By Nadira Benjamin ('22)
Many students use music as their “escape” from trouble around them or as a form of self-expression. SBHS is one of many schools across the country that offers music-related classes. The high school offers three levels of band, choir, and orchestra, alongside two levels of percussion ensemble. Classes offered include Music Theory 1 and AP Theory. These programs have a bigger impact than most people know.
Ms. Donna Cardaneo, one of the three band directors, holds a strong belief in the importance of the Music Program. She said, “Students will learn life lessons in any music class! Good is not ‘good enough.’ Music classes demand commitment and things to be done exactly the same. They teach teamwork and responsibility to a group.”
The abilities learned while taking a music class helps later down the line. To an extent, most jobs require some form of team collaboration and individual responsibility. These skills are formed and mastered due to the involvement in these classes.
Music is also often compared to an English class because of the application of knowledge. Students are expected to be able to read, analyze and dissect musical pieces the same as they would when reading pieces of literature. Many musicians can argue that music classes are just as important or even more important than the standard academics. The academics are important, but the arts ‘breed human kindness’.
Each is relied upon to help and perform with the other. Musicians learn to help their peers in order to make everyone successful. They support and help their fellow musicians to achieve the highest musical level. The music program also helps students grow as people.
Ms. Cardaneo said, “Music causes emotions to connect and come to the surface more than any other stimulus. It allows them to bring their own feelings and emotions into a piece of music through vocal or instrumental playing. Music also allows students to be themselves.”
Sophomore Drew Shah agrees with this point of view.
He said, “It gives a really good avenue to express who I am. It has also taught me to appreciation for the work of others as well as to be proud of my own. It allows me to have a larger contribution to something bigger and fundamental in human development.”
Shah is a part of the Tuesday Jazz Band, 5:30 Thursday Jazz Band, the Symphonic Band, and Sax Ensemble. He is also a member of the Marching Band. Being a part of a music community allowed him to meet new people that have the same passion for music that he does. Since music is such a big part of his life, he would transfer schools if SBHS did not have its music program.
Sophomore Alexander Eckmeder also was greatly impacted by his involvement in the music program.
He said, “Music was my outlet to relieve stress from school. Music also allowed me to experience things I would have never been exposed to if I wasn’t a part of the program.”
Eckmeder is a part of the Wind Ensemble and a member of the Marching Band. Being a part of the music community, he was able to travel to different places whether it was band festivals or performances at MetLife Stadium.
Music gives students the chance to branch out of their community and to travel to different places. For each student, they gain special and meaningful experiences from being a part of this program. Each experience attributes to who they are as a person.
Mrs. Cardaneo said, “Music helps students to be human.”