The Power of Music

October 12, 2011
Music is the universal language; even without words, it can speak volumes. Everyone is an artist, but each expresses themselves differently; some artists throw paint on a canvas, some artists frolic in precise patterns, and some artists weave sentences to be read aloud. Still, some artists choose to express themselves through melodic pitches, breaking into the very soul of those who hear them, whether old or young.

When we were kids, we all had something we wanted to be when we grew up. Some wanted to be firemen, some wanted to be princesses, and some wanted to be actors. When I was younger, I never would have guessed that my career path would be musical. After all, it was my brothers who wanted to be rock stars!

Yet somehow, music captured my being, and I am now walking in the path that was fated. Because of past events, I believe that music is the most powerful form of expression; it has shaped who I am. It all started a few years ago in orchestra.

My older brother –a violinist- had a recital one night. Against my will, I was forced to attend. As soon as my older brother was off, my younger brother and I got the support-the-family-because-they-support-you speech, a speech we knew by heart. “Don’t complain, we need to be there…” Soon, we were buckled in the car and driven off to what we knew would be an extensive and tedious concert.

After two hours of sitting in a sweltering auditorium with 500 people fanning themselves with programs, the orchestra –with my brother as concert master- finally came on. It was all the usual -an easy piece, a pretty piece, and a dance-like piece- until they began their final piece, Gustav Holst’s Jupiter, from the planets. I was in love with what I heard, and it was only an arrangement, played by 12 year olds! When the piece was over, my ears longed for the beauteous melody. I needed more.

A few weeks later, my mom received an email from my orchestra director- a program for her orchestra’s next concert. When we saw that the entire concert consisted of music from the mastermind himself, we bought tickets.

This time, the concert was completely different. We were packed into an auditorium with 500 others who were all preoccupied by the heat, fanning themselves with programs. But when the instruments went up, the fanning stopped. We spent an hour listening to my favorite composer before my piece began. The audience was mesmerized. I closed my eyes as I listened; I didn’t fall asleep, but I did dream of flying with an eagle- Zeus.

When the theme -the theme that my brother’s orchestra had played- began, tears emerged from nowhere. I had never gotten that feeling before, not from a rollercoaster, not from high diving, not even from sticking my head out the window on the freeway. From the smallest babes to the deafest seniors, the music brought pure jollity to all who listened.

It was suddenly all clear to me; I had found my calling. I was meant to play this piece. It was decided long before I was aware, it was decided when I was named. Monica Joy. Through me, this piece could work miracles. From then on, I knew I would me a musician.
Though they were between movements, the orchestra received a standing ovation. I was not the only one with wet eyes; many in the audience, as well as the orchestra, had tear-streaked faces. Personally, I have never been brought to tears by a painting, or by dancing. Some of the greatest reactions can only be evoked through music. After all, what’s ‘Jaws’ without John Williams?

Music can be used to ask questions, and even answer them. Some individuals can be best understood by their music, whether by listening to their playlist or their own compositions. So while some may choose to spend hours perfecting their drawings of the tiger lily, or memorizing steps, dips, and lifts, I chose to express myself through the rhythms and pitches that my violin, Gustav, and I create together. After all, who doesn’t want to speak a lot and be understood by everyone?

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