My Lifelong Journey Through Music - By Hayden Patrick

in music •  last year

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Hello again, Steemians! My name is Hayden Patrick, and I’m a 14 year old homeschooler, artist, perpetual traveler and entrepreneur. I am also a co-creator for Saturn Music & Entertainment (my family homeschool project).

As I shared in my first Steemit blog post (here), communicating with others has always been a challenge for me because of my non-verbal Autism. For many years I couldn’t speak, and what I did say was mostly short simple phrases my Mom taught me that I memorized so could communicate a need. I knew how to answer yes and no, but I couldn’t communicate my real thoughts and ideas.

Today, learning how to blog is teaching me how to take the time I need to organize my thoughts and it allows me to share my experiences in a meaningful way. Before writing and blogging, music and art were the ways I best expressed myself.

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When I was younger, I had a hard time verbally communicating because of my Autism. But my Mom found a way to communicate with me through music. She would sing the songs I liked, but change the lyrics to get my attention. For example, she would use the melody of a song and instead of the actual song lyrics she would insert instructions like, “it’s time to brush your teeth”, or “Let’s go get our shoes on!”. It became a game because, to me, she was singing the song wrong! But it did get my attention and I listened to her words and could follow the instructions. Somehow music organized my thinking.

When I was about four years old I got a piano keyboard. My Mom used it to play the melody of the songs l liked. The keyboard could make sound effects and the keys lit up, so I could play a few songs. I played with it more like a toy than an actual instrument. I liked playing the keyboard because I could play simple piano songs and it played along with me. If I made a mistake, I would know it because the right keys would light up and play the correct sounds, even if I pressed a wrong key.

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When I was about eight years old, I started to play the violin, one of the most difficult instruments in the world to learn – especially for me. It was difficult for me to bounce a ball and catch it because I couldn’t organize my body movements so when I first started to play the violin, I thought I would never get the hang of it. But I liked the sounds it made and as I practiced, I liked being able to play the melody to songs I liked so I kept practicing. After lots of frustrating hours of practicing with my sister, and lots of private violin lessons, I finally understood it. Learning the violin taught me how to organize both sides of my body to work together. After learning the violin, catching or bounding a ball became a lot easier for me.

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Now at my sixth year of studying music and playing violin, I have played in a couple of trios and duets with my sister and friends. I’ve played with students in a public middle school orchestra, a rock orchestra, and a professional orchestra with middle schoolers, high schoolers, and college students, which were mostly homeschoolers.

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I joined my first orchestra in 2014. It was a local public middle school orchestra where I played with kids that were my age. One of my greatest mentors was the teacher of the orchestra and that is one of the reasons why I joined. I saw that most of the sixth graders were just beginning their instruments, and I was on my third year of playing the violin. With constant squeaky noises, and out of tune instruments by my peers, my orchestra teacher encouraged me to step up and be the lead student. Some kids were impressed with the fact that I had been playing the violin for longer, but a couple others hated it and gave me a hard time.

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A couple months after joining the public school orchestra, I entered a rock orchestra called the Portland Youth Rock Orchestra (Or PYRO). It was so much fun to be in an orchestra where kids as young as 7 and as old as 20, played popular rock songs with their rock and classical instruments, including violin, viola, cello and double bass. What made the orchestra extra cool is that there were so many instruments that are not in a usual orchestra (like electric guitar and a rock drum set). It was an amazing experience. I had a lot of fun and I liked the rock orchestra better than the public school orchestra because the musicians wanted to be in the rock orchestra and you could tell they practiced a lot.

In summer of 2015, while we were traveling through Canada, I started to compose music on my Mom's laptop. My Mom gave me a homeschool assignment to compose our first song. At one point, My mom wanted me to create a piano solo. Although my Mom and sister helped with the beginning, I created the rest of an absolutely crazy, yet awesome sounding piano solo. At the time, I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I could hear the notes in my head and I tried to put them in the program. It sounded great and my Mom told me she was stunned. My Mom shared my piano solo with some of her friends and whenever someone heard it they told me they were impressed. This made me feel proud about myself. After years of being embarrassed about my Autism, it felt nice to feel proud of myself for something. So I kept composing.

About six months later, I composed my first official symphony, with the help of my Mom, sister, and my music composition tutor, Willow. I don’t think I could’ve done it without them. Willow had a more complicated way of explaining music so my Mom and sister would help me understand what he was saying by showing me examples after lessons. Once they showed me in the music program, I understood. This way of learning the rules of music made me better as a composer and it helped me to organize my thoughts better, which has helped me become better at communicating.

Even though we travel, we still have lessons with Willow over Skype. During our lessons, Willow reviews our recent music with us and tells us what needs to be fixed, and explains the reason why. Now I am able to understand him without as much help from my Mom and sister.

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In 2015 and in 2016, we were in Oregon for a few months and my sister and I played in an orchestra called the Oregon Pro Arte Youth Chamber Orchestra, (or OPAYCO). The orchestra was absolutely amazing. Everyone played cleanly and professionally, and some of the more experienced musicians had their own solos. A lot of the students had been playing for more than six years, and I was only on my fourth or fifth year, so I thought I may be too young or not talented enough to be in this group.

Being in OPAYCO helped motivate me to challenge myself to practice more so I could keep up with the group. I also got to make friends in OPAYCO. A lot of the students there were homeschooled, so I felt that I could relate to them better. And since we were all musicians, music was the common language.

One time during break, one musician started playing Canon in D just for fun. As musicians, we all like that song, so one by one we put down our snacks and we all grabbed our instruments and started playing along, even though none of us had any sheet music for it. It was one of those moments when you realize that you don’t have to speak the same physical language because the music is the language.

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For the past couple of months, my Mom, my sister and I have been working to compose music our first official soundtrack called, “Ludwig the Platypus: Unlikely Heroes”. All of the music in this album is based on characters for a comic book we have been working on for the past year called, “Ludwig the Platypus: Unlikely Heroes”. The CD will be released around August this year and any money we make will go into producing the actual comic book.

I am excited to complete the comic book because it’s another way I get to communicate my thoughts and ideas to the world without being embarrassed about how I communicate when I speak – which is getting better, but still challenges me. Even writing a blog post like this takes me many days to go over the rules and stay on topic. With my art and music I feel more free.

I consider music to be my first language and I hope that when people hear our first CD, they can hear my voice.

Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’ll see ya later, Steemians!

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If you want to find out more about me and my travels, follow me on my Instagram account, haydenpatrick2003, follow me on Steemit, or visit http://www.saturnmusicandentertainment.com

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Have you tried playing through pain? Some of my absolute best creations have been summoned out of my bodily mind and mindily body as as result of doing exactly that, for it is in the moment of the genuine absorption of your own, true pain that real emotions can be felt, expressed and, sometimes, even shared. In this case it was shared through music.

I believe the most extraordinary pieces of musical artistry have been created through the legitimate acceptance and absorption of said, personal pain, after which it is truly felt, and then used. The result of said usage are the incredible musical artistry pieces as described above.

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I feel like my best music was composed after I was first diagnosed with epilepsy. It was a hard time to go through that process, but music helped me a lot.

@haydenpatrick am sure that you will be a big success here at steemit..keep up the good job, be yourself and stay in touch

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Welcome my young friend...dont forget to stay in touch with me.

Also dont forget to check out my post for a link to collect free crypto..a once in a life time opportunity.

Great story Hayden, hope to read more post in the near future.

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Thank you, @letstalkcrypto. I will make more posts in the near future.

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Look forward to it

That was such an interesting read! Definitely can see your passion for music . Good luck for the CD release!

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Thank you @anomiej :)

I really appreciate this post and look forward to seeing more of your content in the future! I just followed you, and I hope you'll do the same so we can connect and continue to evolve and learn from each other! Full #Steem ahead :)

Follow me @tayken

Much ❤!!!

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Thank you very much @tayken. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Just followed you back!

Well done, Hayden! I enjoyed reading your story and I think it's great you found a way to express yourself through music. Keep it up!
Thank you for the tip about composing music on your laptop. Hadn't thought of that. I will have me son give it a try. He is nine, homeschooled and he recently went to a sort of music camp. Hopefully, he'll give it a try.

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Thank you @ladyrebecca. When I first starting composing my own songs, I used a free software called Musescore. Maybe he could try that.

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Thanks. We'll check it out.

I wish you the best for your album, interesting post, thanks!

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Much appreciated, @bluesman

Great post keep sharing

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Thanks @farhanali. Will do. :)

Nice 😍

This is great, good job!

RightWithin

Welcome here. You first blog is awesome. I love it

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Thank you, @muhammad.usama. I appreciate your comment.

You are truly an inspiration to us all, @haydenpatrick! Reading your story gave me chills. I wish you all the best in your future musical endeavors. You will be a young artist to watch!
-Kim

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Thank you very much, @kimberlyjohnson. Your profession sounds really cool. I am looking forward to your future posts. I just followed you.

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Just reading comments, and this comment and response, just kinda overwhelmed me. Especially @haydenpatrick's comment "your profession sounds really cool" so of course, I had to check what it was, out of curiousity, and then I kinda felt those man tears (the ones men don't have, right?) welling up over the connection, the casual exchange between you two, with such deep intensity underneath it's hood and the realization that this world is flat out flipping amazing. And the people in it, are just... I don't even know what I'm saying, but something really special is happening here in these comments, and on steemit, and in this world.

I'm so glad I wandered by and got to witness it.

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I am really enjoying being here on Steemit. I like that Steemit has a lot of quality content and people. I am glad you are enjoying Steemit too. Thank you for the comment! Much appreciated, @sircork. :)

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Back at ya. Not everybody here is an angel, but you'll be just fine.

Excellent post friend thanks for the information, I am new to steemit if you can pass by my blog there I am telling you what happens in my country, I hope your support God bless you

What a journey, thanks for share! @haydenpatrick

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I'm glad you enjoyed it @ice.breaker :)

I used to sing to my daughter to create pathways to communication. Reading your article was truly heart warming and moving. Thank you @haydenpatrick for sharing. Upvoted. Resteemed. Following

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Thank you @tammierain. I just followed you too. Looking forward to seeing your posts. :)

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You're welcome and Thank you. I look forward to your releasing "Ludwig the Platypus, Unlikely Hero's". That is a very inspiring family project.

Thanks so much for sharing your story! I look forward to following your journey :)

I homeschool my 15 year old with aspergers. He actually has a knack for being verbal. He is hyperlexic, and had an early fascination with letter and words. However, his conversations consisted of scripting from his favorite shows or books!

Thank you for sharing your story, Hayden. I also clicked to follow!

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Thanks! Your story about your son is very interesting! Do you intend on writing an article about your son sometime soon? I'm following you now, @nerdynine!

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Thank you, @haydenpatrick
Once I find my bearings, I hope to become more active in the Steemit community. Keep up the good work, and thanks for following me :)

Wow!
what a great life you have had so far Hayden. You have an awesome mum and sister to, its so good to have a supportive family around you. music is indeed a language of its own and can speak what ever you want to say in so many ways. keep going forward and you have nothing to be embarrased about, you're a genius! well done young matey!
regards
Shan the sound man.

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Thank you very much, @audio-nrg! I appreciate the kind words!


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Heck yah! Great stuff, and loved the Back in Black vid!

/applause, up, resteem and follow firmly and quickly earned!

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Thank you, @sircork. It was really cool that I had the chance to be a part of the orchestra promo video. The song was challenging and fun to learn. I just followed you.

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Welcome. It gets a little strange over my way, but you seem to have your head screwed on straight, you can handle it. It never gets NSFW or anything. Although you may see words sometimes as bad as you might hear around your friends when your folks aren't listening. Thank you for the follow. You already had mine. Looking forward to more music! I was in school bands from 3rd grade until 8th grade myself. Waayyyyy back in the early 80s. Crazy, right?

Great story..., thank you for sharing! :)

Great and inspiring post @haydenpatrick , thank you for sharing.

I'm really impressed with how much you have accomplished. ..my niece is autistic and I am so proud of all her accomplishments and coping mechanisms...I really enjoyed reading your story and look forward to reading more from you :) :)

Great Blog. Keep up the good work!

Many big accomplishments for such a young age. Keep making big goals for yourself and crushing them. Such positivity! Keep up the good work!

You are young. Go follow your dreams and never stop! :)

Hey kiddo! Great story. Very inspiring. For us its a reality check showing us how easy it was for us to grow up! You write great and hope to hear from you soon 😃. I just started steem and yours is the first article i read and after reading this i am sure there is a lot steem has to offer!
God bless you child. 😘

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Thank you very much @deepanad1465. I feel like Steemit is a really great community, and I'm glad I joined. Good luck with your works. I just followed you.