melodies rise and rhythms build to create a story, a message. It forces me to be in the moment and gives me confidence in who I am. Music became my life-line and gave me the determination to not be overcome. It gave me the ability to find beauty in the midst of darkness.

About four years later, after a long fight and much confusion, I began to not hurt so much and my doctor confirmed that I had miraculously grown out of the arthritis. This miracle stunned me and pushed me forward. I wanted the most out of life and I wanted to do the one thing that I had never been confused about. I wanted to make music and share my deep well of love for it. My fingers grew stronger and I began again to take lessons regularly.

I carry that same love of music with me now wherever I go. I still play cello with all of my heart- it’s what I do for myself.

Music, a constant force in my life, inspires and encourages me while bringing peace to my heart. Music connects me to the people around me through the songs of the world. I have seen it change lives as it has changed mine for music has the power to transform. This I believe.