I have played the piano since I was about five years old.  At first, piano seemed like a chore to me.  I dreaded the idea of devoting time for practice every day.  I would end up not practicing, leading me to be unprepared for lessons and waste time as well as money reviewing the same concepts.  That was until I began to listen to more music, particularly K-pop.  When a hip-hop song was playing, I felt like grooving along.  When the song was upbeat, I felt like doing a little booty-shake.  When a ballad was playing, I felt like bawling my eyes out.  

When I heard the K-ballad song “Aching” by Kassy, it nearly brought me to tears and gave me a massive case of goosebumps.  I thought to myself, How can a song make me feel so many different emotions even though I don’t understand the lyrics?  I suddenly began to appreciate music and ache for the emotional sensations it brought me.  Once I searched up the lyrics translated to English, the song became even more meaningful.  The line “Like a flower blooming on the white snow, I’ve endured alone on this rough road” reminds me of the challenges I have been able to overcome and how it has made me who I am today.

Music is more than just sound.  It is a harmony of emotions.  The composer puts their own emotions into the tune, rhythm, and beat of a song.  It is a form of creation and creativity.  The piece is personal to whoever composed it, allowing them to be creative with the vibe and mood.  Music has endless interpretations, allowing each person to enjoy it in their own way.  This is proof that the world isn’t so black and white.  There are countless combinations of instruments, tunes, tempos, and dynamics that make up a song.  There isn’t one “right” way of making or interpreting music, as “things come together so many different ways” (“Lost and Found” Video).  For someone going through heartbreak, certain tunes or lyrics might be relatable or comforting, even though the composer may have been referring to his or her own heartbreak.

That is why I believe that music has the ability to change people’s lives.  Even if someone is listening to music by themself, they aren’t really alone.  Music connects the thoughts and emotions of the composer with that of the listener without the need for in-person confrontation.  Everyone has a desire to “tell their story and they want someone to listen to their story” (The 99% Invisible podcast “The Mojave Phone Booth”).  A story doesn’t have to be told in words.  Music is able to convey feelings through a combination of sounds that is appealing to the ear.  People all over the world turn to music as it “has changed other people’s lives.  It’s definitely become a refuge for a lot of people” (“The Last Bookstore” Documentary).  On a Friday, music gets me hyped and in the mood to celebrate!  After a tough day, music reminds me to stay kind, hopeful, and positive.                  

For instance, another one of my favorite K-pop songs is “Midnight Blue” by B.I.  The last line of the song is “Holding back your tears at night is your life.  I’ll pretend I don’t know.  So go ahead and cry.”  It reminds me not only to be understanding and caring of others, but to accept that it’s okay to cry.  I am lucky to have family and friends who are there to support me during challenging times.  I also love the song “Bonfire Heart” by James Blunt.  One line says “People like us, we don’t… need that much… just someone that starts… starts the spark in our bonfire hearts.”  I am so thankful for my sister, who is my best friend and biggest supporter.  The lyrics make me think of her and are truly “heartwarming.”  Get it?  Never mind.

After falling in love with music, I began to translate the melody of songs I liked to notes on the piano.  Suddenly, I was learning new songs on my own every week.  After that, I began to enjoy piano lessons and spend extra time learning new pieces.  I am now starting to learn the violin and I am loving every moment of it.  Music has become a haven for me to express my emotions and thoughts when I don’t have the courage to say them aloud or write them down.

It has changed my life, and I genuinely believe that it can change yours.  Just turn up the music and let it do its thing.  It’s an unexplainable feeling.

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