My love for music | Teen Ink

My love for music

September 21, 2023
By destinygreen430 BRONZE, Orangeburg, South Carolina
destinygreen430 BRONZE, Orangeburg, South Carolina
1 article 2 photos 0 comments

“A one!” 


His voice blooms out from out of thin air


“A two!”


Nervous glances, I gulp while clutching the mallets, examining the abused xylophone with its color fading.


“A one two three FOUR!”


All at once, the instruments waltz, all of a sudden, we’re in a ballroom; the percussion lays down a thick foundation, bringing me down to earth, my nervousness fades with the colors on the xylophone. The bold blunt pounding from the snare drum reminds me of what’s keeping me alive: my heart, it’s beating steady now. Up in front the stars show off their skills, ceaselessly vibrating in harmony. The brass wind family is followed by the higher clarinets, saxophones, and finally the flutes take us off higher, higher, higher.


Notes stack up on top of each other until we’re flying into another dimension, we’re in a hundred places at once. Each of our own imagination creates a feeling in space that never existed before.


I wipe the sweat-stain off my mallets as we finish; just then an old wound opens. My relationship with music performance hasn’t always resolved at such an ease, before joining the orchestra I was a solo wanderer rummaging through the ungraspable, wild yonder of music; my guitar and nasally singing voice were my only companions. I remember that day vividly; it was February 16th of an ethereal winter night, and I was ready to perform an original song, it was the first time I’d ever presented my song to a group of strangers. Without the dependable beat of percussion, my heart raced; other musicians were out of sight, and I was out of my mind. Before I knew it, doubt came seeping in my prefrontal cortex, my cerebrum contaminated with a loud scent of disdain. There was no shaking this off, I threw my song up on that stage that night; I was nervous, stuttered and stumbled over my own lyrics.


Presenting an original tune for the first time is like regurgitating your guts on red-hot concrete, examining your own soul with all its sorrows and flaws printed in fine print and everyone else can see it too.


I recognized that I needed to give my audience a good experience yet the act of performing was eating me alive. I had to step back and not make this about myself but focus on music instead. How on earth was I supposed to do this?


Firstly, I had to realize:


Music is not tangible, instruments are. Music is without dimension because it exists in every single one of them. Music is a feeling, a universal language that everyone can learn to speak, even deaf ears can feel the roaring vibration of sound. An audience couldn’t care less for the appearance of the performer, they are there to experience, think, feel and envision themselves in a story of music.


Secondly, I had to practice more. Discipline is freedom when it comes to music, or any other artistic craft; Skill cannot be achieved by making that age old Faustian deal, skill is a bird that flys above you, it’s persistently looming, you can tame it but you’ll never be able to catch it. Guitarists form callouses on our fingertips as we acquire more skill, it doesn’t get easier, but we’ll surely get better.


Knowing this was more than enough, now all I had to do was to find company to perform music with, and I was sure I found them when I looked over at our conductor, Mr McClain today.


“A one”


His voice blooms from out of thin air.


“A two”


The mallets rest firmly in my hands, I look over at the marimba player, a look of affirmation on his face. I look back to my xylophone and brace.


“A one two three FOUR!”

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