I could not survive on planet Earth for one day without a multitude of things: oxygen, water, the combination of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Netflix, etc. But, besides all those basic human necessities, I have come to rely on one absorbing and potent force to get me through the daily trudge: music.
From the soothing melodies of classical, to the sometimes cacophonous tones of alternative-punk, humanity has created a diverse selection of songs for every possible occasion and personality. The beauty of music comes out through its universality; every culture around the globe has a musical profile that bears a different nature than the one next door.
Although the prospect of listening to a hearty German polka band for 24 hours may seem appealing to some, I enjoy the modern-day ability of opening Pandora on my phone and listening to any variation of music in a matter of seconds; even those hearty individuals seeking some eardrum-challenging polka can find audio delight in a few taps of the finger.
Whenever I suffer through the woes of the appalling beast called homework, I turn on “Sweet Disposition” by The Temper Trap and listen as the nagging voice of boredom drowns in a deep pool of pulsating mellowness. I owe music a great deal for helping me get past tedious things like term papers and long runs.
The idea of playing an instrument has always intrigued me, but a certain lack of hand-eye coordination and natural rhythm told me that some higher powers thought it best to leave the music production to the proper authorities. My showerhead could also probably say that I don’t have the slightest chance at making it big on “American Idol.” Nevertheless, I still renew my endless infatuation with music every day.
Fine music has the ability to make people think; great music has the ability to make people act. It engages wondrous parts of the mind otherwise left untapped, and when a person’s will outlasts his or her endurance, music compels the body forward to exceed mental limits. The culmination of rhythms, instruments and emotions creates a formula that can connect humans with the world around them.
Having said that, the tendency of schools to cut funding to the fine arts department in hard times makes little sense to me. I acknowledge that certain educational necessities, such as English and math, hold precedence over music, but I also acknowledge that certain school superintendents could forego an exuberant bonus or two to purchase new instruments.
For me, music is a matter of heritage. One could not tell the story of America and leave out the impact of jazz or rock ‘n’ roll. Each generation plays upon the songs of the past, and, in this way, humanity’s patchwork mosaic of music continues.
• Kurt Zepeda is a St. Charles resident and a senior at Marmion Academy in Aurora. He enjoys running, writing and the occasional confection. His column runs every other Thursday in the Kane County Chronicle. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.