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A Few of My Favorite Things: Music and People

Kristina Knudsen

Kristina Knudsen

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Music can be found anywhere. It plays while you work in gym, you listen to it in the morning, you listen to it in the car.

There are some people who actually make music. I find myself–like many others–particularly drawn to this subject. Myself being a regular member of Indian River’s Marching Band. Marching band is only one example on how music influences young peoples’ minds, and our campus, through activities such as orchestra, concert band, chorus, and the yearly musical.

The Indian River Marching Band is a young program, coming back after being discontinued for over a decade, and has only been running for two years. I had just moved here to New York when a good friend of mine, Zoey, mentioned the pep band (a branch of the marching band). Interested, that Friday I joined her and the rest of the band. The band was small, with very few members and small instrumental sections.

A year later, the band has nearly double in size, now with around 50 kids on the roster. New opportunities are available to all members of the marching band. Members like myself play multiple instruments. Kylie Mandingo says about the program, “I love the marching band program. It is very well run by Ms. Trudell and everyone gets along so great together with making music.”

Ashley Trudell, Concert Band teacher and Indian River Marching Band director, was asked how she has seen music shape her previous students. She says: “I find that music is the single common language that can bring all people together. Students don’t have to understand what is being said within music in order to create or enjoy it.”

Ms. Trudell continued: “I’ve seen students make friends with others you’d never expect through the connection of music.  I’ve watched students take what they’ve learned in music classes and go off to college to study it or just appreciate music on a different intellectual level because they understand what it takes to produce it. Enjoying music is something students can continue to appreciate in school but all throughout their lives.”

With Trudell’s life mainly focusing around music, it has an obvious effect on her life. She also wrote (in an email), “Music has defined my existence. That might be cliche, but my life wouldn’t be the same without it. It’s not only the focus of my career but it’s what I enjoy doing in my free time. I’ve met my best friends playing music. I grew up with my dad playing in a rock band and my mother playing the piano. I started taking lessons at the age of seven and have not stopped learning something new since.”

“Learning how to play an instrument has provided me opportunities to collaborate with some of the most creative people on this planet and I’ve had the chance travel the world performing.  Playing music is like speaking a second language. I read characters on a page and recreate the sounds. It’s not a skill everyone has, but everyone can enjoy what’s created without needing to understand it.”

A new season is approaching for the marching season. The Parade Band season is fast approaching with new music, new members are always welcome for new seasons.

Music has an effect on people around the world and there are many ways to reach it. I encourage that you find a passion, such as music.

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