Music: My Saving Grace

Nicholas - Wichita, Kansas
Entered on December 10, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

There is no doubt that in this confusing world, we are looking for that one thing for which we can believe in—that one thing by which we can live by and always rely on. I am no different than the collective “we” in the world; I have stumbled around in life, looking for that one thing and at times I have though I found it, and other times I went around unguided. But finally, even at my young and inexperienced age, I believe I have found something I do believe in and will always be able to count on: music.

When I started high school I, like most others, entered into a world with increased independence and a loss for self-identity, all coupled with new academic challenges. My grades, to say the least, were not where I would have liked them to be. No matter how hard I tried, I was falling behind in class and floundering socially as well. This lasted for nearly two full years—two long years of stress.

Those who have known me a long time know that I play the cello. And that I am by no means a good cellist, or a good musician for that matter. It would be surprising for anyone to learn that a terrible musician—one who was ready to give up music entirely in Freshman year—would find relief in writing music, and that is what I did.

By the end of sophomore year, I had gradually become interested in playing music, but I had also discovered the joys of writing music. As I began fooling around with composition, I discovered a whole new world: a world of complex laws, mathematical and English linkages, sounds, and an outlet for all my stress. Most of all, it was an identity. Composing, a last ditch attempt and a stretch for one who could hardly play any instrument, turned out to be my ticket to a better life.

Over the summer, between sophomore and junior years, I wrote my first major composition, also my first Symphony. With this, I had talent. I like the music I wrote, and I also like the fact that it is my own. I did not write it for anyone else, it is not for a class, and it is not required. It is my own emotion, not anyone else’s. Within a short amount of time, my grades increased and my understanding and appreciation for music increased as well—not to mention I had boosted my confidence. Music had transformed me—I had walked into a whole new world, passed through that wardrobe in my room. And now I’m happy, not stressed, and have good grades, though I spend hours each day writing music.

I am not saying that music can change the world; many people have said that before me. But I know that music has changed me, and I know music can change the individual. I believe in the power of music.