Music is my medicine

Natalie Casas

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Music is my medicine.

Growing up music was at the center of everything. My uncle was a DJ and all my memories of family gatherings were of blaring oldies that played over and over, but none of us got sick of it. Music is what kept us together.

However, the fun ended once my uncle passed. One of the many role models for music was and is unable to show me some of his wisdom.

As the family parties continued, so too did the music, with or without some loved ones. The music always playing in the background, no matter what.

Overflowing CD racks, old stereos and big speakers are some key aspects of what fill my brain when I think about my home as a child.

Once I was in the third grade, I remember having a plan to join band and being so nervous to admit to having the urge to be a “band nerd.” The day came when teachers asked us who wanted to join, an overwhelming amount of classmates joined right away then less in the following months and even fewer the next year. As the years rolled by, I just remember the enjoyment of the parades we marched in, the little assemblies or concerts we had for our parents.

The dedication to the music was amazing, it was the best years of being in elementary and junior high. Then I took a turn and decided to join choir in 8th grade which I fell in love with. I realized the amount of work you’d have to put in order to balance the efforts in a choir.

I continued choir into my freshman year of high school and had the hope to keep going until I reached sophomore year when my counselor told me there wasn’t enough time in my schedule. Once, I was informed of this, I was beyond crushed. I felt as though I let myself down, but my parents saw it as more room for academics and my other commitments.

Expressing music either instrumentally or vocally relieved some stress and made me forget about everything except for the next note. So I was going crazy when my counselor told me I couldn’t put something I feel is a passion and a stress reliever in my schedule, I dove deeper into the music, although I wasn’t performing.

I started putting alerts on my phone for the latest albums. I started going in reverse by finding music that was made back in the day. I also, was using my record player every night because the purity and the sound of the album is so much better on vinyl. I listened to cassettes any time I could and subscribed to more music apps in order to hear everything I could.

I subscribed to Spotify, Apple Music, SoundCloud and the free version of Pandora. I was now analyzing music, composing playlists in certain vibes and feelings. I have over 80 playlists of varieties of music ranging from Frank Sinatra to Pink Floyd to Kendrick Lamar.

No matter the numerous music artists and albums I know, there is still more to find and seek. On my 17th birthday, my parents surprised me with my uncle’s turntables and records, so I still have an untouched project that involves music that I can pursue.

Music provides me some connection with the words the singers fill their songs about. Through some of the rough patches in my life, music picks me up and makes me feel less alone. It lifts me up and provides me with motivation and relieves my stress. Music is my medicine.