Passion For Music

Music defines me; it allows me to stay positive and enthusiastic, express myself, and feel comfortable and content.
Music has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My experience began with piano lessons at the age of six. Every Wednesday after school, I would go to my teacher’s house for a half hour. Frequent practicing, method books, and intensive instruction from my teacher helped me improve both my skill and technique, become a successful player, and learn how to play my favorite instrument: the piano.
When I was twelve, however, I quit these lessons. I did not have as much time as I used to, and I grew tired of playing notes and reading sheet music out of performance books I frankly did not have much interest in. I grew tired of being told exactly what to do and what to play. So I quit the lessons and, without realizing it, the piano as a whole, until the beginning of High School.
In the midst of Freshman year  — after not touching a piano or keyboard in over a year — I noticed a particularly sweet-sounding and beautiful piano feature in a popular song that I liked; it inspired me to dig out the keyboard from my closet I had not touched in so long. Listening to the song, I started to recognize chords and played them on the black and white keys I called home. After a couple days, I could play it well. As I became exponentially better and better, playing by ear — interpreting what you hear in a song and playing it on piano without music — became more than a great new hobby; it became my favorite talent, and it came so naturally to me. I felt comfortable. Now, I play the piano almost everyday, either exploring a new song I’ve recently heard or recording one I’ve been working on.
If I continued on with lessons through High School, I think I might have simply lost interest and dropped the piano completely as I took on more extracurricular activities and challenging classes — a more busy schedule as a whole. The temporary break in my piano career a few years ago allowed me to reshape and rethink my relationship with music; when I was not forced to play the piano, I enjoyed it much more. Rather than looking towards a heavily inked sheet to tell me how to articulate a note, how long to hold down a pedal, or how loud to play at every measure, playing by ear allows me to decide what I want to do. I play songs that I hear on my iPod or the radio and recreate them as well as making changes; I cover them. I can be more creative, take risks, and play what I personally think sounds good instead of having to follow someone else’s strict guidelines. For me, the piano has changed from a high-labor activity to a real passion and appreciation for music.