I was eight years old when I picked up my first French horn. Huge, shiny, dented ... I studied it for a minute or two, looking at its massive bell (which, at the time, was larger than my head) and its long shiny valves. I slipped my tiny hand into place, pushed my lips together and began to blow. Although nothing came out, I continued to blow harder and harder and finally a tiny shrill sound trickled out. A triumphant grin spread across my face as my music teacher, Miss Currin, leaned over and exclaimed, "Laura, that was wonderful! See if you can do it again." Again I started blowing as hard as I could. Strange sounds started to emerge from the bell, but I continued playing. Many years and many calluses later, those sounds turned into notes and those notes into music. c
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.