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The Power of Music

Isabel Yang, News Editor

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My mind, body, and soul were transformed by the sound of music. Being involved in the arts has always been an integral part of my life. Starting from the time I wake up, I automatically tune into WQXR classical radio show to catch some tunes of one of the nine Beethoven symphonies or maybe the elusive Debussy Afternoon of a Faun. This period of time is when I quickly calm and relax my nerves and the tensions straining throughout my body.

Classical music has always been my cure-all when it comes to surviving tough times because the music transforms my surroundings by teleporting me to a peaceful sanctuary similar to a Buddha achieving nirvana.

Playing violin as a solo instrument allows me to utilize a unique way of expressing my individualism of styles techniques and interpretations. Through my furrowed facial expressions ocean waves crash against the volcanic rocks while a blizzard stirs up around the glacier poles. Everything in between these interpretations is expressed and manipulated as the fingers hammer up and down the fingerboard and puffs of rosin fly off the gold-plated strings. That is why, although preparing for NYSSMA auditions is always annoying with the meticulous drilling and phrasing, it is the perfect opportunity to express individual interpretations and personal style to share with others who share the same thirst for passion. As a result, successful auditions have opened new opportunities to play with the All-State Symphony Orchestra such as a concert last winter in Rochester.

Not only have I had the chance to perform as a solo artist, I have been involved in the Great Neck North High School Fine Arts Program. What stands out from this program is the dedication put in by Mr. Rutkowski, the orchestra and band teacher, into this special and unique program. Because of this program, I have been evolved from being a novice to a musician exposed to great masterpieces such as the planets by Gustav Holst, Romeo and Juliet by Tchaikovsky, and West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein. Next year, I plan on taking the role as the concertmaster to lead the orchestra through an experience that will be implemented for the rest of our lives. In addition, I get involved by playing tunes of the Beatles and other classics to the Atrias in town along with the Cohen Children’s Hospital. The Atrias are the nursing houses where many senior citizens live. My heart melts at the sight of the kids and the senior citizens, watching as their eyes light up and sparkle as they recognize the popular tunes of the Beatles and the happiness flow out into the room. They look at me with their cloudy eyes, crying as they thank me for bringing joy into their days. This is why I continue to be involved in playing with others to create new memories. Music is the universal language of the soul.

Throughout his administration, President Donald Trump continuously neglects the multiple school programs such as the arts, the media, and the humanities. Budget cuts towards the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities would extinguish the arts and would ultimately be the source of income for other significant programs such as homeland security. Yet, students who take art classes or music lessons inside or outside of school visit museums or attend theater performances and generally do better on tests such as the National Report Card. The arts expand horizons and opportunities for students and provide economic value and cultural tourism. We should not let something this “huge” destroy and dehumanize what makes us human.

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The Power of Music