In 20 or so days, I will be entering college. How could this be at age 18? 18 times I have been in front of peers being social, lecturing, and even performing for them. 18 times I have given my parents a hard time about something stupid. 18 times I will have listened to hits on my drums turn into music that is coming together for a show or practice. 18 times I have been involved with incredible friends making memories. 18 times I have dreamed of inspiring, teaching and motivating people; and, I have done that!
Something new is happening in 20 days. Besides cherishing every moment of friendship, knowledge my parents gave me, every drip of sweat and aching muscles when playing music, and every drive home from college, to my home that I lived in for 18 years, I will cherish these things due to one reason and one reason only: I am in college! Perhaps for various people, a statement like the one above, is absurd. If it is to people, they fail to understand and most likely will never understand. However, I am saying this, because in college, one thing is going to drive me to accomplish, and go above and beyond what I have already accomplished, in which that will make me cherish these things. It simply is: music.
Music is the equivalent of spring – a time when new life is born, and a sense of excitement is in the air. Our work is shown to us by being un-appreciated, but people know we work hard; and, music, including music events we participate in begin to develop. For me, playing a solo on the drums or even on congas that I thought of, in which it “came to life” is nothing less than incredible. Something I created in my head comes alive in front of an audience. Over time, the “newborn” grows into a big “mature being.”
Music is the start of something new for musicians like me: a chance to begin anew, a chance to work with lots of people doing great things. All these people, for me, come together and bring the creation of an art form that puts music in motion. In a few days, I will begin my 18th year as a musician, this time, entering college. I will put in a lot of hours to practice and for shows, aside from school work and other lives I have and will have. I will be exhausted. I will laugh. I will cry. I will watch my friends, future students, people I have and will lecture, past and present students, my peers, and my new, old and current musician friends find a sense of accomplishment each day as they achieve big and small goals. I will sweat with them outside during marching band and outside ensemble rehearsals, and I will freeze with them inside Earl Hall and the Lyman Center. I will crawl in bed each night, and drag myself out of it each morning. I will find happiness in every wrong note played, when it is played with commitment and passion; and, I will celebrate when myself and other musicians fix the wrong note on our own. At the end of the week, end of the month, and end of the year, I will watch my friends, performing for me, with me or myself performing for them, and to giant crowds of people perform all we learned and know. I will be able to applaud myself and them the entire time while hearing it, and doing it.
To all my music buddies, past and present, who share with me the same happiness of this time of year, which is going to college in 20 days, our smile and attitude speaks for itself. To the individuals who do not share these feelings I have, perhaps a re-evaluation of your career is in order, and, that goes to the people entering college as well, in terms of their inspiration and achievements they want to accomplish while in college. Musicians should have their own type of oath that includes “Do no harm to what YOU love.” For if we [musicians] are not “in it with other people” from start to finish, we do harm. For me, it is simple: when music becomes a job rather than a hobby of something that you love to do, it is time to step away, because all I will then do is hurt my friends.
I am entering college to be able to continue music: something in someone’s life when committed musicians like myself take on the world, and the world cooperates.
Off to college … is the BEST … FEELING … EVER!