The Meaning of Music | Brown University Undergraduate Application Essay

Like any toddler, I despised my car seat; I’d arch my back and defiantly kick my feet as Mom strapped me in. Finally accepting my fate, I’d sulk throughout the drive to ensure Mom understood my frustration. One day, however, this scene played out differently; Mom popped in a CD of Irish folk music (every toddler’s favorite, right?). Before I could start another tantrum, the fiddle’s contagious energy and the bodhran’s deep thumping engulfed me. My body couldn’t contain its excitement as the sprightly tune resounded through the minivan. Glancing in her rearview mirror Mom saw my feet vigorously kicking, not in frustration, but in time to the jubilant music that is Gaelic Storm’s Plouescat Races.

Within a few years, my taste had evolved to appreciate the brilliance of The Beatles. Their tight harmonies, driving rhythms, and catchy lyrics delighted me as I twirled around the room on my father’s feet. I was so obsessed that for show-and-tell, I toted in their CD and played Yellow Submarine for my class; I just had to share my enthusiasm with my friends. This newfound fervor led me to ponder: can I write songs, too?

The answer to this question has changed my life. At the tender age of five, I wrote my first “hit” single, C’mon, a…

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