Dear Music,

A letter to my biggest supporter

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Dear Music,

Lakshanyaa Ganesh

Dear Music,

I distinctly remember sitting on a piano bench for the very first time, my shoes barely reaching the ground. My teacher patiently taught me what numbers to name each of my fingers and how to poise them over the keys just right. I was almost scared to start pressing the keys, scared that the piano would eat me whole. I stabbed at the C key tentatively with my index finger, and jumped at the dark and full sound it made. It took awhile for me to finally coax you out of the black and white keys.

At first, you’d only show up in small fragments at a time. My fingers would slowly but surely dance over the keys for the first few measures of a song, and I’d get so excited. But inevitably, one of my fingers would stumble onto the wrong key and you’d promptly disappear back inside the monstrosity of my teacher’s piano. I made it a goal to keep you alive around me and play for as long as I could. At first, I only made it through a couple lines, but eventually I made my way up to an entire song. I didn’t stop trying to keep you alive for another eight years.

You weren’t just a part of my life when I was sitting at the piano bench, though. You’ve been my best friend for as long as I can remember. Maybe this is just my imagination playing tricks on me, but I swear I still remember bopping along to old Indian songs with my parents while we’d drive to the beach every summer in the years before elementary school. You were a constant presence in my house at any given time, with my mom playing an assortment of Indian music (that I still listen to to this day) and my dad playing a bizarre combination of Eminem, John Mayer and Sting.

In middle school, I wanted to explore a different side of you. I joined my school’s orchestra and started learning how to play violin. You were frustrating and stubborn, but eventually I learned how to coax you out of those strings too. The version of you that came out of the violin didn’t quite ignite the same spark that my piano did, but nonetheless, I stuck with the violin for another three years.

In eighth grade, our relationship shifted completely. Before eighth grade, the only sides of you that I was exposed to were songs that my parents listened to. After I met people who were passionate about you in a way that inspired me endlessly, I started finding types of you that I personally enjoyed listening to. I’d spend hours scrolling through YouTube and Amazon Music, listening to so many different albums from artists that I’d never heard of, only because I was so excited to be passionate about you with other people. I started carrying a pair of headphones with me every day and would turn to you when I needed advice, inspiration, motivation or comfort. You became my confidante, an entity I could turn to whenever I needed anything. I’ve always been the type to keep to myself, and you were the thing I needed when I wanted to be alone but didn’t want to be lonely.

Since then, we’ve only grown stronger together. You’ve been with me through thick and thin, through pianos, violins, ukuleles, guitars, two countries, three states and countless unfortunate haircuts. Of course, that isn’t to say that we never get frustrated with each other. This past summer, I got a guitar in hopes of coaxing out the prettiest version of you that I know. The guitar is, to this day, my favorite instrument I’ve played, but sometimes you get mad at me and recede into the strings. Especially when I try to play things like barre chords, there’s less of you that comes out of the strings, and more scratching and screeching and other unfortunate noises.

Regardless, you’ve been my very best friend. Sometimes, you comfort me in ways people can’t, and I can’t thank you enough. You know me better than anyone else, and for that, I thank you. I need you. I love you.

Love, Lakshanyaa