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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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.
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Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.


Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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Things To Do When You're So Bored All You Want To Do Is Cry

Do something artsy

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Everyone has times when they have nothing to do and boredom strikes way too hard. From experience, I have found some top things to do when you literally have nothing else to do!

1. Clean

Not super fun, but will keep you busy.

2. Netflix

Find a new show to binge watch. Watched them all? Rewatch something you haven't seen in a while!

3. Shopping

Retail therapy can always keep you busy.

4. Make a home cooked meal

Spend some time in the kitchen and make something yummy! Even invite some friends.

5. Visit friends/ family

Pop in on some people you care about that you haven't seen in a while!

6. Write

Writing is something we all do and is a great way to express ourselves!

7. Exercise

Hit the gym or go for walk, do something to keep you nice and fit.

8. Volunteer

Go to an animal shelter, food bank, museums, or anywhere in your area that needs help.

9. Look for a job

If you're bored, maybe getting a part time job will keep you a little occupied. Plus it's extra money in your pocket.

10. Draw/ do something artsy

Even if you think you're a bad artist, drawing is something fun to do! You'll get better in time.

11. Join an Odyssey Team!

Writing articles through the Odyssey is an amazing experience and can always keep you busy!

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