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From a Simple Promise This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     “Do you promise?” My mom asked me 13 years ago. She knelt on the floor of our apartment, next to the shiny new piano stool, and looked me in the eye. “Do you promise you will practice every day?”

After what seemed to be an eternal silence, I replied, “Yes, Mom, I promise.”

That promise made so long ago recently gave me the chance to interview The 5 Browns. Since I was four, I have been playing the piano. With all my experience as a musician and performer, Teen Ink gave me a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to speak with not one but five extremely talented, renowned pianists. I could not even dream of the exciting prospect of asking The 5 Browns questions.

After researching The 5 Browns, listening to their new CD “Browns in Blue,” and trying to learn as much as I could in preparation for the interview, the day finally arrived.

To be in Steinway Hall was a great feeling in itself. The entrance of The 5 Browns really settled any worries I had meeting these young artists. Each has a friendly, down-to-earth personality that emanates from their conversations with one another and with Violetta, my fellow interviewer, and me.

We asked questions that ranged from The 5 Browns' favorite piece of fan mail to what book they believed all teenagers should read. My favorite questions, of course, involved music. It was truly inspiring to hear them express their passion for the universal language of music in eloquent words. To hear how they had persevered despite moments when it would have been easier to quit was something I really could relate to and continue to battle against.

When the interview was over, I became even more energized knowing that next I would be playing for them, even though the room was freezing. Playing the piano for them was a great feeling that I cannot really describe. I was fascinated to learn that Desirae Brown has small hands like mine, and she could relate to the difficulties I have playing music that involves large stretches.

The interview with The 5 Browns is something that I will keep with me my whole life. They have inspired me so much, especially at this critical time when auditions for conservatories and universities are looming. I thank them from the bottom of my heart for sharing their love for music and talking about their thoughts and feelings regarding this wonderful language.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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