Power of Music

by Allison Z


Power of
By: Allison Z
Two Clashing Sides
In the bustling New York City, full of skyscrapers plunging towards the sky and office buildings stacked like legos, a soft, lulling melody rose from the cramped streets. On a never-ending time crunch to accomplish their dreams in the big city, almost nobody stopped to listen, but a calm few paused to admire the beautiful music and to drop some pennies as a sign of recognition. Although most of the bystanders thought this performer lived in poverty, he actually came from a wealthy family and lived in one of the most luxurious apartments in the city.

Just seventeen years old, Mike Frank used music as an escape from the smothering expectations around him. Although he knew that his father, Edward, would probably yell at him if he saw this scene, the moment of relief glued him to his violin. Here, he could forget about his father’s constant nagging to study harder in order to reach Yale University as a teaching major.
Most importantly, each note brought him a sense of connection with his mother, a violinist, who had died shortly after giving birth. As he knew that his father hated talking about his wife, Mike never brought her up and, therefore, knew little about her. However, he did know that she had suicided because of the endless blackmail from haters trying to stop her from playing music as a professional. He, therefore, set out on a plan to complete his mother’s goal by securing a job as a violinist. Without any support, he could only hope to gain popularity by playing on the streets.

In one of the grand school buildings a couple blocks down, Edward sat in the office chair grading papers, reflecting on how much easier he could connect with his students compared to Mike. With the radio on to listen to the daily news, the interlude of the musical piece “Fur Elise” shocked him intensely, flooding him with memories of his late wife playing this well-known piece. Although he turned it off in the blink of an eye, thoughts of his wife’s suicide, which he blamed entirely on music, continued to haunt him the rest of the day.
An Eruption of Denial
With the upcoming college deadlines, Mike decided that he had to tell his father about his ardor for music. On one brisk afternoon, with his father in an unusually cheerful mood, Mike built up the courage to tell him. 

While he kept low expectations for Edward’s response, the eruption of emotions still shocked him. Ears as red as a raging fire, Edward leaped out of his chair and banged against the table, knocking all of his papers aside. Screaming, he proceeded to berate Mike about how music would cause him to follow the same path as his mother, ultimately leading him to death. In his perspective, Mike could only gain the respect of others and, therefore, avoid any blackmail by majoring as a professor. Not wanting to further aggravate him by talking about completing his mother’s dream, Mike kept silent. 
Crashing of Reality
Despite the reprimanding, Mike continued working towards his goal, just making certain that his father did not see. Everything sailed smoothly, until, on a Tuesday night, Edward chose to visit a new bakery a few blocks away from work. To his astonishment, he caught Mike, eyes closed, playing the violin. He quickly dropped the fresh bread and sprinted to stop his son; however, just before he reached him, the song stopped him in his tracks. The musical notes elicited the memory of his wife playing for him while pregnant, causing his blood to boil. In that split second of hesitation, Mike turned his head up, and, having seen his father, bolted.  His father quickly caught up to him and dragged him by the head all the way to the car. As soon as they arrived home, Edward grounded Mike in his bedroom for an entire week, stripping him of the beloved violin and in return stuffing him with college papers.
An Inextinguishable Fire
Certain that his punishments would kill Mike’s music career, he failed to recognize the magnitude of his son’s ambition. Right after the week ended, Mike rushed to borrow his friend’s violin, not missing a beat in practicing. A few months later, after Yale University had already accepted Mike, an email from Carnegie Hall popped up on his phone, expressing how they had received multiple requests that he should play at the upcoming performance. They guaranteed that companies would hire him immediately afterward. At that moment, this offer left Mike completely at a loss for words, as he now held the ticket to becoming a professional. Not bothered that he would have to drop out of Yale University to prepare, Mike agreed on the spot.

Upon returning home, he quickly went to tell his father about this momentous decision, no longer apprehensive about any of his father’s rebukes.