I've always been inspired by the music around me. But what has it taught me?
Growing up, I was always exposed to different genres of music in my household, such as reggae's greatest artists, Bob Marley and Barrington Levy ( I have Caribbean roots), jazz saxophonist Kenny G, and soul via Soul Train, which was always such a blast for the younger me.
It wasn't until I was around eight-years-old that I remember watching a performance of some kind on TV, and this gentleman was playing the piano. As the camera panned across the screen, I was instantly intrigued by the dexterity of his fingers as he pressed the keys, melodiously playing out what I thought was the most angelic thing ever to grace my ears.
"Mom and dad, I want to learn how to play that [piano]," I said.
They both looked at each other quizzically because, like most parents, children are a bit fickle in their wants, but they soon obliged. The very next day, my parents and I took a trip to our local music supply store/ music school and settled on a standard upright electronic piano, accompanied by piano lessons there ( the initial piano instructor was very rude, so I ended up getting home lessons from a music school which I loved!).
While taking piano lessons, I grew a fondness for classical music, some of my favorite composers being Chopin and Beethoven, which led me down the path of listening to classical music enough to put on my already colorful playlist.
With the newfound hobby of playing the piano ( I stopped taking formal lessons when I was 18-years-old), I decided to teach myself to play other classical music and the genres that I grew up listening to, and even the occasional alternative style music. This opened up a whole new door for me to explore other people's modes of expression, whether happy, sad, or merely a means to vent about all the things happening in the world around them constructively and artistically.
At the end of the day, knowing that music is all around us and has been present throughout the duration of human existence as we know it is an integral part of connection through art.
Understanding different forms of music have taught me that there is so much freedom in making your own decisions to create a life that you want for yourself. It allows you to have a well-rounded aspect of the world's exciting and unique cultures, tones, and life experiences free from judgment and ridicule, which is all we crave as human beings.