Using music to overcome and move on

Posted on 30 April 2014 by admin

Giuseppe Abbate writes songs in order to reveal what he cannot say out loud 

By: Cassie Kibens

Production Manager

Giuseppe Abbate, Meramec student, uses music to help cope with what has happened in his life. He recently played for his largest audience, a classroom of about 15 students.

Giuseppe Abbate, Meramec student, uses music to help cope with what has happened in his life. He recently played for his largest audience, a classroom of about 15 students.


He played in front of his largest crowd ever that day. He was nervous, and said he was just hoping he could play a note, but kept on going. He wrote this song about the past five years of his struggle with depression. Communications South, room 206 clapped as Giuseppe Abbate strummed the last chord to the 15 students in attendance.

Abbate, STLCC-Meramec student, has struggled with depression since the eighth grade. Abbate stands around 5 feet 6 inches, has brown shaggy hair and a slim frame.

“At first my family found out I was cutting my sophomore year. It was at dinner and they weren’t really … they were angry actually,” Abbate said as he changed up his wording. “I just remember them yelling at me, because they didn’t understand, this is something new that came to their eyes. When I was in late sophomore year I told them I needed to go to the hospital because I slit my wrists too deep, that’s when they started to come to senses that this is just bigger than having a couple scratches on the arm and you can just throw it underneath the rug,”

Abbate rolled up his Starbucks receipt for his caramel macchiato and adjusted himself in his chair.

“This was a life or death situation,” Abbate said. “At first they were completely oblivious of what was going on, but once shit hit the fan, you could say, that’s when they started to come to senses that this is bigger.”

Depression in teens is not uncommon, but can lead to damaging effects for the teen’s life, according to, a non-profit organization. The website defines depression as: “Occasional bad moods or acting out is to be expected, but depression is something different. Depression can destroy the very essence of a teenager’s personality, causing an overwhelming sense of sadness, despair, or anger.”

Abbate uses his music to help him cope with what has been going on in his life and what he wants to do in the future.

“When I made that song that I played in class it was expressing myself and how I felt for the past five years and how I couldn’t exactly say the things I wanted to say because I didn’t know how it would turn out,” Abbate said as he shoved the receipt into his now-empty coffee. “So I basically, I expressed my feelings all in music and laid it out for my family and let them listen and it really kind of opened their eyes.”

Abbate’s performance in the communications classroom that Wednesday morning was the perfect example of Deborah Conover’s favorite part about being a teacher, according to Conover, instructor of communications at STLCC-Meramec.

“The fact that he took a huge risk in our class and got up in front of a bunch of people he doesn’t know and played that song. Which was really a good song. Probably something I would be interested in downloading, I’m glad he did a really good job,” Conover said as she sat in the very same classroom the performance in her class took place in. “It was just really inspiring and it made my day. I Facebooked about it later and how that was one of the times I love being an instructor because to have somebody trusts a class that much and open up in that way and share such a special part of themselves with people it’s just really inspiring and moving. It just helps you see the world in a different way.”

Abbate loves his family, he loves his 4-year-old yellow lab named Koby and he loves striving for his goals. He wants to get more into the music business one day, but for now is focusing on education at Meramec.Screen Shot 2014-04-30 at 12.33.44 PM

“Music has a big part in my life,” Abbate said. “I remember listening to my first CD and I think it really changed my perspective on what I was doing and what I wanted to do, and I was like seven when I heard my first song, It made a huge impact on my life. It made me realize what I should do and really strive for, because in my life I’ve never really had stuff handed to me. In my family we work hard for what we want and I was always taught that you just gotta work hard for what you need.”

Abbate was born in St. Louis and hopped around school districts before settling in with Afton on the third grade. He has a brother, 24, and a sister, 21. His sister “has a disability, but she’s still the smartest person I know,” Abbate said.

Although according to Abbate he was kicked out of school at a young age for not getting along with other people, there were still some good memories from back in the day, or senior year at least.

“My senior year we have the awards assembly and I knew I wasn’t gonna to get any awards, but I got an award and my friend Kurt’s calling me like ‘hey dude where you at?’ I’m like ‘I’m sleepin.’ [Kurt:] ‘Well you just won an award, you gotta get your ass down here,’” Abbate said while laughing, and pausing for a second to regain enough control to continue. “So I drive to school. I didn’t even brush my teeth or take a shower, I just walk down the aisle and sit up on the stage and everybody’s just laughin.’ That was just probably my best memory of Afton [high school] ever. It was something else. They gave me basically the comeback award. I had a tough time in high school and they gave me that award because I accomplished a lot.”


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