Music. I spend more than two hours playing, singing, or listening to music everday. Almost everything I do involves music. I love it; it can lift my spirits, or tell me a story. But, what is music? Is it something you can dance to? Something that is played or sung? Is it something that has balance, or sounds pleasant? What is music? It is defined as “An art form consisting of sequences of sounds in time, including tones of definite pitch organized melodically, harmonically, and rhythmically. ” To me, music means expression. When I was six years old, I acquired my first CD player.
I didn’t get any CD’s with it, so I used my parents. One CD that I picked up was by Mindy McCready. I didn’t understand what the songs were about, but I knew I really enjoyed the “beat” of the songs, the instruments in each piece, and the sound of her voice. I would always be singing my own words to her songs and I wanted to learn how to make music like she did. She influenced me in a way I didn’t understand at the time, but I knew I wanted to know more about the way her songs worked. I wanted to know how to make something that sounded similar to her songs, and how to make it my own.
That CD is what made me fall in love with the concept of, and the idea itself, known as music. In third grade, only two years after I realized how much I liked music, I started piano lessons with the keyboard player from my church. His name was Larry, he was a great inspiration to me. Larry asked me on my first lesson if learning piano was something I really wanted to do, or if it was just something my parents were having me do. I told him, much more seriously than a third grader should be able to, it was something I needed to do to be able to more clearly understand music; and that I was looking forward to every lesson we would have.
One week later, on my next lesson, I stared to learn my scales. Normally, it takes students months to learn and memorize all of the scales, but it took me only a few weeks. I was much more musically gifted then anyone realized and I quickly took on many other instruments. From third to seventh grade, I learned how to play the piano, guitar, bass, saxophone, french horn, trumpet, clarinet, and flute. I also took choir, training my voice to be the best it could be. The way I could express myself differently through every one of these instruments, made everyday a joyous adventure.
I used the instruments as an outlet; when I was happy, the music would be loud and bouncy. Yet when I was upset, the music would be mournful, slow, and quiet. I conveyed my feelings through the music. The more I learned about music, the more open I became with choices. Before I became a “band geek”, I was quiet and refined. I didn’t talk to many people and I didn’t have any intention on changing that. After I joined two bands though, my life changed drastically. Both classes would result in a “different me”.
When I would play music in my jazz band, I would leave the class excited and ready to try new things. When I would go to symphony, my choices would be more thought out, longer, and with more depth to them. Every piece I played would change my day; depending on how much I enjoyed the piece, and who I was playing it with. The people in band are a big reason why I love music. If you’re sitting alone in a room, playing a keyboard, you are not going to be having nearly as much fun, or being as artistic with your musical choices, then if your with a few of your best friends, all who play instruments or sing.
An instance of this is from a year ago, when I had a mentor in symphonic band. He was an amazing saxophone player who loved people. I was his second in command, and for being that, he taught me a few of his tricks on how he became such a beloved musician and person. He showed me how to play music with more expression in singular notes instead of looking at the piece as a whole. He helped me on improvisation and on making a piece personal. He also showed me how to fine tune a musical piece; how to make the different parts work together harmoniously, and how to then play it correctly.
He was a great inspiration to me and I am sad he graduated, but overjoyed I had the opportunity to be taught by such a talented musician for our time. After learning so much from such a great mentor, I began to question how my music could be improved and how I could express myself better. I knew about harmony and melody, and how to balance them; I knew about all the different instruments in different kinds of bands. Yet, I wanted to push my boundaries and become a better instrumentalist.
A great musician once said, “Then let us all do what is right, strive with all our might toward the unattainable, develop as fully as we can [with] the gifts God has given us, and never stop learning” (Beethoven). To me, this means you shouldn’t stop when you think you’re at your best. Always push forward, creating your own limits and don’t fall into society’s expectations. This is how I viewed music; it was something I could never put a limit on and striving for perfection was the only way to be successful with it. To this day, I try my best with music, I make it my own, and I love to play it.
There is nothing else like it, for music is everywhere; all people know some type of music, and it affects every person in a different way. I enjoy music greatly, and hope I will be able to continue learning about it for the rest of my life. The expression used to create music is an unexplainable talent that anyone could utilize, and without it, the days of life would be dull and boring. The way I view it, and as my band director tells me daily, music equals life. SAU Library, + Beethoven, the Music and the Life. + by Lewis Lockwood. Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1st edition (December 16, 2002) + October 1st 2011