By Justin Chambers

Foothill High School student, age 17

Justin Chambers performs at The Refuge.

People say that music is emotion and feeling in a physical state. I experienced this and realized that it was true the first time I got my very own guitar and played my first chord. I’d made something that I could hear, and I just wanted to learn more. I could never put down my guitar, and found myself learning more and more songs. Once I wrote my first original content it opened so many doors, and I found myself not able to put down my notebook either. I put together different patterns with different picking styles, and started to see what my guitar and my hands could do.

About two years later, I was able to get both a classical and an electric guitar. Each one of them has a life of their own and a story to tell. The electric is full of soul and has a wide range, while the classical is soft and gentle, and the acoustic is passionate and romantic. However, none of it can come out unless you feel it inside. It is the best escape ever in the sense that it can take you far away while still being in the same room. It gave me a feeling like nothing else matters but that moment, that song, and that strum of the guitar.

After a few years of playing and working at an all-age music venue called ‘The Refuge’, I had the chance to perform in front of a crowd and have people hear my music and enjoy it. A few times I played by myself as an instrumental solo band with a guitar, ukulele, harmonica and others. Being in front of a crowd is so exhilarating and is a feeling that I instantly fell in love with. At first I was terrified but after the first song I loosened up. After every song the audience would cheer and clap, and I found myself never wanting it to end.

After one of the shows I was introduced to a young girl and was told she was a great singer. After a bit of talking and a few practices together, we formed a small band called ‘Black and White’. From then on, we have spent time practicing, performing, and doing what we both love; making music.

So, at the end of the day, I find myself gazing at my instruments and feeling good knowing that I have found a life-long love. A love that I know will remain with me for the rest of my life. Music has helped me escape stress, cure boredom, find friends, and introduced me into a whole new world of emotion and creativity.