• J. Faith Malicdem

An Opinion Editorial on Music

By J. Faith Malicdem // July 20, 2019


It's easy for one's mind to be contaminated with thoughts of doubt and obstruction. But do you know the extent to which it harms you to the core of your soul & your mental state? Until a few years ago, I'd never felt more ashamed of myself in any regard as much as I did when it came to growing as a musician. I didn't understand why no matter how many hours I put into memorizing an 80s song, I'd still miss a beat. I didn't understand why no matter the effort put in stick control self-training, I would still slip up & allow for my wrists to falter. Why didn't I land a role in the school musical that one year? Was my voice too weak or off-key? How come my mode of creativity was no longer bringing me joy?

I couldn't stop comparing myself to everyone around me. But it was hard not to. I was surrounded by seemingly effortless & innate talent. Frankly, I was selfish. I expected a certain outcome after each rehearsal session I put myself through. But that isn't how growth works. It's unpredictable, & comes with two things: firsthand experience + self-actualization. Then, I found that others' profound achievements didn't take away the possibility of me succeeding, nor did they take away the way music shakes me to my core, shaping the way I breathe & walk every step. Everyone is allowed to succeed and have their own interpretations of music, but I had my way, & no one could change that.


Not having a conventional musical backbone of knowledge with piano basics and failing to become well-versed in music theory didn't halt my passion and my drive to keep on creating. If anything, it catalyzed my curiosity— allowing me to derive melodies from rhythmic patterns & the ability to form chord progressions based off of pure emotion (tension, release, etc) rather than following the mechanics of theory. That's not to say theory isn't a phenomenal tool to enhance the multiverse that is music, because it is. I just can't wait to explore it on my own, in any form I choose.

"People will notice the light in you— the drive and passion. It doesn't matter how much you've accomplished or improved. What matters is the way you use your music to connect to others." - a musical mentor


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