What Music Means to Me

Katie Romes, Guest Writer

I never thought that I would find a passion for something I used to despise. Growing up, I was put into piano lessons at four years old and every wednesday for nine years I would show up to the same colorful house with the same stiff piano and the same incredible teacher. I would come home and complain when I saw ‘practice piano’ on my to-do list. I absolutely hated it.

However, as the years went on, I began to form a irreplaceable bond with my teacher. She knew me better than anyone. She was the one who recognized that I wasn’t the type of player who could just read notes and play them perfectly, like I was supposed to. I was the kid who needed to change something; I always made it my own. My mom promised me that I was allowed to quit in the eighth grade and that is exactly what I did. I remember crying the entire ride home after telling my teacher that I wasn’t going to continue. For that entire year our piano gathered dust sitting untouched in the corner. That was the toughest year of my life. I was transitioning into high school, I didn’t have many friends, and I found myself in the deepest pit of stress and emotion I have ever gone through. During that time I discovered a new way to play, a way that a friend told me was “the perfect way to express emotion.” I learned how to write my own music, lyrical and compositional. My friend taught me that guitar chords can be played on the piano, and with that knowledge, I could create anything. As I began changing the chords around and experimenting I learned that the true talent behind music is the feeling that is put into it. It never mattered whether or not I played a wrong note, because everything I played was unique.

After I discovered that the true power of music comes from the emotions that are behind it, I began to write non-stop. I have written twelve piano compositions and thirty five lyrical songs and every part of me wants to perform them for the rest of my life. Music provides an insight into the emotional part of a person’s mind. Last March, I wrote a song describing why I do what I do. I performed it for our school Cabaret, and I will admit it was hard. The song, even though it didn’t appear to be, was extremely personal. I felt almost exposed while playing it. The song described how every time I play, it’s for the one thousand heart beats listening. The line that best describes why I do it is : “People spend their lives searching for the saving words, and the ones you write may end their search.” It’s saying that no matter the pain I am going through, or the heartbreak that I am experiencing, there is someone out there who is going through the same thing. That one line I come up with on the car ride home may reach them in a way I didn’t know possible. My teacher always said the same thing before every performance I had, “Let’s hope that your music touches at least one heart out there tonight.” I have lived by those words ever since, and that’s why I do what I do.