After trying my hand at the piano, the oboe and the flute, I started playing the guitar in 9th grade. Suddenly, I realized how much I could enjoy playing an instrument. Within the first 2 years, I started jamming with a group of friends. After a lot of practice, we gave our first public performance at a high school party in a college gymnasium, and it was a night I would never forget.
What an experience! There we stood, in front of several hundred of our friends doing something we loved. We played; they screamed. We played louder; they loved us. It was great. We knew we had accomplished something on our own, and as we rocked into the night, I vividly remember for the first time finding my true comfort zone. It was a state of mind where nothing bothered me, and I was solely focused on the music. That night, as they say, the bug had bitten me.
Now as an adult, whether I’m playing in a live performance or in the comfort of my home, I almost always enter that zone. It’s an escape, a way to sneak away from the pressures of the day-to-day responsibilities. I’ve had people tell me that during a performance I remind them of the person I used to be. For me, that’s the person I want to be. It’s that window of time when I don’t have to be responsible to anyone or anything, and I can enjoy the moment for what it is. I don’t take this for granted, and I often feel for people who have never discovered this getaway.
This understanding of how music can affect one’s inner core has helped me in my professional life as a music dealer. To me, it’s more than selling the product, it’s selling the opportunity for a beginner to experience the getaway and all of the other benefits making music has to offer. It’s knowing that while some students won’t continue, all should have the opportunity to learn a skill that could become a part of them throughout their adult lives. This is why I’m so passionate in my belief that music education is an integral part of educating the whole child, and why it’s so important that we continue the mission of making this opportunity available to all.
© Richard Rejino 2011