Like an alcoholic I let the sound and touch of the piano intoxicate me letting it run through my veins numbing all my troubles. The tears would dry and my face would fall with no expression. All the chatter and movement around me would evaporate and the only sound that remained was the tapping of my fingers and Tchaikovsky’s sweet melody blaring through my headphones. This…was my sanctuary.
When I was younger my parents had put me in violin classes, I don’t remember the reason but I hated it. I couldn’t take the teacher seriously as she would skip around I didn’t know a horse could play the violin until I saw her. My parents tell me that I had refused to play the violin and that I wanted to play the piano, but they didn’t want to waste more time on something I would most likely drop. While I was busy being bullied in middle school my teacher wanted to teach about music theory paring us up on a keyboard but the kids were so childish my teacher gave up and had us just clapping notes.
When I had reached high school I didn’t hesitate to sign up for piano classes, I took a bigger step and made it into my major for school. This is would be the greatest gift I were to ever receive, the gift of music. Classes started at 7:30am and everyday I would try to make it even sooner to try making it before the class, so that I could play the piano with out headphones and just listen to the music I played in a silent room. The class was two periods long and an optional break in between. I never took it, I played for those two hours nonstop. Around the last days of school when everyone was skipping school to go to the the beach I showed up and continued to play.
Josh may have been my first boyfriend but music was my first love. A love that would make me feel safe and happy, a love that had to help me when I was in my worst, a love that would make me proud.
In grade school despite my personal issues I had kept my grades at its highest and my mom do to my grandmothers passing never acknowledged it, making me feel worthless. I had worked hard and when it came to high school I figured what was the point when I would go unnoticed. Until my piano teacher…Ms. Green, would tell me the words I longed to hear.
It was my third year and she was going to retire at the end of school year, I was devastated. She wanted me to play my progress for her, the piece she had given me, Claire De Lune by Claude Debussy. My hands shaking with nerves and sweating with anticipation, I began to glide my fingers through the keys. To my surprise I begin to hear a noise following my playing, and my eyes begin to swell up with tears, she was humming to the tune. My fingers stop tapping and I quickly rub my eyes playing off a tired sleepiness to my composure so that she would not see how I really felt. She looks at me with a soft expression and tells me that it was beautiful. That she had me for three years and she had seen my progress as a pianist, that she was proud of me. When she spoke those words I had to bite my lip to keep my tears back. I was an emotional wreck, I just nodded and kept playing for the rest of the class.
I owe her my life for giving me that gift the first day I had started high school, and she taught me how to use that gift for three years. I regret not telling her how much she meant to me, how much she had done for me, how much she had changed my world, and how thankful I was for it….
She had believed in me enough to perform a solo in the school concert, in that huge auditorium lights blaring at my face making it impossible to see the audience. When my nerves got the best of me I looked over at her and she signaled me to continue and so I did. Even though I had messed up several times she told me I had done great and to be proud of myself for doing the solo. She was my greatest inspiration, I wanted to be just like her. But she was to leave, and I would no longer have piano my last year, the year I needed it the most. They had replaced my piano keys with a choir teacher that was so full of himself, a marimba, a guitar, and a trumpet.
My last year I had spent most my time at the performing arts building, I had percussion class, choir, art, and guitar. Soon enough I would also take a leap at a very cultural group, mariachi.
Mariachi saved my life, in school and outside of school. Things were horrible at home, my love life was a mess, friends…hilarious, school…failing, and I would soon learn my greatest nightmare. Mariachi had open up my heart to music again. After losing piano I was depressed for months. My guitar class was a joke, my choir teacher was a narcissist, percussion wasn’t that bad but it made me miss piano more. When I was in Mariachi I was happy, I had learned so much about not just how to play the trumpet but how beautiful the songs actually were. It helped me connect with my dad as of course he was excited for me he liked hearing me practice at home.
When the world was crushing my soul I was excited to stay after school because I had found my medicine again. Despite me being at school from 7am to 6pm, I wanted…I needed to feel the same intoxicating feeling again. I needed the music to numb all the pain. I needed to feel proud of something, I needed to feel like I was doing something right. My instructor made sure I knew I was, he had told me I was one of his fastest learning student when it came to the trumpet. When we would perform so many people were excited to hear us, we even got an encore once.
I was happy to be in that group but unfortunately the program only allowed high school students and I had to graduate. I had to grow up and deal with my monsters, I couldn’t run away from them anymore. I had nothing to numb the pain, which left me to lose my mind.