Musical Expression

Michael - Creve Coeur, Missouri
Entered on December 22, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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A young boy sits near the front of a small room, violin in hand, music on stand. All of the kids in the room appear to be reading the music, as well as playing it. All except this one boy. The boy just sits there, attempting to make out the strange dots and lines on the paper in front of him, while he runs the strange bow across the strings of the violin. While the other kids in the room may be thinking about the music they are playing, this boy is thinking about how it is possible to translate a bunch of lines and dots into a sweet melody. The boy believes the teacher does not notice him, but he is wrong. Very wrong. From the beginning of his life until the moment that follows, this boy has longed to be able to make music. If a boy such as this has such a need for music, why is he so unable to learn to play it? The answer is and was simple: he was playing the wrong instrument. If a boy is meant to play bass, then why is he playing violin? The teacher, of course, knew that she had given him the wrong instrument and was just waiting for the day to give him a different challenge. From the day that boy started to learn to play the bass, he has loved to create music ever since, and it seems to come natural to him.

In the present, the boy in this story is a bass player and a trumpet player. That boy is also me. Although I did not continue to be in the school orchestra in middle school, I quickly took a liking to the trumpet, yet I still enjoy playing the bass. The trumpet brings with it a whole new type of challenge, and I have grown quite attuned to it. In my first year of middle school band, there were many trumpet players, as well as other instrument players. As the years progressed, less and less people continued to play their instruments, but I remained. I believe that it is unfortunate for these people, because if they were to continue with their musical career, they may have achieved greatness. Music has the power to convey emotions, which words often fail to do. A progression of happy, uplifting major chords can instantly change into one that portrays sorrow or anxiety, by simply adding a minor chord. Music doesn’t have mass or volume. It cannot be measured. Music is something that relies on a person’s mentality.

Looking back on the people that quit music, I realize this: music is opportunity. I say this because I know that it has opened a ton of opportunities for me, and I’ve seen it do the same for others. Music is something that can be learned. You do not have to be given the “gift of music.” Music is powerful both played and listened to. I believe in music’s ability to bring out a hidden emotion. This emotion is something I feel both when I’m playing music and when I’m listening to it. I can’t help but to express this energy locked up in my core when I hear a beautiful guitar solo. It is not something I can easily express in words. The only true way to express this emotion is through music itself.