A Universal Language


Gabriel Gurrola

Many find happiness in different things, but others express it differently.

Gretchen Baez

If one can imagine a world without music, it would be dust because music is life itself. For most people it is an important part of life, and as a form of expression, it should have no boundaries.


Round Lake High School Junior, Salvador Vargas has been gifted with an astonishing talent in the piano and over the years he has been able to develop and extend his talent to other unique instruments like the saxophone, accordion, and of course, the wonderful recorder from elementary. After playing for years, music has become a huge part of his life. There was a point in his life where he had to leave music for a while to focus on other priorities, but that did not stop his passion for music.


Vargas grew up around music. His mother and father both have musical ability. His dad, who sings, plays guitar, saxophone, and some piano, is the one who helped Vargas learn how to play by ear. They owned a small keyboard and he would play around with it as a kid. He mentioned that his dad one day saw him and decided to sign him up for piano lessons because he saw the interest he had in it. Vargas has been playing the piano for six years, starting at 10 years of age with a teacher he admired.

“She was awesome, she was the best teacher ever,” Vargas said.  Like anyone else, he started learning all the basics for a musician, but two years later he took off on his own. His ambition to become a better pianist is what helped him to become one and not give up, despite the obstacles that would come his way.

When Vargas entered high school, he found it very difficult to balance out work, sports, school and music, so he had to sacrifice his passion for music for a while until he could find time to play again. 

Being a part of a band with his dad, has also allowed to enjoy this talent by playing at parties, special events, churches and other stages. “Overall I really loved it,” he said. Seeing everyone enjoying the music and having a good time with family and friends is what would keep the band motivated. But unfortunately they had to adjust to some changes to the group. Vargas’s  dad still continues to teach him new music, but its been hard for him to keep up with all the music for the band since he also started working after school.

Regardless of the hardships, he still found other ways to keep music a part of his life.

Every year Vargas participates in the variety show at school. It’s one of the only opportunities he had to focus on the piano and to give a good performance to the audience. For him, this annual event is what gives him the chance to put all his time and effort on what he loves doing the most.

As a way of expression he was also able to work on a few pieces of his own. “ They just come randomly,” he said. Sometimes it would only take him about two hours, other times it would take him about five days to finish a song, but it always depends on his state of emotion at the time. “I usually write my songs through what I’m feeling,” Vargas explained.

Vargas has some advice for new musicians: “Definitely practice,” he said. “And also one reason why I did it so much was because I really wanted to , I was really motivated to do it,” he added. He mentioned that having an ambition to be a musician is the most important because one can’t simply do something without passion. “When someone first looks at a piano they just see like 88 different keys, they all make a different sound, but there is a whole pattern to it, so if you’re starting, just start with the basics, getting used to your fingers doing different actions.”