On every corner of the planet we share the gift of cultural expression. It is the beautiful ability to articulate who we are and what we experience in a way that connects us. All and remains entirely unique to human kind. This has manifested itself differently throughout our story on Earth, yet one of the most celebrated, examined and impacting demonstrations. Of the human condition is that of music. Philosophers have written on the power and significance of music through the ages, and today it continues to play a. Role in reflecting what it means to be alive. Our community is no different in its multitude of talent and ongoing development of potential, including wonderful stories of growth. Redemption and the inner desire to create.
Heidi and Hanson Kuang, ages 7 and 11, at first glance seem like your average kids, their contagious smiles emanating. With the curiosity and energy of childhood. However, when sat in front of a piano, one can only sit back and enjoy the sounds of Polish composer. Frederic Chopin. At his first recital Hanson received a standing ovation, and his hunger continues to grow in search for deeper improvement. In an interesting contrast, his little sister Heidi plays with a totally different style. Fluid and spontaneous, she joyfully plays her self proclaimed favorite song “Midnight Escapade” with an ease and control seemingly unusual for such a little girl. Often times it is not surprising for her to start dancing and singing when there is music in the air, as an abundance of trophies sit proudly in the backdrop of the Kuang living room.
THE WILL TO LEARN CREATES A SPACE FOR GROWTH.
Jolie Anna Vasquez, a 12-year-old 7th grader from Mission, Texas, is on a mission to lay down some rock n roll. Her father, Jesse, a huge fan of the 1970’s Canadian band Rush, would often time play songs around Jolie from an early age. Now Jolie grooves to the bass lines of Rush’s “Limelight” in a way you’d expect from at least a 16- or 17- year-old bassist. It’s this kind of bass playing that will easily get a riff stuck in your head for weeks. However, as with anything, learning to play the bass came with many frustrations. Learning the rhythms and melodies from bands like Rush is not exactly the easiest way to instant gratification. Early on Jolie found herself angry and impatient with the slow and sometimes grueling process that comes with mastery.
With the help and support of her family, she established a structured time frame for practice. It was here that she was able to create the discipline and patience needed to overcome the obstacles impeding her. From some awesome jamming. This was a valuable lesson, as she has developed the skills needed to consistently improve her ability in several areas. Of life, a recipe for success. Jolie is preparing herself for The Girls That Rock Camp, and organization that seeks to empower girls through music creation. And performance.
MUSIC IS UNIVERSAL, AS IS OUR NEED TO OVERCOME.
Fourteen-year-old Sammy Martinez entered one Christmas vacation frustrated and quite down on himself. to practice, and practice is. What he did. He put in 1,000 hours of practice during vacation and left his mother astonished with his nearly perfect pitch on. The trumpet. Upon returning to school, Sammy left everyone with their jaws on the floor as he triumphantly obtained the prestigious first. Chair, gaining a new level of respect and admiration from his peers and teachers. However, after having suffered from a seizure, Sam once again faced adversity and was advised not to play the trumpet. Anymore.
This did not stop him from the artistic process. Sammy dedicated himself to composing his own sheet music, note by note, time signatures and everything. “Music is something that relaxes, and it’s important for creating a more harmonious society.” Sam’s mother talks about the importance of music in building a child’s self esteem. Today, Sam continues to learn about Aspersers syndrome and urges others to educate themselves on it. Music has allowed Sammy to see life through new perspectives.
WAS ALWAYS THERE
“MUSIC WAS ALWAYS THERE,” says 18-year-old Danny Bernal as he lies back on a couch, arms folded behind his head, headphones hanging from his neck. He looks ahead to his future, reflects on the past and notices the profound and impacting role music has played on his personal journey. Danny started taking piano lessons at age 5, and he says that that created the musical foundation for the rest of his life. When he was 9, Seems Like Yesterday was a band of high-school guys in need of a practice drummer.
It was only a matter of months before he was the actual drummer of the band playing several rock shows around McAllen, Texas. In the summer of 2003, Seems Like Yesterday went into Pro Sound Recording Studios and made its first 10-song album titled Skeptic. Danny experienced everything from the pressures of recording with a metronome, to frustrations of overdubs and the demand for rhythmic precision all at the age of ten.
Personal tribulation would follow as Danny found himself in the face of some medical misfortune. He had no choice but to undergo surgery in order to remove a benign tumor, which exhausted a great deal of emotional and physical energy. This began a journey of personal redemption and rejuvenation, where music was right at the forefront of new beginnings. What started out as just making random beats and recordings for fun, evolved into recording some friends from school.
No matter how difficult things got, music was the driving force behind his personal journal to self-discovery. For Danny music is a powerful outlet that people need. “I have certain goals,” he explains, “The way I can help people, is through music.” Danny will be starting the fall semester at the Art Institute of Austin to pursue a degree in audio production. His dream is to work with artists to make music that will help people overcome their difficulties and reach their inner potential. He now goes by Danny Beats.
Andres Bernal CPC, is the founder and President of ILS Infinite Life Solutions. As a certified life coach, speaker, and philosopher he works with individuals to build purpose and direction as a means of raising self confidence and conquering goals in both personal life and community. visit: www.theinfinitelife.com