Many children take music lessons when they are young. However, few continue beyond elementary and middle school. As one of those few, I can affirm that music has provided me innumerable experiences and opportunities that I am grateful for. My primary instrument is piano, but I also avidly play the violin and have played the alto saxophone. Most people that hear of my passions are astonished at my capabilities on the piano and violin and praise me for my “natural talent.” However, I have found that it is much more than just talent that has led me to my musical successes. Talent must be coupled with hard work in order for one to reach their maximum potential, and this is especially true of such demanding work such as playing music. Hours must be spent a day sitting at the piano, standing with a violin, in order to truly learn and master just one piece. And many ask why I sacrifice so much of my free time to practice. What is the point of playing music? To them, I assert that playing music is communication, a sharing of beautiful sounds and emotions. This is done between one and the instrument, but ultimately and more importantly, music is and is meant to be shared with other people. Music connects the world – it is one of the only common traits shared by every culture throughout all of history. Music is also healing for the soul; there is nothing better than being able to pull out an instrument and play out your feelings. How many times have you listened to music that reflected your emotions at the moment? Learning music gives me control over what I express, what I feel. You and I both share in the wonder of music when we blast music in the car, when we belt out musicals in the shower, when we dance in our rooms like we’re on TV but no one’s judging. Music is all around us and it will be forever celebrated; by choosing to play music, I choose to share in that global phenomenon that all humans cherish.
By Jessica Jiang