The Role of Music Essay Example

What is one of your favorite songs? Do you know why it is your favorite? Generally, it is because you can have one, or several, emotions attached to it. Most people aren't fully aware that music can be a form of literacy. It is taught in schools just like math and English. These everyday songs we listen to on the radio have more than one meaning behind it, and it can shape us as individuals. With music having such a substantial literacy role in today's society, most people don't come to the conclusion that it can help you communicate with others.

Songs from our childhood have a great impact on the humans we are today. Early songs that we all know and love taught us lessons that we might have not considered. One example would be from the song, "You are my sunshine". This song has a happy melody with cheerful lyrics metaphorically explaining and communicating love. Love is a life lesson not everyone can grasp or fully understand, but we all know it is there in one shape or form. Doing further research on this specific song, it was actually for students during severe tornado warnings in Oklahoma. When they would hide from the tornados, this song was sung for safety. Different perspectives of this simple song, is just one of many examples that can relate different meanings to people.

Personally, one song that I used to listen to as a child would be the song my mother dedicated to my sister and I, "Return to Pooh Corner" by Kenny Loggins. Once I was old enough to develop a sense of different contexts and reasoning behind word choices, I deeply analyzed this song. Due to the fact that this song was a major part of my childhood, I came to the conclusion that there is always room back home, and it is okay to not know. This lesson my mom could have taught my sister and me just by a daily life lesson, but instead she put it into song. I don't know if it was because she just came across the song randomly due to her love for Kenny Loggins or because she purposely went looking for it, but this song has shaped who I am. Not knowing these lessons I was being taught at a young age, I've heard these lyrics repeatedly just as lyrics.

Looking back, I have used these life lessons in my life before I knew what they meant, all thanks to my mom. This has shaped how I live and communicate because I know I can always come and talk to my mom when times are hard, or when I am feeling a little homesick. I try to be there for others when they need it-just like how my mom is there for me. I can thank her for teaching me that important life lesson in the form of a song, and that it has shaped how I convey myself towards other people.

Being the most influential part of anyone's life, middle school, was the time I really found out my true voice. One of my favorite teachers to this day was my band teacher, Mr. Williams. With the start of sixth grade in middle school, I chose band as my elective because I felt like I wanted something different than everyone else. All of my friends did a program entitled "Explorations", which took you on a 9 week course to "explore" different options that you could do later in your educational career. Band seemed like a solid choice on my end, but I was jealous of my friends. I had the upper hand though, knowing what I wanted. Progressively throughout the first year of band, it was basically learning all the instruments and how they all go together in harmony, I was already certain that this class would change who I am.

By my eighth grade year, I finally made it into the top band. Reading new music that was more challenging, and going on a trip to Disneyland to compete against other middle schools, was the best part of being selected into the top band. One thing I did fear was the harder music. As a nationally recognized middle school band, our band played music within the level 2 and level 2.5 rage out of the set five levels. Having level 2 and level 2.5 music might not seem like a huge deal, but this is a whole new perspective on sheet music and band in general. Multiple pages, fast paced sixteenth notes with no breath marks, and various key changes and tempos are abundant throughout these pieces of music.

Knowing we could handle it, Mr. Williams handed us a piece that was extremely difficult for our level. We would rehearse nonstop all year for this one performance. One day, he even made us late to lunch by almost ten minutes, due to the fact he wanted to get it just right before we could leave. His determination is what I looked up to and aspire to be like. Along with his devotion and desire towards making us better musicians, he would hold after school practice time where we could go in and work on a section of music and he would be available to us if needed.

I remember one day, I walked in to the band room with a my head determined to get these few bars of music down. I sat down in the blueish-green chair with my instrument, and began to play. Being stumped on these bars, I did everything I could; slowing them down, going note by note, stopping and repeating, it all. I had no idea what I was doing wrong, so I just kept blowing through it. Feeling a warm hand softly press upon my shoulder, I stopped in the middle of the bar I was playing, and looked up. It was Mr. Williams, and the one and only thing he said to me was, "Practice makes permanent" and stood there until I started playing again. We took it note by note, until I finally got it.

This small interaction I have had with my teacher has followed me around in my life to this day. Being applicable to mostly everything, "practice makes permanent" has lead me into so many great things. Continuing concert band in high school, joining the marching band, becoming section leader, and running my own rehearsals are just a few of my accomplishments that can be related back to what Mr. Williams has taught me, to always take things slower, and to have the right intentions to make it become what you want it. He taught me that music is just more than music, it is a form of writing. You have to be able to read the notes, the rhythms, the tempos, the key changes and much more. Music has taught me more about life and literacy than real school has.

I would've never thought reading sheet music would sound appealing to me, turning the pages eagerly to see what I can contribute to the band as a whole, and make people feel something. Just like writing, authors want people to feel something when they write, whether if it is a new outlook on a topic or a life lesson, music does the same. Being in music has made me think outside the box concerning what a literary work could include. Only being considered an elective, music has so much to offer to more than just students who want to take an arts class. Being in music has helped me want to play more music for fun, and to help expand my musical knowledge with new tempo speeds, or articulations. While learning music I had no idea band class in middle school would teach me all my basic communication and literacy skills I would ever need in life. Whether it was writing music or just playing it, I could never imagine my life without music and how it has impacted my life both while in writing and in my life in general.


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