12 Reasons Why Everyone Should Join Band

12 Reasons Why Everyone Should Join Band

Everyone should learn to play music
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While everyone was finding their talent in soccer or basketball growing up, I was glued to my clarinet. I've been playing for seven years now. Band is something that a lot of people try in middle school and then drop in high school because of a plethora of reasons. Even though there were times when I felt like giving up, I'm so happy that I never did.

1. It teaches you commitment and responsibility.

Think about this: When I first started playing my instrument, I was only twelve years old. Think about how immature you probably were as a sixth grader. You probably didn't know much about loyalty, responsibility, or commitment. But from the moment I joined band and rented out that instrument, I had responsibility. Now, I'm not saying that I never almost lost that instrument. I definitely had a couple of times where I left it in my Spanish class or the library. But regardless, from the minute I started playing my clarinet I began to mature.



2. It's cathartic.

Playing an instrument can be very therapeutic. For me, playing an instrument has always been an outlet for emotion. For whatever you're feeling, there are hundreds of thousands of composers who have felt the same way at least a dozen times over. There are love ballads, songs about anxiety or depression, and break-up songs. Though they're not all in the same language as a poem would be, those who play music will always understand the emotion that comes which each piece.



3. You don't have to have natural talent to play.

Let's take me, for example. I've never had natural talent in anything. I started out later than everybody else. Most started playing their instruments in the 4th or 5th grade. I didn't start playing in band until the 6th. But, being 13th chair most definitely did not discourage me. I worked my way up, got private lessons, and eventually became 2nd chair. I started out completely confused. I didn't even know what a key signature was. I failed, and multiple times. But the difference between me and a quitter was that I had the love and passion for music. Because of that passion, I never gave up. Though I have to work much harder to be as good as the best, I have learned so much in the process.



4. You become a part of a community.

Once you play an instrument, you meet at least one person everywhere you go that has also played at one point. You can relate to them instantly. Music has cured so much of my social anxiety because musical people are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. They don't care about what you look like or where you came from. Musical people just care about one thing and one thing only: the music.


5. It's the same in every language.

You can travel to somewhere distant and foreign, but you're always going to be able to understand music. There are so many collections of music that all music lovers are lucky to read because we all speak the same language. Imagine if each musical piece were written in the language of the country it came from. We would miss out on so many beautiful pieces! We're so lucky that it's all in one, universal language!



6. It can build your confidence.

For those like me who were never all that talented at sports, music was the perfect thing for me. It was my area of expertise, my only way to shine. This, as you can imagine, gave me great confidence growing up. There's nothing more invigorating than playing a scale or musical rhythm in front of the whole class flawlessly or, to an even larger extent, a solo in front of an audience. It's something that just gets your adrenaline pumping.


7. Every musical piece has a story.

Since people have been performing music for centuries, you can learn a lot from it. Like I said before, music is an emotional outlet. That goes for those who write music as well! It can be about whatever they want it to be about!


8. It strengthens your left brain.

Music is an extremely left-brain oriented ability! It involves creativity, counting, math, and multitasking. It can be very difficult, but also very rewarding. Music makes you smarter!


9. It teaches you patience.

Since it takes time to become good at music and develop a full understanding of it, patience is key. If you're like me, it might take you a lot of time to develop this patience. But, with lots of hard work, you'll most certainly gain patience in the process of getting to know your instrument!


10. It teaches you discipline.

You have to make yourself sit down and practice in order to gain progress. Sometimes, it's going to be difficult because practicing is the last thing you want to do. With time, though, you'll become disciplined enough to just sit down and do it!


11. It can separate you from the crowd.

Being left-brain-oriented is not something that everyone just naturally has. Music is an art form. A lot like painting and drawing, music is a rare talent that should be treasured. But, if you don't have the talent naturally, work hard to practice and work your way up! People find it very interesting!


12. Music is one of the most fun and interesting things you'll ever engage in.

It's unlike anything else! Get out there and take a lesson!

**This article is dedicated to all those I met because of my little Yamaha clarinet. Large thanks to my parents for giving me the gift of clarinet lessons. To my lesson teachers who never gave up on me: Thanks for putting up with me, even when I had no idea what a key signature was or didn't practice as much as I should have. Most importantly, huge thanks to my band directors in high school. Mr. Gonzales and Mr. Rogers, you guys taught me so much! Thanks for all of the encouragement over the years!**

Cover Image Credit: Julianna Wagner

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Dear Shondaland, You Made A Mistake Because April Kepner Deserves Better

"April Kepner... you're not average"
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I'll admit from the first time we were introduced to April in Season 6, I didn't like her so much. I mean we hated the "Mercy Westers" in the first place, so how could we see the potential in the annoying, know-it-all resident that was trying to compete with our beloved Lexie Grey.

But then, we saw her come face-to-face with a killer and thought maybe she had potential.


We then saw her surprise everyone when she proved to be the next trauma surgeon in the making and we were intrigued.

Notice how none of these stories had anything to do with Jackson Avery. Not that we didn't love her with Jackson, but for whatever reason you've chosen to end their very popular relationship. Suddenly, you think that April is not worth further exploration but you've forgotten one simple thing. We fell in love with her before "Japril" was ever in the picture.

We love her because her story was unlike the others and she had one of the best character developments on the show. She wasn't damaged like Meredith Grey or Alex Karev who have been on their journey to become all whole and healed, but she still had to fight hard to be taken seriously. Her story has so much potential for future development, but you've decided to throw it all away for "creative reasons."

I'm sorry, but there's nothing creative about doing the exact same thing you've done to all the other characters who have left the show. We've endured the loss of many beloved characters when you chose to write off George, Henry, Mark, and Lexie. We even took it when you did the unthinkable and wrote McDreamy out of the show - killing off one half of the leading couple. (WHO DOES THAT???)

But April Kepner? Are you kidding me?

She may no longer be with Jackson, but she was so much more than half of Japril. While most of us hate that Jackson and April are over, we probably could have dealt with it if April was still on the show. Now they're done and you think there aren't any more stories to tell about her character. Why? Because she'll just get in the way of Jackson and Maggie?

How could you not see that she was way more than Jackson's love interest?

She's so much more than you imagined her to be. April is the headstrong, talented trauma surgeon no one saw coming. The farmer's daughter started off an ugly duckling who became a soldier because she needed to be one and turned into one big beautiful swan who constantly has to fight for her coworkers and family to see her as such.

She's proven to be a soldier and swan on many occasions. Just take giving birth to her daughter in a storm on a kitchen table during an emergency c-section without any numbing or pain medication as an example. If she wasn't a soldier or a swan before, how could she not be after that?

Yet, you - the ones who created her - still see her as the ugly duckling of a character because she always had to take the backseat to everyone else's story and was never allowed to really be seen.

But we see her.

She's the youngest of her sisters who still think of her as the embarrassing little Ducky no matter how much she's grown.

This swan of a resident got fired for one mistake but came back fighting to prove she belongs. Not only did April Kepner belong there, but it was her talent, her kindness, her strength that made her Chief Resident. This simply wasn't enough for Dr. Bailey or her other residents so she fought harder.

She endured the pressure but always ended up being a joke to the others. When she was fired yet again, your girl came back a little shaken. She doubted herself, but how could she not when everyone was against her.

Despite everyone telling her she couldn't, she did rise and no one saw her coming because she remained in the background. She went off to Jordan broken and came back a pretty risky trauma surgeon.

We've watched for years as she was handed promising stories that we never got to see fully develop because she was in the background. We never got to see her rise. We get the beginning and the end, but hardly ever the middle.

I thought we were finally going to have an amazing story arc in season 11 when she loses Samuel, but what did we really get? Two or three episodes of her coming to terms with the loss of her baby and then April's disappearance from the show while she's grieving off screen so that Dr. Amelia Shepherd can shine her first season on the show. Where is April's life-changing surgeries? What does April get? She's background music.

Now what?

It's season 14 and we finally get the story we've been waiting 9 years for! We get Dark April and her crisis of faith. A story arc all Christians can appreciate. Here's the chance for real character development in the foreground, but wait...

Before her story is even wrapped up, you announce that this season will be her last. So we're forced to realize that the only reason we're getting this story now is that you're writing her off.

No matter how you end it, it's not going to do her story justice. If you kill her off to end her crisis of faith story, you're not reaching the many Christians who watch the show. If you have her leaving Seattle and taking Harriet with her, you didn't know April. If you have her leaving Seattle and abandoning Harriet, you really didn't know April. So anyway you choose to end her story, you lost out on one great character.

You messed up.

Both April Kepner and Sarah Drew deserved better.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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Why You Should Read 'Snotgirl' By Brian Lee O'Malley and Leslie Hung

I'm absolutely obsessed with Leslie Hung's artwork.
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Back in high school, I was obsessed with the Scott Pilgrim comic series. So when I saw that Brian O'Malley was working on another comic, I knew I had to pick it up. I'm a little late to the party, so that means I was able to read the first five issues bundled as Volume 1: Green Hair Don't Care all at once.

Needless to say, I'm still a fan of O'Malley's writing, and I'm absolutely obsessed with Leslie Hung's artwork. The premise is interesting and utilizes modern day technology/social media jobs to its advantage. There's also something mysterious and possibly supernatural going on, but it hasn't quite been revealed yet.

The characters are also very real; in fact, a lot of them are kind of unpleasant (especially our main character, Lottie), but the fact that we get to see their ugly sides makes them more believable. It's compelling that one moment I'm rooting for Lottie to fail, then the next I'm rooting for her. Although sometimes the text language and vapid characters can be a little cringy, I'm still interested enough in the plot that I'm willing to look at these elements as intentional social critiques.

There's really only one thing that's off-putting to me, and this is something that could be remedied over the course of the series as it continues. Currently, I'm not really understanding what's going on in the story and know I probably won't get any answers for a while. I can't tell if I'm supposed to focus on the drama between Lottie and her ex, her crumbling relationships with her crappy friends, or the mysterious new relationship with Coolgirl. There are hints of something going on under the surface, some darker undertones, that's just not prevalent enough for me to understand exactly where Snotgirl is going.

If you don't like cliffhangers, I suggest waiting a while before trying out Snotgirl.

Cover Image Credit: comixology.com

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