The Music in Me

Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.

I look down and stare at my child-sized hands resting awkwardly on the keys and see a puzzled face staring back at me in the shiny black reflection. I squint at the music, deciphering the notes, and press what I presume to be a C chord: the piano’s most basic chord. Even though I was off by just one key, the sound of dissonance fills the space around me. I stop immediately, look behind me at my teacher, and shake my head.

“That was wrong” I state bluntly.

Wordlessly, she puts my hand back on the piano and repositions my fingers on the keys. I press again, and am rewarded with the beautiful, rich sound that only this C chord makes.

At six years old, my biggest fear was failure, and my biggest regret (at least for that half hour) was insisting to my parents that I was old enough to take piano lessons just like my big sister.

This back and forth of lessons went on for six months until my teacher moved to another state. In those six months, I’d mastered all the staple tunes for beginning musicians: Mary had a Little Lamb, Happy Birthday, and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.

But when my teacher moved away, I was just relieved that I could stop lessons. I’d lost interest in playing, and our piano sat in the living room, untouched and...

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