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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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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What The 2019 'Season Of The Crab' Means For Your Zodiac Sign

It could be a super emotional month for everyone.

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It's officially summer, and that means it's time to dive into the watery depths of Cancer season on June 21. There is a different energy in the air; different from the vibe in Gemini season. Each sign can expect to notice its effects, whether they are obvious or more subtle.

Cancer season means you're probably going to feel more moody than usual. Maybe you're crying more often. Maybe you'll feel more dreamy and intuitive. Maybe you'll be more irritable. Whatever the case, it never hurts to know what you're about to get yourself into.

So what does Cancer season mean for you, based on your zodiac sign?

1. Cancer - 21 Jun to 22 Jul

@rebeccahmac_

Happy solar return, cutie crustacean!

This is one of the dreamiest times of the entire year for you, but lacking structure and planning could prove stressful. You're in an imaginative zone and you may not feel like settling down before chasing the stars, but you must think ahead so things will work out.

2. Leo - 23 Jul to 22 Aug

@lolasuxs

Cancer season will find you exploring who you want to become, and what you want to leave behind. With your season just around the corner, this is also a magical time for healing and exploring yourself. Journaling, creative pursuits, or talking things through are wonderful ways to nourish your soul.

3. Virgo - 23 Aug to 22 Sep

@nahomi.17

This Cancer season, you'll find that the stars and the moon are asking you to rest. You will be faced with many choices and decisions this month. Enjoy your time fostering whatever creativity comes to mind. Do not force yourself to go out if you're not feeling up to it. It's okay to be you and be alone sometimes.

4. Libra - 23 Sep to 22 Oct

@tiiffahh

Cancer season and Neptune retrograde begin on June 21, causing you to need to pause and reflect on your goals. Change can be uncomfortable, but every small shift brings us closer to our goals. Be willing to take a risk, and let the universe push you in the direction of happiness and adventure.

5. Scorpio - 23 Oct to 21 Nov

@jordansavannah_r

Cancer season finds you traveling and opening new doors of opportunity. Are you really gaining anything by holding onto the past so tightly, Scorpio? Set your sights on new dreams, and leave all those people and situations that are holding you back in your rearview mirror.

6. Sagittarius - 22 Nov to 21 Dec

@zelzhcabbage

The question Cancer season asks you now, Sag, is whether you'll run away from your past, cling on to it, or do the emotional work necessary to process it and let it go. Appreciate the memories you are making and try not to get too wrapped up in the little things that annoy you. This is a time for experimentation.

7. Capricorn - 22 Dec to 19 Jan

@xxadriiana

You love your deadlines and goals, but remember that taking care of your emotional health will ultimately help you be more efficient! Trust your intuition, take it slow, and use the energy for play and creativity rather than detailed planning.

8. Aquarius - 20 Jan to 19 Feb

@yeeshibee

Cancer season this year is all about being comfortable and doing what you know, so go ahead and stick to that. This is also a great time for you to check in with yourself when it comes to wellness and your habits.

9. Pisces - 20 Feb to 20 Mar

@stephdangle

This Cancer season, the heightened emotion that is in the air will bring you natural happiness. Go out, have a wonderful night under the summer stars, and use your experiences for inspiration. It will reinvigorate your soul to be more creative and more adventurous.

10. Aries - 21 Mar to 19 Apr

@marilang_

Cancer season finds you focused squarely on your personal life. It's a wonderful time for an adventure. Go on that hike. Wake up early and drive to the beach. You'll feel an inclination to do it all-- and you can! Remind yourself that you are capable.

It will be hard to stay focused because the vibe just feels so good, but Neptune's retrograde brings intriguing messages to your dreams, so pay close attention to your inner voice at this time.

11. Taurus - 20 Apr to 20 May

@belendenike

Cancer season causes emotions to be even more extreme so you'll probably reach your breaking point this month, Taurus, but you are never alone in the problems that you face. Remember to control your temper long enough to cool off and take some relaxation for yourself.

Take a day off and drive around with the windows down. Take five days off and drive to the beach to hang out and reflect. Whatever it is that you need to feel better, it is time to do it this month.

12. Gemini - 21 May to 20 Jun

@nicolenaone

Cancer is a sign that's all about security and protection, and you're really feeling those vibes right now. Your confidence is running high, as you are feeling more in control of your life. Get rid of the elements in your life that won't propel you forward.

Just as the moon and ocean cycle, so do we. Cancer is that strong energy that gets you up in your feels; it's sure to be a ride.

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