What My Life As A Musician Has Taught Me

What My Life As A Musician Has Taught Me

If my love and enjoyment for music is with me, then I know that I will be alright.

12 Years. 12 wonderful years full of memories and lessons that I plan to carry for the rest of my life. It is one thing to love listening to music, it’s a totally different thing to be a musician and create the sounds that others get to listen to.

Over the years it was never just about playing the right notes, it was more than that and it took me until now to fully appreciate what I have learned. My 8-year-old self-made a huge commitment and I thank her for it every day that I play.

Being a musician has taught me that you will only get better if you practice. There were times when I would be so frustrated while watching other kids play so well and I wanted to sound like them. But, I did not put in the effort that they did. Learning how to play an instrument relates to the saying of, “You only get out what you put in," so when I would only practice for 30 minutes a day, I performed in class as if I only practiced for 30 minutes a day.

I had to learn that I could not solely focus on my strengths, I had to work on what areas I was weak in. This would enable me to become a more well-rounded player. In life, we tend to want to only be around or strengths or positive qualities, when really, we should be trying to help our weaker parts, so we can reach out full potential.

Through music I have learned how to become more understanding of a person and find different way to express myself to the world. Music was a gateway for me to other arts like photography or writing. Music is a language that anyone can learn, and it is universal. It can translate to a depressed person and gives them a smile.

The perfect song might help the special someone to saying yes. Even adds suspense to our favorite action-packed movie or horror film. There is music all around us and without it, we start to lose a sense of ourselves and the connection we once had with other people.

My life with music has taught me to take chances. Sometimes I was terrified of how others would think of me when played, but eventually, I realized that all that matter was what I thought of my playing. Music taught me to be there for others and support them, even when they cannot support themselves; whether they were dealing with stage fright, me lending my rosin to them or telling when what measure we were on. I know they would have done the same for me and that is what makes the whole experience warm and comforting.

Over the years, being a musician became a part of me. Whether I was in a band in 4th grade, choir in elementary/middle school or in orchestra all the way through 2017 into my junior year of college. It is a part of my identity and I am proud to have this under my belt. You tend to meet many people along the way of becoming a greater player, some will challenge you, others will support you and the rest will admire your skill.

I have gain some awesome friendships and relationships through my love of music. We have gone on trips together, performed in many concerts and created memories that will last a long time.

I want to thank all the people who have stood by me in my journey as a music player, friends, conductors, teachers, and my family. Without you all, this experience would not have been as amazing. I cannot say what God has in store for me in the future; but if my love and enjoyment for music is with me, then I know that I will be alright.

Cover Image Credit: Deb Greengold

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11 Things Psychology Majors Hear That Drive Them Crazy

No pun intended.

We've all been there. You're talking to a new acquaintance, or a friend of your parents, or whoever. And then, you get the dreaded question.

"So what are you studying in school?"

Cue the instant regret of picking Psychology as your major, solely for the fact that you are 99.9% likely to receive one of the slightly comical, slightly cliche, slightly annoying phrases listed below. Don't worry though, I've included some responses for you to use next time this comes up in conversation. Because it will.

Quick side note, these are all real-life remarks that I've gotten when I told people I was a psych major.

Here we go.

1. So are you, like, analyzing me right now?

Well, I wasn't. But yeah. Now I am.

2. Ugh so jealous! You picked the easy major.

"Lol" is all I have to say to this one. I'm gonna go write my 15-page paper on cognitive impairment. You have fun with your five college algebra problems, though!

3. So can you tell me what you think is wrong with me? *Shares entire life story*

Don't get me wrong; I love listening and helping people get through hard times. But we can save the story about how one time that one friend said that one slightly rude comment to you for later.

4. Well, s**t, I have to be careful what I say around you.

Relax, pal. I couldn't diagnose and/or institutionalize you even if I wanted to.

5. OMG! I have the perfect first client for you! *Proceeds to vent about ex-boyfriend or girlfriend*

Possible good response: simply nod your head the entire time, while actually secretly thinking about the Ben and Jerry's carton you're going to go home and demolish after this conversation ends.

6. So you must kind of be like, secretly insane or something to be into Psychology.

Option one: try and hide that you're offended. Option two: just go with it, throw a full-blown tantrum, and scare off this individual, thereby ending this painful conversation.

7. Oh. So you want to be a shrink?

First off, please. Stop. Calling. Therapists. Shrinks. Second, that's not a psych major's one and only job option.

8. You know you have to go to grad school if you ever want a job in Psychology.

Not completely true, for the record. But I am fully aware that I may have to spend up to seven more years of my life in school. Thanks for the friendly reminder.

9. So you... want to work with like... psychopaths?

Let's get serious and completely not-sarcastic for a second. First off, I take personal offense to this one. Having a mental illness does not classify you as a psycho, or not normal, or not deserving of being treated just like anyone else on the planet. Please stop using a handful of umbrella terms to label millions of wonderful individuals. It's not cool and not appreciated.

10. So can you, like, read my mind?

It actually might be fun to say yes to this one. Try it out and see what happens. Get back to me.

11. You must be a really emotional person to want to work in Psychology.

Psychology is more than about feeling happy, or sad, or angry. Psychology is about understanding the most complex thing to ever happen to us: our brain. How it works the way it does, why it works the way it does, and how we can better understand and communicate with this incredibly mysterious, incredibly vast organ in our tiny little skull. That's what psychology is.

So keep your head up, psychology majors, and don't let anyone discourage you about choosing, what is in my opinion, the coolest career field out there. The world needs more people like us.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Short Stories On Odyssey: Roses

What's worth more than red roses?


Five years old and a bouquet of roses rested in her hands. The audience-- clapped away her performance, giving her a standing ovation. She's smiling then because everything made sense, her happiness as bright as the roses she held in her hands.

Fifteen now, and a pile of papers rested on her desk. The teachers all smiled when she walked down the aisle and gave them her presentation. She was content then but oh so stressed, but her parents happy she had an A as a grade, not red on her chest.

Eighteen now and a trail of tears followed her to the door. Partying, and doing some wild things, she just didn't know who she was. She's crying now, doesn't know anymore, slamming her fists into walls, pricking her fingers on roses' thorns.

Twenty-one and a bundle of bills were grasped in her hands. All the men-- clapped and roared as she sold her soul, to the pole, for a dance. She's frowning now because everything went wrong, but she has to stay strong, for rich green money, is worth more than red roses.

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