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Life's Song

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“Turn the music down!” It is an overused command every teenager hears from annoyed parents in response to the latest hit songs and Billboard countdowns. It invokes the quintessential image of tattooed rock ‘n’ roll fans jamming with a guitar in hand while displaying their “If the Music’s Too Loud, Then You’re Too Old” shirt to their exasperated family members. For most youths in America, this is an inevitable rite of passage: arguing for louder, hipper, more riff-laden music. I was lucky to have never heard it. In fact, my parents encouraged it.

I remember the first day the old upright arrived at our house. The dark wood, ivory keys, and golden lettering, entranced me. I sat captivated that afternoon: I struck the notes, watched the inside hammers move, and played with the foot pedals. This had been my dream ever since I had first heard “Fur Elise.” The haunting, beautiful composition struck a chord within me: I fell in love with the sound of the piano. I was only seven and I wasn’t sure if I would ever learn to play with such finesse, but I knew that I wanted to try. It took almost a year of convincing my parents to begin lessons for me, but I persevered and won out in the end.

Upon this initial introduction to music, my passion for the subject blossomed. I continued to play the piano, and joined the school’s orchestra for cello. I remember hearing my peers complain about how much they disliked practicing, and could not understand how they felt this way. For me, practice was an escape from the mundane prose of life, it was a poetry for the senses. I grasped every chance I could to spend time practicing. Even if it were only for a few moments, the piano called to me, and I would answer. Each time I played, I felt the instrument come alive as though enchanted- with notes, I conjured storm and calm, power and meekness using a wizard’s skill. My commitment also thrived, and I pushed forward to excel to the best of my abilities, and to snag each opportunity presented. I entered contests, accompanied church groups, played solos, and participated in extracurricular clubs for music. Over time, I’ve worked to better understand all types of music by listening to various genres. My tastes are eclectic and I enjoy classical as well as classic rock. Listening to other styles of music inspired me to try new sounds, and I’m now proficient on the violin, bass, cello, piano, and guitar. The more I learn about the subject, the more I am fascinated. Over the last ten years, I’ve pursued my interest, and raised the bar higher each time. Not only have I spent independent time each day with an instrument, but I have also done district orchestras in which playing is an all-day event. I have challenged myself and more than 40,000 hours have been dedicated to my passion.

One of the most incredible feelings is to produce something that creates enjoyment for others, and I know that I am capable of doing that when I perform. After I
competed in a talent contest one year, a young girl approached me and said that she wanted to take piano lessons after listening to me play. How amazing the gift of melody
is! Music is heard by the ears, but it shapes the heart and stimulates the mind. I am thankful that my parents never told me to “turn the music down.” If they had, my life’s song would have been a different tune. Although music won’t be my life’s career, it will always be my passion.





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