From a very young age, my life has been deeply rooted in the arts, specifically in music. As a devoted band geek, I’ve spent countless hours practicing alone as well as with the rest of the group. At times, I’ve felt overwhelmed by my schoolwork and responsibilities as a musician. However, this does not mean that I disapprove of our arts programs. PHS has been very effective at balancing academics and arts, and the students who are dedicated to both areas learn valuable lessons about time management and hard work.
Band has, in many ways, shaped my high school career. I was in Jazz Ensemble my first two years, driven by the dream of making Studio Band—which I’m thrilled to be in this year. I made many of my best friends and fondest memories through band. On the other hand, I’ve lost a lot of sleep over it. Nearing the end of my freshman year, I had my first experience with the stress of the arts at PHS. The time had come to audition for the next year’s bands, and suddenly the people who had been amiable became harsh, pitiless, and determined to crush their opposition. Everyone was convinced that they had to make Studio Band or their life would fall to ruins around them.
Now, the portrait I just painted of the arts programs may seem to be negative and unforgiving, but just bear with me. The trials presented by the high standards and heavy stress of band, orchestra, and choir teach and reinforce lessons that will stay with you for the rest of your life. Hard work, responsibility, and honesty are all things that I did not know the true meaning of until I entered PHS. The principle that stands foremost in my mind is the acceptance of failure. The tough standards of band give you an ultimatum: accept the fact that you’re not the best or leave. The effects of failure are based on how it’s handled—some let it crush them, and some learn from it and come back stronger. The arts at PHS have taught me to do the latter.