Where words fail, music speaks - reflections on a journey of a music student
Speech originally delivered at the May Gala Concert on 21 May 2022 at the Melbourne Recital Centre.
I started off as a Suzuki student, with a cardboard violin no bigger than my forearm. And while I don’t remember much from these early lessons, I was always fascinated and eager to listen to and understand the music I came across. I truly believe that music can change someone’s world, as music has shaped me into the person I am today. Music is like a friend; in that it is something I can turn to no matter where I am or what I am feeling.
My first year at Trinity was in Year 6, which was difficult because I was not only the new kid on the block but a new member to a completely new set of orchestras and string groups. I began as a first violinist in the Marles String Orchestra, led by Mrs McCoppin and was invited to join the Senior Strings as well as the Trinity Symphony Orchestra. I must admit, it was overwhelming to be surrounded by these older musicians, however looking back, I realise that the performances within these groups created a sense of belonging and comfort, that I still feel to this day.
One of the key highlights I’ve had as a musician is my involvement in various pit orchestras, including 2017’s Addams Family Musical as well as 2019’s Le Mis and 2021’s Strictly Ballroom. As a member of these orchestras, I’ve spent many hours perfecting iconic soundtracks and making incredible friendships with my fellow musicians.
Music is not only a story consisting of notes and melodies but provides energy to keep me going when
I face personal challenges. Writing my own songs allows me to go on creative journeys that have no end, where I can explore ideas and issues that I am passionate about and appreciate. I feel at peace whenever I am at the keyboard, and in the words of Hans Christian Andersen, “Where words fail, music speaks.”
Through listening and composing my own music, I am able to contextualise and process feelings that cannot be put into words. For me, music is not a luxury but a necessity, as my passion for a wide variety of genres has encouraged me to self-explore and grow as a person both emotionally and spiritually.
One of the things I love about music is improvisation. I find it beautiful as it allows me to break free from the written notes and provides an entirely new element for the audience to enjoy. I’ve had some wonderful opportunities to improvise, with my favourite being as a member of the opening act to Mr Rothnie’s Band, Smoking Figs. Music connects me with a song or artist, where musicians ranging from Mendelssohn to Kendrick Lam
George Koutrouzas, Year 12