Finding an Outlet by Claire W.


Finding an Outlet
by Claire W. 

Church bells echo through the tall ceilings and long walkways. Onstage, a lone piano stands. An eager two-year-old, I mount myself on the piano bench. Dots, swirls and lines lean against the stand. I can’t understand their meaning, but I think they are beautiful. Compelled by curiosity, I smash the keys, my fingers too small and uncoordinated to make conscious harmonies. To observers, the sound is meaningless, random, garbled. But to me, it is music.  

Fifteen years later, I again sit at a piano bench. This time, the instrument is electronic, and sits in a music classroom I entered after school. I turn the volume up all the way. This time, the dots, swirls, and lines have meaning, and although I am a little out of practice, muscle memory assists my fingers in finding the right keys. Channeling my doubts and stresses, I play.

I am not perfect; my fingers fumble on the fast scales and struggle to keep with an ambitious tempo. But playing calms me, if only for a while.

Although I have not taken lessons consistently throughout my life, piano has always been an outlet for me to express myself and release stress.

Finding an outlet is instrumental to self-love. Whether it’s music, writing, art, athletics, or another hobby, having something to turn to when life offers challenges is essential to keeping a positive outlook or coping with the situation. For me, piano has been this outlet, and I encourage you to discover a passion, to harness it and to pursue it.

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