Music. The word itself is simple: 5 letters; yet it describes an amazingly abstract art form that few can explain. Music is felt in the heart rather than merely processed by the brain.
But while the definition of music is ineffable, its curative effects, as well as its ability to aid in the development of essential skills, are blatantly evident, especially here at TAMS. The developmental process of mastering an instrument, or simply listening to the resulting art form, fosters growth in various aspects of life and initiates an emotional remedy.
Understanding beats and rhythms as well as reading notes and translating them into a melody develops analysis and reasoning skills that may be applied to various academic pursuits. This is especially evident here at the Academy, where ground-breaking research in various STEM fields coincides with a rich appreciation and skill for music. Both areas require the ability to think creatively, delving past what is known and entering into unexplored territory.
“Getting into the habit of practicing and going to rehearsal translates into academics in that it gets you in the right mindset. Practicing an instrument and studying require the same kind of discipline.” – Karissa Chesky
Along with mastery comes performance. During a student’s path of studying music, he or she will inevitably be required to perform in front of an audience. With the ability to demonstrate a piece of music under pressure comes the confidence and the capability to regulate anxiety, which can be applied to stressful situations, which we here at TAMS know are plentiful.
“With orchestra and other types of music, you definitely have to get used to playing in front of other people and after a while, you just stop doubting yourself because you know you’ve put a lot of effort into your craft. That confidence transfers to a lot of other things because sharing your music with other people allows you to share your thoughts more readily and express yourself more easily. ” – Soummitra Anand
The process of centering all of one’s energy into eliciting an emotional response through melody and rhythm creates an avenue through which a player’s emotions are converted into musical expressiveness. The rigorous college environment here at TAMS correlates with a need for emotional catharsis, and often times music is the perfect avenue through which to do so.
“I remember that after solos, or concerts, or competitions, I would always feel so good about myself and realize that all that hard work, all that emotional input, was worth so much in the end. I think that throughout my musical career, I’ve realized what makes me feel content.” – Neha Arora
Participating in a musical ensemble cultivates teamwork and attention to surroundings, as unity and balance of sound are crucial to the proper execution of a piece of music. TAMSters represent this collaborative effort present in an orchestra. Living in the same building with 400 other people of your age group puts you in direct contact with numerous issues. But we get through it by helping each other–with the same kind of support and camaraderie it takes to make music.
“By playing in an ensemble, I’ve learned to lead but also follow at the same time. In orchestra, you have to find a balance between leading the section but also following the director and the rest of the orchestra. I really love playing in an ensemble because it’s not just about you; it’s about the collaborative effort. “- Sophia Lin
Whether you listen to it or pursue it, music here at TAMS has shaped the lives of many. So the next time you walk by Smitty and hear a piano concerto in the process of unfolding or hear the delicate melody of a violin solo in the room down the hall, take a moment to listen, and maybe even participate.