Unleash your passion and go farther in life
I AM A Band Geek (BG) at Moanalua High School. I believe students should take band or orchestra if they want to. Unfortunately, students are encouraged to disregard classes that don't raise our test scores.
When I see a professional musician, I see a passion and an energy that is hardly found in students today. I have heard Mr. Seta, our band director, say time and time again that he can write your life story just by what he sees in your eyes. In a high school band, you can tell who has the most passion by their eyes -- and from their whole body as well.
Some band members are unwilling to release the fire that would make them the unique and talented people they were meant to be. One who is discerning would be able to see that person's soul begging to be released to express itself. But as long as one withholds that, they trap themselves in a world of darkness and can never be free.
I play two instruments, violin and clarinet, and take lessons for both. I am in both the band and orchestra at school. Most in their right mind would say that I should give up one to pursue the other. It is true that it is hard work, but it is nothing that is detrimental to my future. The maintaining of two instruments teaches me to be alert and responsible for each. Learning responsibility is a key part of being a mature person. Learning these instruments might not contribute to my future job or my future at all, but the lessons teach me to be responsible, to be punctual and prepared for the lesson. The future workforce needs people who are going to be punctual and prepared for the work they are going to do.
Most of my friends are either partly BG (meaning not as much as I am) or not BG at all, but most of my friends play a musical instrument. I know a bassist in orchestra class who is an excellent football player. I know a fellow clarinetist in band who is a good singer. I know people who contribute to our music department, but are also good at other things. My brother is a Moanalua alumnus playing tenor saxophone in the University of Hawaii's Jazz Band, but he is also very good at drawing and writing.
These people can play well because they don't lock their souls inside of themselves. I observe the violinists in our orchestra program, and I can't help but think: They could all be top-notch players. They could all achieve great things with what they're doing, but some ultimately decide to settle for second best. Every single person, I believe, can achieve great things if we, as unique people, don't lock our souls within ourselves.
It is good to have people like BGs in our world. Our society needs people with passion in their eyes and with the willingness to express their opinions and to work with others. Some say BGs won't get far in life because it is hard to get a career in music, taking band is useless if you don't plan to major in it in college, and taking orchestra is useless if it doesn't help you raise your test scores. But the lessons one gets out of playing music in ensembles are lessons that can spread to all parts of life. Aphorisms like "Finish what you start," "Everyone's important" and "Everyone gives as much as everyone else" suddenly become real to you.
When I see people giving less, it saddens me that they don't yet understand the true pleasure of giving oneself to a cause greater than themselves. I'm not saying that all other band members would suddenly start contributing less to society, but I'm sorry to say that some will. Freeing the soul helps one exceed, but locking it in definitely should be considered suicide.
Micah Masuno is a junior at Moanalua High School.
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