The Impact of Music Throughout My Life

Growing up in a multilingual home, music has always been a constant. Even though the languages spoken at home were mostly Russian and English, music was sung and listened to in every language that could be. There would be Russian one moment, Italian the next, followed by Spanish and French, followed by an encore of Hebrew and German and English, not to mention the obligatory classical music. To this day, my family holds over me that my first word was the lyric to a song by one of the USSR’s most prominent female artists, Irina Allegrova.

However, it is because of this that whenever I feel some intense emotion, I turn to music. In fact, that is the reason why I chose to write about music, because it not only gives me an escape but also because almost all of my memories are associated with music in some way, shape, or form. For me, music is not just something to listen to, it is also something to create Ever since I was in sixth grade, I have been playing on the viola, Up until I was about 15 years old, I treated the viola as just an extracurricular activity, just as something to put on my college application I was never really serious about this particular instrument because I saw it as second best to the violin, which I originally wanted to play.

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Frankly, I first signed up to play because of my brothers: they played the violin and I wanted to be like them; itjust so happened that when I went to join, there were no more violins left, only Violas, cellos, and basses.

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It was made even worse by the type of music that I had to play; almost all of the music had the viola as the obligatory member but not really important for the actually piece. I almost never had any solos or main parts in a song and that made me even sadder because I thought that my instrument was not important to the orchestra/ string ensemble, and that I was not good enough. However, everything changed after I saw a certain musical, read a certain book, and saw a certain movie.

When I was in ninth grade, my orchestra played an excerpt from a piece called The Music ofthe Night. The viola part of it was not that special. It was a bunch of whole notes and rests; nothing that important, or so I thought, I was curious to find out the history of the piece and listen to the whole song so I set out to find out what I could from Google. The Music ofthe Night led me to a whole new world. It introduced me to the world of the Phantom. The Phantom of the Opera allowed me to discover a whole new side of myself; never before had I liked musicals, or paid attention to any type of music aside from the top 40 chart Prior to my introduction to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, my tastes never varied that much; I mostly listened to three main artists in Russian, and the top 40 chart in English Phantom got me to broaden my horizons and actually develop my own taste, and not rely on what my friends listened to. Thanks to that musical, I was now listening to classical, Italian, French, Russian, English, Spanish, German, and Hebrew music for the actual music. I remember the first time I realized that I was actually taking apart the song in my head. Never before had I voluntarily listened to that type of music and actually enjoyed it, Although the Phantom helped me learn to listen other types of music besides the traditional pop, that is not the only thing it did. Originally, I only listened to a few songs from Webber’s musical, I did not actually see it or read the actual book until a good few months later. In fact, the first songs that I listened to came from the movie version of Phantom ofthe Opera, not the stage version. I listened to Music of the Night, Think ofMe, and Phantom of the Opera constantly throughout the school year, It was only after the year ended that I finally managed to see the movie and was hooked on the movie and the fandom‘ in general. Not only did Webber’s music capture my attention and mind by how complex he could make a few simple runs sound, but the imagery and the developed plot also drew me in, Webber took the novel that Gaston LerouX wrote in the early 20th century and 1 The community that surrounds a tv show/movie/book etc. developed it into the love story that has been on broadway for more than 25 years. While the original story piqued my interest and got me interested in the whole concept of how some characters can be both sympathized with and set up as the antagonists simultaneously, the music part did not really influence me before I actually got to see it in action via the play. It took seeing the movie and the play for me to become obsessed with this fandom and while that may sound weird or crazy to some people, in me it inspired a very welcome change. I mentioned previously that up until I was 15, I never took the viola seriously but that changed after I saw a certain movie; that certain movie was The Phantom of the Opera, I cannot really say that there was a specific reason for this change, but I can say that the relationship between the two main characters Erik, the Phantom, and Christine, his prote’gé/ ingénue, delivered a very important message to me when it came to my attitude towards my viola.

After I observed the way that Erik would make sure that Christine would train her voice while also making sure that she was not overexerting herself in the daily and nightly ballet performances and practices, I got inspired to practice more on my own instrument so that I would one day be able to play well enough to actually get somewhere with my skill level. While some would argue that Erik was a bit insane, especially when it came to the way that he behaved towards some supporting characters, I would say that his genius gave him a partial excuse. Erik would, once having a muse, lock himself up in his music room and stay in there until he was finished composing whatever was in his mind. Seeing that, I was inspired to practice and practice until I was good enough to qualify for something other than just some minor supporting part on the viola. All of that influence and practice finally paid off when I was in eleventh grade. I may have mentioned in class that I was a part of the Philadelphia All City High School Orchestra, well that happened thanks to my obsession with the Phantom and way that he got me to appreciate music, Throughout my entire tenth grade, I would come home and practice various scales on the viola along with trying more technically advanced pieces than the ones that my music teacher gave out Not only that, but I would also practice reading the other two main music clefs along with practicing on the piano, both at home and at school. My teacher noticed that and that was how I managed to become the section leader of the Violas in the orchestra and was also given the second and first violin parts in some songs. In the span of about eight months, I managed to become proficient in reading the treble, alto, and bass clefsf, along with finally managing to learn how to vibrato and getting good enough at playing the piano that I was not stopping every time I came across new pieces I began the tenth grade relying solely on memorizing which keys to hit, and then ending the grade being able to sight read well enough to fake my way through a song By the time that June came around, I was at a high enough skill level to get the audition piece forAll City In fact I remember playing at the graduation ceremony for the class of 2014 while also practicing the audition piece for All City Back in my music section in high school, All City was something that all musicians bragged about; there was a brutal audition process and made people extremely nervous, some actually broke down crying, it was a sort of right of passage for us, which is why when I got the piece I was really excited.

Fast forward to November 2014, and I am at Girl‘s High standing in front of four strangers playing an excerpt from my audition piece, two random three octave scales, and a random sight reading piece that would determine whether or not I would get into the orchestra, I was so nervous at the audition that if I did not channel Erik‘s spirit and advice, I would have fainted for sure, I was so glad when that day was done and I was able to go home 2 Treble, alto, and bass clefs are the three major clefs in music. Treble is used by instruments that use pitches that start at the g above middle c, Bass clefs are used by instruments that can only go up to that g above middle cl Alto clefs are used by instruments that can play pitches right between the high treble and the low bass; mostly Violas use this clef and forget about it for a couple of weeks, A few days before winter break, I got the results; I got in! I was excited, but then over break, we had the first sight reading practice as a whole orchestra down at the Curtis Institute of Music; if I thought that the audition music was hard, it was nothing compared to the actual pieces that we would play. That year, we would go on to play “Danse Bacchanale” by Saint Saens, “Wilhelm Tell Overture” by Rossini, Beethoven’s Fifth, Swan Lake, West Side Story, and three other pieces by Verdi; you could say that I was overwhelmed when I first saw the music Although I was excited because the viola was finally essential to the music, it was still a daunting process of actually learning the song. It took me four rehearsals (a month) before I was able to play along without actually getting lost anywhere in the songs. In other words, it took me a third of the total time we had in order to learn them; rehearsals started the first week of January and the concert was the first Tuesday in March. Two months after the concert, 1 got an email about going to Italy for free with the orchestra, and in July I was able to go to Italy for 10 days for free; and to think that all of this happened because I got obsessed with the Phantom ofthe Opera.

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The Impact of Music Throughout My Life. (2022, Jul 20). Retrieved from

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