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FRET NOT Sophia Swan, a freshman theater student at Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, found her instrument and her art in guitar.
Growing up, my family was always listening to music. From classical to rock, I knew every genre and always wanted to listen and sing along. When I was around 9, my mom signed me up for piano lessons. I tried to tell her that I didn’t like the piano and couldn’t understand why she was forcing me to play. She said she wanted me to learn an instrument, and piano was the best way to start. But wasn’t there another instrument I could learn?
Both of my parents agreed that I needed to learn piano before anything else, so I found a teacher and took weekly lessons. After two years of reluctant piano playing, I decided I didn’t want to learn anymore. My parents understood and let me stop lessons, but were hoping I’d try again later. Then, one day, my dad’s friend Patrick Cullen came over, and brought a guitar with him. “It’s for you! I know you are going to do great things with this,” he said. I smiled with excitement. I’d always liked the idea of a guitar, although couldn’t imagine actually playing it. My parents were thrilled to see me excited and signed me up for lessons.
Over the next year, my coach taught me to play riffs and songs, and I started to sing with my guitar. I’d been singing all my life, and finally I could produce my own accompaniment! I didn’t want to play in front of my friends until I was good, so I spent hours practicing Riptide by Vance Joy. My teacher was happy with my progress, and just a few days later I performed the song for my friends, parents, and Patrick.
It’s been almost two years with my guitar. I love having an escape, a way to connect with my art. The ability to produce any song or sound with just finger movements is incredible; there are no limits. So, thank you to my parents for instilling in me their love of music, and thank you to Patrick, for the guitar (of course) but also for inspiring me to learn and love this beautiful instrument.
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