Musicians’ call to action

Adolescence is often the drive behind both music and change. We are all adolescents, but I don’t see a whole lot of music being made at our school. I know a lot of you play instruments, and I know many of you like to write. It’s time to pick up that instrument or pick up that pen and paper and start to write some music.

There’s no better time. Anger, worry and the uncertainty of the life ahead of us creates an atmosphere that strives for music. It’s rare to see a teenager without headphones implanted in his ears, so why not be the one making the music? Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt first formed at a band at age 15, and the entire straight edge music scene was created by people too young to go to 18 and older clubs.

Don’t be shy, and don’t be shameful. If you can even only play a three chord riff on guitar, or the best you can sing is just yelling at the top of your lungs, just do it. Music doesn’t revolve around “American Idol” or record deals, music is made from the heart. It takes an instrument and a will. The idea of “American Idol” is ridiculous. People actually go in believing they have one chance a year to make something out of their singing. No, this isn’t right. You can make something out of your music any day. Money and fame is never the reason you should play music.

The best music is found in a coffee shop with only two people listening or below a restaurant in a tiny venue with only a handful of patrons singing along. Down in the underground, you find people who sing because they want to, and you find people who put everything they’ve got into just a few songs. Maybe you’ll find yourself like me, with five other people, fists in the air, singing along to every word. Maybe you’ll find yourself on stage with five people singing along. This has got to feel better than being ripped to shreds by some terrible English music executive.

A songwriter can buy a ten dollar microphone at RadioShack and throw it up on the internet without any major costs to themselves. John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats became known as one of the “Top 100 Living Songwriters” by Paste magazine with a lo-fi sound that almost anyone can achieve. Go out and do this, I want to hear what you come up with.