Before I make my little spiel about my love for music, I think it’s only fitting for me to recognize what I should truly be happy about. After hearing about the explosions at the Boston Marathon earlier this week, I can only be thankful that my family and friends are all safe at the moment. It was more than touching to hear stories about families opening their homes to complete strangers while others rushed to the scene to help the injured. The strength of the Boston community only reinforces my decision to study at Tufts and my thoughts goes out to all those affected.
Recently my mom put together a video of my “music career” since I first was able to pick up a viola, push a key on the piano, and sing a note. After sifting through multiple clips of clashing chords, missed notes and overenthusiastic holiday tunes, I came to realize how glad I was that little 8-year-old Beryl had pursued music. Granted, I am definitely not the best singer out there, but I absolutely love it.
Much like any other indecisive senior, I struggled to find a topic for my essay. At first I thought I could write about Madeleine Albright or maybe about my community service experience in the mountains of Nepal. Now, all that is great. But as the drafts started piling up in the trash and my exasperation reached new levels, I realized that none of those topics had anything to do with me personally. While a politician and a community service project did inspire me, they did not reflect my passions. I scrapped all of those ideas, and in less than hour I had outlined a personal statement focused on a jazz performance in London. When I submitted the final draft of my personal statement on the Common App, I was 100% satisfied with the result. And if I was happy about it, then that was all I could ask for.
During my college tour I kept my eye out for the music programs at each school. I’m sure most of you were attracted to the food, or maybe to the comfort of the dorms. On the other hand, I was wondering about the musical opportunities. When I got to Tufts, I was sold. I had watched the Beelzebubs on “The Sing Off” too many times to count and was eager to join in on the a cappella craze. As someone who doesn’t want to pursue music as a career, there are so many opportunities for me to be a part of the music department, and I am looking forward to auditioning in the fall.
For me, music is a universal language and perhaps my variegated lifestyle is responsible for this. Throughout my high school years I have been fortunate enough to travel to Spain, Greece, England, and China (the list goes on). I have witnessed how music facilitates a constructive dialogue among divergent cultures in a way that transcends the limitations of the spoken word. When a body of students my age is compelled to sway listening to the sweet and tangy tone of the saxophone, or moved by the final chord of an Eric Whitacre song, I cannot contain my joy. It is a true testament of a shared connection between passions.
As you have probably guessed, I’m the typical music nerd. I’m a real stickler when it comes to music competitions on TV (“The Voice" wins all my votes) and I’ve re-watched Pitch Perfect at least a dozen times. In the final sentence of my “Who Are You?” supplement, I pointed out that I felt like I was Ella Fitzgerald trapped in the body of a short, pale, curly-haired girl. What I’m really trying to say is that singing makes me happy. And I couldn’t be happier to bring my passion along with me to Tufts.
Please give me any constructive criticism!
Music has a way of changing perspectives. On those days where nothing seems to be going right, and I'm sitting in my car wondering where the future is going to lead me, headphones and a little John Mayer make me realize that this uncertainty will pass. That this is just a fragment of everything that lies ahead.
On those days when it comes time to perform the dance I've been rehearsing for 2 months, and I can't seem to shake off the fear that I will mess up, headphones and a little Lady Gaga remind me to smile and remember that I've done this before. Ten times.
On those days when I'm getting ready to travel, even if it is only a few hours to New York City, Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift's songs get me excited, and remind me that the simple joys of driving with the windows down need to be cherished.
It's interesting to me how a simple song is all it takes to brings back a thousand memories. And how a simple song is what gives me the courage to go forward and pursue what I've been dreaming of. Music truly is what makes me happy. It makes me so glad to be alive.