Along with the education I had to cram into my head during this summer, I decided to finally be useful and help y’all out/ Welcome to another post that happens not to be sarcastic. Entirely.
I joined a music program at the beginning of 6th grade at middle about 4 years ago now because now, I’m becoming a freshman. (Man, that feels so long ago now..) I didn’t exactly have reasons for doing so. I wasn’t passionate about music, I’ve never played an instrument, and I thought, “Eh, whatever. Something to keep me from complete drowning in middle school due to Wikihow.”
Let’s be honest, Wikihow has taught me than my Math teacher ever did in 8th grade.
At my old middle school now, there are 3 music programs: Band, Orchestra, and Chorus. The music program I chose was Orchestra. I’m not going to lie, the reason I picked Orchestra over the other music programs aren’t exactly the best ones…
I remember the tour we got during the first week of school through the Connections (The other classes we can take other than Academics. They aren’t exactly electives except for the music classes because they use a computer to assign you the other one.) hall. There was Spanish: Where everyone knew the Spanish teacher gave out candy for pretty much everything according to their siblings, P.E.: Where everyone knew one of the coaches was a complete bitch (Which was very true.), and the others like Art, and Computer Science and Guitar. Guitar didn’t count as a music class because it was only a semester long compared to the yearlong connection classes and it was just the basics.
As for the music classes, the tour went to Band, then Chorus, then Orchestra. They all had videos and presentations: Band had a marching band performing Bad, I believe? I don’t remember that. Chorus had an acapella group (It wasn’t Pentatonix.) and the Orchestra had a few violin and then electric string performances which I thought were PRETTY COOL.
The next day in our homerooms, we were given a sheet with four options: Band. Orchestra. Chorus. None. The options rolled through my head for the whole day especially when most of my friends came together at the lunch table and talked it out. One of them had their heart set on Chorus since they had done it in elementary school. The other 4 of us had no idea.
“Well… I like orchestra and band and chorus.” I commented, eating my sandwich.
Lily quietly spoke up, ” My brother moved to orchestra because the Band Teacher shouts at everyone..”
“Yeah, my brother told me that too,” Carnation agreed, “He also told me that the Chorus teacher is somewhat perverted…”
“I don’t like harsh teachers… So I suppose that I’ll be in orchestra.” I reasoned.
Aria also agreed and we all picked orchestra.
Fast forward a week and we’re all in the same orchestra class and about to choose our instruments. The orchestra teacher actually let us try out every instrument and there were the violin, viola, cello, and the bass. The violin was nice but I guess I didn’t like it A LOT. The viola I thought was pretty nice and the background behind it felt like me. The cello was also pretty cool to me but something about the stance didn’t sit well, I actually don’t know. The Bass intimidated me with the thick strings and how it kind of hurt. Wrestling between viola and cello: I ended up choosing the viola and I love playing it.
But enough of my narrative.
(DISCLAIMER: I’m not condemning anyone who just chooses not to be in a music program or can’t. Let’s just get that straight. [Also I want to say, I understand that music classes a privilege and in America and probably in more countries than my mind knows of, we are facing an issue with the Fine Arts being cut from school budgets and that truly saddens me. I feel like people SHOULD have at least a chance to go into Fine Arts if they so choose. But how will they know what’s out there and if they want to know, if they.. never got a shot?])
Tips For Anyone Who Wants To Join A Music Program:
~ Join one!
If it really interests you, or you’re looking for something new, I definitely recommend it. However, I do understand financial issues and my school did too because they let kids use the school instruments. If you do feel uneasy due to these reasons, I would talk it out with your parents , let them know how much you would like to do this and maybe even the school and ask if you could use a school one if they do have some.
~ Choose An Instrument That YOU Like
For Chorus, this can’t really apply to you. Unless if your Chorus teacher isn’t a control freak like he one at my old school… Choose a singing style you like unless needed to be instructed to do otherwise by what the song requires or something. Sorry to alienate you guys there.
As for others with instruments: I put emphasis on YOU because this is YOUR instrument. Do not let other people tell you what to play and what not to play. I’m trusting you to tell the difference between someone joking about it and actually being discouraging.
However, if it’s for something such as health or being comfortable, you probably should listen. Like if you REALLY like the Tuba or singing but it hurts to do so even if proper posture and such, you probably shouldn’t continue or get help. Music is about having fun but how can you have fun in continuous pain?
For example, I know this guy and he’s pretty short. And then when he said he wanted to play bass, everyone was like, “You’re so tiny, there’s no way you can play this giant instrument. Just play violin instead.” Then that dude became one of the top basses in the 8th grade Orchestra so… yeah.
I was told it was weird to play the viola when mot people were flocking to violin. Especially even by my parents.
~ Don’t Get Discouraged Easily
No one said learning an instrument or how to sing would be easy. Or even if you already knew how to, new skills aren’t always easy to obtain. Does it get easier to learn in time? Yes. Don’t get discouraged so easily because, “I keep trying but I can;t enunciate that right.” or “I STILL CAN’T DO VIBRATO AND GOD, I’VE TRYING FOR-” So I got carried away with that last one.
it may or may not be actually me. Even if you never quite hit that mark, you at least will improve with plenty of practice.
~ Open Yourself To So Much More
There’s two things I’m referring to here.
People and new Musical Opportunities.
In a music program, it’s inevitable that you will have to interact with other people. Don’t get me wrong, I’m extremely awkward and pretty shy around other people legitimately and the concept of stand partners did not sit well with me for pretty much until the beginning of 7th grade Orchestra. But these are people you’re going to interact with every day (or almost everyday, some people have like an alternating schedule.). I just learned to be a little more warm to people and during all the concerts and field trips, I feel like we all knew each other more and kind of all bonded.
Even though there’s some people in orchestra I still don’t particularly like as a person.
New Musical Opportunities can honestly mean a lot of things. Like a musical, Marching Band thing, Solos, that type things or even larger! It’s nice to really broaden your horizons and always stretch out. Just not to thin but you know what I mean. Honestly, I should be taking my own advice right now. And because of a promise I made to another blogger, I’m actually going to be trying for Solo and Ensemble in Freshman year so, that’s cool.
When I joined the school orchestra in 6th grade, I wasn’t aware of the family and such great friends I would gain from it as well as the appreciation of music I have today.
Not to mention the history of guys I’ve liked are MAINLY from my orchestra class…
Honestly, I would be just sitting anywhere in blank space if I hadn’t started feeling more care for music.
Thus started my emo phase. And quite frankly, my orchestra family is probably the best family I have next to my LEAP family. I’m not going to mention my actual family because that… Well, let’s leave it there.
If any of you are music students, what else you would you say or add on if you feel like there might be space to?
Float In The Musical Cyber Space!