Guitar is her passion, money’s not her fashion

By Maria Chambers
November 15, 2001

Music is my passion. When I have my guitar in my hands, I am fearless. I am shameless. I am free. Playing guitar is my favorite outlet for my emotions. When I’m angry or upset my guitar is always right there for me to hold. My guitar is my best friend.

I started playing guitar about four and a half years ago. I remember the first lesson I ever had. This old guy came to my house with his bright-blue Fender electric guitar and I was using my mom’s old beat-up piece of rotten wood. Now that I think about it, it sounds really funny, but at the time it was not very cool. During that first lesson the old man tried to teach me how to play “Pretty Woman.” I came out with something that sounded like someone threw the guitar against the wall. After hours of practice I began to feel that learning the guitar would be a very rewarding experience. It may not get me far in life, but I know that it’s the one thing that will always be stable for me in this crazy world.

Every Tuesday night I go to The Point in Bryn Mawr, where they have open mic night. I like to get up on stage in front of all those people and play my music. There is no feeling like baring my soul through songs. I also like to sit back and watch everyone else play and sing. Some people play guitar, some piano and some sing by themselves, but no matter who you are or what you sing, there’s always a warm welcome from your fellow musicians.

I have a passion for live music. Seeing someone play on stage in front of me really lets me feel the emotion the singer puts into the music.

I listen to folk music as well as a little-known genre of music known as punk-folk. During the month of October, I went to four concerts including Tori Amos, Melissa Ferrick and two Ani DiFranco shows. These three artists have had such an impact on my life. The main reason I listen to these women is for their lyrics. I find so much meaning in the words these people say.

Ani DiFranco is my most favorite artist. Over the years, she has developed a sound that is like no other. She sings about everything from life and love to political issues. A few weeks ago I saw her in concert and the people there were wonderful. I enjoy concerts for the atmosphere, but also because I get to talk to people who have the same interests as I do and are on the same level as far as politics goes.

I am not a person that listens to the radio very much. When I do listen, I am in my car because I have yet to get a tape player installed. The music on the radio has no meaning for me. Yes, there are some songs that I enjoy, but for the most part the newer music on the radio does not bend my ear. A lot of the newer music out there today is not something that will last for decades to come. It bothers me that music has been so commercialized. What ever happened to making music for personal enjoyment instead of “who can make the most money.” I remember learning about Hayden, Mozart and Wagner. These musicians were poor but respected for their talents.

I enjoy music when the person writing and singing the songs also plays his or her own instrument. When I saw Tori Amos about a month ago, she played her pianos and sang her songs, to which she wrote the lyrics. To me, that is awesome. Not only does she have an amazing voice, but her lyrics are bold. If Tori has something she wants to say in a song she comes out and says it instead of thinking about whether the song is going to get radio air play.

I always find that no matter where I go I can talk to people I meet about music. It’s something that is everywhere. Turn on the television for five seconds and you hear music, no matter what channel is on. Music is something that often gets ignored or taken for granted because it is always there. To me, music is a treasure, and I am one of the many boxes that holds it inside.

Maria Chambers

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