By ena ganguly
I was talking to someone the other day about how much I wish we had a piano or synthesizer at our place. In elementary school, at the end of the day, I would often wait for my mom, a teacher, to wrap up her work. Sometimes, I would make my way to the music room and try the door. On lucky days, the door was compliant, open, and I was allowed to spend some time with instruments by myself, without the chaos of my classmates and the teacher scolding us or telling us to sit down. During that time, I used to look over all kinds of instruments: drums, string instruments, but my most favorite of all, was the piano.
The piano was a hulk of an instrument compared to all the others. It was not portable or light like most other instruments. It had its weight, and made its presence known through its size and appearance. Black, shiny, and polished, the piano stood at the very center of the classroom. I used to sit on the bench and make up my own songs, letting my fingers guide the notes into order. I played with the rhythm and cadence of each note, and sometimes messed with the piano pedals, just to see how it would affect the overall feel of the song I was composing.
In those moments, I completely lost myself in the making of music. I wasn’t caught up in anything other than being present for those notes, and the act of my fingertips touching the cold keys to make sound was exciting and full of possibilities. I forgot anything that happened that day: the good, the bad or the ugly. I just focused on playing, and let my mind go into the music.
As an adult, navigating professional and personal obstacles, I crave those moments, when life seemed more straightforward, simple and easy. Even though I’m grown up now, I know those moments aren’t lost to me. I can find them through the simple maneuvering of sound. Whether it’s using kitchen appliances to make sound with or a singing bowl or even some really cool digital sound apps, I know that making music is still within my grasp.
Sometimes, even just using my own voice, my own hands, to clap, snap and repeat, are enough to make me feel joyful again. There’s so much power in music, and it feels like that power amplifies when I’m in community with others who also cherish and value the power of music. If music is also healing to you, join allgo and the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault for our Healers Spotlight Series on April 17th from 1 to 3 pm for a virtual sound therapy session, spotlighting sound therapist and healer, g’beda. This is a great opportunity to ground ourselves in the beauty and power of sound as a collective. Register here today! Attendance is limited but free!