Last Thursday, I performed in a recital for the first time. It was scary, but not nearly as much as I expected it to be. There were about 20 people there (via Zoom), and I was the only performer playing guitar music. Others sang, a few played piano, and one played viola.

I felt proud after participating in this first recital, for two reasons: Because no matter how it went, it had taken me from “Never performed in public before” to “Have performed” — and because it represented a milestone after four years of hard work and exploration. Simply showing up and doing it was enough, but it actually went kind of OK, so that was a bonus!

My path into music started with noodling on a ukulele in the winter break of 2016, and then it took root in my head and heart so deeply that I can count on my hands and feet the days I have not at least played something on a string instrument since then. I can’t remember exactly when I switched to guitar, but I think it was about 2.5 years ago.

I cannot possibly put into words how much music has been a saving grace over the last several years. I am still a novice with so much room to grow, but every moment spent playing has been one that brought me joy.

Here’s a recording of the song I played for the recital, Maracatu:

Far from perfect, but… overall, not so bad for a beginner!