2014 Sbo Essay Contest 2016

Essay contest music

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Essay contest music

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How Does Your Music Class Prepare You For Life” was the theme of SBO’s 15th annual scholarship essay contents. Several thousand entries were submitted as students competed for ten, $1,000 scholarships. The awards were given to five students in grades 4 to 8, five students grades 9 to 12, and their respective school music programs received a matching award of music products from co-sponsors NAMM, Alfred Music Publishing, Sabian Ltd., Woodwind & Brasswind, and Yamaha Corporation of America. 

Since its inception, the scholarship program has awarded $300,000 in funds and matching music products to the winners and their schools. Two students from the Floyd Middle Magnet School in Montgomery, AL were among the winners. Other states represented were Pennsylvania, Georgia, Indiana, California, Florida, Illinois, Oklahoma and Maryland. The music students received their scholarship awards from local music dealers representing NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants), a major co-sponsor of the program.

 The winning school music programs and their music directors include Trey Bird and Angeli’c Harris, Floyd Middle Magnet School, Montgomery, AL, Coleman Woodson, music director; Claire Cao, Tohickon Middle School, Doylestown, PA., Jennifer Repper, music director; Kayla Robinson, Lindley 6th Grade Academy, Mableton, GA, music director Kameron Crutcher; Brianna Quintana, Griffith Middle School, Griffith, IN, music director Debbie Korak. In the 9 to 12th grade category winners were Christopher Frost, Westview High School, San Diego, CA, music director Jeri Webb; Dylan Lee Meyer, Neuqua Valley High School, Naperville, IL., music director Charles Staley; Tanner Robertson, Collinsville High School, Collinsville, OK, music director Richard Newhart; Caitlyn Stupi, Westminster High School, Westminster, MD, music director, Jennifer Jones and Jose Veliz, Cypress Bay High School, Weston, FL, music director, Jonathan Jadvani.

Claire Cao                                     

Grade 7  •  Age 12

Tohickon Middle School

Doylestown, PA 18902

My music class, which is a string ensemble, has certainly prepared me for my life in multiple ways that I’m sometimes unaware of, and has taught me life skills that go beyond learning to play a violin. First of all, through personal experience, I know that strings instruments like the violin (or any instrument in general) are pretty challenging to master. Developing musical skill requires motivation and perseverance because it takes hours of continuous practice to improve instrument playing. This has allowed me to realize that success results from hard work and dedication. The long (and occasionally dreadful) hours of practicing have disciplined me and taught me the significance of determination, which will be vital in the future when I am in college, have a job, etc. In addition,because orchestra class requires great commitment, time management is important. For example, I have to dig through my packed schedule to find practice time and learn how to finish school work at quicker paces due to rehearsals. Completing tasks in a timelier manner is a life skill that will be important in everything I do in the future, and being in my orchestra class has really strengthened that ability. Finally, I consider being able to play the violin as a gift. The melodies I have produced have provided me with much joy, which can relieve my stress in the future, or serve as a pleasant hobby when I’m grown up. Orchestra has prepared me well for the life that lies ahead.

Dylan Lee Meyer

Age 18  •  Grade 12

Neuqua Valley High School

Naperville, IL 60564

Music class is so much more than just the notes on the page. It has taught me life-long skills that will prepare me for the future. The flexibility needed to adjust mid-performance, the concentration necessary to focus on the fine details, and the persistence required to become proficient on my instrument are all essential skills I have had the opportunity to learn during my eight years of music classes. My music class continually shows me how to use all of these skills simultaneously, while accepting constructive criticism from my director in a professional manner. These characteristics will be invaluable to me outside of the classroom, and I feel will provide a competitive edge when I enter the workforce. As a member of the Neuqua Valley Marching Wildcats, I have learned that teamwork is a crucial element on and off the football field. When we perform, each member is equally important in creating an outstanding performance. The performance can exist only if we work together toward a common goal. The collaborative training that I have received while a member of the Neuqua Valley High School music program will allow me to work effectively and efficiently as part of a team. While I myself would like to become a music teacher, the insight and skills that I have learned as a result of my music classes will translate equally for someone who would want to become an engineer, scientist, or businessman. Music class sets everyone up for success! 

Jose Veliz

Grade 12  •  Age 18

Cypress Bay High School

Weston, FL 33332

Reonsibility, discipline, improved thinking skills, are all things that come to mind when one thinks of the benefits of partaking in a music class. And all those things are great to be successful, but what is learned through music goes way beyond that. 

 Life is all about the connections made with other individuals, being part of a community, sharing moments with others, and this is the most valuable lesson from music classes. It all begins with the ability to communicate with more ease. As a performer, one has to develop the skills to communicate with other performers in the ensemble and ultimately with the audience. After all, what makes a performance is the communication between the musicians and the audience. This ability to communicate as a musician is then reflected in other aspects of life.  

 Also, music develops a different way of looking at things, and creates a different perspective on life. The emotions and ideas conveyed through music expand and broaden the way of looking at different situations. This in turn is capable of making people more understanding of others, and it further develops emotional human virtues, such as unity and compassion, that are crucial in the formation of strong fulfilling relationships.  

 Music classes provide anyone with the opportunity to learn more about oneself, others, and the relationship between individuals. This is what can be used to have a happy and satisfying life as part of the human community. 

Angeli’c Harris                           

Grade 6  •  Age 11

Floyd Middle Magnet School

Montgomery, AL

A band class can prepare you for life by teaching you dedication, creativity, and patience. These are all characteristics that are needed for a successful life. Band Class has proven itself to be valuable in many ways. I have enjoyed each lesson learned in Band Class so far. 

Band Class helps me develop the characteristic of dedication. I am dedicated to spend hours of practice. Practicing helps me to become a better musician. I am dedicated to helping other members of the band learn their music. I am dedicated to doing my best at each performance.  

Band Class has taught me how to be more creative. Part of learning how to play music is learning how to listen to music. By listening closer to music I have learned how to improvise music and create my own style. I have also learned how to play different instruments. I have not been afraid to try different instruments, such as, French horn, trumpet, piano, xylophone, and drums.  

Band Class has taught me how to be patient. Some music arrangements take longer to to learn than others. Learning each music arrangement takes time and lots of patience. By being patient, I have learned how to enjoy music better. 

In conclusion, band class is preparing me for life. It is teaching me how to be dedicated, creative, and patient. Each day in Band Class, I look forward to doing things that will help me become a better person in life. Band Class has given me a chance to grow in my personality. It has made me more confident and strong in accomplishing my life’s goals.

Brianna Quintana

Grade 8  •  Age 13

Griffith High School

Griffith IN 46319

There are many ways band can prepare someone for life. Playing in band helps students score better in big tests and get into better colleges. Band also helps you focus on tasks and teaches discipline. Band can play a major role in boosting students’ self-esteem.

It has been scientifically proven that students in band score better on tests and get into better colleges. While playing an instrument, you are using your whole brain. Listening to rhythms and melodies improve your counting skills. Therefore, band helps with improving math skills.

Focus and discipline are important life skills and being in band is great for improving these skills! While reading music, you pay attention and focus on the notes. After playing a sheet of music more than once, you can eventually memorize some. Thus improving your ability to focus, pay attention and memorize facts. These are important skills used in daily life.

In life, confidence can play a key role in your self-esteem. You need to have a good and positive self-esteem so life won’t seem so tough. While improving and playing an instrument, you can learn the ability to create music on your own. This can increase self-esteem, or confidence in yourself. Teamwork is also an important life skill. In band, you learn to work well with others (teamwork).

In conclusion, band helps students prepare for life in many ways. Band students learn to focus, learn discipline and teamwork, and have their self-esteem boosted every time they improve their instrumental skills.

Trey Bird

Grade 8  •  Age 14

Floyd Middle Magnet School

Montgomery, AL 36105

Music class helps prepare me for life in many different ways. When I joined the band, I just wanted to learn to play an instrument. Now, I realize that I am learning several things that will help me in life and help me become a great musician. 

Music class helps me stay focused on tasks. In music class, you have to focus on the music you are learning to play. By focusing on music notes, I can also apply this to my everyday life to focus on whatever I may be working on at the time. 

Music class has shown me the importance of practicing and having a good work ethic. Practice makes perfect. I want to be a great musician and am willing to practice in order to achieve my goal. In life, you need to have a great work ethic in order to be a success. 

Music class also shows me that I can be very creative. Music class is exposing me to several types of music and brings out my creative abilities. This encourages me to try new things in life and use my creative talents. 

I am so excited to be taking a music class this year. I have gained so much from it. I am now more focused, have a better work ethic and can use my creative abilities. I plan to continue taking music classes so that I can be a great musician and a success in life.  

How Does Your Music Class Prepare You For Life” was the theme of SBO’s 15th annual scholarship essay contents. Several thousand entries were submitted as students competed for ten, $1,000 scholarships. The awards were given to five students in grades 4 to 8, five students grades 9 to 12, and their respective school music programs received a matching award of music products from co-sponsors NAMM, Alfred Music Publishing, Sabian Ltd., Woodwind & Brasswind, and Yamaha Corporation of America. 

Since its inception, the scholarship program has awarded $300,000 in funds and matching music products to the winners and their schools. Two students from the Floyd Middle Magnet School in Montgomery, AL were among the winners. Other states represented were Pennsylvania, Georgia, Indiana, California, Florida, Illinois, Oklahoma and Maryland. The music students received their scholarship awards from local music dealers representing NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants), a major co-sponsor of the program.

 The winning school music programs and their music directors include Trey Bird and Angeli’c Harris, Floyd Middle Magnet School, Montgomery, AL, Coleman Woodson, music director; Claire Cao, Tohickon Middle School, Doylestown, PA., Jennifer Repper, music director; Kayla Robinson, Lindley 6th Grade Academy, Mableton, GA, music director Kameron Crutcher; Brianna Quintana, Griffith Middle School, Griffith, IN, music director Debbie Korak. In the 9 to 12th grade category winners were Christopher Frost, Westview High School, San Diego, CA, music director Jeri Webb; Dylan Lee Meyer, Neuqua Valley High School, Naperville, IL., music director Charles Staley; Tanner Robertson, Collinsville High School, Collinsville, OK, music director Richard Newhart; Caitlyn Stupi, Westminster High School, Westminster, MD, music director, Jennifer Jones and Jose Veliz, Cypress Bay High School, Weston, FL, music director, Jonathan Jadvani.

Tanner Robertson

Grade 9  •  Age 15

Collinsville High School

Collinsville, OK 74021

Tanner’s Top 10 Ways Band Prepares Me For Life

#10 –Time Management-Nothing forces you to use your time more wisely than a director’s words. “You have five minutes to memorize these measures.”

#9 – Punctuality- “Band Time” uses the philosophy of “Arrive early to be on time, arrive on time and be considered late.” Hustle, hustle, hustle.

#8-Listening Skills- This skill is heightened at  a football field with a stadium full of noisy spectators  and the director just made an important announcement.

#7- Money Management- Because you can’t always buy that tuba mute you always wanted.

#6- Flexibility- You might play the section presto today and tomorrow the tempo is changed to lrgo.

#5-Be loud and proud- My band class is the ONE class I am encouraged, even expected, to be LOUD. I play a brass instrument and happily oblige the request!

#4- the early bird gets the worm- Starting band practice at 6:45 a.m. helps you get a lot of worms.

#3- Practice, Practice, Practice- Awards are earned at practice every morning. You simply pick them up at contests.

#2 –Keep the big picture in mind- As we work on a marching show, each movement fits together like a puzzle piece to create a beautiful piece of art.

#1-Love what you do- When you spend time doing something you enjoy, it seldom seems like work.

Kayla Robinson

Grade 6  •  Age 11

Lindley 6th Grade Academy

Mableton, GA

Music has taught me that in order to be good at anything I have to prepare, focus, be disciplined and practice. It also has prepared me to understand that criticism is not negative, if it is to help me become a better person and performer.  

 Being a vocalist and violinist I am not afraid to stand in front of an audience and perform. Music has given me more confidence. Music allows me self-expression and creativity. These are things needed to succeed in life and become a leader. Music has also increased my memory skills, which help when I have to memorize facts or formulas for school.  

In life there are times when you have to compete. In music if you want a part you have to prepare by practicing for the audition because you will be up against others that also want that part. There are over 150 students in my school chorus but only 5 will be chosen for Honors Chorus. I am preparing because I plan to be one of the 5 selected. 

Finally, music has taught me that it is a universal language that teaches us about other cultures and even other religious practices. Even though I only speak English I have learned songs in Spanish. This prepares me to be a good person and know that our greatness can be in our differences and although we may be different music can bring us together.

Christopher Frost

Grade 12  •  Age 18

Westview High School

San Diego, CA 992129

Music Classes: A Three Part Symphony 

Movement One: Patience 

In music classes, it can be difficult to have patience. The learning process is slow and long. Learning a new instrument takes large amounts of time to master. Learning new music can be tiresome and annoying. As students in music classes mature, they learn to accept these things and cope with them. The patience musicians learn in music classes can be applied throughout life, whether it be for friends, family or coworkers. 

Movement Two: Tolerance 

In life, patience can get you far, since there will always be people that you find difficult to work with. In that sense, music classes are very much like life. Musicians will also have to deal with performing pieces of music that they dislike while in a music class. Between the music and the people, music classes do a wonderful job of teaching participants how to be more tolerant, especially when it comes to working with others. 

Movement Three: Teamwork 

Teamwork is a powerful thing. Without teamwork, very few things in the world would run properly, and music classes are a major place to learn teamwork. In a musical performance, all the members of the group must work together to produce the best sound possible based on tone, intonation and volume. Balancing these three things takes a great deal of teamwork that is often taught in a music class. Patience, tolerance and teamwork all come together to create a beautiful symphony of music that is life.

Caitlyn Stupi

Grade  11  •  Age 16

Westminster High School

Westminster, MD

My participation in music classes over the past 8 years has not only cultivated my talent as a cellist but has also prepared me to navigate many avenues of life. Learning music improves self-discipline and creative thinking- tools that enhance our life experience and ability to solve problems. It teaches us precision and timing, essential skills for living in the digital age. Just like a team sport, participating in an ensemble exposes us to working with others, the importance of organization, the need to support a common goal by putting forth our best efforts, allows us to exercises our patience with others and increases our perseverance through challenges. Music classes teach us to respect the authority of those in charge by trusting their direction and accepting their constructive criticism. Heeding the advice of a mentor is critical for career success and personal growth. Participation in a music class requires one to be open-minded to others’ ideas and to respect diversity, which is essential to harmony in both music and society. Participating in an ensemble teaches us patience- a life-long virtue. When working as a team, it is important to consider everyone’s abilities and different backgrounds- remembering that we all have something unique to offer. This is a characteristic trait that makes for a great employee or leader. While every music student may not pursue a career in music, the attributes a student develops from participating in an ensemble will always be valuable


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