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I’m an 18-year-old singer/songwriter who has dreamt of being an artist forever. Music has always been fun and calming for me, but just this past year I’ve realized how much it has changed my outlook on life.
I’ve always been musically inclined. I started taking piano lessons at the age of 5 and guitar lessons at the age of 7; and then started writing music a little later.
Maybe I love music so much because the Baha’i teachings praise it so highly. Abdu’l-Baha consistently encouraged everyone to make music, saying:
A fine voice when joined to beautiful music causes a great effect, for both are desirable and pleasing. All these have in themselves an organization, and are constructed on natural law. Therefore they correspond to the order of existence like something which would fit into a mold. A true voice fits into the mold of nature. When it is so this affects the nerves, and they affect the heart and spirit. In the world of existence physical things have a connection with spiritual realities. One of these things is the voice, which connects itself with the spirit; and the spirit can be uplifted by this means – for though it is a physical thing, it is one of the material, natural organizations – therefore, it is effective.
Making music helped me find all the beauty in this life. Putting my words to music elevated what I had to say.
One day I realized flames were a fire, streams were a river, and the universe mirrored its Creator.
Through these intense realizations, I found that we – along with everything around us – comes from God. That realization helped me feel better able to trust the universe and its divine plan. Not only did I realize the good, but I was able to acknowledge the bad. I found it within me to forgive not only others but also myself. That helped me begin to clear myself of all the “bad” I was conscious of – and I realized all of this through merely the power of the lyrics to my music. Abdu’l-Baha commented on how the power of music can even alter the feelings of not only humans but animals, too:
All these feelings can be caused by voice and music, for through the nerves it moves and stirs the spirit. Even over animals, music has an effect. For example: When they wish to take a camel over a desert road, they attach to him some bells, or they play upon a flute, and this sound prevents him from realizing the fatigue of the journey; his nerves are affected, but he does not have an increase of thought, he feels nothing but physical sensation.
Songwriting, I’ve discovered, helps me bring the world to life. Through telling stories with vivid imagery, I started to understand all that was in my way and clear it. That is the power of not only words, but music.
While writing music, I often reframed difficult experiences as something beautiful in the form of art. It helped me see that everything has a silver lining, and that everything happens to us for a reason that ultimately serves our highest good. Songwriting allows me to better reflect on my life and develop a greater understanding of why everything happens the way it does. As a result, every day I learn more about who I am and who I can be. Music has helped me communicate with my soul.
I strive to share this journey with you through my music. True art not only makes something out of nothing, but uses everything to make something. Whether we realize it or not, everything around us inspires and affects us in one way or another, and it is up to us to choose how we see it. The truth is: there is so much beauty all around us. God gifted us with the ability to witness that beauty and create art from it, because our artistic endeavors can aid us on our spiritual journey. Baha’u’llah, the prophet and founder of the Baha’i Faith, said “We, verily, have made music as a ladder for your souls, a means whereby they may he lifted up unto the realm on high …”
Writing music helped me have more gratitude for the incredible creation of this world and everything in it. Behind every story and experience is a lesson which we can choose to see as a blessing or a curse. There is beauty all around – we just have to look.