Emily Lam

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Monday, August 15, 2011

Playing Music

(Sigh, it's been almost one month since the last time I blogged. I don't know what happened to me. I just stopped. Hopefully, I'm back on track.)

Yesterday, I went hiking. It was grand and at times adventurous – we were chancing thunderstorms. We rambled – I believe that's British English for hiked – Mount Monadnock in Jaffrey, New Hampshire. Mount Monadnock has a summit of 3,166 ft and is part of the White Mountains section of the Appalachian Mountains. We made it up with no rain and lunched at the summit with intense fog, chill, and wind. Down, we nearly made it back dry. We were fortunate to have already passed the rocky section when the rain came.

Here's a view from the summit.
While the rain was only a light shower, I think that was enough to make me slightly despondent for the rest of the day and into today. Today, I woke up relatively early, 7AM. And I just moped around. I felt so unlike myself. After lunch and some laundry, I decided to play the piano – of course I can't play anything now, it's all muscle memory. But it really soothed me. It brought me back to myself. I'm just really happy that I have the piano to go to. I know that when I'm feeling unlike myself, I can always throw myself into the piano and expect to feel better afterwards, even when I play at a subpar level. There's a real joy when playing the piano. Even when I struggle to learn a piece, I am still enjoying it, although I am also frustrated.

It's not just the piano. The other day, I pulled out my old recorder from when I was in elementary school. It's true when people say you don't forget the things you learn when you were little. Because I remembered every note I learned on the recorder. Compare to the piano, the recorder is very limited. I can play seven octaves on the piano while I can only play a mere octave and some on the the recorder. The piano is also capable of playing more than one note at the same time but the recorder can't. But playing both instruments is the same, joyful. And I realize the joy is in the playing. It's the same joy for all instruments. Even when I play the only song I know on the guitar over and over again, I feel content. Singing I guess is also another form of playing music. The instrument is your voice.

Listening to music in general is soothing. I guess that's probably why so many people invest in music: purchasing music and music players. There are also so many types of music out there that everyone has something they like to listen to. People connect to their music, and music at times can inspire people and also help create one's identity. That's probably why when I play the music I like, it soothes me. It reminds me of who I am or was. And let's me return to myself when I am in a despondent and vacant state. Playing the music you enjoy really adds an extra oomph of enjoyment, personal accomplishment, into the already enjoyable music. I highly recommend learning how to play any instrument because it's truly a wonderful experience.

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