The following poem is about my journey through life, along with my perspective as a developing musician. This was inspired by the song Reverie in F minor by Dennis Alexander, which is currently my soul song, and represents how piano and music has shaped and changed who I am as a human being while facing the obstacles of life along the way. By using the melody of the song, I was able to create a poem that demonstrates both the highs and lows of learning an instrument, the expectations that surround me, and my eventual path toward loving music full-heartedly.
Here is a video of the song. Feel free to listen to it!
(Also, I know there’s a couple of mistakes in the recording, but I get super nervous playing in front of cameras, so just ignore them!!)
Grade 3 self:
I am free, my heart,
Bare to the world,
The notes from twinkling little stars are fun, but temporary,
Drifting away from my fingertips,
I can’t quite seem to catch them.
Grade 6 self:
“I feel like a robot.” I say to a friend.
My hands are shackled to the chains of whispered stereotypes.
I begin to notice fake smiles
Of pearly whites, grinning in underestimation.
I look up. It’s dark. I can’t breathe. My hands can’t stretch.
Caged like a bird, am I, in a box.
A box of strangers’ assumptions, friends’ perceptions, my family’s expectations.
Oh look, if I follow these whispers, I can move. I can wiggle my toes. I smile to myself.
Look, I did exactly what you told me to do.
The piano sits collecting wisps of dust
from my hesitant fingers,
but it’s as if the notes slip away from my grasp once again.
Grade 9 self:
Unbeknownst to me,
my hands are moving but in my mind’s eye,
I feel the sensations of a puppeteer’s string,
dragging my feet for me.
The box is invisible. I can’t see it. I reach forward. But there’s a wall.
The weight of the piano is crushing my hands,
My arms are burning,
And no matter how many times I play my songs,
My ears are deaf to the music.
Grade 12 self:
Older, wiser, stronger people say.
I look into my heart of hearts.
There it is, encased in glass,
my soul is crying.
I watch my heart bleed as I cry and cry.
“You’re too sweet to be angry.” People say.
I see red,
my tear stained cheeks make me feel human.
I can be angry too.
I can argue too.
I can rebel too.
I can. I can. I can.
I stretch above me. The box is fading. The shackles crack.
I touch my forehead to the box.
It’s still there, but it’s weakening.
Slowly, but surely, the piano absorbs my despair, anger, and frustration
The keys feel so much lighter,
releasing the raw emotions that I’ve kept inside my heart of hearts for far too long.
I turn around. The box is no longer there.
The puppeteer’s strings have been cut,
the shackles broken.
Truthfully this time.
I am free because I am able to love my heart of hearts,
And listen to the twinkling of keys, dancing out of my fingertips.
out of pure joy, I laugh,
just for the fun of it.
Life Is Like A Piano. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://fotowitze.blogspot.com/2013/07/life-is-like-piano.html