What matters to you and why?

What is the world without music? Is it silent? Is it still? It is empty. As a child, I desired to have a musical outlet but struggled in finding an instrument that suited me. Throughout my four years of piano lessons, I enjoyed the playing, yet I lacked the skill necessary to excel. I couldn’t focus and practice because this instrument did not grasp me. This experience brought me to try violin, and I soon found again that it was not for me either. I found that this type of music bored me, and it was not what I was searching for. I wanted something different and unique.

In 2010, I bought my first ukulele on Amazon and taught myself how to play through online lessons. Within two weeks, I could perform nearly every song I came across. It wasn’t until that first strum on my very first ukulele that I realized how important music is in our lives. I had a new understanding not only of music, but also of myself. I found the reason I wanted to play music and enjoy it: music strongly contrasted my academic life with something that I loved doing. When my mind is full of equations I know I can sit in my room and play Jack Johnson or Taylor Swift until my stress is gone. Through ukulele, I’ve also gained confidence that I never had. I...

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