Piano

Most students have an identity, an interest, or a talent that defines them in an essential way. Tell us about yourself.

Music can be best described as a skeleton key, opening the locks in your mind. Whether it’s changing a mood, de-stressing, or adding excitement, music transcends generations and cultures. Throughout my existence, music has been a constant reminder of all the beauty life has to offer. As a small girl, I loved banging on the piano. It brought such joy, but eventually childhood antics turned to disciplined practices and now I make my own music on the black and white keys, adding my own beauty to the world.

My first experience with the piano came when I was too young to know a C note from an E major chord. Regardless, as I began to pound on the keys and produce a cacophony of jumbled notes, I felt proud. By the age of six, I memorized both Chopsticks and Heart and Soul. Immediately, I realized I was making “real music!” A flame suddenly sparked within me, spurring an addiction to music that continues today and I suspect, for a lifetime.

We had a piano in our home: an antique looking thing with nicked wood and yellowing keys. Even with my rudimentary knowledge of what a note is supposed to sound like, I knew the piano was out of tune. Regardless, I worshipped that relic. Throughout all the sports and the clubs and whatever else I was involved in, I would trot downstairs each day, place my small hands on the cool keys and search for notes. It was one of the few things that made sense to me.

Then came YouTube. I hit middle school and soon realized the plethora of piano tutorials the internet had to offer. With this, I was turning out songs at a rapid rate. My mother declared me a prodigy! No formal lessons, but I was playing tunes from my favorite TV shows. The theme from Hannah Montana became a regular pre-dinner appetizer. Contrary to my mom’s belief, I definitely was not a prodigy. It had more to do with being passionate about learning to master the musical instrument in the corner. I was self-taught, but by the end of my freshman year, I decided to embark on something I had wanted to do for so long.

I began piano lessons prior to my sophomore year and that first lesson was an eye opener. I looked at my piano teacher with awe as she taught scales and note names and even the difference between a crescendo and ritardando. There were finally words for all these things I had heard in my head for so long. As the lessons continued, the practical side of music met the emotional side with which I was familiar. Soon, my repertoire grew and instead of sit-com theme songs, I began to devour classical pieces such as Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata and Fur Elise. Even with ADHD, I am able to stay focused and find an inner peace in the long ago pieces.

Beauty is held in the black notes on parchment paper propped up on my piano stand. As I let my fingers glide across the keys, I am taken on journeys of the heart. The piano has been my companion throughout my life and I will surely lean on her in my future days, as well.

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