Kelly Chen, Year 11

Although the definition and meaning of music may vary for each individual, I am sure many would agree that music is a universal language. As evident throughout history, it has also been defined as an art form that provided people comfort, unity and pleasure, whilst also acting as an outlet for creativity, innovation and new ideas.

When asked what music means to me, I instantly began to think about the power of music to appeal to emotions. I think about its strong ability to express ideas and individual voices through musical concepts such as melody, harmony and rhythm. Being someone who has thoroughly enjoyed playing the piano for almost 12 years, as well as learning clarinet, music has been an ongoing journey of mental discovery for me, as well as a source of emotional expression and a way to de-stress from daily matters. Music is ultimately my ‘escape’ from reality, where I may deeply immerse myself into contemplation with the reward of creating or listening to music, which heals me emotionally and makes me feel just a bit more fulfilled.

Just a week ago, I had the privilege of performing at the Kambala Steinway Inaugural concert, held at the School performance theatre. Whilst preparing for the performance, I was overcome with a sense of thrill and excitement. Performing on such a beautiful instrument translated into such beautiful music. Being able to convey my emotions onstage through music and to an audience gave me great joy; indeed all the performances at the concert on the evening by passionate staff, Old Girls and current students brought astonishment to many. This was when it struck me that music truly unites everyone – it has the power to create a community of passionate and dedicated appreciators of music. Thus, whilst music has provided me with happiness and serenity through performance, it is also able to excite me and it fosters a sense of community – it provides balance to my life as well as allowing for self-discovery through challenges and resolutions.

In addition, I find that in performing music there is always something to improve on, whether it be in how you communicate a message sonically to the audience or the overall presentation and composure of a performance.

As many of us are excitedly preparing for the upcoming Festival of Music, I realised that music truly shines when it is performed with authenticity and enthusiasm. As I sit at the piano at each rehearsal, listening to the choral pieces and seeing supportive, hard-working girls diligently singing, I really experience a new depth to the music being performed in the lead up to the final event at the Sydney Opera House. Though there are certain limitations to what one can do to another’s composition, music is quite capable of providing a means to share unique creative voices and originality through musical interpretations. At Kambala, many performers are conscientiously preparing to deliver a story and express a variety of emotions through our music and to the audience at the 2018 Festival of Music. The process of working towards this event has been very valuable and I am sure many girls are looking forward to showing their talents onstage.

I believe that music is very powerful both to the individual and to the community, as performers and listeners. Music is a very essential part of Kambala’s identity, as it echoes many of Kambala’s values such as wonder and courage, and contributes to the learning and journey of the whole girl.