2013 June Musical Contest Winner: Slade Patrick Darrin of Paradise


North State Parent and The Music Connection of Chico and Redding congratulate Slade Patrick Darrin of Paradise, winner of our 2nd annual teen music essay contest and $400 gift certificate from The Music Connection!

Slade, age 15, has studied with Gitta Brewster from Music Logic, and more recently with Dr. Camm Linden, both Butte County music teachers.

This year’s theme: Write about the earliest time you remember connecting to music, what moved you most, and how playing or creating music moves you now.

art-0613-music2Here is Slade’s winning essay:

The first time I recall experiencing music was deciding to attempt playing the piano at age 4. I learned basic chords and tunes and a couple of years later I started receiving piano lessons. It was around this time that I first began to get a feel for music, and performing songs grew on me. I discovered it to be truly terrific, learning new pieces and catching on to the rhythms and melodic phrases involved.

I gave my first public performance six years ago at age 9. Since then I have given over 110 paid performances and am still enjoying the experience as much as when I began. My main audiences have been seniors at retirement facilities. I found that playing the piano was making the people happy, and that, in turn, made me happy as well. When I play the piano, the notes seem to flow from my hands to the instrument and out the strings. It seems so natural, and I have a great time listening to the music I play. It is almost therapeutic.

art-0613-music3Learning how to play the piano has been beneficial in my life not only for the music, but for the adventure. Music has allowed me to travel, meet new people and contribute a major portion of my earnings to animal charities. I have enjoyed advancing my skills, improving bit by bit until I was good enough to play pieces like Chopin’s “Revolutionary Etude” and Floyd Cramer’s “On The Rebound.” I believe the aspect I like most about performing is that it gives me a goal on which to focus, and a feeling of success when learning new songs.

The piano is a fantastic break from the daily routine of hustle and bustle. So far, I have had a wonderful musical journey, and I look forward to having many more entertaining years to come.

North State Parent
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