Life as a teenage musician

Sophie Chappell, features writer

Once the clock strikes 2:40 p.m., students head home to complete their homework for the evening. Molly Prow, junior, faces a mountain of homework each night in addition to a time-consuming orchestral practice routine. Molly has been playing the viola since fourth grade. The instrument has taken her to Carnegie Hall multiple times, as well as the Curtis Institute of Music, one of the top music schools on the East Coast, best known for its competitive acceptance rate.

“I’ve had a good musical connection in St. Louis,” Molly said. “It’s such an amazing opportunity to play in an orchestra because it gives you experience and it’s something you can use in college and going forward.”

During the school year, Molly participates in the St. Louis Youth Symphony Orchestra and has played in Missouri’s All State Orchestra both her freshman and sophomore years of high school. Once summer begins, Molly travels all over the U.S. for music camps such as Bowdoin International Music Festival and Innsbrook Music Festival. These opportunities have not just granted her musical experience but close friendships as well.

“I feel like the music’s a part of me. Music is a universal language, you just feel the emotions running through you.””

— Molly Prow

“I’d say the best opportunity would be meeting other people that share my interests,” Molly said. “Music is a really big part of my life, and if we both share that common interest then I feel like it’s easier to connect through music.”

Despite visiting all these places and meeting new people, Molly said she occasionally feels isolated from her peers. Between weekend rehearsals and practicing two hours a night, Molly is packed into a tough schedule, while her friends spend their days more relaxed.

“At school, since I’m one of the only ones who wants to pursue [music], it’s hard to connect,” Molly said. “It’s such a big part of my life and it’s not a big part of my other friends’ lives.”  

Even with feelings of  isolation, Molly still feels open to trying new things, such as joining the cross country or swim team, but these activities don’t fit into her schedule. Her drive to practice combined with natural talent has helped shape her into the musician she is today. Molly is very quiet in person, but once she picks up her viola, her whole demeanor changes. Her face lights up, while her body moves in perfect time to the sounds bursting from her instrument.