That last day of school in March 2020 still remains a vivid memory. I remember cheers of joy during 3rd period as students received alerts that school had been canceled. There were also expressions of worry and uncertainty, for teachers knew that the school would not be reopening for weeks, even months.
Looking back, it is clear that no one understood the ramifications of our unexpected holiday. For me and my friends, the excitement wore off within a few weeks. Feelings of freedom were soon replaced with feelings of entrapment. We could not see each other in person. I had not expected the quarantine to last this long, but neither did I expect to rediscover a passion.
My parents first enrolled me in piano classes in 1st grade, but I stopped playing after seven years. I became busy with school and other extracurricular activities, and my time in front of the black and white keys dwindled. Our piano sat in the corner of the living room, untouched, collecting dust. Until quarantine.
With classes moved online, I had more time to self-reflect and seek inspiration. When reading novels and exercising got boring, I returned to the piano. Four months ago, I began trying to perfect Chopin’s “Fantaisie-Impromptu,” a composition that requires both agility and expressiveness. I heard the piece many times before, and the contrast between its fast and melodic parts attracted me to it. Playing the piece allows me to escape the stress of life during Covid, and I relax. Although I am far from mastering the piece, I am motivated to continue playing. Covid has not only taught me the importance of social distancing, but also of appreciating music. I hope that by the time this pandemic ends, I’ll be able to perform for my friends and show them how quarantine struck a chord in me.
Submitted by Richard Chen, Alameda County – Fremont.