Why Youth Orchestras And Musicians That Participate In Them Benefit And Thrive
Violinists and violaists sway together as they string together enchanting notes. Bassists and cellists arch their bows to synchronize their rhythms. As the conductor waves his/her baton to weave together the different but individually beautiful sounds of the orchestra, violins, violas, cellos, and basses all project beautiful melodies to crowded auditoriums and performance halls.
When the finale rings out its final note, the youth performers rise from their seats to take in the thunderous applause from the audience.
Having partaken in numerous orchestral ensembles and chamber groups, I have always been a firm believer in music and art education. Through early exposure to the fine arts, I have had the pleasure of learning under world-renowned conductors and violinists. These mentors have continually aided in honing in my technical violin skills as well as my creative thinking abilities. I was taught and encouraged to explore music on my instruments and also with my friends through chamber music festivals. Performing with variously amazing harp soloists and soprano singers on brilliantly lit stages, my orchestral and musical peers and I were taught to nurture our self-expressions and think beyond our pages of dog-eared sheet music.
Of course, there were various times when the pressure was on to play perfectly in tune or completely synched, especially when the performances for All-State orchestras and bands were in two days and we had all assembled and met only three days ago. However, these challenging endeavors taught the youth orchestra participants a sense of responsibility. And when we pulled through to create a heartfelt and moving performance, we musicians felt a sense of accomplishment and pride as we belonged to a select group of young artists.
Aside from finding a part of my personal identity and expression through participating in youth orchestras and chamber ensembles, I also gained various social and listening skills. One of the main skills we are taught as musicians is to listen around us. Listening around a orchestra and understanding where each instrument joins in or leaves allowed for me to create better music and apply the same skills when actively engaging in social groups and settings. The hours of dedication and thorough practice helped instill in my character a sense of perseverance as well that can be noticed in all dedicated musicians. Through unity efforts to play our instruments well and create true music, youth musicians learn how to cooperate collectively and develop empathy for other musicians.
Most importantly, through these diverse orchestral and music groups, students come to love music and learn how important music can be when impacting one’s life and future.