Guest Post: The Conductor
You can best offensive man on the pitch
The best target man
You can have a thundering right leg
And faultless technique
How playing the violin changed my life
When I was in elementary school, my mother pushed my sister and I to take up piano lessons, a prominent Asian stereotype. Grudgingly, we complied for a few years, but I personally never felt satisfaction or even enjoyment from the activity. Perhaps it was because our teachers weren’t the most pleasant, or because the recordings of the music sounded far superior to what I managed to produce with my chubby, tiny fingers. I dropped the activity around sixth grade.
But violin was a different story. I joined orchestra in 4th grade, and have never since stopped. Private lessons began in 5th grade, with Laura, a teacher that I stuck with until the beginning of junior year. She’s witnessed my growth over the years through our weekly meetings. She’s seen me at my positively worst – struggling with ambition and motivation – but she’s also seen me at my Sunday best – galvanized into repetitive practice. Our interactions have been professional for the most part – practicing scales and etudes – but there were often moments of genuine friendship between us.
What’s in a Song?
There are infinite reasons for appreciating a song. In my experience, I’ve liked songs simply because of who it reminds me of, who suggested it to me, where I heard it, or who I heard singing it. I might enjoy just the heavy beat, the interesting music video, or the contagious and infectious catchiness.
Music represents an endless amount of ideas, and there exists a song for every mod. It can immediately add emotion and drama to any situation; it has the tendency to sooth or anger, relax or excite.
Everyone has a unique music taste of their own. You wouldn’t be able to distinguish my particular music taste just from listening to one song on my playlist, simply because I don’t think I can be defined accurately and completely with just a single song.
Music reminds me of my childhood, because there are honestly some songs out there that Ilike, but don’t know why. There are other songs that have never truly left my “favorites queue,” that I have yet to tire of.
You can dance to music; you can jump around and sing to it.
Music is used to promote, and to advertise. We use it to get revenge on others through lyrics, to express emotion, and to connect with other people of similar appreciative tastes and opinions.
What’s in an orchestra? A band, a chorus? A violin, an electric guitar, or a triangle? We wouldn’t have some of our greatest role models if instruments and music groups hadn’t been conceptualized and created over people’s mutual love of music.
Some people are just natural born performers, while others should be confined to their shower.
It’s as if you’ve taken your favorite lines of poetry, set them to a beat, and added a tune, et voila, you have a song.
It blows my mind to imagine music as an inspiration for a revolution. Of course, no one has ever stood on a podium and yelled to a crowd, “FOR THE LOVE OF DUBSTEP!” and started a massive mindset shift towards electronic dance music. What I mean by this is that some pieces have been for influential and moving that people become motivated to fight for what they believe in, and what they want. Astounding to me is the influence that people like Justin Bieber and Harry Styles can hold, because…yeah.
On the other hand, look to the Haiti earthquake in 2010. The remake of “We are the world” raised awareness of the destruction, and motivation to make donations and do service work.
In 2011, a devastating tsunami struck Japan, and a charity compilation album, “Songs for Japan,” raised over five million dollars.
Live performances are a great way for people to congregate and bond over mutual interests, because the performer knows the music backwards and forwards, sweating and crying whilst giving their best performance. It’s as if you are looking the artist/composer/singer/performer full in the face; they can’t hide behind the studio window, buried under hours of remixing and auto-tuning.
One of many of my favorite music genres is dubstep*. It’s music centered around the bass, which draws on many musical influences such as techno and reggae. Quality dubstep is just phenomenal, because no one looks cooler than someone with a big pair of headphones, dramatically bobbing their head up and down as they listen to the epic bass drum of dubstep. Whilst listening to said “dubstep,” you can’t just turn the volume down to “barely audible” and expect to receive the whole experience of what my love of dubstep is founded upon.
I used to think that I would be able to sleep to dubstep, and I did for a while. My daydreams mutated into bizarre hallucinations during the day hours, and my night dreams transformed into extraordinary illusions. The experience was…surreal.
I dramatically nod my head up and down with an obnoxiously big set of headphones, with dubstep banging in my eardrums like a raging animal. The entire experience is complete.
Ear buds are just ho-hum; if you want the full dubstep experience, you need to chuck those little ear buds out and go get yourself a quality pair of headphones.
*Warning: this recently emerged music genre is NOT for the light of heart.