by Jackie K. (in Europe on Jun 12, 02)
For seventeen long years, I had been confined to all I knew of this world. Good old Indianapolis, Indiana (a.k.a. Indy, Naptown, and Circle City) had been my home for all of my life. I never even thought of leaving this city that seemed all too familiar until the opportunity arose for me to accept an invitation to travel throughout Europe with the Indiana Ambassadors of Music in 2002.

At this point, music consumed my life. Between multiple competitive choirs, music kept me quite busy throughout my high school years. My fascination with music and singing stemmed from how universal music truly was. People from all over the world could share the common bond for the love of music. 

No matter where you are in this world, music can be understood by all. 

The story behind each song is found in its tempo, its key signature, and its tone. Even after soaking in just a few notes, one can easily distinguish if a song portrays happiness, sadness, romance, excitement, depression, or any other emotion known to humankind.

With the true ease of understanding music on a personal level, I constantly found myself substituting my own story to each song that came to my ears. As a performer up on stage, it did not take long to realize that each audience member writes their own story to the music they hear, too. A single song can have so many stories, relevant to each listener; yet, although these stories are so personal and individual, they are all so similar. Each audience member may have their own story, but the song remains the same to the ears. 

This is how I came to realize that music is a living language.
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