Strumming my way through life

Playing an instrument helps you express yourself and can also improve your memory for foreign languages.Photo Credit: Janay Hagans
Playing an instrument helps you express yourself and can also improve your memory for foreign languages.<br />Photo Credit: Janay Hagans
Playing an instrument helps you express yourself and can also improve your memory for foreign languages.
Photo Credit: Janay Hagans

Ever since I was born, I’ve been surrounded by people who can sing or play an instrument. My grandma on my father’s side is one of 14 siblings, all of whom have a background in music. Whether it be singing at church, or singing in the a cappella group Sweet Deliverance, they are all talented. Apparently, these genes have been passed on to me; similar to my relatives, I am just as passionate about music as they are today.

My knowledge of music is broad and I take what I know and apply it to learning new chords, the notes to my favorite song or working on my breathing when I sing.  Besides my two main instruments, guitar and piano, I have also learned violin, flute and multiple percussion instruments. Music classes have taught me valuable skills; I even took a 6-week piano course at Modesto Junior College in 3rd grade that helped me teach myself.

I started working on my music again in order to audition for the X Factor. However, I know it’s difficult to be someone in the music world. Many people fail when trying to build a career in the music business. Whether they don’t have the look or the sound, Hollywood’s opinions make it difficult. People enter with high hopes, but they don’t have the originality or the personality to be an artist.

Because of technology today, people think that anyone can be famous and on the radio. The auto-tune and voice effects make even the worst singers sound talented. Many popular singers like Ke$ha, Will.I.Am. and Kanye West use computer programs to make themselves sound better or totally different. However, natural talent is a necessity when deciding if you want to be a singer.

Playing an instrument, and playing it well, will push you further than someone who doesn’t. When you can play, it means you have an understanding of music tabs, sheet music, notes, and chords. Vocal lessons are also a necessity; why would they put you on stage if you don’t know proper breathing techniques or ways to extend your voice without damaging your vocal chords?

Although few people actually make it in the music business, it is my goal to be one of the few, that one person in a million. I’m going to follow my heart and my passion for music, and strum my way through life.