Why Music Always Wins

There were two moments in my adolescence where I had to make difficult decisions with music. My mother enrolled me at the Chicago Suzuki School at a very young age and enjoyed it as a child. At age 7, I was still enjoying music but didn't want to practice (a common dilemma). I remember sitting across the table in the kitchen with my parents in my childhood home, asking me if I still want to play the violin. It was an odd question for me. I liked playing the violin and it made me feel good. It made people around me happy. However, my parents wanted me to make a decision by the next morning because it was a major expense for them at the time. I went upstairs to my room and I layed on my bed staring at the ceiling, wondering what I'm going to say the next morning. The choice was clear to me. I told them at breakfast that I was sticking with music. At that point I took violin more seriously and took regular private lessons, and played in local competitions.

Fast forward 10 years later, and I face the same problem. 

It was my junior year of high school. I was sitting concertmaster of my high school orchestra, and performing regularly with my violin group. Things were going great, until I had the college talk with my mom. Everyone in my family was nervous about me pursuing a music degree. A couple of my family members were conservatory musicians but struggled for a very long time before they made a steady income. I went to my college guidance counselor to ask for advice on colleges and offered me schools I never even heard of. I asked for some brochures from a couple schools and wasn't really sold. A colleague of mine told me about a summer festival that I should consider applying for. The idea was new to me. I never attended a summer festival so I had no clue about the process. The festival accepted me into their 6 week orchestra program and changed my view of orchestral music. It was the first time I was a part of a great orchestra and it was an experience of a lifetime. The festival had a college fair that helped me get a better idea of my options for conservatories. I auditioned to several programs and landed in Boston. I'm fortunate for my training thanks to my mentor and get support from colleagues that helped me learn. 

So there you have it. Two important moments of my life that I've shared with you. But why bother sharing all this?

There were (and still are) many moments in my life where I ask myself why I went into music. I could've been an IT professional, or work as a consultant at a tech firm. But every time I open my  case and pick up my violin to practice,  I remind myself of the the memories that I share with my colleagues from around the world. I remind myself of the feeling of great satisfaction after practicing your butt off and standing in front of an audience who attended your performance to hear what you have to say in your playing. These are the greatest feelings in the world to me and I'm grateful that I get to share this with people. 

As Robert Blocker said once in a lecture he gave in Burlington, VT, "You don't choose music, music chooses you". No matter where you are in life, music will always be there for you in your highs and your lows. You can always rely on it. At the end of the day, music is the biggest win anyone could ever ask for. 

 

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