The Heart Stirring Marimba

Daniel - Allen, Texas
Entered on September 30, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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When I play the marimba, a feeling of power arises within me. Not a power to hurt or abuse people; a power to relay my emotions to the audience. I started playing marimba at thirteen and it is difficult for me to get away from the instrument. While playing I feel relaxed, as if nothing could go wrong, and that is also how the music emanating from the instrument sounds to listeners; calm and pleasant, firm and strong.

I play from the heart, as what I feel at the moment determines what key I play in and how loud I play the piece. On a calm day, I will play something lighthearted and upbeat, swinging around to the music as I play; on a dark day, I will hammer out chords portraying violence and death. Regardless of what I play, I strive to put my mind, body, and soul into it and relay both my feelings and the piece’s feelings to the audience.

When not given a certain piece to play, I make up my own songs. These songs can take hours to achieve perfection, but when they do, I know my hard work and dedication went into it from start to finish. As much as I like to create new songs, it can be a very tedious task and be frustrating at times. If creating songs for other people, I try to relay what they feel to the audience, whether it be an ominous chord progression or a lively duet, in order to capture their feelings into the music.

Playing the marimba fills me up with tears at times; a sad piece is one of the most difficult genres of music to play for me, as the emotions from the music radiate to all through a slow tempo and mournful chords. At other times, the music becomes abrupt and vehement; this fast paced style can be overbearing at times but I play easily as playing loud gets my adrenaline flowing and helps to keep up my energy. Whether I play fast or slow, loud or soft, I put all my effort into revealing the emotions relinquished by every note in the piece.

The power to control an audience’s emotions is a formidable responsibility, as it took me a long time to overcome my fear of an audience and even longer to cultivate the piece while playing it with my mind, heat, and soul. I enjoy transferring the emotion of the piece to the audience, as I usually get a response from the audience as well. When I have realized this goal, a response from the audience, an audience who cries during a melancholy love-loss or has accomplished looks on their faces during an inferno chain massacre, I have done my destiny in communicating the emotion of the piece through the melodramatic feeling inside of me.