For the first time in eight years, band class is not on my schedule, and honestly, I miss it, but I know I made the right decision in order to keep myself balanced this semester. It's weird to be so focused on other aspects of school, life, and all other craziness that college entails, and not have band toward the top of my list like it often times was during my high school career. Even though it's not on my schedule now, I am still thankful for everything that it taught me while growing up, even as a non-music major, I would not be where I am today without it.

Music education is so important because it teaches students more than they know. When you play an instrument or sing a song, you are constantly collaborating with others to create a cohesive work of art, allowing for developed teamwork, communication, and networking skills. As a journalism major, these skills are especially important on a daily basis as I learn to work with teams of writers and editors to share stories. Band class helped sharpen those skills, allowing me to be a more successful journalist in college today. With any career, people skills are important, and music helps students develop these assets at a young age, paving a brighter career path ahead.

Music also gives students a social outlet as they work with others their age that share similar passions with one another. I made some of my best friends in the music wing, and they made my high school experience as amazing as it was. The teenage years can be rough as everyone is trying to discover their purpose, but with friends who are involved in the same clubs, extracurriculars, and classes, you will have help and a support group along the way.

Truly, I can not thank my music teachers enough for teaching me much more than how to play a high G on my euphonium or how to double tongue a tricky rhythm. Thank you for shaping me into a young adult who feels better prepared to enter "the real world" because of the life skills I learned in the band classroom, auditorium, and music wing. I am forever grateful that my tiny, fifth-grade self chose an instrument twice my size and that I continued with it until senior year. The band room was a hard goodbye come graduation day, but the lessons I learned within that music-filled room, will stick with me for years to come.

Amanda Brennan