Introduction: My goals for this essay were to show how music has affected me in my life. This was a very difficult piece for me to write because of how personal it is to me. I am proud of the details that I incorporated throughout my piece and how descriptive I think it is. I would like to improve on analysis and reflection because these were things that I struggled with while writing this.
My baby blue walls surround me I sit in my room, bored out of my mind. I just finished my kindergarten homework. It was rewriting letters and words. As I lay on my bed, I hear a faint sound coming from the room next door. It was smooth and blaring. I’m used to this noise. It’s the sound of my father practicing his trumpet. This usually bothers me, but today, it intrigues me. The music of the horn captivated me and drew me to my father’s studio.
I slithered into the room and stood near the entrance, admiring what seemed to be perfect technique. Soon, he spotted me from the corner of his eye.
“Do you want to try?” he asked me. I nodded enthusiastically and scurried over to his side. He guided my hand onto the cold yellow brass. The smell of pennies penetrated my nose as I got closer to the trumpet. He placed his lips onto the mouthpiece and started to blow. The same sound from before began to fill the small room. For a second, I stood there, still. I had no idea what to do. How could I even compare to the maestro that was my father? But, with a few encouraging looks, I lightly pressed on the first valve and the sound shifted to something higher. I was making that sound. That beautiful, rich sound.
I pressed a few more valves to change the pitch more. My dad’s blank wall seemed to fill with brightness and color with each note played.
I soon went through every note three times and decided to stop. My dad smiled kindly at me and went to face his music again. It was much too complicated for me to comprehend. I went back to my bed with wonder in my ears and mind.
I wish I could say that this was the moment that I decided that I wanted to be a musician. That ever since that day all I’ve dreamt about was performing on stage with only me and an instrument. But twelve years later, I haven’t a single musical bone in my body. I attempted to play the violin for several years, but I found it to be a liability rather than a creative outlet. The rest of my family, however, is completely different.
Both of my parents are professional musicians and my two brothers are pursuing careers in music. I am the odd one out in my family, the black sheep. I find algebra and solving equations much more stimulating and interesting than reading notes off a staff. My parents tried to console me that I’m still artistic and I’m just like them, but I’ve accepted that I’m different.
That doesn’t mean that music isn’t important to me. Even though I’m not as involved in it as the rest of my family, music is a huge part of my life. Music is the reason I’m alive. Both metaphorically and literally.
I’m a complicated human being. Most of the time, I don’t like talking to people about how I feel or the things that are going on in my life. There are a million reasons why I don’t open up: I don’t want to feel pitied, they wouldn’t understand, I don’t want to burden them, etc. But those don’t matter. Music is how I allow myself to release the emotions I so often engulf myself in. Music is the way I feel. It’s the way I speak to others. It’s how I listen to myself.
After finding out that my mom was sick, I didn’t know how to feel. I had only ever known my mom as healthy and athletic. She walked ten miles a day sometimes, and then she suddenly has cancer of the leg bone. I couldn’t look at her and see a person with cancer. It was my mother, not some frail bald woman you feel bad for in the supermarket line.
kept silent about the news I had just heard. If I couldn’t comprehend what I had just learned, how could anyone else? So, I layed on my bed and stared at the ceiling, in silence for a while. But my mind was blank. The information was in my mind, but I couldn’t process it or formulate any new thoughts. So I turned on my music. I don’t even remember what I was listening to, probably the Beatles or a random playlist I had made, but I immediately started to break down. The fear and sadness that had been building in me for days had finally been allowed out. Everything came rushing out and I couldn’t control myself. I layed there, with tears and snot streaming down my face.
Some people think emotion shows weakness and that crying is worrisome. I don’t think that’s true. Letting all of my emotions out was the most therapeutic thing I could do at that moment, and the music was the key to that. If I had held it in, who knows what would’ve happened. I would have erupted at some random, inappropriate time as if I was a volcano only instead of scalding hot lava it was misery and fear.
The singer’s soft, melodic voice was able to reach into my soul with a key and unlock where I was holding it all in. It’s difficult to explain why music is able to help me open up. It would be easy to say that the way the lyrics are written in a way that feels personal to me and my situation, but I think it’s more than that. Of course, words help. Lyrics are poetry and they mean much more to me than anything a friend or an adult could say. But, there’s something about the melody and instrumentation too. Music is like an entirely different language to me. At first, it’s hard to understand. But as you study it and start listening to it more and more, you discover the beauty of it and what it really means.
That moment wasn’t the first and definitely not the last of my adventures in exploring my emotions with music. Pretty often after a tough day, I just need to come home, put on my favorite Sufjan Stevens song and let it all out. If I didn’t have music, I’m not sure there would be a time where I was able to open up like I do.
Music is life. Music is my life. I was born because of music, and I’m still alive because of music.