Chimes. Drums. Vocals. Guitar. Violin. Simple entities by themselves, yet when put together, the melodies can sweep me away.
All my life, music has been of a great importance. It has marked some of my greatest memories. Now, some of you may be thinking, Oh, she must be a musician, or must study music. Quite the contrary, my friends. Now, let me explain.
Growing up, music was always around my house. I would jam out to the Disney CD’s that contained the classics, like “Part of Your World” and “It’s a Small World.” Those were some of my favorite CD’s growing up. My family also had this special tradition on spaghetti nights; my parents would either put on Frank Sinatra or the opera to Camelot to create an ambiance-filled experience. My dad owned all sorts of music, and had even a really nice stereo set that contained a record player, and cassette player. It was beautiful, and marked many happy memories for me. Mannhiem Steamroller’s Christmas albums would play from that same stereo system on Christmas mornings as my siblings and I ran out of our bedrooms, down the hallway, to the fireplace to find our stockings full of goodies.
There did come a time in life when I was given the opportunity to try my hand at an instrument or two. All of my siblings did. It was a school program at my elementary school, which was awesome. They allowed us to try a string instrument. My brother and I tried violin and one of my older sisters tried the cello. Amber, my sister, was very talented, but, man, did my mom hate having to help her lug that thing around! Amber also took on the guitar and was talented at that too. Me, on the other hand, was not musically inclined. Nor was I when I tried the piano a few years later. It was sort of cliche trying the piano, I felt, but I also really wanted to play. I just wasn’t any good. I remember playing ‘Singing in the Rain’ at an eighth grade recital, and could not figure out the crescendo or otherwise. All the highlights were wrong and I couldn’t stop shaking from stage fright. I was terrified. And it showed. So, after that, piano went on hold for awhile. It’s still on hold.
Music, though, still speaks to me. It means so much with the memories I associate it with, and when I can’t find the words to say, or the emotions to express, music is there. There is a certain depth and passion that is found within the instruments, not just the lyrics. And that passion makes me move.
I may not be able to create music, but I can find the movement to the melodies. Dance is an escape, an ecstasy, a drug, its own language. It’s a language that I find comfort in, as well as fluency. It is something special. As the music comes on, whether its in my headphones, or in a crowded room, my mind drifts to the sounds, escaping reality, clearing my mind, and my body starts to move. Whether I am doing something else, or am just listening, my mind turns into a stage, and the choreography comes alive, offering a catharsis. It’s hard to explain the feeling of music, other than it offering an alternative reality. It is it’s own world, and I get lost in it.
Music marks some of the most joyous moments of my life; family time, Christmas, memories of my dad. But, it also holds so much more as I have grown into a dancer. It not only speaks of joy, and nostalgia, but reminds me of the pains and hurt I have experienced throughout my life; the growth that has come, and what is meaningful to me. It is so much more than an instrument. It is another life, alive, breathing, pulsing through my veins.