Personal Narrative: Soloist

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I sat on my bunk bed, defeated. Six years of my head in the clouds, and finally I surrendered to practicality: I just wasn’t soloist material. So what if I had wanted nothing else for as long as I could remember; who cares if I had given up everything to pursue a crazy dream? People make new decisions all the time, right? I’m a curious person - I’m just reevaluating the world, I told myself.
I looked at the clock - 10pm. Soloist or not, I still had to be ready for my violin lesson the next day. I grabbed my water bottle and took the elevator down to the practice rooms.
Long whole bows. Metronome set to 36 beats per minute; ten beats per bow, for 20 minutes. My favorite exercise. I let my worries and burdens disintegrate from my mind as I concentrated
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I was breathing hard, smiling to myself in a cramped practice room on the second floor.
I looked in the mirror. I didn’t care who thought I was “soloist material” or not; I wanted this and no realistic, pragmatic gutlessness was going to get in my way. Performing - the mere image of it projected in my mind was exhilarating.
I was satisfied for a long moment. Yes - I played music for the addictive sensation of sharing my energy and emotion through performance. That made sense; that was a good reason, wasn’t it?
It was getting late. I put my things away and went upstairs.
I got in bed and stared at the ceiling, unable to shake the dark feeling of conceit. There must be something I was missing. I ruminated on my entire purpose as an aspiring artist. What was better than being a
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There were so many inhabitants. So many possibilities. Then it hit me.
If one asks a musician why they play their instrument, responses will, naturally, have something to do with music and great composers, or performing or recording or teaching - freelancing; anything. It always centers around music, and this is logical. But the music itself doesn’t live; doesn’t breathe...
Playing music has to be about people. Musicians are communicators. We motivate. We influence. We galvanize, enliven, inspire, connect - unite - strengthen.
I laughed. International Relations would have to wait. The reasons for devoting myself to music could fill volumes.
I was meant to do this. I know it. And I wouldn’t have it any other
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