poetry

All posts tagged poetry

What You’ve Got to Say, and Some Sweet Tunes

Published August 18, 2013 by Jess Arwen

Tonight’s the night to tell a tale. My heart is full (thanks to good music and excitement for the upcoming school year), and rain beats out its sweet rhythm on my window. It’s a night of new beginnings, and thus a celebration of what the Past carried to the Present.

I mentioned once or twice before that I have only played piano a couple years to this point. As I approach my second year of undergraduate study as a Music major (and now an English double-major!), perhaps it’s time to share my story.

Yes, I study piano at school, but I decided to take voice lessons for fun. Well, I didn’t do it just for fun- I thought it’s be a good idea since I ended up directing the newest a cappella choir on campus, which is a funny story really, and I’ll write about it one day. Anyways, my voice teacher one day told me how she’s always wanted to write a book about what it means to make music. She titled it “What You’ve Got to Say” and explained that every time we make a sound, we communicate something from deep within us, that melody or rhythm that keeps our lives moving forward and not back.

Every day that I’m alive, I realize how much more alike we humans are, and I see that somewhere in all of us is a listener, is someone eager to hear the stories of others. There was a quote one of my high school teachers said about reading: “I read to know I’m not alone.” While I can’t find who said that, I know it’s true not only of reading but of any art form in the least.

For me, music combines that distant and abstract form of visual art and sound and silence, themselves, with the poetry that outlines history through human interactions.

It’s poetry.

And it’s beautiful.

And if you want to go back to ancient Greece, you’ll see that they saw music as synonymous with poetry and dance and theatre. It was all one big way to communicate what’s inside, what you have to say.

To the point of this, my first year of playing piano, I practiced a good five or so hours a day, and don’t tell me of this nonsense that I wasn’t practicing right. I’ve seen a lot of that criticism on the internet for people who practice for more than four hours. Not cool, guys. But anyways, I got into the Music Department at my school and was noticed by the other places I auditioned for.

But then the inevitable happened.

You know when you get really excited about starting a project, so you get so much done in the beginning and then kind of forget about it a little later? Yeah, that happened, and I didn’t discipline myself and didn’t practice much at all anymore.

Yet, something always reminds me eventually of why I play. I’ve got a dream, you know. It’s to play music. And a friend of a friend is a phenomenal musician, and any time I listen to his stuff, I instantly want to practice all day, because I remember I love music, so I want to make it. Perhaps the point of this post is to urge everyone to not forget, is to begin to say what’s inside (as I’ve always been hesitant to do so), and to share a pretty cool musician:

Give these guys a listen, you won’t regret it!

Maybe one day I’ll post something of mine here, but for now, here’s what I have to say.

Peace,
Jess