What Music Means to Me

“When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and to the latest.”

My earliest memory about music is my mother blaring Shania Twain in the car on the way to wherever we might be going at the time. My god, as I child, I loved every moment of it; and I still do to this day. My father would consistently play his favorite Canadian founded band Blue Rodeo whenever he would get the chance. They also so happen to be my first ever live concert performance that I have ever attended. My parents were never influenced by music (I am sure they were in some way) or were musical talented themselves as they never had the opportunity. Therefore, my mother wanted me to learn the piano, so she signed me up for lessons at our local music shop; I will forever be in her debt. But I wouldn’t say this is where my love and appreciation for music began as I, at a young age, couldn’t yet see the value of learning contemporary music or an instrument. But still, I tried, and their mutual love for Shania Twain and Blue Rodeo was the stepping stone to my own individual discoveries and explorations towards my personal musical taste and desire to learn an instrument.   

Once I began to teach myself the acoustic guitar, I began to have jam sessions with my best friend Jake (who plays the piano) and his father, Mark (who also played the guitar) showed us how to play as individuals, and afterward as a group to put it all together. Mark would show us how to play songs by the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Steve Miller Band, the Barenaked Ladies, and so forth. Once we became competent with our instruments, Jake and I would start to search for songs to learn ourselves. With all that being said, I certainly don’t play like Stevie, and Jake doesn’t play like Elton, but that is, of course, not the point. The carry off is the joy we receive from singing and playing together for hours on end and continuously learning every time we play.   

I have been learning guitar for the past 4 years now, and my interest to bring something new to the table in “The music room” (where myself, Jake, and Mark, and whoever we might have on the drums at the time would jam) is what cultivated my love for music and what I would listen to this day. To me, music should be, of course, fun, but being genuine and authentic; storytelling, a display of emotion and feeling is important. You should almost be communicating. The “supergroup” Crosby, Stills, Nash (& Young) is a prime example of this. Songs such as “Ohio” take a political stance to the Kent State shootings in 1970, or “Guinevere” that is an expression of love that David Crosby had for 3 individuals in different stages of his life. The main idea is to have fun, but this idea of purity and authenticity is what I primarily consider when going into “The music room.” The wondrous feeling you get when you harmonize perfectly together and take turns having a go at improvising a solo is like no other. The raw emotion displayed when we play stems from how we feel in a particular moment. Whether that feeling may be past or present, regardless, it depicts who we are as individuals and how much we appreciate one another. It is some of the most genuine and palpable moments that I have had in my life thus far. Unfortunately, I feel that this may only be something you can truly understand if you play and experience it yourself. But, it can certainly still be appreciated by those who may be listening. The music is for amusement and brought together, and sometimes it is a form of communication. That is what music is to me; joy and communication.   

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