Start Making Musical Memories

Give high school band a chance next year. You never know what could happen.

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Katie Tippet

Members of Liberty’s Band performing at the winter showcase that took place in December.

Reasons why I wanted to quit band: I didn’t have a ton of free time, I thought I would be labeled a “band kid”, and all of my friends were quitting. Band was something I enjoyed, but I was ready to give it up. Despite all of my concerns, I ended up signing up for 9th grade band. Sticking with music was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It didn’t take long to realize that I would have seriously missed out if I had quit like so many other students do. I think that more people need to give band a chance in high school. Far too many students drop out of music not necessarily because they dislike it, but because they think they aren’t good enough or won’t fit in, have busy schedules, and don’t want to be a “band kid”. 

I still remember my first day in band freshman year. Because of COVID, the marching band season was canceled and we went straight into concert band. In all honesty, I wasn’t all that excited to be a part of the band even though I loved music and loved playing my instrument. My fear that I wouldn’t be good enough or have any friends overtook any sort of excitement that I might have had. I think that many students quit for these same reasons, but the reality is that everyone has an important role and belongs in the band community. 

“Some people probably quit band because they think that they’re not good enough. But that’s not true. No one is ever not good enough for band,” said junior Lauren Vogts, who has participated in band since fifth grade. 

Ryan Arp, band director, shared encouragement for students who may feel like they wouldn’t do well in band.

“[There is] no such thing as ‘not being good enough’, being ‘the best’, or ‘great’…try to always do your best and if you try your best, you will probably be successful and fulfilled,” he said.

I may have gone into my first year of high school band without any friends there with me, but by the end of the year I had made close friends and met some amazing people. Band is a great way to get to know people who have similar interests as you and meet people who you probably wouldn’t have known otherwise. You should sign up for band even if you’re afraid you won’t have any friends there or fit in with others, because everyone is welcome and belongs in the band. 

“Everyone is just really nice and so welcoming. You never feel left out in band, and that’s probably one of the best things about it, the community. No one ever feels like they’re better or worse than each other. I never feel like an outcast or left out,” said Vogts. 

Liberty’s band performing during the half time show at one of Liberty’s football games. (Katie Tippet)

Participating in band can also open up new opportunities and influence your future plans. Some students who are involved in band are planning to study music in college. Many colleges also offer scholarships to students who participate in some of their music programs. 

“I see band being a part of my future. I plan on going to a university where I can do marching band or do a big group band, because that’s what I really like doing. Music in general is just really fun and cool to me and I think that I’ll do that when I get older,” said Vogts.

There are so many benefits to joining band. Participating in music can help you build skills that you will use in everyday life. For me, being involved in band has helped me learn how to be a team player and work together with other people in order to be a successful group.

“Band can be what you want it to be. It can be an ‘Easy A’ or the most challenging, rewarding, and fulfilling part of your high school experience. There’s a place for all levels of commitment at Liberty and we love to have the variety. It is a course that demands development of ‘soft skills’ and ‘hard skills’ daily. Preparing for a performance shows the learning process. Often times, we aren’t successful the first time we try something, but with consistency and practice we are able to make an amazing performance,” said Arp.

Band can be what you want it to be. It can be an ‘Easy A’ or the most challenging, rewarding, and fulfilling part of your high school experience. There’s a place for all levels of commitment at Liberty and we love to have the variety.”

— Ryan Arp

At Liberty, we are so lucky to have some of the best directors out there. Whether you sign up for band, choir, or orchestra, you’ll get to work with some amazing teachers who are dedicated to helping students succeed and enjoy their time in music. Mr. Arp and Mr. Carlo make band one of the best parts of my day while pushing me to grow and achieve my goals. Not all schools are fortunate enough to have directors who truly care about their students and can make music both meaningful and enjoyable, so you should take advantage of what we have here at Liberty. 

“Our music teachers are amazing. Mr. Arp, Mr. Williams, Mr. Carlo, Mrs. Brannaman, Ms. Savage, everyone is just so nice and welcoming,” Vogts said. 

It’s never too late to join band. If you stepped away after junior high or during the pandemic, or even if you’ve never been involved in music, you should consider signing up for next year. In the band, there is a place for everyone, whether you’re trying to find something that you really enjoy, learn a new skill, discover amazing opportunities, or make new friends.

“I was a bit of a troublemaker in junior high and I wasn’t very successful at a whole lot. My high school teachers believed I could be great, and I eventually believed them too. The harder I worked, the more I was rewarded with amazing opportunities and fulfillment” said Arp. 

“I enjoy being in band. It’s a way to show off some talent and have a good time. I’ve made a lot of friendships and had so much fun being in band. It just brings a happy part to my day after being in a lot of hard classes. Join band and do music, because it’s awesome,” said Vogts.

The benefits of joining the music programs at Liberty keep growing every year and has continuously proven to have positive effects on students.