By Bethany Schneekloth
I am an active member in both choir and band in my school. Music has always been an important part of my 17-year-long life, from classical music to the newer pop music – I listen to it all. I have learned as of late to start associating certain emotions of mine to a specific type or style of music in which listening to helps me get through.
Ever since I was little I have loved music, my childhood was filled with music ranging from the polka we listened to on Saturday mornings as a family to the 8’0s rock I listened to with my dad as we drove place to place. My parents always joke on how they could only get me to be quiet as a baby by playing loud rock, which has carried over to my later years as I find myself calming down while listening to old and new rock music. But even between all of the types of music I find myself being mainly drawn to songs and pieces with a slower tempo. Some of my favorites include Guns and Roses’ “November Rain,” Chris Stapleton’s “Tennessee Whiskey,” and Josh Groban’s “Cinema Paradiso.”
My emotions weigh heavily on my day to day choice in music. I began to notice my subconscious leaning towards a type of music only within this last year or so when school really began to affect my life more as a whole. I would grow irate if I wasn’t allowed to listen to music in school, as I was doing my homework, or just around the house. Music helps me determine my mood and it allows me to easily calm myself down.
On a day to day basis I find myself able switching readily between music genres. My morning go-to song depends on what I was listening to last on the day before, which tends to be a piece from a musical. Some of my all time favorites include “Bless Your Beautiful Hide” from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Andrew Llyod Webber’s “Overture” from Phantom of the Opera. This more relaxing feel for music is a happy medium between the other styles of music I will soon find myself listening to. My morning routine is accompanied by songs with speaking parts within them, most speaking parts are memorized and add a little extra glee to my morning.
My music for the bus is cello versions of classical music. It allows me to keep calm and focused to study my notes and finish up homework from the previous night. My mind relaxes, my stress levels fall exponentially, and it leaves me prepped for the day. My music is all but silenced in the school day as I don’t have access to a computer and we aren’t allowed to use our phones.
Then comes the middle of the school day with either choir or band, which allows my pent up frustrations to be released in my own music. I play the B-flat and the bass clarinet in band, which gives me a full range of sounds, from the high C to the low E, and my emotions are expressed in how I play; the more frustrated I am the more I squeak because I am applying too much pressure to the reed. When I find a happy medium my notes come out perfectly and I can play whatever comes to my mind. In choir I sing soprano one or alto two, depending on the year. Just like my clarinet playing, I have to find a happy medium to get out high B and low A.
After band or choir, the last two hours of the day are basically radio silence like the first four hours of my school day. The bus ride home is usually accompanined by fastly paced pop or rap music to keep my mind off the multitudes of screaming children. Once I get home, my emotions aren’t a key factor in my music and I play whatever song comes to my mind until I get ready to sleep. Once I begin to go to bed my mind and body start to slow down and I end my day with a more somber song.
Bethany Schneekloth is a student at Mabel-Canton High School. She is one of eight area students participating in the Journal Writing Project, now in its 21st year.