Coming home after hours of music practice every night to a load of homework is a real struggle. Students who are in competitive music programs spend several hours playing their instrument and must balance tons of homework at the same time.
There are music programs all over the county that students at this school participate in like the Maryland Classic Youth Orchestra and Potomac Valley Youth Orchestra. Along with these competitive programs that they are a part of they have to learn how to manage their school work. “I prioritize what is necessary depending on what important events are coming up. It’s basically your call depending on if major tests are coming up, or major competitions are coming up, but is good to divide it up and not stress one subject too much. Extra curriculars is fine, but if it affects your school life then it becomes an issue,” sophomore Daniel Hwang said.
Priorities for students who want to major in music in the future and become a musician vary between classes they decide to take based on how busy they will be with their music life. Specifically for senior Ashley Jarvis, her schedule is shifted based on her music plans and tasks. “As a senior, my balance of music and school work has definitely shifted a bit. It’s different now because I am able to take four music classes and three academic classes that really helped me prepare and have that be a greater priority while I am at school,” Jarvis said.
Making a commitment to different music programs isn’t easy for students especially with their other academic classes. As an extracurricular activity, there is still time that has to be committed to be on a group with other individuals where everyone has to be equally committed. “On an average school day, I spend about two to five hours practicing. Sometimes this will include after school events such as youth orchestra rehearsal, express, or lessons. When I’m on my own, I focus heavily on breaking down my personal repertoire and drilling variety of techniques,” Jarvis said.
With school being a huge part in student’s life and occupying six hours a day, it does have benefits for musical students. There are many classes in the school that keep students engaged with music like the orchestra, band, chorus and music theory. “School is really enriching my music life more this year. “I think my music life is helpful to my school work because while I may have more on my plate, music is a great way to help me focus when doing my work. It also makes it more fun,” senior Rebekah Berhane said.