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The Norseman

The Norseman

Music plays major role in students’ lives, instrumental to developing mind

Having the ability to play and understand music is a skill that anyone can acquire over time. Being able to play an instrument is one thing while being able to comprehend and understand what is happening and what it is trying to portray is another, greater thing. Completely learning to play an instrument or a piece can take years of hard work and dedication that not many people have the stamina to stick with.

High school is a great place to pick up an instrument and spend years playing it while also being able to focus on other activities or interests that are not centered around music. Many believe that having the ability to play music can help with concentration and focus.

Senior Brandon Garza has been playing the saxophone for seven years and percussion for six. During those seven years of constantly playing and listening to music, he has trained himself to subconsciously listen for music where it might not be as noticeable.

“I definitely pay a lot more attention to things that have music in them, like in movies and life in general I pay attention to the music a lot more,” Brandon said. “Knowing how to and how difficult it is to play an instrument helps me look at other things and not take them for granted.”

Music can change the way people learn and comprehend new information in many different circumstances. In high school, being part of band or orchestra can help students focus and learn in classes outside of music.

“Playing music in general tends to make me look at things differently,” senior Mabel Bradley said. “I notice that I learn better through auditory means than other mediums, so that’s one way that it’s changed my thinking process. I know that playing music has helped me develop muscle memory and be more precise in what I do.”

Senior Michaela Lamb has been playing the piano for 13 years and the viola for nine. Having played the piano for so long, she is the organ player at her church along with the choir accompanist. She has also seen changes in how she focuses at school and on other tasks.

“It’s a way for me to relax and destress after a hard day,” Michaela said. “It’s helped me improve my practice skills and also how I work on homework. I’m more efficient in doing things that I need to focus on and get them done quicker.”

Music provides a way to express emotions freely in any way that fits the musician. Whoever is playing the music can choose from any genre that fits their current mood. It’s a great way to let all emotions out while listening to something that they can relate to.

“When I’m sad I listen to music, and when I’m happy I listen to music,” Mabel said. “It’s just that thing that I escape to. I like playing instruments because it makes me happy. It’s a good way to spread emotions to other people.”

Orchestra director Glenn Lemons has a goal of making sure orchestra students pursue their love for music after high school. For people outside of high school, he wants to show different genres of music and how it can help bring people together.

“I want students to be able to read music in any venue and in as many styles as possible and to continue their passion and love of music beyond the walls of BHS,” Lemons said. “Locally I think there are a variety of cultures represented as far as the classical tradition, like jazz venues. We’ve also got our mariachi culture that’s performing around town, so I think there’s a variety of musical cultures that are represented.”

Lemons has taught Mabel for the past four years and has seen growth over time. Lemons has also noticed that Mabel has taken it further than just a hobby and has started writing music and putting it out for everyone to hear.

“Mabel’s range of music and musical IQ has expanded over the years, not only on the violin, but also on the theory of music,” Lemons said. “Mabel’s talent has become a lifestyle and a passion that can continue on even after high school.”

Band director Laura Grems has a similar hope for her band students when they leave high school. She thinks it is important for them to continue doing everything they’ve learned and love. She hopes they not only improved within music, but also in classes and activities outside of it in which they would need certain skills for.

“I hope that they take away confidence and that through music they believe in themselves that they can conquer what they set their hearts to,” Grems said. “I think it helps a lot with multitasking because music is one of the few places where people are using reading, math, science, language, history, and physical motion all at the same time.”

Aside from helping people focus and learn easier, being in fine arts helps students make friends and have a better attitude towards being in school. Participating in a fine arts class helps many students look forward to attending school, which can benefit them in ways outside of music.

“I feel like music has made me analytical, more open minded, and reminded me to take a broader outlook,” senior Michael Kornhoff said. “I think it’s important to play an instrument because it improves coordination, gives people a place to find friends, gives people a hobby, and it just gives people a more open-minded mindset.”

Grems first met Michael when he was a sophomore, and even then she saw the potential he had in music. She notices how he takes the music and makes it his own while also playing everything written just as it is.

“Michael has always been a very talented musician,” Grems said. “When I first met him as a sophomore, he could always read the notes on the page and over the last three years he has improved his technical abilities. I have also seen him take the music off of the page so that it has its own personality.”

Breanna Osbourn, the head band director, hopes that her students take away the leadership skills they learn and apply them to life outside of high school. Not only is leadership important, but also the ability to be in groups and work together to get everything done and make sure everyone knows what they’re doing.

“Band is one of those things that is very community-oriented and leader-oriented which is why a lot of band kids are the first to get interviewed for oriented which is why a lot of band kids are the first to get interviewed for jobs,” Osbourn said. “That is the main thing: being able to work collaboratively with other people and being able to function as a larger group.”

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Sophia Bradley
Sophia Bradley, Editor
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