It feels like we were just ushering them in. But with the blink of an eye, the snap of a finger, the wave of a baton, the Senior Class of 2022 has finished their careers at People’s! Wow, does time fly.
Before we sent off our seniors, we asked them to share any nuggets of wisdom for current TPMS students–any advice that could enable them to “Play it Forward.” Here is what they had to say.
STRIKING A BALANCE
Balancing school work and music can be tough, but a number of students had advice on how to manage that balance. Phoenix S., a SLAM percussion student, suggests young students “set aside time for practicing music. It may sound like a chore at first, but when you do, you’ll realize how much of a great emotional outlet it can be.” With this, “Make sure your instrument is your best friend,” says harp student Keturah H.
Students should also “stay on top of grades!” says SLAM percussion student Rubana G. “So so so necessary, and don’t procrastinate. Keep up with everything and you will turn out alright.” SLAM Piano student Katie Sales also warns students against the urge to procrastinate: “Do all the hard work now & have fun later.”
LOVE WHAT YOU DO
But with the hard work comes a sense of accomplishment and genuine enjoyment. “Practice is key but having fun and enjoying playing your instrument is just as important,” says Miguel A., SLAM violin student. Javier A., SLAM cello student, expands on this: “Playing music is more fun when you put yourself into it.”
And this passion is key: “Focus on what you are passionate about, not what others want you to be passionate about,” says guitar student Theo G. SLAM violin student Jose C. reminds us that perhaps Beethoven said it best: “To play a wrong note is insignificant. To play without passion is inexcusable.”
IT’S OKAY TO MAKE MISTAKES
They say practice makes perfect, but what they tend to leave out are the many mistakes and slip-ups you encounter on the way. It’s an essential part of growing as a musician. “Just play your best always, and if you mess up, it’s okay, keep going,” says Kayla V., SLAM trumpet student. SLAM viola student Emily G. encourages us to “Smile through your mistakes. They’re a stepping stone toward success.” And sometimes being optimistic is all we need to get through. “No matter what the situation is, keep a positive mindset and focus on the good things,” says SLAM piano student Cynthia D.
PERSEVERE & HAVE PERSPECTIVE
But when you’re preparing a really difficult solo piece or just can’t find that perfect intonation, sometimes you need more than a sunny outlook. Our students emphasize the importance of staying strong. “Don’t give up when things seem tough,” says Kacper M., SLAM trombone student. “Persevere through the obstacles and you will reap great benefits from them.” Osbedia A., SLAM oboe student puts it beautifully: “Never give up until you’re louder than the storms and stronger than the mountains. The wind will sing with you and the water will help the flow. Only you can change the brightness of your future.”
Sometimes, taking time to get perspective helps, too. “When you find yourself unmotivated, remember the reason you started in the first place,” says Hellen S., SLAM flute student. Thinking back to your past self, who barely knew how to play a scale, will show you how far you’ve come as a musician.
“Work hard towards your dreams and never give up even when it gets hard,” says SLAM trumpet student Gracie T. “One day, you’ll look back and you will realize that all your hard work paid off.” Elizabeth P., SLAM violin student quotes Walt Disney, who famously said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.”
As for becoming a lifelong musician, it’s simpler than you may think. “Keep on playing music, you will never regret it,” says Vivian N., SLAM viola student. Alam M., SLAM guitar student, reminds us to “Keep playing, keep growing, keep sharing.”
Thank you, Class of 2022, for your musicianship and your wisdom, and for inspiring our current students to follow in your footsteps.