Expressing Emotion Through Music (Contest Winner)

Kazakh's lifelong love affair with music

When I was a child, maybe six or seven years old, I used to listen to music. At the time, I didn’t understand the meaning of the words or the aims of songs. I just listened to it and had fun.

A conscious love of music began at the age of 10. I listened to music every day and everywhere. To be honest, I still do. Three years later, I picked up my dad’s guitar. I don’t know why, but I really wanted to play it, and so I started practicing. I didn’t have any teachers or mentors; I just turned on YouTube tutorials to learn how to play.

For the first couple of years, I didn’t sound very good, but I played almost every day and my skills improved pretty quickly.

You might ask me, “Why do you play?” or “What is the reason?” I have two main reasons. The first is to express my emotions. If I feel something inside, something that’s hard to say or something that I don’t want other people to know about, I show it in the way I play a song.

Some people need to cry or talk to a friend. I just play the guitar.

The second reason is to make other people happy. I love seeing people’s smiles when I perform. There may not be many of these people, but I know that there are some who are glad to listen to what I’m playing.

I also play the piano. The big difference between piano and guitar is that when I play the piano, my emotions become brighter.

My father always wanted me to play the piano. He bought me a keyboard when I was eight, but I didn’t like it and now I understand why. Piano and keyboard are two different things that I can hardly compare. When I play a keyboard, it’s cold inside. It doesn’t have soul. But when I play the piano, my soul wakes up. I only started playing the piano about two months ago, when I came to the U.S. I hadn’t had the opportunity to play it before, but here in the U.S. I do.

Never give up! That’s what I tell myself when it is hard to learn something.

—Vladimir (FLEX, Kazakhstan), hosted by the Grube family (MN)