I strayed from the topic, @nathanveshecco, so pt. 1 coming soon. This prompt has been hard to write. It's hard to put into words. Music is everything. Quite literally everything that is important to me. It is my passion. It is my friendships. It is my family. It is my future. It is my past. It is my discipline. It is my calm. It is me. It is love.
  1. Music has given me the best people in my life.
  2. Obviously music didn't give me my family, but they have given me their support in all of my musical endeavors.
    They paid for everything and drove me around back in the day, allowing me to go on life-changing trips and have so many great opportunities. They also came to concerts and shows and were just always there, and they continue to be. Heck, my dad has piles of home videos from all of my band and orchestra concerts. I love that they are my support system.
  3. I love music because I met my best friend, Lauren, through it.
    We became friends through music in high school. We're both clarinet players, and she is a year younger and better than me. I was jealous because she was placed first chair (and I remained second) in orchestra after the principal quit. Once I got over it, I learned how fun, funny, and great she is, and how very compatible we are. We go together so well and I'm so thankful that music brought her into my life. She's a big part of so many of my happiest times, most of which have to do with music.
  4. But also, all of my friends are a result of music in some way.
    Be it through being in an ensemble together or playing with them directly, or meeting them through other friends met in music classes/the music building in college... All of the people who are important to me somehow came to me through music, however direct or indirect. If I don't stop now, this will go on forever. PS. Happy birthday to Jon, one of my favorite people to have met in this way! 🎉
  5. Music has given me my best memories.
  6. Music has given me the best experiences.
  7. It is through music that I have learned the majority of my discipline and I have marching band to thank for that. An ungodly amount of hours in the sun, fatigued and dehydrated, self-punishment (push-ups/laps) if you feel you did not do your best on that rep? On top of that, hours spent perfecting technique?
    All for that feeling and sense of accomplishment and pride? Yeah, worth it.
  8. And I got to go to China with my high school band to play on The Great Wall. That was pretty damn cool. And to London (actually, since I was a chaperone at the time, I got to be a balloon handler for Dazzle the Dalmatian). Amazing trip. And before that, so many fun competitions, performances, and feelings of joy I'll never forget.
    But since then, I've grown. In the past nine years (😳) I've been able to experience so much. The most beautiful sounds with friends and people I love. Exposure to so much more musically. An education of how to teach music to some of the most important little humans in the world. How to instill a love for music that I believe all should be given the opportunity to benefit from. I've learned so much about music, which in turn has taught me so much about myself. And this is still the beginning.
  9. I am making decisions right now about studying music therapy. I've been given the opportunity to study at Colorado State and will soon know if will be able to study at Belmont University in Nashville. Not my top programs, but the only two I was able to apply for due to circumstances. But I love that this is even an option for me and am so grateful.
    I heard about music therapy my junior year of HS from my favorite teacher. It sounded perfect, but I wasn't ready, and decided to pursue this career after earning my music education degree. Since then, I've decided to get teaching knowledge and gain beneficial classroom experience. I've been able to provide myself opportunities to grow as a general music educator that will very well help me in my journey with music therapy, including one that really cemented my choice of music therapy.
  10. The benefits of music therapy are so important to me. I love how music can be so helpful for so many people in so many ways. It's absolutely fascinating and I am ready to learn more so that I can help others.
    The neurological impact that music has in incredible. And it is far reaching for those with neurological disorders. I hope to be able to work with special needs children as a music therapist. In my experience in the classroom, I have seen how music can benefit all children, many with learning disabilities and some with autism. It's indescribable to be able to witness a child with limited speech sing. To see these children who struggle so much in some ways light up when in the presence of music.
  11. This is why I love music.
    (Pt. II)