The Pursuit of Happiness as a Musician

Growing up my life revolved around art and music. I took dance classes and had piano, violin, and guitar lessons. My parents constantly introduced me to all genres of music. This way of life fueled my passion for music and since the sixth grade I knew that I wanted to do something in which I could wake up and create or teach music. It seems that whenever someone has a dream there is always someone there who will attempt to crush it, whether your dream is abolished or if you pursue on even while doubted is up to you. My journey of living the life I have dreamed up has been looked down upon by people who should support me, sometimes life challenges you and you have to carry on in your pursuit of happiness.

I vividly remember the Easter dinner of 2007. Many members of my family all gathered at my Grandma Sheila’s house. I met cousins I never knew I had and we all ate in harmonization excited to get to know the extended parts of our family. Dinner was almost over and things were getting quieter, my grandma Sheila looked at me and began asking questions about school and my lessons. She asked “Do you have any idea what you want to be when you grow up?” I replied “I want to be a music teacher.” She looked around the table with an amused facial expression and she and many other people at the table began to laugh. 

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She then said “You’ll never make a living being a music teacher, you’re going to be living on the streets and don’t come knocking on my door until you’ve got a doctors degree.” My mother then grabbed me and we all walked out to the car, she opened the door for me and I saw that she was crying she said “Be whoever you want to be, pretend like this never happened.”

For a few days I didn’t want to speak. I was embarrassed, all this time I thought I was becoming something great. I didn’t understand why they thought my dream was funny. I didn’t understand why my parents supported me, “was this all a joke?” I asked myself. After a few days of cooling off my mom came into my room and she said “People will try to bring you down Madison Elizabeth but you’ve got to get back up. You have a piano lesson in forty five minutes I expect you to be in the dining room in thirty.” She smiled and closed the door. I began to think about the piano; each key holding a different sound and having the freedom to create something new. 

I remembered why I want to be a music teacher I want to spread the joy and show people how something as simple as a musical note can create a happy feeling or a melancholy one. I decided that I didn’t care what my Grandma Sheila though or anyone else who laughed at me. Every Easter and Christmas instead of going to the large family dinner my parents decided that we would stay home and celebrate, we play piano and dance and really appreciate the things we love without criticizing one another.

 I have learned various important lessons in my short life: you have to surround yourself with people who lift you up and that sometimes people are going to let you down and you’ve got to do the job of picking yourself up alone. I’m still striving to be the best musician I can be so that one day I can live my dream of sharing the joy of music. People still look down upon me for my pursuit in life but I know following my heart will make me happy, in the end that’s what life is all about; the pursuit of happiness.

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The Pursuit of Happiness as a Musician. (2023, Jan 24). Retrieved from