Music to My Ears: Reflections


Hey guys! I’m Eimi (pronounced ‘Amy’) and I’m a freshman concentrating in Education Studies. I co-write Music to My Ears with Deointe, and hopefully you’ll get to see the different facets that Brown’s music department has to offer from my perspective! 

The 2013-2014 academic year at Brown is winding down, and we know all good things must come to an end. The Brown University Orchestra holds 4 concerts every academic year, and this weekend constitutes the last of those 4 concerts. The program, called Russian Masterpiecesconsists of Brahms’s Academic Festival Overture, Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1 performed by Matthew Slesinski ’16, and last but certainly not least Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6.

I am also performing Tchaikovsky’s Serenade Melancolique for my Applied Music Program recital next Saturday along with other AMP musicians, and Schumann’s Piano Quintet for my Chamber Music recital two days after along with Emily Chiu ’14, Gabriel Buchsbaum ’17, Emily Schwartz ’16, and Noah Fields ’17. With that ends my freshmen year musical journey at Brown.

I auditioned for the orchestra back in September not knowing what to expect or gain. Not having been in any kind of orchestra before apart from my 20-person high school string ensemble, my experience was limited. To go from that small world to the magnitude of Brown’s 100-person orchestra complete with strings, woodwinds, brass, and a percussion section that rehearsed twice a week each for 3 hours was mind blowing and uncomfortably intimidating. But looking back, deciding to audition and join has been by far one of the best decisions I made. To be immersed in a community full of invested musicians who, to put it realistically, are only college students who like making music, is such a rewarding experience and one I would never have had had I not joined. It gives me shivers to play, because the people who I play next to make me feel the music. They make me want to be a part of the black ink arranged carefully in spacial terms on the page, which seems so trivial in an everchanging world.

My orchestra audition is where I first met my current AMP teacher, Lois Finkel, who, through the program and its vast opportunities, continues to inspire me by showing that the best musicians are great not because of their technique but because of their passion. It is through her that I became involved in Benjamin Nacar’s Journeys Expedition (see previous post ‘Join the Expedition’) and Chamber Music Performance. I owe every great musical moment I have had this year to her expertise and the way she welcomed me into the music community with open arms.

Through experiencing each level of performance (solo, quartet, orchestra), I realize that what I love about music is that the basis will always stay the same and it will constantly be evolving. It keeps me grounded, yet open to new challenges. Coming to Brown, I never thought I would open my violin case again. I knew I wasn’t going to be a professional violinist, so I didn’t think I had a reason to continue pursuing music, something my mom originally wanted me to do. Now with my first year coming to an end, I can’t wait to come back sophomore year, eager than ever to play the instrument I love and continue performing what has made me into who I am and will continue to shape me in innumerably unspeakable ways.

Moral of the story? It’s never too late; never too late to start, restart, or uncover a hidden passion that you had suppressed all along.

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Email me at or comment below… I’ll be answering them here and who knows, you might get featured!


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