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Old 04-14-2015, 08:34 PM
meerkat meerkat is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: the void
Posts: 6,198
Default i was looking around and i'm passionate about this topic. trigger warnings ahead.

music education is, quite honestly, my life.

schools should not cut music. cut everything equally, but by all means, keep the music programs. they are literal life savers. if i never learned music, who knows where i'd be today? it's the one reason i'm mentally stable, one of the few things i'm good for, and the reason i've met some of the most amazing people who have literally changed my life. i haven't made such close friends in the numerous sports i've played. and you can name almost any sport and i've probably competed in it at least once. i've been an athlete for longer than i've been a musician, and put my heart and soul into both, yet the latter has affected me the most.

if i never sat down for piano lessons that day in second grade, or never stumbled upon that old cheap student flute back in elementary school, i wouldn't be the same. i'd be a crying unstable emotional wreck with nothing to push me back into my place, nothing to give myself direction and purpose, nothing to keep me living. i used to be a bit suicidal in middle school until i joined marching band this year. i was known for always doing my best and making sure every practice run was performance-worthy. even the upperclassmen looked up to me, a freshman who was passionate about what she did because it literally kept her alive.

and i wasn't the only one who put this much effort into it all. we were all in it together, yet each part was so different, and i loved that. i realized i had a purpose and that i was good at something, that no one could replace flute sixteen on the field and march it as well as me. not even the section leader could, because i knew the sets by heart and i knew that was my drill and only my drill. and that itself was a reason to keep me alive. i haven't had such self-destructive thoughts and acted on them since then.

and music improves academic performance (literally, during the year i quit piano i also got my worst ever grades, and my best grades were in marching season when i did six to eight hours of practice a day. and all the music kids at my school, regardless of whether it's band or orchestra or choir, have the highest grades and are known for it throughout the school. most honors students here, me included, also sing or play at least one instrument). do your research.

i only show feelings during music practice, and i'm too ashamed to admit that i have emotions. it's strange how a simple nocturne or sonata is all it takes to turn me from a logical reasonable person into someone who knows she has feelings and will make sure they shine through all those notes. and being able to express myself in a way i have fallen in love with over and over again is worth the pain of learning a new piece and screaming and crying and swearing. when i say i hate a composer or a piece, i never sincerely mean it. it's just the frustration of the moment, but there's always a part of me that's completely star-struck and in awe and, dare i say it... emotional.

i have a friend you should know about, a friend i don't usually talk about. she's an extremely talented music major in university, who started learning after she made an attempt on her life and mahler's adagietto number five played on the hospital radio while she was there. if she'd never heard that piece, if she'd never been exposed to music, she literally would not be alive today. that piece reminded her that life has something to offer for everyone and there are still beautiful things in a sucky world. and if that's not wonderful, what is? would you really take that away from someone just for new sporting equipment or something like that?

i look up to this girl in so many ways and she's been so good to me and is just an all-around great person to hang out with. and if it wasn't for music, if she'd never decided she wanted to learn to play it, if she hadn't stumbled upon the clarinet and began to pursue that, the world would be so much dimmer without her. and if i hadn't joined marching band this year, maybe i might not be here as well. just think about that.

music is powerful. it's immensely powerful. no amount of sprint-induced adrenaline rushes can compare to the sudden and intense and all-consuming silence after you've taken a bow after your first solo performance. no amount of sports victories in a tournament where you could've sat out and been replaced can match the feeling when your marching band wins a competition and you know that if it wasn't for you showing up and playing your completely unique part none of this would be possible.

if a basketball player or swimmer can't compete, the game goes on and a replacement is found. but musicians are irreplaceable. one person's interpretation is never the same as another's. if your accompanist decides to not show up, it's nearly impossible to find another person who plays the piece the same way they do. trust me, i'm both a flute soloist and a piano accompanist. and beginners, in some cases, can be just as fulfilling to listen to as virtuosos because of the unique color they give the piece.

i know that no one plays bach's prelude and fugue in g minor quite like i do. i know that that there are so many different ways to play that one dynamic marking or those sextuplet notes. i know that one person can play a piece like a funeral requiem while another sees it as a happy festival song, and that no two versions are ever alike. not even two stand partners, both under the same conductor and director and instructors, will think of the notes on a page the same way. and that, i think, is beautiful. it makes me feel valid. accepted. special. would you take that away from so many of us young people?

so please, whatever you do, keep the music program. if you must cut something, cut everything equally. don't deny anyone these opportunities. it's the difference between life and death.

well, now you know why i practice so often.

(okay i'm tearing up as i write this i'm just really passionate about this topic because music is literally one of the few reasons i haven't fallen apart and also that part about my friend just gets me every time i think about her because i just love her so much and it's shocking to think that if she didn't happen to hear that piece she would't be here. and since marching season ended my emotional state has been declining which is why i have to join again. just needed to put that out there. i've never shared this part of myself before and this was incredibly hard to sit down and write but i found this old thread and i had to say all this. so now you know i have feelings and you know how to bring them out. congratulations.)

Last edited by meerkat; 04-15-2015 at 01:07 AM. Reason: *cries*
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