When You’re Feeling Down

One of the things that I find most inspiring about professional musicians is their ability to keep practicing every single day. Despite however they’re feeling about the day, they press on and practice.

There are so many days when I’ve just felt awful about myself and my abilities to play. I wonder why I’m even trying; I don’t plan on being a professional musician.

Yet, I practice.

I love the feeling of the music under my fingers; they express all I cannot say. I’ve always said that my fingers have a more direct connection to my soul, and it is through practice that I can share my soul with the world.

But why share that?

Empathy. It’s what makes us feel for each other. It assures us that we are not alone. Isn’t that a message we love to hear, one we desperately need to hear?

Even though I can’t always press on through the hard days, someone does, and that heartens me. It is my goal to get to that level of dedication, one that is less than selfish. By practicing their craft, musicians (professional or not), share their souls, and that may be one of the least selfish acts. They assure their listeners that they, as the performer, have been through the same toils as all who are human, and it is that message that keeps us going.

We could argue about what music is, what makes it magical, or what makes it effective, but at the end of the day, it is the sharing of the soul that I look for in music. It is something uniquely human I strive to hear.

This post is in an attempt to inspire me on a day when I feel like I can’t or shouldn’t practice. It’s a day that makes me feel like I gave up long ago. If I want to make the world a better place, I should buckle down and practice.

We all should.

About the Author

Amy King is a music theory and piano instructor currently residing in the Chicago area.

She holds a Master of Music in Music Theory and Cognition from Northwestern University (June 2020) and a Bachelor of Arts in Piano Performance and English Literature from High Point University (May 2016), where she received the Outstanding Senior Music Major Award, which is awarded to one single graduating music student per year.

Amy has been teaching private piano lessons for 12+ years, taught classroom music theory for 5 years, directed choirs spanning ages 4–25, led and arranged for a university a capella group, and composed and arranged music for various soloists and ensembles.

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