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Music and Me

Zach McGunagle

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Like many other people, music is an important part of my life. I grew up singing along with the radio, listening to the worship band at my church, and watching “Baby Mozart.” Music was my safe haven throughout life’s confusion, and it has and always will be part of my daily routine. I get jittery when I can’t sit down and play notes on my keyboard, or lie down and listen to my favorite album. However, my story is not unique; there are many like it, and there are far more haunting stories than mine of people whose lifeline is music. It’s a beautiful thing that music can save lives and that an artist can pull emotion from deep inside themselves, and give it to us as salvation. Music in whatever form — pop, rap, classical, hard rock — has a story behind it and something to teach.

Not only do I enjoy listening to music, I enjoy playing it as well. The most exciting part about playing music is that you can make it your own (and write your own). It’s a commonly known fact that music means something different to everyone, just like poetry and painting. While each piece of art might try to convey a specific message, it resonates with each and every person differently based on their own experiences in life. Once you know your instrument, you can add different emotions to the music you play. By using simple techniques like slowing down and speeding up, or picking up or lowering the volume you can create different effects in the song. Watching other people play music with this kind of knowledge and emotion inspired me to take up the hobby. I currently play four instruments roughly, and by roughly I mean I have by no means mastered any of them. I am no prodigy, nor was I forced to play piano when I was younger. I simply enjoy music as a hobby.

It is my full belief that anyone can learn anything. It simply requires reinforcement and practice. If you have already learned to talk, read, and write, even at an amateur level, you can play music. Obviously there are some instruments harder to play than others. I would recommend starting somewhere simple, such as piano, to get a foundation for music. From there anything is possible, but only if you dedicate yourself to the art. I managed to learn how to play basic songs on the guitar within the period of about five months, with some help from my dad and a few online videos. This was because I had a passion for the music I wanted to play — and I wanted to play to impress girls, but that’s beside the point. If you don’t have a passion for the music, then at some point you are going to hit a brick wall.

Lastly, do not ever tell yourself that you can’t play the instrument or that you are not good enough. I told myself this plenty of times, and I moved past it, which means everything I told myself I could not do was a lie. Believe in yourself and what you are capable of, and anything is possible. Once you do these things, you will be able to learn whatever instrument you like, and play any song you want, as long as you have dedication and passion.

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Music and Me