Today’s columnist, Michelle Punn: Thank you for the music... it’s all around us

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I want to talk about music and what it means to me. I’m proud to say that I’m a pianist and violinist and I spend most of my spare time at my piano composing and creating new music to enjoy.

I believe that music is the combination of sound and rhythms that express emotion and carry meaning. To me, music is an art that reflects the soul, is created with the mind and connected with the heart. I cannot imagine a world without music, as the earth would not turn without a great collection of sounds.

Although I understand that I may not be the very best at music as I don’t have the greatest knowledge or understanding, I feel that these imperfections are why I can call myself a musician.

I think about how, when I was younger, I never took the time to ponder about music in the way that I do now.

Every day I would practise the piano and the violin without considering the art of it, always thinking it as additional ‘work’. I do not feel that way any more and now I enjoy music in a much deeper way.

Recently I composed a piece about the holocaust survivor, Rudi Oppenheimer, who I was lucky enough to have met on a school trip.

His memories inspired me greatly to compose music to capture the emotions of his unforgettable journey.

I hope that one day he will listen to my composition of his story.

Every Saturday I attend the Sheffield Music Academy where the late Peter Cropper, the co-founder, and Martin Cropper, the director, have inspired and supported me greatly.

Peter’s vision for life and teachings of the academy said that music should be played, performed and shared at all levels, without restrictions or boundaries. His passion for music encourages me to continue to enjoy making and performing music. All staff at the academy and other young musicians have supported me to improve, helped me to overcome my nerves and increased my confidence, as well as inspiring me without fail.

Music means so much to me, and has changed my life immensely. It can help us in many ways, whether this is to relieve stress, or to daydream and escape into another world. It shows me a way to journey to another world, a world with nothing, yet everything.

Starting with the echo of footsteps and the whistle of the wind… We can always hear it when we walk, when we write and when we stop, pause, while the world and sounds around us continue.

* Michelle Punn, Youth Councillor, age 14