Music’s in my soul

By Madeline Pena | Published Saturday, October 6, 2012

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My fingers traced the raised lettering of the Apple logo. I carefully broke the seal of the black box and for about five minutes, I stared at my brand new iPod Nano. I looked at the pile of CDs my dad and I found to load on my player. My 10-year-old mind couldn’t believe that 25 CDs could fit into a device that was about the size of a bookmark. Since the moment my dad handed me my brand new loaded and charged iPod, I couldn’t pull away from music.

Music has always been ingrained in my mind. My parents enjoy telling me embarrassing stories about when I would dance in my high chair to George Strait or singing “Barney the Dinosaur” theme songs. I can honestly say that ever since I could put spoken words into a song, I haven’t been able to stop.

During fifth grade, my music teacher Amberly Sneed asked to speak to me after class. As soon as the bell rang, I asked her if I was in trouble.

“No, I just wanted to tell you that you have a very nice voice.”

“How do you know?” I replied.

“You have a really loud voice,” she smiled. “I think you should try voice lessons.”

I already loved music but to have someone acknowledge the fact that I could sing opened up so many doors as a performer. I had my first voice lesson with Jo Joiner this summer before my freshman year. I didn’t want the 45 minutes to end. I loved learning new music and discovering numerous vocal possibilities.

I can’t go a day without listening to some sort of music. I listen while I’m getting ready for school, working out, calming myself down and pumping myself up. At times, music turned an awful day to a tolerable one.

People’s view of music varies. I think some people don’t realize the underlying complexity with notes, keys, time signatures, etc. Jo Joiner and Amberly Sneed who see sparks in their students push them to love music. Had these two women not cared enough to foster an environment of musical growth, music would just be something I listen to. To this day, they have both worked with and supported me in every contest and solo performance.

This past Saturday, I competed in round one of the All-State Choir auditions. The last two years I made it to round two. This year I found out I was the first alternate. One spot away from advancing. It’s disappointing, especially when you’re so close.

But moments like these aren’t going to keep me from what I love. They’re not going to keep me from belting out the latest Taylor Swift song or wishing that I were a Celtic Woman. They’re not going to keep me from finding artists or songs no one has ever heard of. Most importantly, nothing will ever stop the deep passion I have for music.

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