By: Will Peihong Wu
Last summer, I went to Carnegie Mellon University to attend a music camp. I entered the camp as a composition major, and the six weeks of college freshman’s life like camp changed my relationship with music profoundly.
Before the camp, music was part of my life but it was not essential. I knew I had a little talent in music, but I can carry on my daily life without music. I called it liking the music but not necessarily loving it. I played in both school band and an outside orchestra. I composed whenever I feel like it. I had no desire to study music with a focus. When people asked me about my interest, I would say music even though I know it feels fake. My music summer camp experience however completely changed my relationship with music.
I met many talented music students at the camp who had music as their true passion. Some of them started composing as young as fourth grade or fifth grade. This really shocked me. I realized that my attitude towards music was wrong and I need to embrace music with my heart.
During the six-week camp, I took many music lessons such as improvisation, music theory and audition. After I learned improvisation, I found myself completely fell in love in music. All composers at the camp were required to compose a music piece and to record it before end of the camp. I chose to write my story into my song because it meant a lot to me. I wrote all my scores by hand. During the entire week before the last week of the camp, I only slept 2 or 3 hours each night. I wrote the scores till 3 or 4 am everyday. I felt like I was so into it. If I can’t get it done, I couldn’t fall asleep.
When I finally finished the camp, music became my true passion. I can’t live for a day without music. Nowadays, whenever I have time in my daily life, I would do improvisation on the piano to strive for some ideas to create music freely. Music flows in my blood and becomes part of my DNA.