My experience with music

Some of you probably know that music is very important to me, so I thought it would be fun to discuss the role it has played as a hobby, passion, and creative release for basically my entire life.

The first musical memory I have is attending my sister’s (orchestra?) concert when she was in high school. I vividly remember (my mom can confirm this) waving my arms around as if I were the conductor while they were playing. I was probably about three at this time.

Then, I remember elementary school music class and chorus, where I had an amazing music teacher who always kept me feeling inspired. He is honestly one of the most musically talented people I have met (he wrote and directed multiple entire productions on his own). We sang simple songs, played the recorder, and did other typical elementary level musical activities. I remember a lot of my classmates did not take music class seriously, and I got very irritated at their lack of appreciation.

In third or fourth grade, I began taking both piano and voice lessons with my music teacher, which I would continue until middle school. During this time, I also had roles in my class play and the elementary school musicals, and attended summer theater camps.

In middle school, I was involved in the production Annie. After this, for some reason, I stopped participating in performing arts at my school (other than briefly to be a part of the production of Footloose). I think it was because I wanted to be more active in cheerleading, and I only had so many hours in the day, but I sometimes wonder how my experience might have been different if I’d continued.

Despite that I stopped participating in performing arts, I was still musically active. I would spend a ton of my time online, discovering new music, and particularly on YouTube, watching covers of popular songs. I also began to play guitar some time in high school, so that required a lot of my time, as I was teaching myself. I even began to collaborate with my friends and post videos of our covers of songs (yes, these are still online… it doesn’t even feel like me when I watch those videos, since I have changed so much since then. I’m no longer active on this channel, but I keep the old videos up so I can look back and see how much I progress in terms of guitar, etc).

During college, I had a bit of a musical hiatus. I always had my guitar on campus, but there wasn’t much privacy. While I have no problem performing in front of an audience when I know a song, I *hate* being around others when I am learning a song (or trying to be creative and write my own). It really interrupts my focus and bothers me a lot. So, I spent a lot of time wishing I could be playing guitar but feeling unable to.

Once I graduated college, I started to get back into it. I have hit a bit of a plateau with my guitar playing, and now I’m spending a lot more of my time trying to improve. Now, I actually have recording equipment and music software that allows me to document this journey, which is something I’m trying to invest some time into. I must admit that it feels a bit self-indulgent to spend time recording music when I have all of these other priorities in my life, but I also believe that you have to do what feeds your soul. And writing my own songs is something that I’m also working toward. My hope is that I could one day provide people with the same kind of joy that others’ music has given me, so I will continue to share some of my music on my YouTube channel 🙂

How has music helped, inspired, or taught you (or not) in life?

-AK

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