Music is law free…
When I play the piano, I feel like I’m in an empty white room. It’s a place where I am alone with God. I just hear myself playing as harmonies and melodies run from my head to my fingers. The main thing I love about the piano is bringing out the emotion when I play. For some reason I have a natural ability to share the same feelings with people. Playing the piano soothes me and I always feel refreshed after I practice. God really helps with that. I just play for Him and feel even more amazed about what He has given me.
Playing the piano is also fun to me for many reasons. I like to perform in competitions and encourage other young artists. I love writing my own songs and making my own arrangements. It surprises me sometimes when I’m just doodling around and come up with the most wonderful music I’ve ever played in my life! Sometimes I hear songs in my head that are so complicated that I can’t even write or play what I hear. It’s amazing what I can do. I really wouldn’t know where to go without music or God. Music is law free – I can play whatever I feel or think. It’s a great feeling!
Music gives life to ideas and feelings…
“Words make you think a thought. Music makes you feel a feeling. Songs make you feel a thought.” -unknown
I cannot fathom any experience more cathartic than lifting an intangible burden off my shoulders by meshing words with music — creating a piece of art that equals more than just the sum of its parts. The only experience that could even come close is sharing this creation with others. It is an incredible phenomenon that one person can make an entire room of strangers privy to the esoteric feelings he once felt when he was stringing these phrases together.
I’ll never forget my first experience sharing a song I wrote with an audience. It was my first summer at Camp Sabra, in Rocky Mountain, Missouri. I had worked the entire session at camp perfecting my song, an ode to the joys of the summer camp experience. On the last night of camp, during the ever-nostalgic closing campfire, I got the opportunity to perform my song for all 400 campers and staff. After the camp director led everyone in all the traditional campfire musical fare, he called me up to sing my original. Hot blood coursing through my veins, I approached the microphone, my guitar gaining a pound with each step I took. I introduced the song, started playing the opening pentatonic riff. I messed up a few notes, but the audience didn’t seem to care- they were already clapping along to the rhythm! I jumped into the first verse, “It’s a cool night in Missouri, sittin’ by the fire…” The crowd roared. By the time I got to the chorus for the third time, I heard hundreds of voices singing my words along with me — the ultimate compliment for any songwriter. I played the closing plagal cadence, and the audience burst out into cheering. I heaved a great sigh of relief, and couldn’t stop a huge half moon smile from waxing across my face. All of my writing, rewriting, and practice finally paid off — I was finally a bona fide songwriter. I hope to continue honing my skills as a singer, musician and songwriter for the rest of my life.
Music brings me a lifetime of joy…
I remember a time when music was not a big part of my life. That was a time where I felt like I had nothing to live for. I was on the path of becoming a pediatrician, a career that was brought onto me, and I knew that I didn’t have a passion for it. I followed this career path because I was told to do so at the age of 7 and by a former viola teacher. She told me to “give up viola and become a doctor”, and that is exactly what I did.
Three years ago my heart brought me to play viola again, and my passion from that day forward will never fade. I love playing viola because it gives me a sense of empowerment. I love the fact that I didn’t let someone stop me from pursuing my true dream and that I overcame the negativity to get to where I am today. Every time I go on stage and look at the blinding spotlight and hear the roaring crowd, I feel extremely blessed to have this opportunity, and I honestly wish that every child will get the opportunity to play music.
Playing music has taken me all over the United States and sooner or later all over the world. I do not think that anyone should let someone tell them that they cannot play music. If anything, learn from my mistake and keep going; no one can take your dream away. I know that I will play the viola for the rest of my life and that music to me, means a lifetime of joy!