What does music mean to you?
Music reflects something that society often does not — a barrier-free space that validates people of every background.
The Human Harmony Project aims to help us realize our commonalities and celebrate our unique qualities through sharing individuals’ stories.
With each added slice of human experience, the project’s pastiche forges a more complete story of the human relationship with music.
“I began music lessons literally when I came home from the hospital as an infant because my grandmother was a pianist, a soprano, and a music teacher. Shortly after I came home from the hospital as an infant, my mother, who was a registered nurse, went back to work, so Nana was taking care ofContinue reading “Richard C. Alston, East Orange, New Jersey”
“I was born in Nigeria, Africa. I remember my earliest piano lesson at the age of 6 years old, all thanks to my wonderful mum, who wanted me to learn the instrument. I played for some years, and then stopped playing seriously for a while, because I did not enjoy the pieces I was assignedContinue reading “Frederick Ikpatt, Lagos, Nigeria”
“I’m 37 years old. I had a keyboard when I was 5. My parents took me to take some lessons for maybe a couple months. I don’t remember what I learned or why I quit. I can’t say that I always wanted to restart piano, at least not consciously. I did not have too muchContinue reading “Bin Fan, San Jose, California”
“For me, music has played a pivotal role in developing my self-esteem. I never spent enough time practicing an instrument to get good at it, and growing up my parents listened to AM talk radio, so my exposure to music was very limited as a child. The first artist I really enjoyed listening to wasContinue reading “Andrew Shoemaker, San Diego, California”
“I was born in 1945, so around 1946 to 1952, we would go every summer from Ohio to Colorado because we had a cabin in the mountains. That was a long trip. We didn’t have car radios, let alone computers or ways to listen to music, so my father would sing. He made up funnyContinue reading “Louise Osborne, Lake Almanor, California”
“I was born in Amsterdam, in the hunger winter (December 9, 1944). I had a lot of trouble with bad and too little food. I grew up in Amsterdam. My mother in particular stimulated piano lessons in my youth. In 1982 it turned out that our large chicken company (self-built) would not survive financially dueContinue reading “Harry Völker, The Netherlands”
Youth & Young Adult Stories
“I’ve realized a lot about music and interacted though music in a unique way through In the Groove. The game is basically an American spinoff of Dance Dance Revolution. There are four arrows — up, down, left right — and you step on the arrows to the beat of the music. That game was originallyContinue reading “Lucas Clark, San Jose, California”
“Someone mentioned to me recently that music is a universal language and that really resonated with me. I take Spanish at my school, so I know what it means to study a language. I also know what it means to comprehend the technicalities of the musical language. Music is beyond the technicalities though; when youContinue reading “Max Amend, San Jose, California”
“Music was a way for me to express myself in a way that words could not. Ever since I can remember I have been singing. It allows you to dig up a story from the heart and let it out through your voice. Pouring my thoughts into a song is something that has become soContinue reading “Zahra Jeevunjee, Los Gatos, California”
“I remember hearing my dad playing piano. I loved it, and I wanted to do just what he was doing. So in 5th grade, I finally enrolled in piano lessons. I was operating under the delusion that I would be able to play as well as him as soon as I started. It was notContinue reading “Kailyn Fong, Concord, California”
“Navajo music is something that is really meaningful to me. I grew up in a household with a grandma and grandpa who are traditional so Navajo music was always playing, mostly for entertainment. Music traditionally for Navajo is to help treat illnesses or just for us to get through obstacles. It is pretty common toContinue reading “Gertty Boone, Rocky Ridge, Arizona”
“Music means a lot of things. For one, it’s an outlet for me to just create and explore. I really enjoy trying to create music in a certain style or sometimes even in no specific style. Music is also a way to escape sometimes the problems we face. When I sit at the piano, playContinue reading “Sujay Panthulu, Cupertino, California”
“It’s always kind of not-so-fun when I first start playing a piece because you look at the piece and you think, ‘This is really hard and will take a lot of work.’ But then after I kept playing, it felt so good to be able to finish a piece. It helped me realize that ifContinue reading “Aila, San Jose, California”
“When I grew up, my parents wanted us to keep some of our Indian culture and traditions with us, and we decided to do that through the performing arts. My sister chose a form of dance called Kathak, which is from India, but I wasn’t really the dancing type. So I chose to do HindustaniContinue reading “Kaveri Iyer, Sunnyvale, California”
“My musical journey started off a lot like the average South Bay Area kid’s — I was forced into learning the piano by my parents when I was 5. Every day I had to be reminded to play, argued with my brother over who had to practice first, and looked to the clock every fewContinue reading “Leeya Howley, San Jose, California”
“Music is an idea that everyone, no matter how different, can relate to. It lets me convey anything I want to anyone I meet, and it can make the listener feel the same thing I’m trying to convey. Music is a way of communicating with people. It’s something that isn’t dependent on similarities. One couldContinue reading “Jaden Fong, Concord, California”
“Music has been a major part of my life, mostly in 2018 on. During that time of my life, I felt like there was no escape from reality. I felt as if I was in a place that I didn’t belong in; long story short, I felt like there was no escape from reality. However,Continue reading “Anabelle, Morgan Hill, California”
“Music has really been a major part of my life, especially since I started writing music. I started writing music when I was a freshman, and it’s been a really cool part where Iget to write poetry about how I really feel about things. I started writing music because I wanted to impress someone. ItContinue reading “Darwin Chow, Saratoga, California”
“To me, music is the first thing that I turn to when I need to find ways to express how I am feeling. Listening to music creates a different atmosphere, so powerful in the way that just by listening to one song, it can make me feel so many different emotions at once. It isContinue reading “Kate Hsiung, Saratoga, California”
“To me, music has been one of the necessities in life. When I was in elementary school, my parents would tell me, “You should learn at least one instrument to play music because that’s going to help in the future.” When I was young, my mom would play Eine Kleine Nachtmusik by Mozart every morning,Continue reading “Jun Lee, Saratoga, California”
“Ever since I can remember, music has been a part of my life. Since I have an older brother, the easiest, and at that time, the most logical thing to do was follow his hobbies: to play a stringed instrument and join orchestra. I started playing the cello in fourth grade and joined orchestra theContinue reading “Audrey Lee, Saratoga, California”
“To me, music is an outlet from the rest of the world. Whenever my life is hectic or I’m having a bad day, music is what I turn to. As a kid I was always surrounded by music —my parents enrolled me in piano lessons when I was five, my dad was always playing guitar,Continue reading “Francesca Fernandes, Saratoga, California”
“To me, music is a form of expression and healing. I was a shy and extremely quiet middle schooler; I did not have many friends nor was I confident. Because I found it difficult to express myself using words, I turned to music to ease my pain and struggles. While playing piano, I was inContinue reading “Josephine Chou, Saratoga, California”
“When I was little, I gained an appreciation for musicality through my (self-described) tone deaf dad. He was always the most supportive of my instrumental endeavors and was blown away by my ability to play them. My dad also gave me a very broad palate, as he would put on just about anything for meContinue reading “Michael Tyler, Houston”
“I started playing piano when I was maybe three or four and had lessons once a week. Then I stopped when I joined band from seventh grade to sophomore year, and I never really played the piano then because I had marching band and private saxophone lessons. I quit band after sophomore year, and IContinue reading “Ajay Gupta, Saratoga, California”
“I’ve never had a proclivity towards musical instruments. When I was young, my parents signed me up for violin classes. To their dismay, my career as a violinist failed to launch. From there, I joined my middle school orchestra and quit. In the beginning of high school, I started to teach myself the ukelele. ItContinue reading “Bailey Zhang, Houston, Texas”
“Music has always meant self reflection and change to me. I find myself turning to it when I need something to help me navigate how I’m feeling. I’m able to connect the dots between words and how I’m feeling, as my favorite songs are so incredible to me because they describe/project emotions that I didn’tContinue reading “Ella Broom, Houston, Texas”