Hi, my name is Elizabeth, and I’m a senior at Friends Select School. At my school, internships are a graduation requirement. I chose to do my internship at Tune Up Philly because music education is very important to me. I started playing violin at age 4 and have played in my school’s music program since 5th grade. I just completed my 3rd year with the Philadelphia Young Artists Orchestra, which is part of the same organization that Tune Up Philly is. I have really enjoyed my experience with PYAO because it has given me the chance to play challenging classical music with other talented musicians, which is something that my school’s instrumental ensemble has not always been able to give me.
Though I have not yet personally met the kids who are enrolled in Tune Up Philly, I attended their May 18 concert at the Philadelphia Free Library. It became apparent to me that each of the students put in a tremendous amount of work and time to prepare for the concert. I was impressed by the musicianship the students displayed, even the youngest students who had just begun playing. When I heard the schools each of the graduating 8th grade students had been accepted to, I was very impressed. These students had been accepted to schools that their non-musician peers had not been. Clearly, participating in the Tune Up Philly music program has given them something that other kids their age do not have. Music education has provided them with the work ethic and self-discipline that comes from practicing an instrument. It has also provided them with the ability to take critique and grow from it. Studies have shown that studying an instrument helps children succeed in school, especially in the math and science areas. It helps them to focus, work toward goals, and think critically. As someone who has experienced music education throughout elementary, middle, and high school, I fully believe that music has given me extra qualities as a student as well as the drive to succeed. The importance of music in a child’s life cannot be stressed enough; it is a force that brings people together, nurtures them to become better individuals, and provides them with a special gift that cannot be taken away.
I would describe music as an integral part of my life, and I believe that music education has given me incredible opportunities to grow as a student as well as a person in general. Although I have often encountered challenges when balancing music with other aspects of my life, such as academics and sports, I will continue to pursue music in the future when I am at college. I am planning to major in neuroscience or international relations, but I am also considering studying music; in addition, I am looking forward to playing music in both organized and less formal groups. I hope that music will continue to be a significant part of my life after college as well.