Journal Task #5 – A Compulsory Dream

Mia’s parents had only one wish – for Mia to attend a luxurious musical school in the centre of London.

When she turned four, her parents bought her a beginner’s violin. She thought it was beautiful and played for day and night non-stop.

When she turned five, her parents spoilt their talented daughter with three music books to practice from. This was when the intense training began. They set strict rules – Mia was to practice from the books for two hours after school in her bedroom – Any schoolwork would not act as a distraction from her music practice; they were to be left for later.

At the young age of six, Mia had long learnt all the melodies from her books and started to compose her own music. It had rough edges but nonetheless showed her high ability. At her sixth birthday party, Mia’s family and friends gathered for the opening of the presents. The present from her parents was humongous, and as she tore the red wrapping paper, she saw two tuning pegs protruding from the tight wrapping. This one was even more beautiful than her first violin and her expectations from her parents were now even higher. Her parents signed her up to perform at a concert for the town, and she was to practice for three hours a day now, to improve and also impress the audience. This made perfect sense in her parent’s mind but Mia only felt like she was trapped in a world of musical notes. Anyway, she obeyed her parent’s guidelines and surely got really good.

At the concert, the audience was blown away, and one of the audience members was the principal at a school nearby. He offered Mia a place at his gifted primary school near her home for music. Her parents were ecstatic and agreed to send her there. Often now, the school and Mia’s parents would sign Mia up to perform at talent shows and community events.

Mia was too afraid to admit to her parents that she didn’t want to play the violin anymore. However, they’d mention to her several times that she were to get a scholarship for the prestigious music school – no ifs or buts.

At the age of 14:

Mia’s hands were calloused, her frame heavy and strong – from hard work. She set a violin case down with foreign markings. She opened it with care and love and brought forth the instrument from within. She placed it to her shoulder – tucked it under her chin. She smiled, and then with love, drew the bow across the strings. The beautiful melody of strings flowed like the way a mockingbird sings a lovely song. However, the love was not real, not like her love when she was six.

The good people of the community burst into a scattered applause and routinely, Mia posed a warm smile and left without further ado. Her work seemed effortless but powerful. The mellow music was a barrier between the audience and her countless hours of forced practice, and her elegant smile masked her shivering soul.

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