“…music is something to be passionate about, to learn about, and to gain mastery over, again and again, never actually surrendering to the will of the musician, but always driving them to continue to strive for something more.”
Listen to the song while reading the text.
For most of my early life, music was hardly on my radar. I spent my days focused on being a good student, spending time with friends, playing with my Legos, watching cartoons, and reading fantasy books. On occasion, my parents would even buy me a CD (some of them even including The Beatles and The White Stripes, now two of my all-time favorite bands), which would just end up sitting on a shelf somewhere in the house, untouched. I had it pretty well figured out, or as well figured out as a elementary school aged kid can get, so why spend any of my precious free time listening to music, when there were so many other great things to do?
School of Rock
Funnily enough, my friend Will and I went to see the movie School of Rock, and that brought music to the front lines of my mind. Thinking back on it, only one of my closest friends would have been able to make this happen, and a movie was the perfect medium to help me realize what I had been missing. Now, that movie was written to be a comedy, and I do find it quite comical, but to me it was inspiring. I was shown a story of kids my age finding a driving passion that they were all willing to fight for. They found a purpose. I didn’t realize until that moment, that I wanted that same purpose.
A few years later, I finally found the opportunity to pursue music the way that I wanted. I say “the way that I wanted” because during my much younger years my wonderful mother tried teaching me piano. Long story short, that was short lived. My high school was offering a guitar class as an elective. I always thought that I could be a drummer, but the price between a guitar and a drum kit was quite large, especially for a 15-year-old with no after school job. So, with the help of my parents and previous summer employment, I was able to buy a guitar and begin attending this class. I was so excited to start learning music.
An Uphill Climb
I’m sure I had the same thoughts as many of my peers of becoming a prodigy at the guitar, being in a rock band, the whole nine yards. I quickly realized how much work it was going to take to even play Ode to Joy (which was the first song I learned on the guitar). I saw this process of learning to play as an uphill climb: It was always going to be hard, feeling like I was getting nowhere, until I reached a summit of mastering a song or a skill. Those summits kept me going. Every so often I would reach one, and would have a moment of clarity, seeing how far I had come, little by little. Now, I wouldn’t say I have become that prodigy that I had envisioned myself becoming, I have a long way to go until I get there. However, I can say that the hard work and challenges that come with playing music make it all the more rewarding.
I’m certain that most, if not all musicians know the sentiment of immense satisfaction from mastering even just the smallest part of their creative craft. It’s euphoric. If you don’t know what I mean, then start practicing, start creating, start playing a new song. Music means so many things to me, and one of them is that music is something to be passionate about, to learn about, and to gain mastery over, again and again, never actually surrendering to the will of the musician, but always driving them to continue to strive for something more. Music is for all of us, so become a part of it, and maybe you’ll even hear something you like.
Trevor McCord, Category: Artist, Singles: Traveler’s Dream, Signs, Top Tracks: The Selfish Little Things We Do, What Are You Trying to Say to Me?, Something’s Wrong, Struggle, Max (Stranger, Savior, Hero, Friend), Monthly Listeners: 12, Where People Listen: Portland, Penne-dAgenais, Wembley, Santiago, Sacramento