Music saved me
Music has always played a great influence on my life. Some say that music only comes as a form of entertainment for many. I beg to disagree. From experience, I would say that music somehow affects an individual’s way of life.
At a young age, I was already very fond of music. Our home would be filled with songs every day while mom and dad worked and I played around. Later in my life, specifically in my elementary years, I became more interested in music when I started taking instrument lessons. I played the piano mostly. I tried violin, but I was taught the wrong technique so I gave up early. In piano, I advanced a whole lot when I was younger, until I reached high school. It was then that I became even more fond of the guitar. I taught myself how to play and until now, it is my most favorite instrument. Going through high school, I became very fond of songs. Purchasing a Spotify subscription was the greatest music-related thing that has happened to me. I got to study the songs on my guitar. I really grew into modern OPM, especially the R&B and pop genre, and also with pop and alternative rock from the early 2000s. I would describe myself as the “campfire guitarist” of my peer group.
However, music started to mean more to my life when it started affecting my personality and decisions. My life is filled with drama. My family had a good bond during my younger years but as I grew older, my mother and father grew distant. My mother had to work overseas to earn more money for our future, but while she was away, my father started seeing other women discreetly. When my mother came back, this stopped for a while only to become worse later on. Eventually, we had to separate from him. Today, it’s just my mother and I against the world. It was hard enough for a single mother to raise a young child, who tends to be more obedient; but my mother had to raise me alone in my teenage years, which was admittedly much more difficult for her to handle alone. It is only now that I am mature enough to realize this.
I am sharing these details to give context to how music and my life relates to each other. My life is literally how most songs are written. Just as most R&B songs would go, a person’s life would always reach a climax. My climax would be my family’s separation. Everything was going fine at first (the first verses), then as some change occurred, something bad and unprecedented happened (the pre-chorus), in this case, my family’s separation. It was hard for the both of us, mom losing a partner in life, me losing a pillar of support.
But music helped me get through those tough times. It’s really amazing how certain music helped me overcome specific situations. There were a few times during my senior year when I would feel sad and down, not being able to do work in school. These were the times I’d usually hit those OPM bands (Ben&Ben, Itchyworms, Eraserheads, Rivermaya, the ones I like to call “Feel Good OPM”). Whenever I was in the mood to speed things up, I’d listen to the various 2000s alternative rock bands.
In my junior year, I had suicidal moments. The songs that helped me through these times were those from my church. I am one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and we call these Kingdom songs. I would recall some very comforting compositions that would relieve me and push me to pray for help.
Music has its way with any individual’s life. It has accompanied me in almost everything that has happened up until now. Hell, it even saved my life. Hopefully, everyone may see the greater value of music and its worthwhile effect on our lives.
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Jethro Maranan, 19, is a freshman at the University of the Philippines Los Baños.