Music has always been a huge factor in my life. Not only does it serve as one of my greatest influences in the world, but it also defines who I am as a human being. It has helped mold me into the kind of person I am today, as well as the kind of person that I strive to become in the future. Music gives me the strength I need to push forward, to achieve my goals, and to believe that I have the power to change the fate of our world. Sometimes in my life, I just feel a rush of emotions sweeping through my mind, and I don’t know how to control them. That’s where music comes in. Music allows me to make sense of things. It enables me to express myself through the emotions that I am feeling. Through music, I am able to observe the world in a different light, which can be either negative or positive, depending on my mood. Whenever I start to feel discouraged or despondent, like the rest of the world has turned its back on me and is just one big disappointment, I listen to slow, mournful, and depressing music. I especially like songs that have meaningful lyrics—lyrics that make you ponder over what kind of person you want to be, what kind of role or purpose you have in this world, or what kind of an effect you have on others around you. Music like that is, in my opinion, the best kind of music to listen to. Of course, there are also instances when all I want to do is laugh and jump around the house, dancing to all my favorite catchy tunes. During those times, I listen to a totally different style of music. It could be pop, techno, electronic, punk, or even all of the above. It all depends on my mood, which constantly varies as the days progress. You may have heard people say that they cannot live without music. People say a lot of things...most of which are far from the truth. However, when I say that it is impossible for me to live without music, I truly mean it. To be honest, I can’t remember the last time I haven’t listened to music. I literally cannot go one day without listening to some kind of tune. If my iPod breaks, I’ll go onto my laptop and open up ITunes. If ITunes doesn’t work, I’ll sign onto my Youtube account and search for some kind of song to listen to on that website. If the internet is down, I’ll take out my walkman and drop a CD inside it. If my CD is scratched, I’ll turn on the radio until I find the right song I want. What I’m trying to say is that no matter what, I always find a way to satisfy my craving for music. When you love something so much, you fight for it…no matter what opposition may stand in your way. That explains why I’m rambling on and on about music and how important it is for people to express themselves through it. When you truly care for something and feel passionate about it, the way I do, you’ll be able to discuss it for hours upon hours. There’s just no end to it. With music, it’s an everlasting cycle. First, I wake up in the morning to the sound of my alarm clock, which changes frequently depending on my current favorite song. Then I go to school, where, although I am not permitted to listen to music on my iPod or any other technological devices, I actually play a list of favorite songs on a little radio inside my head called “Lindsey’s Greatest Hits.” Well, there’s not actually a specific name for it; however, I do constantly sing songs in my head during class or speeches or really anytime throughout the day. In fact, I even write down lyrics to the songs I play in my head on paper, just because I love the way they sound or the meaning that they convey to the listener, and I want to always remember them. After school, I come home, and the first thing I do is listen to music. Even when I go to bed, I lie in the darkness, just listening to the sound of the radio or some music channel on television. Some song lyrics I hear provide me with a tremendous source of inspiration and an incredible sense of hope for the future. I honestly don’t understand how some people can go through life without listening to any type of music at all. When my parents tell me to turn off my music because I’ve been playing it “too much” or because it’s “too loud,” I stare at them dumfounded and astonished by their lack of awareness of the significance of music in my life. “Lindsey, how can you constantly be listening to music? Don’t you ever get sick of it?” they ask me on a daily basis. I can’t even comprehend their repeated questions because I can’t understand how anyone could NOT listen to music every second of the day. It’s the only thing we have in life—the only thing that stays with us wherever we go. It’s like a memory. A memory will always stay forever in your heart, and no one can take it away from you. A memory is all you have left to hold onto, when you have already let go of everything else. It’s the same with music. Music is the only thing that stays with you forever. Friends come and go, seasons change, bruises fade…but when all is said is done, music is always there for you. It is the one thing that you can depend on to always remain by your side, when everyone else has already left it. And that is why I love music so much. I’m not going to lie when I say that I feel genuinely sorry for people who tell me that they don’t listen to—or even like—music. I can’t even comprehend how it could be humanly possible for someone not to enjoy the beautiful sound of music or the wonderful lyrics that go along with it. The idea is completely unfathomable to me. I believe that those who have not yet been affected by music are missing a great deal in their lives, for without music, what else do you have to live for? What else do you have to hold onto? How can you bear going through life each day without the assurance that you always have something to rely on to be there for you, to understand you, and to help you make sense of the world? This is what music does for us. My belief is that those who do not yet feel music’s warm embrace have simply not discovered a song that they can relate to or connect with. I think that everyone in the world has at least one song that describes them perfectly—one song that defines who they are as a human being and as an individual. If one has not found that song yet, one has not lived a complete life, for what kind of life is worth living without one that does not contain music? My greatest desire is for everyone to feel and experience the everlasting power and beauty of music and to recognize the tremendous impact it has on our lives. Music offers love to a world full of hatred. Music provides peace to the corrupt society in which we reside. But most of all, music brings us life when we feel as if we are dead, as if there is no hope left for humanity, as if all that we have come to know and appreciate has been lost in the wind…just a tornado of mixed up musical notes that play a doleful melody that never dares to end.
Essay written by a high school student in Texas.
One of the earliest forms of art was music. It is, and has always been, one of the few things with the ability to unify people. Music allows a person to tell a story, or express an idea that could not be understood any other way. From hummingbirds, to the music revolution of the sixties and seventies, music has given people the feeling of freedom and free expression.
All my life, I have been a slave to what other people thought of me. I never quite fit in as a child. I was always the quiet one who kept to myself. I was so afraid of being judged that I never did anything. Trying out for a sports team meant making myself vulnerable. Answering questions in class was a possible set up for being laughed at if I was wrong. I was an abnormally normal child. My older sister was always the rebellious one, beyond reason. She would harass me and my parents constantly, always knew how to find just the right insult to drive everyone over the edge. I never understood why she insisted on making me miserable, but in my mind, telling on her was just giving my parents another burden. Out of fear of burdening my parents I bottled all of my emotions up in my head. I had no idea how to express my emotions in a positive way. I had so much negative emotions built up in me that I started having explosive fits of anger at undeserving friends and family members.
One day, I remember being at my cousin Rebecca’s house when she was listening to “Screwdriver” by The White Stripes. Even though she was talking to me I was completely zoned out. I had never heard anything like it before and was totally taken back. I didn’t understand how only two people could make music like that, or that music like that existed at all. I started buying albums of all kinds. After a month my library consisted of Led Zeppelin, The White Stripes, The Beatles, Switchfoot, Weezer, Mozart, Movie soundtracks, there was no band I hadn’t looked into.
The emotions I was feeling started channeling through the music I was listening to. I had found a form of therapy. Every time my sister would insult me I would spend an hour air drumming to AC/DC. When I was eleven I bought a beginners guitar. We couldn’t afford lessons so I just started pulling at its strings for hours every day. For the first year I couldn’t really play anything, but it gave me something to do. Finally, on my twelfth birthday my parents got me a year of lessons. The more I learned scales and chords, the less I was affected by my sister’s torments. I had found my escape! I started to express feelings through the instrument. My thoughts started speaking through the nickel strings. The guitar was my voice when my words wouldn’t suffice.
Got The Music In Me – MEMA – Music Inc. is a Chicago based nonprofit organization that is devoted to helping young people cope with their issues by filtering their emotions through music. Their goal is to destroy division in youth. They aim to unite young people in the idea that together they can change the world around them with their musical expression. MEMA helps teenagers find their voice like I found mine on the strings of my Fender. I chose this organization because I believe firmly in the healing power music can have. Because of musical expression and styles I no longer care what other people think of me, least of all my sister. No matter what a person goes through in life, music is one thing almost everyone can relate to regardless of style or preference. If any teenager on the often messed up streets of Chicago can have the same chance I did at turning his life around, than it’s definitely worth his time. I know it was worth mine.
By jwpromo on November 22, 2011 / Student Discussions