Sebastian Ortega: “Music can help us realize that we’re not alone.”

Music can help us realize that we’re not alone in the world because even though we each have our own experiences, the things that we feel through them are not that different.

When I was 11 or 12, we moved from Venezuela to Connecticut, and that was a pretty tough change for me. What worked best in terms of getting to know my emotions and coping was actually playing on the instrument. The day my grandfather passed away, the first thing I did was go and play the cello.

You have all these emotions that you’re putting into the music. Once you manage to play them through the instrument, they’re out there, and you’re hearing them. It’s kind of like talking out loud to yourself to try to get through a problem, but with your emotions.

One of our natural reactions when things get a little bit overwhelming is to close ourselves in. When we understand ourselves, we turn outwards and we can accept other people and reach out to them much more.

Today in the world, we need more of this reaching out to other people.