When I was younger I use to play the flute. While I no longer remember all of the fingering and my flute has been in the back of my closet for a few years now, I never forgot how playing the flute would release all of my stress and angst. Music has a way of doing that. It allows you to express your feelings without saying any words, and sometimes it can be an even better way of communicating.
As a second semester senior, I decided this semester to take on a goal that I have had my entire life – I decided to learn how to play the piano. Lehigh offers piano lessons for credits, but I had a full schedule, so I decided to simply sign up for lessons. My decision to do so has been one of the best decisions I have made here at Lehigh.
I walked into my lesson for the first time not knowing what to expect. I knew how to play “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and that was about it. My instructor, Helen Bleedle, made me feel comfortable from the start, continually encouraging me even though when I tried to play my left and right hand together one hand would freeze and the other would play something completely different than what was written on the music in front of me. Even though at times I felt like I was a small child who couldn’t figure out how to type on a computer, Helen never let me give up. She taught me how to communicate to the world with my fingers and a piano, as opposed to in school where I learn how to communicate with a pencil and paper and my voice. From this experience I have learned how important it is to be able to express yourself in all different mediums. Music is a language that everyone can understand, no matter where you come from. Helen taught me how to have a conversation with anyone through teaching me how to play the piano.
Usually when I went to my piano lesson I was running from class. I would be stressed and usually a little sweaty thanks to the hills of Lehigh. Each time by the end of my 45-minute lesson I felt completely refreshed and ready to take on my life again. If anyone at Lehigh is dealing with stress issues, I would highly recommend taking up an instrument and participating in these classes. For 45 minutes during the lesson, and whenever you are practicing, you enter a new world of wonder where nothing outside of the room you are in matters. You can create whatever type of world you want. These lessons have opened up my eyes to the wonders of music and I am excited to learn even more about the art. I can honestly say that I want to continue my study of piano even after I leave Lehigh, and who knows I may even pick up another instrument one day.
I am grateful to now be a part of the music community and excited to share what I have learned with my peers and the world.