Hi, I’m Adina and I’m a senior at JR Masterman High School. Before they graduate every year, seniors are required to leave the very familiar surroundings of the school and of teachers they know, and venture out into the “real” world to learn something that they couldn’t learn within a school setting. For two weeks, seniors shadow a mentor – who is an expert in whatever field the student chooses to explore- and learn from them.
Last summer, I interned with Tune Up Philly. I spent the summer helping to teach violin to a group of insanely fun, hilarious, and talented girls and we really hit it off. I was sure that I would want to return to TUP to do my senior project. Now, I’m learning a lot more about why Tune Up Philly is what it is. Instead of being the teacher this time, I’m learning all about the substantiation behind the program. So far we’ve spent the week cataloging the results of a series of surveys and questionnaires that the students, the students’ teachers, and the students’ parents completed at the very beginning of the year, before complete exposure to Tune Up Philly. Next, we plan to go conduct the surveys again and observe the change and the effect a musical presence has had on the students.
Music has been a huge part of my life since before I can remember. It has not only had a huge presence in my outside of school life, but it has completely characterized my educational experience over the past 13 years. I believe that music has teaches commitment, focus, and patience. Music has taught me how to pick a goal and stick with it until I get there. I’ve learned that it’s possible to practice a piece for months and months and months before any difference is evident. Sticking with something for that long isn’t always easy, but having done that since age 4 (when I started playing violin) has taught me a lot about consistency, patience, and reliability. However, I think that music is much further reaching than just learning to play a few scales. That is why fighting for the existence of music education is also something that has largely characterized my time in high school. Music has the power to teach all-encompassing life lessons, as well as bring people together. Almost all of the friends I’ve made, I’ve made because of being in a musical ensemble together. Playing in orchestras and singing in choirs has helped me make friends from all over the area that represent all different kinds of people – all of them amazing and talented. Having the opportunity to work with an organization like Tune Up Philly, and people like Delia, who really care about music and music education is basically as good as it could possibly get for me. This is exactly how I want the “real world” to be for me when I graduate next month. In the fall, I plan to study political science at the University of Pennsylvania. I hope to someday become a government advocate (really, a lobbyist) for music education.