Like Living Creatures

Sophia Kim, age 16
Like Living Creatures Sophia Kim is a writer based in Virginia. She is in the 10th grade. In her spare time, she enjoys all kinds of music. She lives with her parents and her dog.

Music. It’s what keeps us entertained, it’s what people have in common, it’s what genres we listen to, it’s what cultures we spread, and what languages we speak. Music is all around us. It is what makes my life so special, both now, and when it first inspired me. In every way, shape, and form, it is the instruments that truly make music come alive.

Music. It’s what keeps us entertained, it’s what people have in common, it’s what genres we listen to, it’s what cultures we spread, and what languages we speak. Music is all around us. It is what makes my life so special, both now and when it first inspired me. In every way, shape, and form, it is the instruments that truly make music come alive. 

Music, and the instruments it is played on, have been a part of my life ever since I was little. The first time I was inspired to play music was when I listened to a popular classical piece by Ludwig van Beethoven called Fur Elise. The different techniques used to play this piece captured my imagination and showed me so many new possibilities: how fast the fingers moved, how loud or how soft it was played, how fast or slow different parts of the piece were, and what notes were played with. The moment I heard and experienced this piece, I knew that I wanted to start playing the piano. I never looked back, nor do I regret it. 

Beside the piano is one of the places where I feel the happiest. It makes me come alive. The keys on the piano make me feel so free. Every single black and white key located on the piano has a different tone and pitch. You can play two notes at once and they will sound different. The moment I touch the piano, I let out all my emotions and just focus on the beautiful instrument in front of me. Piano is also what inspired me to start playing the violin.

I prefer the violin over the piano because the violin has a much more pleasing and delightful sound. Like the notes on the piano, each note on the violin brings its own unique sound. Each string on the violin is a different thickness and texture. The lowest string on the violin, the G string, is a lot thicker than the E string, the highest string on the violin. Violin requires you to have diligent and concentrated fingers in order to successfully execute the violin. Every single technique used to properly execute the violin requires concentration and diligence. 

Of course, concentration and diligence mean nothing without lots and lots of practice. You cannot expect to be perfect all the time, or right away. As the famous violinist Itzhak Perlman says, “One must always practice slowly. If you learn something slowly, you forget it slowly.” When I first started playing, it was a nightmare. My violin sounded terrible, my notes were all out of tune, my bow sounded scratchy, and I had poor knowledge of where the notes were on the violin. It was not a very pleasant experience. A scratchy bow on the violin with out-of-tune notes is equivalent to the sound of a dying goat. Not a very delightful and pleasant sound. 

 But I practiced, I had lessons, and over time, my playing got much better. Before playing the violin, I had no idea that composing music, and not just playing it, would be life changing. I discovered a new passion that I had no idea I loved so much. I also gained new friends because of orchestra and got to experience what it is like to play in a full orchestra. Playing as part of a full orchestra is an entirely different and fantastic experience. I got to be surrounded by the music in a way that felt entirely different from just playing by myself in my living room. 

My piano is located in the living room of my house. There, it sits waiting for me to warm it up and move around its keys that are getting older day by day. Everyday, it waits for me to sit on its seat and put music on its stand, and flip the pages of its music books. Every hour of every day, it sits in agonizing silence, waiting and waiting and waiting. I look and walk past it everyday in my house. My violin sits in a case in the family room of my house. In its case, it is nice and snug, sitting in the right environment to keep it from breaking or cracking. Everyday, it sits cozy in its case while waiting for the right time to be used. When it is time for it to be used, its strings prepare to make beautiful sounds, and its bow prepares to produce the beautiful sounds that come out of the violin. As every minute, second, hour, and day goes by, it loses the beautiful pitch and tone that it makes, gradually growing old, and eventually unusable. Instruments are like living creatures. Without the right care and nourishment, they will quickly rot and eventually die or become unusable. The longer they are in use, the slower they will break and become wasted. Music and my instruments is what keeps me engaged, dedicated, and passionate. Without music, I may not have discovered my true talent. I cherish every part of my music journey. 

Music brings me joy, happiness, peace. I hope by describing why music makes me happy, it will show how important and meaningful it is to me. Not just because of the way I play or what sounds come out, but because of the way it allows me to express myself without actually having to say words.

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