Sometimes it's hard to remember why I do this, when the joy of music gets tangled up in the complexity of chords and scales and chord/scale theory and did I practice enough? and oh god I have to transcribe that drum part and exams and homework and feeling as if I'm on a slightly different planet from most of the people I go to music school with. Not to mention next year's courses, which will probably be mostly science and psychology and other subjects that will require a lot more discipline and hard work for me to get though.
Then I play a gig like last night's and I remember why:
It's really that simple. I can be standing on stage or at a friend's house or just strumming a guitar in my living room and life will start looking better. My fingers may stumble and my voice may crack, but it doesn't matter if I used the Dorian mode to solo over those chord changes, or whether my phrasing of a lyric was exactly right. What matters is the chemistry that crackles between four people who have been playing together for a long time. The heartfelt roar of an audience singing along to your words. The magic of 4-part harmony. The sheer workout of playing a 30-pound accordion that's strapped to your torso.
I go to music school to learn how to be a better musician, so my musical experiences will be ever more challenging and rewarding. I decided to get a music therapy degree so that I could hopefully make a living doing the one thing that I know without question I am good at, but also because I know for a certainty that music can make everyone's life better.
How could I ever doubt that? I have seen it work on me time and again.