“When words fail, music speaks.”

When I was about 5 years old, my parents forced me to take piano lessons. Coming from a Korean background, learning music was a pretty standard value in a family like mine. And ever since I could remember, I always hated playing and practicing the piano. My family would force me to practice 30 minutes to 1 hour a day, which would, of course, eat into my video game time. I also hated performing at recitals, as I would get nervous and have to put in a lot of effort to perfect a music piece.

After 5 long years when I was finally 10 years old, my mom let me ditch the piano lessons, but said that I would have to choose a new instrument to learn. I reluctantly agreed, and for reasons I do not remember, I decided to switch to learning the guitar. My parents bought for me my first classical guitar for a cheap $100, and I also switched over to a new guitar teacher. And surprisingly, I did not mind it as much as piano lessons. I don’t know exactly what it was, but the guitar seemed to resonate with me a lot more. Since I already learned music through the piano, I didn’t have to worry about music theory, such as keys, sheet music, time signatures, etc. I was able to dig in right away. And before I knew it, I found myself practicing guitar on my own, without my parents having to force me to practice.

Eventually, I stopped taking lessons, and I just started to practice guitar on my own. I found some friends who enjoyed playing other instruments, and we would jam out together too. I even somehow ended up playing guitar for our little church band.

In high school, I started to really get into alternative/rock music, so I asked my parents if I could buy an electric guitar. They agreed, and my world was forever changed after purchasing my first electric guitar, a cheap Grestch Electromatic from Guitar Center. Soon after, I would spend a lot of my youth playing, researching, and spending any money I had on music equipment and guitar gear.

And so it is with life, I grew up and got older. Other responsibilities and priorities have slowly replaced my love for guitar and music. My time now is occupied with family, work, school, and life. And I don’t necessarily regret anything. I find that I don’t nearly have as much time to play music, yet alone listen to music. But every once in a while when I have a little time to spare, I will still pull out the cheap $100 classical guitar that my parents bought me, and spend a few minutes enjoying and reminiscing in my love for music.

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