A Personal Account on How Performing Arts, Music and Music Production Helped Me Get out of the Ghetto and into Medical School

27 Dec

Growing up as a Chicano in East Dallas, the only nighttime symphonies you would hear were your drunk neighbors arguing and gunshots. The expectations, then, for a young man in their 20s was to end up in jail or dead. I am currently a Senior at a 4-year university studying biochemistry who is currently awaiting to start medical school after next semester. I attribute most, if not all my success, to using performing arts and music as a creative outlet learned from a music production schools. I was able to find sanctuary by listening to groups such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles. Listening to them had me hooked on something different, something positive that compelled me to want to learn and explore a new world.

My fondest memories include being part extracurricular music programs at my public elementary school. Learning to read and write music gave me a new perspective on life. I could keep myself occupied by learning to play my favorite songs. Learning that I was actually capable of composing such incredible pieces of music was the first time I knew I had self-worth. My mentality then was “if I can do something that is that incredible why can’t I do other things that are just as great?” For the first time in my life I was inspired to go above and beyond anyone’s expectations. I learned to eventually work with others in a band, break the mold, explore different areas of research, and become tolerant of others. Then it happened… I returned to school after one of our vacations and was sent to PE. Music classes had been cancelled due to budget cuts.

In retrospect, I was devastated I had no guitar and nothing to do. I was not very good… at all but begged my parents to pay for music classes in lieu of a Christmas and Birthday presents and continued to progress in learning to play guitar and bass. Benefits I attained through learning to compose music included learning express myself on pen, paper and finding new interests I would’ve never known about otherwise. But those I stop to think about, are others that would have been my age, who have either become addicted to drugs or passed away. Would they have had another future if they picked up an instrument, instead of guns or pills?

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